Chrysler's countdown to oblivion

Chrysler L.L.C. can no longer keep its creditors at bay.

According to The New York Times, the inevitable bankruptcy of the number three U.S. automaker will come as soon as next week. The Treasury Department has an agreement in principal with the United Auto Workers, and an agreement with Italy's Fiat SpA will be completed while the company is in bankruptcy protection, the paper says.

As Bloomberg News noted, things are not going so well for Fiat either. S&P recently cut the company's debt ratings to junk. Fiat also reported its first quarterly loss since 2004 today and Chrysler's bankers want the company to invest $1 billion in the struggling U.S. company.

Among the questions yet to be answered is how badly holder's of the automakers' $6.9 billion in debt will be shafted.