Is the new GM viable?

Sunday night, a New York bankruptcy judge approved the sale of selected assets to "New GM." Assuming that bondholders and others don't appeal the judge's decision, the New GM could be born this Friday. As expected, it will consist of GM's most popular brands: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC. But will the New GM be viable?

Before addressing this question, let's not forget the old GM, which includes the likes of Pontiac, Saab, Hummer and Saturn. With the help of $1.18 billion in taxpayer money, the old GM will try to sell itself to the highest bidder -- if any emerges. And the U.S. -- which will soon have put up a total of $50 billion -- will end up owning 61 percent of New GM; the UAW will get 17.5 percent; the Canadian government will take 11.7 percent; 10 percent will go to bondholders; and the common shareholders will be wiped out.