The Detroit News reports that General Motors is attempting to borrow $500 million from one or both of Detroit's pension funds to refinance its Renaissance Center corporate headquarters. GM is saying it may have to sell the complex if a refinancing deal isn't reached, despite the fact the company just took full ownership of the facility in May at a cost of $626 million. So what's really going on here? Is GM that hard up for cash already, or are they just putting the squeeze on some deep local pockets? Let's look at the facts. According to the Detroit News, the city pension and Detroit Police and Fire Fund have over $8 billion in assets between them, and have been active in financing several key downtown development projects. GM wants to borrow $500 at what we would presume are very favorable interest rates to finance the Renaissance Center complex. Do they have to refi or sell? That's the unknown here: It could be that GM is simply using the "we'll sell the RenCen" threat to put political pressure on the pension funds to green-light the refi deal. Or it could be GM thinks the interest rates they'll see from the Detroit Police and Fire Fund will be better than whatever horrifyingly poor rate they're able to get from the capital markets right now. What happens if the pension funds don't blink? GM says it would try to sell the center but lease its office space, so tenants and GM employees would likely see little change in day-to-day business. GM would get a chunk of cash to fund its operations, then make monthly rent payments to the new owners. And who would the new owners be? Who knows, but with the dollar where it is, we'll bet our Volt futures that they won't be American. [Detroit News]