August 22, 2008

The Next Bailout: Detroit

WSJ.com
First came Bear Stearns, then mortgage lenders and borrowers, followed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: They've all looked to Uncle Sam for a bailout, and now the word around Washington is that Detroit will be next on the taxpayer supplicant list.

Earlier this month, the Detroit Free Press reported that the top dogs at Ford, GM and Chrysler had a meeting of the minds and decided that the way out of their current losing streak would be to ask the feds for a lifeline. They figure they'll need $40 billion or so to ride out their current troubles until they reach the promised land of hybrids, the Chevy Volt, and, who knows, maybe even profits.

We've since heard that lobbyists for the car makers are taking their pitch for direct federal loans around Washington, with a goal of unveiling the plan after Labor Day -- conveniently in the frenzy of the fall election campaign. They've briefed Congressman John Dingell, the dean of Michigan Democrats, as well as officials in the Bush White House.

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