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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Automakers Launch Second Try for Federal Aid

The heads of the Big Three Detroit automakers -- GM's Rick Wagoner, Ford's Alan Mulally and Chrysler's Bob Nardelli -- are appearing now before Sen. Chris Dodd's (D-Conn.) Banking committee.

Dodd began the proceedings by asking three questions:

-- Are the Big Three truly in dire straits?

-- If they were to fail, would the consequences be severe?

-- If so, does the U.S. government have an obligation to help?

Dodd then began answering his own questions.

Yes, the economy is bad and getting worse.

If the Big Three were to fail, even a partial failure of one automaker, "the consequences would be severe and sweeping," Dodd said.

And yes, Dodd said, the government has an obligation to help.

Dodd said the requests by the automakers -- some $30 billion in direct loans -- are relatively small compared to what failing financial and insurance giants have received.

-- Frank Ahrens

By Frank Ahrens  |  December 4, 2008; 10:19 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Alan Mulally, Bob Nardelli, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Rick Wagoner, automakers  
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