The CEOs of the Big Three automakers told the Senate today that a $25 billion bailout of the industry is necessary to prevent "catastrophic" effects on the economy, the New York Times reports. “If the domestic industry were allowed to fail,” said GM's Rick Wagoner, it would mean “three million jobs lost within the first year.” Meanwhile, Chrysler's Robert Nardelli disclosed that his company, like GM, is on the verge of bankruptcy.
The three chiefs maintained that the poor economy, and not poor management, made action necessary. Wagoner said failure in Detroit would mean “US personal income reduced by $150 billion, and a government tax loss of more than $156 billion over three years.” Banking Committee chair Chris Dodd chastised the men. “No one can say they didn’t see this coming,” he said. Still, he supports action.