When Uncle Lends a Hand

Federal bailouts of near bankrupt companies were all but unheard of prior to 1970. Since then there have been several examples of last-minute largesse from Uncle Sam. Among the most spectacular cases:

Chrysler. The 1970s energy crisis left Detroit's third-largest automaker almost out of gas. The company was slow to convert to fuel-efficient small cars and faced increasingly tough opposition from both the Big Two and Japan; by mid-1979, Chrysler had accumulated nearly $500 million in losses, as well as the industry's largest backlog of unsold vehicles. Chairman Lee Iacocca, hired shortly after being fired as president of Ford, went to Washington...

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