Let’s go back a decade to November 2008. That month, 759,000 jobs disappeared from the U.S. economy; by April 2009, Great Recession job losses had reached several million. The auto industry was tanking, with vehicle sales plummeting, assembly plants idled or operating on skeleton shifts and autoworker layoffs mounting across the Midwest.
On Nov. 19, 2008, the Big Three auto CEOs came to Congress asking for an industry bailout. GM and Chrysler were on the brink of insolvency. The CEOs warned, and prominent economists agreed, that if the two giant automakers went into bankruptcy and liquidation, it could endanger the entire supply chain and dealer-network that the rest of the auto industry-including Ford, as well as foreign transplants Nissan, Toyota, Honda, BMW and VW-depended on.
The government ultimately lent GM and Chrysler $80 billion through TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, to get the automakers through bankruptcy and back in business. The U.S. Treasury ultimately recovered all but about $9 billion of that taxpayer money.
So, how’d the bailout turn out? Click to view the rest of this news item by Marketplace, which took a deep dive in the economies of Dayton & Toledo, Ohio, Kenosha, Wisoconsin, and Rockford Illinois.