Bailouts, Bailouts, Bailouts: Local Experts, Residents React

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

The Dow Jones surged 396 points Monday upon news that the federal government is set to bailout banking giant Citigroup. But while Wall Street celebrates, Main Street grows weary as more of their dollars are handed over to corporations.

Between feeding $700 billion to the financial sector, Congressional talks about a rescue plan for the auto industry, and now a promise to help banking giant Citigroup --

"Obviously there's been a severe, significant downturn in the market over the last thirteen months," said Larry Jones, Branch Manager of Financial West Group.

--People like Cindy Somers are beginning to cringe when they hear the "b" word: bailout.

"I certainly understand we can't allow these businesses, particularly the auto industry, to completely lose because then we all lose. There's so many millions of jobs attached to that," said Somers. "But again, they caused this to happen and they're not really paying the price.

Others say corporations should never have had to ask for or receive bailouts in the first place.

"I think you have to let some of them go bankrupt," said Grand Valley resident Gary Davis. "I think that just has to happen. We can't afford to bail them all out."

But local financial experts like Jones feel differently. He says recent market trends are starting to show signs of recovery, thanks in part to the government bailouts.

"I think it's positive in the sense that the government understands how serious this is and how committed they are to get the economy moving again," said Jones.

As more and more corporations are forced to make layoffs and as credit grows tighter, he says the bailout plans are important for more than just the businesses they help.

"I think corporations and banks hopefully will be improving credit, the ability for people to borrow loans," said Jones. "I also think the consumer will gain more confidence and start to spend money again. People have to understand, they will benefit as well."

But many say they're still not convinced bailouts are the answer to fixing the economy.

"That's one of the things I think that's scary about it," said Somers. "We trust these people to make the right decisions, but who knows?"

"Back when IBM went down, they corrected, the government didn't bail them out and now they're a viable company again," said Davis. "I think these companies have got to cut back, re-engineer themselves, and prepare for the future."

Local experts say as the financial crisis continues and as a new administration comes into power, we likely have not seen the last of companies and industries coming to the government for financial help.


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