Bill Gates questions bailout for Big Three automakers
Microsoft billionaire founder Bill Gates wondered Wednesday why the US government was considering a bailout for the Big Three US automakers when no private investor was willing to foot the bill.
"After all, they have to say 'if no one else is willing to invest, why is that?' Gates told CNN on the eve of congressional hearings on restructuring plans and requests by Chrysler, Ford and General Motors for a combined 34 billion dollars in government bridge loans to avert a collapse of the sector.
"What is it that investors are seeing about this business model or cost structure that makes them unwilling, and why, in that case, is the government alone stepping forward in this way?" Gates said.
"When you don't have any private investors you really have to say, is taxpayer money going to have the desired effect?"
Gates suggested the government look closely at the Detroit automakers' restructuring plans.
"There are very few industries that aren't going to suffer this (economic) downturn.... How does government take its finite resources and decide how much restructuring or change is expected there?"
"And ideally you look at the sign of private investment as part of how you say, 'OK, that really is a good investment class.'”