US auto executives took their case for a $25 billion bailout to Congress on Tuesday, warning that the industry was on the brink of disaster. But prospects for a bailout this week appeared dim.
Rick Wagoner, the head of General Motors, bluntly told the Senate Banking Committee why the executives were there.
"This is about much more than just Detroit," Wagoner said. "It's about saving the U.S. economy from a catastrophic collapse."
Earlier in the day, Ford Motor Chief Executive Alan Mulally warned of dire possible consequences for the auto industry if one of Detroit's Big Three carmakers had to file for bankruptcy.
Mulally said in an interview with CNBC that consumers would be less likely to buy a car from a bankrupt automaker, thus deepening the industry's problems.
Strategy Session with the Fast Money Traders
"I don’t see what’s in the history of the automakers that leads anyone to believe that a $25 billion dollar loan isn’t just throwing good money after bad, says Karen Finerman.
"They’re promising to build more fuel efficient vehicles but that’s not really the issue," says Tim Seymour. "It’s about accountability."
"You know what I feel good about? My Toyota short position," exclaims Jeff Macke.
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CNBC.com with wires