Dec 9, 2008

Richard Kovacevich on bailouts and who should be first in line

Q: If the government is going to buy into banks, why not autos, why not airlines?

A: It's important to invest in the banks because banks are the grease that keeps the real economy moving. If there is no financing available for corporations, for consumers, for municipalities, if that does not exist, then no industry can be successful, right? You've got to have that backbone. And that's what you have to do first. Who else you do it with, or for, is for other people to decide. But I think almost everyone agrees, until you fix the financial system, helping others won't make a difference.

~ Richard Kovacevich, CEO, Wells Fargo, "Wells Fargo's Kovacevich: The Importance of Hitting Bottom," BusinessWeek, October 22, 2008 (Nov. 3 issue), interview with Maria Bartiromo

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