US car bail-out fails in Senate
A $14bn (£9.4bn) bail-out deal for the US car industry has failed to get Senate support, raising fears of job cuts and a possible industry collapse.
Bipartisan talks on the rescue plan collapsed over Republican demands that the United Auto Workers (UAW) union agree to swift wage cuts.
The White House said the plan was American carmakers’ “best chance to avoid a disorderly bankruptcy”.
Shares fell sharply around the world on the news.
Japan’s Nikkei share index fell 484.68 points, or 5.6%, to 8253.87, with carmakers among the hardest hit. Shares in Toyota, Honda and Nissan all fell by at least 10%.
German, French and UK stocks all opened lower on the news, with the FTSE-100 index of leading shares down 147.4 points at 4,241 in early trade.
Some Democrats have now called on President Bush to use some of the $700bn bail-out earmarked for Wall Street to help the car industry.
Heh…Bush. Remember him?