Moody's Investors Services says total costs of auto bailout could top 125 billion US dollars. The investment firm also pegs the chances of an automaker bankruptcy at about 70 percent.

First, it was 25 billion (USD). Then, suddenly, the automakers were asking for 34 billion. Then Congress knocked it down to 14 billion but Senate Republicans blocked that measure. Now, the White House says it will step in and use Treasury funds from the financial sector bailout (a 700 billion dollar mortgage on the future) to provide emergency bridge loans to the ailing industry. No exact sum on that has been unveiled yet.

As the bailout numbers keep changing it seems a good question to ask, how much will this all cost in the end? How much to the Detroit Big 3 automakers really need to ride out the current recession?

Well, investment firm Moody's Investors Service Inc. has done just that and the price tag they put on this thing is between 75 and 125 billion US dollars. That's how much.

Moody's also says there is a 70 percent chance of an automaker bankruptcy. A sobering analysis, indeed, from the legendary investment firm.


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