Photo: Associated Press
During the financial crisis, telco giant Verizon got $1.5 billion in bailout funding, according to recent government disclosures.Why is that interesting? After all, Verizon was hardly alone getting help from the government.
As the Washington Post reports, General Electric, Caterpillar, and Harley-Davidson all took emergency aid during the crisis.
Here’s why Verizon’s bailout — which started on Oct. 27, 2008, according to a government filing — is especially notable: Because it came just two weeks after Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said loudly that the company wouldn’t need one.
“Verizon CEO: No Bailout for Me, Thanks,” reads the headline of this WSJ blog post from Oct. 14, 2008, in which Seidenberg said, “You’re not seeing the same liquidity issues and hue and cry coming out of the telecom industry that you’re seeing out of other industries.”
Seidenberg even took a shot at the U.S. government, saying it “helped create a lot of really bad business models.”
And then two weeks later, the government loaned Verizon $1.5 billion.
Verizon’s excuse in last week’s Washington Post article: “Verizon spokesman Robert A. Varettoni said that it was ‘an extraordinary time’, adding that there was no credit available otherwise at the time,” the Post says.
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