A capital infusion offered to a business with a national or multi-national footprint that is in danger of bankruptcy, insolvency, or total liquidation. Financial aid can be provided in the form of debt or equity offerings, cash contributions, or some form of loan or line of credit, and is often accompanied by greater government oversight and regulation. The failure of a business that employs thousands or plays an influential role in the economy potentially can send shock waves throughout the entire economy, including other industries. The credit crisis that began in 2007 created numerous failures around the world, which resulted in a large number of government-sponsored bailouts in almost every industry across the globe. See: Conservator, Conservatorship.
Copyright © 2011 Campbell R. Harvey, Professor of Finance, Fuqua School of Business at Duke University