Microsoft, along with its large business peers, is coming down in favor of the economic bailout bill, and is taking that stance publicly.
Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Microsoft, Brad Smith, issued this statement Monday:
Microsoft strongly urges members of the U.S. House of Representatives to reconsider and to support legislation that will re-instill confidence and stability in the financial markets. The legislation is vitally important to the health and preservation of jobs in all sectors of the economy of Washington State and the nation, and we urge Congress to act swiftly.
Now that the bill has failed to pass the House, and a second attempt to pass a bailout is set for this evening, Microsoft reps have directly contacted their state representatives. Ars Technica reports that they are also encouraging other Washington state businesses to push for congressional action, as well.
While traveling between a number of meetings in Europe this week, Steve Ballmer made a few general statements acknowledging that his company's numbers will be affected by a protracted slowdown, and that he supports "stabilization" of markets, without getting into too many specifics. And that's from the CEO of a company with more than $23 billion in cash.
Interestingly, though common sense would suggest that the length of time small and medium-sized businesses could survive the credit crunch would be less than the largest companies, articles like this one at The Wall Street Journal show that most small-business owners seem not to be in favor of the government bailout plan, believing that since there is no built-in guarantee that their access to credit will be opened up, they will not benefit. The banks, many predict, will sit on the money to strengthen their balance sheets and continue to look askance at loan-seekers. The growing number of comments here from small-business owners supports the trend the WSJ's Kelly Spors found. Organizations like the National Federation of Independent Business, meanwhile, are supporting a bailout plan and encouraging Congress to try again.