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To give money to a company so that it avoids bankruptcy and is able to continue operations. Generally speaking, the term often refers to a government bailing out a private corporation. A bailout may take the form of a direct transfer of capital, or it may occur indirectly through low or no interest loans and subsidies. For example, in September of 2008 the insurance conglomerate AIG found itself in dire straits. The Federal Reserve bailed it out by extending $85 billion (and eventually $182 billion) in credit to the company. Proponents of bailouts say that they keep an economy afloat when an industry thought too big to fail otherwise would collapse. Critics contend that bailouts are inefficient and that non-competitive companies ought to fail. See also: Cash for clunkers.