Financial institutions may win the "award" for worst year ever, but the automotive industry has begun to give banking a run for its money. Last month, the companies that once
defined the America's industrial and entrepreneurial spirit found themselves skidding down a slippery slop into imminent financial ruin. Ford, Chrysler and--most iconic of all--
General Motors turned to Congressional leaders, lobbying hard for a bailout package worth billions to help reverse their devastating operating losses. The leaders of Detroit's Big
Three--GM's Rick Wagoner, Ford's Alan Mulally and Chrysler's Robert Nardelli--made their way to Washington earlier this month to make their plea in person.