Felix Salmon ponders what would happen if Google failed:
Google is too big to fail. If Google went down tomorrow, the loss of $100 billion in stock-market value would only be the tip of the iceberg in terms of the total economic loss associated with such an event. Between AdSense and AdWords, Gmail and Blogger, Google Docs and Google News, the company has built itself into an indispensable counterparty which would take many years and hundreds of billions of dollars to replace.
Yes, millions of businesses large and small rely on Google to stay alive. Non-profits and advocacy groups use Google to get the word out, activate folks, build momentum. And everybody uses Google to find what they want. In other words, Google is a company that is run by smart, motivated people who are dedicated to providing a useful service – which is precisely why they will not fail. Which is in marked contrast to companies that are asking for a bailout. Think Detroit. The car companies make a lousy and inferior product, and are staffed by lazy, unmotivated people. Which is why they have their hand out.
(Tangent: clear though the logic is/was for a Detroit bailout, doesn’t it just suck to give these beasts even more cash they haven’t earned…)