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U.S. Sells Last of GM Shares

treasury department auto industry tarp bailout bankruptcy billions lost equity stake jobs

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#1 Hum

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 08:50

The Treasury Department on Monday announced that the government has sold its remaining shares of General Motors (GM) and that losses from the 2009 auto industry bailout total about $15 billion.

In a conference call, Treasury officials said the government has recovered about $39.9 billion of the $49.5 billion earmarked for GM under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) approved by Congress as the company teetered on the brink of bankruptcy nearly five years ago.

“With the final sale of GM stock, this important chapter in our nation’s history is now closed,” Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said during the conference call.

In exchange for the bailout, the government received $2.1 billion in preferred GM stock and a 60.8% equity stake in the company, which led critics of the bailout to refer to GM as ‘Government Motors.’

Treasury has intermittently sold its shares of GM but always at a price below that which would have allowed the government to break even on the deal, which accounts for the nearly $10 billion in losses.

Lew said the controversial decision to bail out GM and Chrysler, both of which passed through bankruptcy in 2009, has resulted in a rejuvenated auto industry and led to the creation of more than 370,000 jobs.

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#2 Growled

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 00:49

I impressed. For the government they handled that fairly well. Of course, one can argue that they had no right to get involve in the first place.



#3 Jason S.

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 20:42

Impressed that the govt lost nearly $10bil of their investment?

 

but yes, the govt should have let these companies fail as would be healthy in a free market economy.



#4 Jason Stillion

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 20:45

Impressed that the govt lost nearly $10bil of their investment?

 

But made money in other area's of TARP to counter act the loss.



#5 +Audien

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 20:49

They lost $10B but saved $100B+ on welfare payments not to mention the surrounding businesses (cafes, restauraunts, bars).  It would've been a hell of a lot worse, and the impact would've been felt a lot longer.



#6 +LogicalApex

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 20:58

Impressed that the govt lost nearly $10bil of their investment?

 

but yes, the govt should have let these companies fail as would be healthy in a free market economy.

I'm not a fan of the auto industry bailouts either, but the way you're looking at this doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

 

We shouldn't be judging the action (or inaction) on the part of government in the same way we do private industry. Meaning, profits shouldn't be the measure by which we gauge the success of something undertaken by government. Our meter of success should be better aligned to the societal impact of the actions. This may be unprofitable in raw dollars, but far more beneficial to society and enable dollars earned elsewhere.

 

For instance, there isn't really any profit in mass transit, but the benefits it brings to society overall far outweigh the losses the government sustains to provide it.



#7 _dandy_

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 21:05

Was reading another article earlier today that GM was now sitting on a few billions in cash and is considering paying dividends.

 

While I realize the government isn't in it to make money out of the deal, do they really have to go out of their way to lose money?  If shares are growing in value, why not wait to at least break even instead of taking a loss?



#8 Growled

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 00:46

Impressed that the govt lost nearly $10bil of their investment?

 

We are talking about the US government here. They will pay $10,000 for a screw and not blink an eye. Losing $10 million is pocket change to them.



#9 D. S.

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 09:30

We are talking about the US government here. They will pay $10,000 for a screw and not blink an eye. Losing $10 million is pocket change to them.

 

You're missing a couple of zeros there. 10 billion dollars is a lot of money.



#10 OP Hum

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 14:48

^ Unless you are Bill Gates. ;)



#11 Gotenks98

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 14:59

Still should have let them fail. The cost of vehicles need to be priced back to something that's a lot more sane. After this crap happened it is the last time I buy a US made car. Don't get me wrong I love stuff that's made in the US but cars are just too overpriced now especially. Had they knocked off like $10,000 to start with on the price of the cars they never would have gotten in this position in the first place. I think the government owes it to the people to get that money back completely without a loss. GM does not have the right to give dividends when the government took a loss on their crap.



#12 Growled

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 03:57

You're missing a couple of zeros there. 10 billion dollars is a lot of money.

 

Yeah, my fingers got ahead of my brain (what little I have left these days) but still, $10 billion dollars is pocket change to a government that deals in Trillions.





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