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Taxpayers are far from breaking even in GM bailout


According to a report out today from the Associated Press, stocks in General Motors would have to more than triple their current value for the federal government to break even on its investment of taxpayer dollars in the struggling automaker:

“There’s no question that Treasury, the taxpayers, are going to lose money on the GM investment,” Special Inspector General Christy Romero, author of the July quarterly report to Congress, said in an interview.

GM needed the $49.5 billion bailout to survive its trip through bankruptcy restructuring in 2009. Since emerging from bankruptcy, the restructured company has piled up $17.2 billion in profits. In exchange for the bailout, the government got 61 percent of GM’s stock. It cut that to 33 percent in GM’s November 2010 initial public offering.

The government has gradually been selling off the rest of the stock, with the goal of exiting the investment by April of next year. As of June 6, it still owned 189 million shares, or about 14 percent of the company, according to the report.

Taxpayers are still $18.1 billion in the hole on the $49.5 billion bailout, including interest and dividends, according to the report.

To put this in perspective, if the government sold its GM shares today, it would net about $6.9 billion.  In this case, taxpayers would lose about $11.2 billion in the bailout of GM.

But yeah, things are just peachy.

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