Taxpayers’ bill for GM bailout: $11.2 billion
The U.S. Treasury’s bailout fund lost $11.2 billion on the rescue of General Motors Co. with the government’s exit of the largest U.S. automaker, a report said.
The total includes $826 million that the Treasury wrote off in March for its remaining claim in old GM, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program said in a report to Congress on Wednesday. In December, the government had put the loss at about $10.5 billion on its $49.5-billion investment.
The Treasury sold its remaining shares in GM in December, signaling the end of Government Motors, as the Detroit automaker was derisively labeled by some critics after the U.S. government stepped in with emergency funding in 2008. Bailouts from the George W. Bush and Obama administrations helped GM avoid liquidation and reorganize in a 2009 bankruptcy that has given new life to the company.
Buoyed by lower debt, reduced labor costs and a focus on only its strongest brands, GM is emblematic of a revitalized U.S. auto industry. Although the government lost money, its exit paved the way for an influx of fresh investor capital.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and State Street Corp. were among investors to buy into GM. J. Kyle Bass’ Hayman Capital Management also took a stake in the automaker.
GM shares rose 42% in 2013. But the stock has fallen 17% this year through Tuesday as the automaker struggles with reputational issues following its slowness to recall 2.59 million cars with potentially faulty ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths.
After reporting first-quarter earnings last week that were better than analysts had expected, GM told investors to temper their expectations for the rest of the year.
On Wednesday, GM shares gained 49 cents to $34.48.
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