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U.S. News

Treasury Sells Final GM Shares, Sticking Taxpayers With $10 Billion Loss

The U.S. Treasury Department announced on Monday that it sold its last shares of General Motors stock, ending the federal government's nearly 5-year attempt to "save the auto industry."

Posted December 11, 2013 by William Vaughns

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Treasury Sells Final GM Shares, Sticking Taxpayers With $10 Billion Loss

The U.S. Treasury Department announced on Monday that it sold its last shares of General Motors stock, ending the federal government's nearly 5-year attempt to "save the auto industry."

The sale leaves taxpayers short about $10 billion after only recouping a total of $39 billion from the original $49.5 billion disbursed in 2009.

Despite the massive taxpayer loss, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in a statement that the program was a success because "more than 370,000 new auto jobs have been created," and all three major U.S. automakers are "profitable, competitive, and growing."

The auto bailout was highly controversial during the 2012 presidential campaign. In the year prior, the Treasury closed the books on its $12.5-billion bailout of Chrysler and took about a $1.3-billion taxpayer loss.

GM stock languished for much of 2011 and 2012 in the $20 to $30 range - far less than the government would need to break even on its bailout investment. As a result, every stock sale meant booking more taxpayer losses, so The White House delayed sales of GM stock until after the election.

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5 Comments

quijibo (guest)  December 14, 2013
@Withheld Oh right, as if the government had not swooped in and saved the day, no other industry would have ever filled the void. The proposal that the failure of GM would have resulted in America never manufacturing an automobile ever again is preposterous.
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Withheld (guest)  December 12, 2013
Have any of you added up the revenue that was gained by Treasury by the economic activity of the automotive sector? Not just the jobs that were gained but the lost jobs that were avoided? The avoided cost of benefits (food stamps, unemployment, etc) that would be paid to those in the industry who would have lost jobs without the help the industry got? A $10 billion one time loss is chump change compared to that. Hmm, wonder why THAT story isn't being told. Doesn't fit the narrative.

Yeah yeah bring on the hate.
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just another number (guest)  December 11, 2013
The bailout was a success because the members of the UAW still have their jobs, and the union dues are still rolling in. Those dues are then distributed to the democrat politicians who supported the bailout.
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jmack (guest)  December 11, 2013
Romney was right when he said let let Detroit go bankrupt...
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iobject (guest)  December 11, 2013
Does this mean I can claim a loss on my taxes this year?
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