Treasury Prepares to Lose Big on GM Bailout

Government will take loss in the billions


The Treasury Department announced Wednesday it will sell its remaining shares of Detroit-based automaker General Motors and the result will be a loss for taxpayers in the billions of dollars, Politico reports.

It marks the latest in a string of moves by the administration to unwind taxpayer bailouts stemming from the financial crisis, but the price per share does not come close to the amount needed for the Treasury to make back its investment:

Treasury plans to sell its 500.1 million shares in the carmaker over the next 12 to 15 months, with GM buying 200 million at $27.50 per share by the end of the year. This sale will bring in $5.5 billion toward the $27 billion that the company still owes.

In an October report, the special inspector general for TARP estimated Treasury would need to sell the remaining 500 million shares at $53.98 per share to break even on its investment. […]

Taxpayers also suffered a $2.9 billion loss on the government’s investments in Chrysler, which exited the program in 2011. The company received a total of $12.5 billion in assistance through TARP’s auto programs.