"The panel is deeply concerned that Treasury has not required GMAC to lay out a clear path to viability or a strategy for fully repaying taxpayers." This, according to a Congressional Oversight Panel that was created as a watchdog for the U.S. Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds. The fix? Potentially breaking GMAC up into units and merging its auto lending business back into General Motors.
As a refresher, the Treasury invested $17.2 billion in TARP funds into GMAC, after which the financial company lost $8.3 billion on its Residential Capital unit in 2009. For it's part, Treasury has responded to the panel in a statement, saying, "Treasury continues to be a reluctant shareholder and to manage its investment in GMAC in a hands-off commercial manner consistent with the administration's established principles that guide Treasury's management of financial interests in private firms."
And since we've heard from the congressional panel and Treasury, why not from GMAC itself? Again, from a statement as reported to Automotive News: "We appreciate the panel's responsibility to analyze history; however, GMAC's management team is focused on the future. That includes continuing to provide the highest level of service to auto dealers and consumers in support of our auto partners, returning GMAC to a high level of profitability, and repaying the U.S. Treasury."
At this point, there's no clear indication on how Treasury or the congressional panel will proceed. Regardless, this is an issue that we'll be keeping a close eye on in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.
[Source: Automotive News – sub. req'd. | Image: Craig Jones/Getty]