The saga of the U.S. Treasury's involvement with General Motors has become the theater of call and response: the call is Treasury announcing how much it stands to lose on its bailout of GM, the response is a turgid chorus of "Government Motors!" and "They should have died!" peppered with a few defenders trying to make themselves heard. Well, here we go again, since the latest Treasury report filed states that it stands to lose $25.1 billion on the 500 million shares of GM stock it still owns.

There are two qualifiers with this, the first being that the estimate is low; it was made when GM's stock price was $22.20, but at the close of trading on of August 17 the stock price was $22.01. The second and much more important qualifier is that Treasury only loses $26 billion, give or take, if it actually sells the stock. Treasury's report to Congress on the state of its investment doesn't mean a sale is imminent, it's just an update. The only thing we've heard about the date of a sale is that Treasury has no immediate plans on such, preferring to wait until the market catches up to the progress it feels GM has made.

At one time the government expected to lose $44 billion on the auto bailout. Even if it takes a $26 billion bath on GM and adds the $1.3 billion loss on Chrysler, that's still a 33-percent improvement on what could have been. And that's called "looking at the bright side."


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  • 246 Comments
      oldbuzzard1959
      • 2 Years Ago
      They should be caling this the great union payoff instead of the auto bailout.
      leftmoon2
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Gov. would have been better off to just give each American $100,000.00 and let us spend it . That would have jumped the economy better than what they did.. Beer sales would have gone up along with car sales stating you can only buy a USA auto with the money. Woops sorry time for vacation congress....
      t57mas1
      • 2 Years Ago
      If the stock is held to...may take four to five years but I see them braking even. Worse depression since 1929, things will take a while to level out.
        johanbachura
        • 2 Years Ago
        @t57mas1
        Some people are just not sophisticated enough to understand that.
      jking41198
      • 2 Years Ago
      The reduced loss is not looking on the bright side. It was a foolish "investment" whether the government bought into it or if I did.
      frankmyers
      • 2 Years Ago
      Golly ... and I heard from so many Obama-ites that GM was such a great success story.
      elpmlp
      • 2 Years Ago
      How can losing a few billion less on a potential tens of billion of dollars loss look on the bright side? Where's the logic in that? Oh I forgot only in the logic-free zone: Washington, D.C.
      Dark Gnat
      • 2 Years Ago
      GM's biggest problem is Europe. Their American and Chinese markets are doing very well, and their products are improving, bit Europe's economy is in the tank. This makes if very difficult for them to invest in new products and implement better strategies. They are doing about as well as you could realistically expect. Besides, the Auto bailouts are nothing compared to the WallStreet/Bank bailouts and the cost of the wars, which are around 4.6 Trillion and 3.7 Trillion respectively (according to a quick google search). Ford narrowly escaped the government bailouts, but they were right there with GM and Chrysler begging for money. They lucked out by getting massive loans while banks were still lending, but they are billions in debt. They have stated that if GM and Chrysler had failed, Ford would have followed suit, as all three companies share part suppliers, which would have also taken a huge hit. Millions more people would have been without jobs, and there is good evidence that the economy would have gone into a full-blown Depression. Complaining about it isn't going to help. Ironically, the only thing we can do that actually would help is to buy GM products, which would help their stock go up, and help regain the costs of the shares. I suppose it is easier to complain and blame Obama for a program that Bush started.
        redmond352
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dark Gnat
        I'd trace the huge federal debt problem way back to Ronnie Reagan, actually, but George Dubya certainly added to it, and yes, the GOP is all too willing to blame Obama for spending the money that was agreed to in the bank and auto industry bailouts by Bush and Congress before Obama ever set foot in the White House. He's trying to clean up their mess and they complain that he isn't doing it fast enough.
          Dark Gnat
          • 2 Years Ago
          @redmond352
          In reply to Blondie and Grumpy: Bush and Obama have had very similar policies. Democrats and Republicans are not very different. They just want to spend our money in different places. Every few years, one puppet replaces another. Both parties are bought and paid for by the same companies. These companies (certain bank and industrial agricultural companies as examples) are the ones who actually destroyed the economy (by convincing people to buy expensive things with money they don't have) and have hurt our health (by producing selectively bred grains that are designed to grow fast and produce a lot of profits, not provide proper nutrients for the human body). As a result, people are in debt and unhealthy. Healthcare costs have skyrocketed - partly because pharmaceutical companies have discovered that pills can be lucratively profitable when marketed correctly. (Just keep listing symptoms until you find the one that's right for you.) Banks were making loans to everyone, (in the form of credit cards and mortgages) as they knew high interest rates, penalties and late fees would earn them more money than traditional lending. It was an unsustainable business model, and eventually it caught up with them. Gas prices spiked in 2008, which caused the house of cards to collapse. Yet they have learned nothing, and their lobbyist continue to corrupt our government and influence bills and laws. The point is, if you want real change - vote third party. We will never agree with everything a candidate says, but if a large percentage of voters chose a Libertarian (as an example) then a true message would be sent: we are tired of the political machines and games. The President has very little actual power. We need widespread changes in Congress. Local governments are just as, if not more important than the Federal government, even down to you town commissioners.
      jsbseven
      • 2 Years Ago
      bright side my ------ they had no right to lend our money they dont no what they are doing they made a mess out of freddy and fannny now this we need a big change get them out
      Robert
      • 2 Years Ago
      How can we be LOOSING? Didnt GM just post an all time record profit year. PAY UP GM !!!
      portwashanne
      • 2 Years Ago
      If the loss is less than originally anticipated, then that is "looking on the bright side". Now that's funny!
      karmarind
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wonder whose is going to bail out the to big to fail U.S. government. Maybe China.
      RocketRed
      • 2 Years Ago
      So the text of the post explains why the headline is wrong. I guess that's one way to deal with an poorly drafted headline.
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