Former General Motors chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre is in the papers today, specifically the Opinion section of The Wall Street Journal, espousing a strong belief that the U.S. Treasury should get out of GM's hair as quickly as possible. Whitacre's sentiments come, no doubt, as a response to the recent news that GM has been pressuring the Treasury to sell off its remaining 500 million shares of the company's stock.

In the op-ed piece, Whitacre is careful to express just how important the U.S. Government's bailout – an initiative known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP – was when $50 billion was added to the company coffers in 2009. But he goes on to say that government involvement has long since run its useful course, and its presence is now serving to hold back the automaker, rather than serve to secure the U.S. public's investment.

Writes Whitacre, pointedly, about the continued involvement of TARP regulators at GM, "The company already answers to a lot of constituencies: stockholders, unions, Wall Street and global competitors. Adding TARP to the mix for another few years, or even another few quarters, is not fair to GM or to the one million people it employs, directly and indirectly."

Whichever side of this debate you happen to fall on, it's well worth taking the time to read Whitacre's words in full, over at the WSJ's site.


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  • 43 Comments
      airchompers
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why wouldn't former CEO Whitacre urge GM's board to buy the stock from the treasury at a very fair price? It would make the US Gov't and taxpayers whole, help show that companies can act responsibly, and would demonstrate GM's commitment to America.
      Nemebean
      • 2 Years Ago
      This discussion is completely pointless. The Treasury is just not going to sell the stock until after the election at the very earliest. Period. Unless, I suppose, GM's stock miraculously skyrockets to $60 and they would make money on it. So yeah, not going to happen.
      John Cocktoastin
      • 2 Years Ago
      **** GM. it's not "fair" that they continue to own us. (but it sure felt fine and dandy when they were getting that $50 billion in bailout money) "government involvement has long since run it's useful course" read: thanks for saving our sorry asses, but now we are done spending your $$$ and you are no longer useful to us so please GTFO and who cares if it costs you another x billion in loses because our company is still not valued at **** on the stock market. we don't owe you ****. er.. yes we really do owe you everything but we don't care.
      Jeff
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not fair!?! WTF is he smoking? Was it fair to shaft the former bondholders and throw away all previously known and accepted rules for a company bankruptcy giving them pennies on the dollar compared to what they would have through a normal run bankrupty filing. Was it fair, that now the US tax payers have to eat the losses of 'Old GM' because of Decades of lousy GM management? Now this bozo wants the Government to guarantee the US Taxpayer (you and I) eat even more losses by forcing the treasury to sell the stock at it's current share price. Another dolt (former) leader of GM....guess I should have never expected any intelligence or reason!
      Kilo
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am in agreement with the bailout, but what I don't think is fair is that GM wants a 140 million US taxpayers to not only save GM as we did, but to also sell the stocks at a 15 billion loss. All this to make it easier for GM to run the new GM. We could never recoup this money in tax revenue due to the additional tax deals and incentive the government has given GM. The US has given GM the life line to survive, but now wants to choke us with it.
      oRenj9
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm guessing Mr. Whitacre and his Wall Street buddies have an ass load of put options that are getting ready to expire. Putting public pressure on the Treasury to sell even a small portion of its stake in GM is going to make them a huge amount of money when the stocks take a nose dive.
      Big Squid
      • 2 Years Ago
      What about what's fair to the taxpayers who bailed you out, you ingrate creep thief?
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Adding TARP to the mix for another few years, or even another few quarters, is not fair to GM or to the one million people it employs, directly and indirectly." Then they should not have asked for a bailout.
        Brian
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        I couldn't have said it better myself. I actually became mad reading this article. What an unappreciative bitch! First of all, I think that government should never help shore up bad businesses- all it does is incentivize risky behavior and bad business practices. We, the American Taxpayer saved their ass. How quickly they forget- it only took a few years. Even though I am somewhat a fan of GM, I was against the bailout when it happened and Ed's comments are just adding salt to those wounds.
      G
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think he just wants to get MORE money (on top of the what he made)... I don't know how, but what ever he said doesn't make any sense. And when something is illogical, "someone" is hiding the truth...
        Julius
        • 2 Years Ago
        @G
        How would Whitacre make any money off of a Treasury GM stock sell-off? Selling all that stock would LOWER the price, not raise it.
      mcdull
      • 2 Years Ago
      No problem to sell the stock IF GM is going to pay the loss in selling which is taxpayer money, and let's see GM sink again.
      purrpullberra
      • 2 Years Ago
      If I was on fire and this idiot told me to jump in a pool I wouldn't do it. I doubt this fool knows anything beyond getting his pretarded ass out the house in the morning. Ed W = epic failure!
      Nathan Loiselle
      • 2 Years Ago
      Am I the only one who suspects that Whitacre plans on purchasing the government shares? After all, the best time to say that the government should sell them would be when they are lower in price than when they were purchased.
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