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16US sells Ally Financial shares, putting an end to auto bailout [UPDATE]

The US Treasury will come out ahead on its bailout of Ally Financial, unloading its final shares for an estimated $1.25 billion and bringing its total profits on the Ally rescue to $18.3 billion on a $17.2 billion investment. That's a net win.

53Ally to pay $98M to settle ethnicity-based discriminatory lending practice probe

Ally Financial has agreed to pay a $98-million fine to settle an investigation into unfair lending practices overseen by the Justice Department and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In an investigation of lending practices in the year after April 2011, the government agencies determined that Ally Financial and Ally Bank charged roughly 235,000 Asian/Pacific Islander, Black and Hispanic borrowers higher interest rates than their credit profiles warranted and higher rates than white

12GM to divest 7% stake in PSA Peugeot Citro├źn, sells equity in Ally Financial

In terms of being a major newsmaker, the last seven days have probably been the biggest for General Motors since its 2009 bankruptcy. Aside from announcing that Mary Barra will be succeeding Dan Akerson as its CEO next year, the automaker also appears to be streamlining its global operations by pulling Chevrolet from Europe in 2016 and winding down its Holden manufacturing operations in Australia by the end of 2017. Now, as was originally speculated about in October, GM has confirmed that it is

116US Treasury denies pay hikes for GM, Ally execs

In December, the US Treasury granted General Motors the rights for the company to once again buy corporate jets and for its executives to fly on them, but neither those execs nor the ones at Ally Financial will get any raises this year. The automaker, worried that top talent might leave for higher-paying pastures, reportedly sought a more "market-based approach to executive compensation" for 12 of its top 25 execs. Because the federal government still has stakes in both GM and Ally, though, the

45Watchdog says White House needs exit strategy for GM, Ally

Christy Romero, a special inspector general examining the corporate bailouts that came in the wake of 2008's financial crisis, has some advice for the U.S. government: "Treasury should develop a concrete exit plan for GM and Ally." She is referring, of course, to the 30-percent stake that the government still holds in General Motors and the 74-percent stake it holds in Ally Financial, formerly known as GMAC when the Treasury pumped $17 billion into it.

16Mitsubishi i gets four stars from NHTSA; leases start at $249 a month

Hmmm, 12 fewer miles of range or $40 more bucks a month?

21Treasury suggests GM buy back troubled Ally Financial

Back when Ally Financial was known as GMAC Financial, the U.S. Treasury gave it $17.2 billion in TARP funds to weather the global economic crisis. GMAC is now Ally Financial, and although it has repaid $5.4 billion of what it was loaned, there doesn't seem to be a clear path for repaying the outstanding amount. Bloomberg reports that Ally's mortgage unit, Residential Captial (ResCap), is teetering on the ledge of bankrupcty, and its banking operations didn't perform well in the Federal Reserve's

28Chrysler launches "No Payment for 90 Days" program

If you've been sitting on the sidelines waiting to pick up a new Chrysler product, now may be the time to stand up and bring your wallet down to the nearest dealership. Chrysler has fired up a new incentive program that will leave a bit of money in your bank account for the first three months of your new-car ownership period. It's called (imaginatively enough) No Payments for 90 Days, and the program applies to all 2011 and 2012 Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram Truck vehicles.

8Report: Ally Financial files IPO paperwork

Ally Financial, formerly GMAC Financial, has filed the paperwork necessary for an Initial Public Offering. The Detroit News reports that the filing will go to the Securities and Exchange Commission for approval before Ally can go public; a process that could take months. The federal government, which owns 74 percent of the lending arm due to its $17.2 billion 2009 bailout, is the only party listed as a stockholder.

54Ford's Big Goal in 2011: Get out of junk status, lower loan rates

2010 was a banner year for Ford Motor Company. Market share and profits were as good as they've been in years, and there is genuine buzz surrounding the Blue Oval's cars and trucks. Heck, even Ford's stock has been a monumental success. But not all that glitters is gold, as Ford is still mired in junk bond status, which in turn makes it more expensive to borrow money. That makes it more pricey for Ford to offer incentives to customers, and lease terms are less attractive than they would otherwis

16GMAC changing name to Ally in North America

Come August 23, GMAC's auto lending business will be brought under the Ally Financial banner. While GMAC had already rebranded its other financial divisions, the auto business still went by GMAC. The move continues GMAC's distancing itself from its General Motors mothership, and if we read more into it, this could make it even clearer that Ally has no interest in returning to majority ownership by the automaker (GM still maintains a small stake in the company post-bankruptcy).

48GM seeking more subprime buyers?

In a word, yes. The Detroit News reports that General Motors is looking to find a way to tap into the subprime lending market that accounts for 16 percent of the overall car-buying market. There is, after all, plenty of pressure to sell more vehicles to enhance the company's value leading up to its initial stock sale. But while GM would like to strategically go after subprime borrowers, there is one significant roadblock in the way; Ally Financial. The financing firm, which was GMAC until The Ge

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