According to a report from CNBC, the US government has sold off the last of its remaining shares in General Motors. Secretary Jack Lew reports that $39 billion of the $49.5 billion investment in GM has been recovered, meaning that the investment, on paper, cost taxpayers a total of $10 billion.
When we last checked the status of the federal government's stake in General Motors in September, it owned about 7.3 percent - roughly 101-million shares worth about $3.7 billion - of the automaker. In October, the Fed sold almost a third of its remaining stake, or 29- to 30-million shares valued at about $1.2 billion, The Detroit News reports. Currently the government owns around 71-million shares.
Opponents of the US auto bailout – specifically that of "Government Motors" – should have a field day with this information. According to data compiled by Automotive News from the Government Services Administration, General Motors became the largest supplier of new cars to the US Government; overtaking Ford for the first time since 2009. Before the bailout, GM had held this lead dating back to at least 2005.
With a multi-volume list of issues that a presidential hopeful could discuss, we aren't sure why Mitt Romney keeps circling back to the auto industry bailouts, but here we are again. He's lately swinging his stick at the U.S. Treasury Department for not having sold its 26.5-percent stake in General Motors, accusing it of holding back on the stock sale to avoid having to report a multi-billion dollar loss before the election.
The "Government Motors" crowd isn't going to be happy about this: The Detroit News is reporting that the U.S. Treasury now says it has lost an extra $170 million in the auto industry bailout. The culprit? The declining price of General Motors stock.
The far right wing of the American political spectrum has begun channeling its displeasure over the federal government's involvement in the restructuring of General Motors into calls for a boycott of the company's products. Reportedly spearheaded by right wing pundits and radio show hosts, the boycott would be a response to the U.S. government taking a 60% stake in GM in exchange for forgiving most of the tens of billions of dollars loaned to the company over the last six months.
The die is cast: General Motors has filed for bankruptcy. As expected, the automotive giant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this morning in a New York court, listing $82 billion in assets and $172 billion in debts.