Treasury needs GM stock to be worth $95.51 to break even

Special Inspector General Christy Romero has delivered another report to Congress on the state of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) up to June 6 of this year, assessing numbers to the US Treasury's remaining stake in General Motors. After stock sales in February and another a few months later, the Fed is still the owner of 14 percent of GM, totaling 189 million shares, and is $18.1 billion in the hole after the $49.5 billion loan to the automaker. Although the share price has risen more than 20 percent this year to $37.08 at the time of writing, Romero's latest calculations indicate it would need to climb to $95.51 for the government to be made whole. In May of this year that number was $70 per share.

GM stock is on the rise, but no one expects it to reach that number before the government's self-imposed deadline for being divested of the stock. If sold right now, Treasury would make about $7 billion and wash its hands of the rest. Analysts expect GM's stock to continue rising so that $7 billion number should also climb and the loss get trimmed, but even with another 25-percent gain between now and April, when the government is expected to be fully divested, that would only get it to $46 per share.

GM will be looking forward to next April, probably no matter where its stock price is, if for no other reason than to have ammunition removed from the "Government Motors" grousers. For now, it can point to the Center of Automotive Research study that declared everyone's already been paid back plus interest, because "the cost of doing nothing was not zero."

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