U.S. Sells Remaining Stock in General Motors

Officials from the Obama administration said they had not expected to recover the entire money they had pumped into automaker General Motors.

The books were closed on the bailout of General Motors by taxpayer’s, when the remaining shares of stock in the largest automaker in the U.S. were sold with an expected loss of $10.5 billion.

On Monday, Treasury Department officials said it had recovered $39 billion from the automaker through interest and stock gains out of the $49.5 billion bailout. Many experts think the bailout is what helped keep the auto industry from complete collapse during the Great Recession’s depths.

Officials from the White House said the bottom line had not been the only thought when giving the bailout to GM, as they did not expect to recover 100% of the capital.

Failures of General Motors and Chrysler, which was also give a bailout of billions, threatened to topple the other player Ford Motor Co. and cause over 1 million jobs to be lost, said Obama.

At present, all three of the automakers are once again profitable and the overall industry has gained over 372,000 new jobs since the first bailout.

Dan Akerson, the CEO at GM said the closing of the books on the bailout was another part of the turnaround of the company.

A nonprofit organization, the Center for Automotive Research, said U.S. taxpayers ended up winners in the Chrysler and GM bailouts despite monetary losses. The bailout of Chrysler resulted in a loss by the Treasury of $1.3 billion.

The government restructuring and bailouts of the carmakers, it said, had saved over 2.6 million jobs in the U.S. during 2009 and personal income of more than $284 billion between 2009 and 2010.

The two bailout actions also avoided nearly $105 billion in unemployment payouts and other payments from social programs.

A shutdown would have also spilled into the rest of the industry due to the auto parts supplier base structure across the U.S. and could have caused economic damage that might have been catastrophic.

Both Chrysler and GM had been near bankrupt in the late months of 2008 when George Bush, then-President, provided $17.4 billion in loans to the companies. The bailouts were then expanded in 2009 when Obama took office.

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