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Robert Longley

Even Losing $10B on GM Bailout, Taxpayers See TARP Profit

By December 18, 2013

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While taxpayers lost about $10 billion on the General Motors bailout, they will realize an overall profit of nearly $11 billion from the Troubled Assets Reinvestment Program (TARP), according to Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew.

As the TARP program winds down, Lew announced on December 9 that the government had sold the last of its shares of G.M. stock, purchased in 2008 as part of the great auto industry bailout.

In closing the bailout books, the government sold the taxpayers' $49.5 billion worth of G.M. stock - which once represented a 60% share of the automaker - for $39 billion, resulting in a net loss of about $10.5 billion.

Also See: What the Auto Bailout Cost Taxpayers

But according to Sec. Lew, the loss was not all bad news and that the most important goals of the auto industry bailout had been achieved.

"The President understood that inaction could have cost the broader economy more than one million jobs, billions in lost personal savings, and significantly reduced economic production," he said in a press release. "As a result of his efforts, which built on those of the previous administration, more than 370,000 new auto jobs have been created, and all three U.S. automakers are profitable, competitive, and growing."

Under President George W. Bush, G.M. received $13.4 billion in short-term financing through the TARP program. The Obama administration later provided another $6 billion in capital loans as G.M. finalized its restructuring plan.

And a TARP Profit to Boot

The government's $49.5 billion in G.M. stock was just part of a total TARP investment of $421.8 billion, which included the purchase of $170 billion worth of AIG stock.

The government and taxpayers realized a $23 billion profit from the AIG bailout when the final shares were sold in 2008.

To date, according to Sec. Lew, the Treasure has recovered a total of $432.7 billion on its $421.8 billion total TARP investment for a profit to taxpayers of about $11 billion.

"Treasury will continue to wind down the remaining investments in a manner that balances maximizing the taxpayer's return on investments with the speed of our exit," said Lew.

Also See:
Abuse of Bailout
How Much Did the Bank Bailout Cost?

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