How Much Are The Taxpayers Actually Going To Lose In The General Motors Bailout ?

Today the Detroit News posted a story about the General Motors exit strategy announced today by the Treasure Department.

The article reports:

The Detroit automaker said it will purchase 200 million shares of GM stock held by Treasury for $5.5 billion — or $27.50 per share — nearly $2 above the stock’s closing price on Tuesday. GM shares jumped sharply on the news and were up 6.7 percent to $27.10, or $1.59.

The U.S. Treasury — after more than a year of refusing to say when it might start selling its remaining stake in GM — said it will announce a written plan in January to shed its remaining 300 million shares over the next 12 to 15 months — likely in a series of small stock sales.

The Treasury’s move is intended to minimize the impact of the stock sale on the share price.

The article states that there will be serious government losses in the General Motors bailout:

The exit plan may prove to be a boost to GM’s lagging stock price and to some car buyers, who have avoided GM because of the “Government Motors” label.

Still, taxpayers will almost certainly lose billions of dollars in the $49.5 billion GM bailout. If the government sold the rest of its stock at current prices, taxpayers would lose more than $13 billion.

Bailing out General Motors was not a good idea. A controlled bankruptcy would have been a better idea. What the bailout did, other than cost the taxpayers serious money, was to protect the unions and ignore what was good for the company in the long run. Even after the amount of taxpayer money spent and the losses taken, there are no guarantees that General Motors will exist in five years.

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