Government Spending

Just How Much Will the GM Bailout Cost Taxpayers?

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From the Wash Post, a warning not to count on cashing out that government-owned GM stock any time soon:

For the United States to fully recover its investment, the value of General Motors stock will have to reach levels it has never before attained….

"I don't know how much we're going to recover," a senior Obama administration official said as the company headed into bankruptcy last month.

This uncertainty stems from the difficulty in valuing the 60 percent GM stake that the United States will receive in exchange for the public investment. The government also gets preferred shares and other compensation.

The stake will be worth enough to fully cover the government's direct investment only if GM's stock rises above $68 billion. Even at its recent 2000 peak, GM's stock was worth only $56 billion.

And just so we're clear: "These calculations do not include the billions of dollars that the United States has put into GMAC, GM's financing arm, and into aiding auto suppliers." And just so we're even clearer about the visionary thinking that continues apace related to the producer of the mighty Aztek:

In announcing the government's intention to put another $30 billion into the company earlier this month, President Obama said, "We're making these investments not because I want to spend the American people's tax dollars, but because I want to protect them."

Whole story here.