Automobiles

U.S. Sells Off Last of Its General Motors Stock, at $10.5 Billion Loss

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For one of the few times in its macro economic policy thought and action, the federal government relies on a subtle analysis of "things not seen" to defend its apparent $10.5 billion loss on the General Motors bailout as a success, via USA Today:

U.S. taxpayers no longer own any of automaker General Motors. The Treasury sold the last of its remaining 31.1 million GM shares today.

The taxpayer loss on the GM bailout finishes at $10.5 billion. The Treasury department said it recovered $39 billion from selling its GM stock, and had put $49.5 billion of taxpayer money into the GM bailout….

The administration emphasizes that the loss it took on GM shares is far less constly than had GM been allowed to fail.

"Inaction could have cost the broader economy more than one million jobs, billions in lost personal savings, and significantly reduced economic production," Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said in a statement announcing that Treasury had sold all its remaining shars.

What might have happened to that money, those resources, those skills, those people, if they had not been diverted by government action? No one knows, or will ever know, and the government would prefer you not think about it.

See "Illegal. Illiberal. Ill-Fated," our Aug/Sept. 2009 cover story on why Washington shouldn't have bailed out the auto industry.

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70 responses to “U.S. Sells Off Last of Its General Motors Stock, at $10.5 Billion Loss

  1. The guy’s batting a thousand! Every damn time he reaches in my pocket for one of his sure things, it’s a sure thing it’s gonna cost me.
    If I had a brother in law like him, I’d kick him out the door at Thanksgiving.

    1. If I had a brother in law like him, I’d kick him out the door at Thanksgiving.

      If you didn’t then stomp him into the mud and pizz on him, all of us here would hate you forever.

      1. Pizz? Is that some weird combination of urine and semen that results in the aftermath of one of those German Goo Girls videos?

        1. Usually I’m a masochist about clicking on your links, but I’m going to skip that one.

            1. Ha, I like the way the article notes countries that have banned importation of some of those works.

              1. My mothers neighbour is working part time and averaging $9000 a month. I’m a single mum and just got my first paycheck for $6546! I still can’t believe it. I tried it out cause I got really desperate and now I couldn’t be happier. Heres what I do,… http://PERFECT23.COM

        2. No way am I clicking on that.

        3. Peeing after jizzing sucks.

          1. Yup, that’ll cause some jizz wailing!

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttV_PMNSYC8

      2. If you didn’t then stomp him into the mud and pizz on him

        And kick him…

        …in the head…

        …with an iron boot.

        1. Steel-toed shoes would work, right? I can help with that.

    2. The guy’s batting a thousand! Every damn time he reaches in my pocket for one of his sure things, it’s a sure thing it’s gonna cost me.

      Are you talking about Barack Obama, Brian Doherty, or George W. Bush?

  2. Fuck Government Motors, the Fed, the President, both houses of Congress, and the entire Federal Bureacracy.

    We’ll get to the states and locals in the next post…

  3. o defend its apparent $10.5 billion loss on the General Motors bailout as a success

    Well, they claim that Obamacare is a success also. Do they ever do anything that they admit is a failure?

    Seriously, if they accidentally unleashed an apocalyptic virus and 90% of the population had already perished, if even one MSM moron was left alive, you’d see them trying to spin it as a good thing.

    1. “You should see our failures!”

      Ba-da-bum.

    2. Do they ever do anything that they admit is a failure?

      Their only failure is not acknowledging how truly wonderful and magnificent they are.

      (sniffle….)

    3. Wasn’t there once a page on the ONDCP (or maybe the DEA) website (maybe there still is…) talking about how alcohol prohibition actually worked? Could never tell if that was anti-marijuana propaganda or the government never being able to admit its errors.

      1. So it seems.

        Prohibition would have successfully rid this great nation of the demon liquor if not for that darn ol’ Great Depression.

        1. Holy shit. That’s a phenomenal showing of either total ignorance or total cynicism.

    4. “Defend its apparent $10.5 billion loss on the General Motors bailout as a success.”

      I’d like to point out a couple of other things, too.

      1) As part of the bailout, GM was also given up to $45 billion in tax breaks.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..78300.html

      Last I heard, GM had only managed to take advantage of about $15 billion in those tax breaks.

      Usually, I’m not one to complain about anybody getting tax breaks, but I’m willing to make an exception in this case, when they’re giving GM a tax break with one hand–AND GIVING THEM KEN SHULTZ’S MONEY WITH THE OTHER!

      So, even using that conservative $15 billion number, we’re talking about a $25.5 billion loss the bailout’s supporters need to defend.

      2) The $10.5 billion capital loss plus the $15 billion in tax breaks doesn’t take into consideration the subsidies GM was given, for instance, for the Chevy Volt–out of the stimulus program.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..02589.html

      And that’s just one subsidy that I know of.

      1. “The $10.5 billion capital loss plus the $15 billion in tax breaks doesn’t take into consideration the subsidies GM was given, for instance, for the Chevy Volt–out of the stimulus program.”

        That’s another $2.4 billion if anybody’s keeping count.

        1. Add in Cash for Clunkers money too

      2. You’re forgetting the low/no interest loans from the Fed’s discount window.

        1. Yeah, the loss is a lot more than $10.5 billion.

        2. Ford got a bunch of this too, about 10x as much as Tesla IIRC. But then, just about all American companies of any size are welfare queens of one form or another.

      3. And that’s just one subsidy that I know of.

        Don’t forget pension contribution forgiveness.

    5. Do they ever do anything that they admit is a failure?

      They have admitted that they have failed to craft their message such that it is fully persuasive. And regarding “you didn’t build that”, Obama said, “Obviously, I have regrets for my syntax. But not for the point, because everyone who was there watching knows exactly what I was saying.”

      The Obama people are all about messaging, aka propaganda, to persuade the public to march along with their agenda. They have no doubts about their agenda regardless what happens when it comes in contact with the real world.

    6. Hyperion|12.9.13 @ 5:37PM|#
      …”Do they ever do anything that they admit is a failure?”

      Charles Barkley was commenting on a celeb golf match and the camera caught one guy in a particularly obnoxious outfit.
      So Sir Charles says ‘If that’s what he chose to wear, what did he leave in the closet?!’
      We don’t want to see what they’d admit was a failure.

  4. Buh-buh-buh everything President Empty Suit touches turns into gold! What happened????? I thought these sort of adventures of government saving the day are supposed to result in wild long haul ROI.

    1. It was 1/2 the bargain at twice the price. Not only did we lose $10.5B but we got to keep a piece of shit company in the bargain.

      Doubleplussuperdooper!

    2. It wouldn’t be so bad if they had just squandered another $10.5 billion. That what government does when it is on its best behavior.

      The problem is that the GM bailout so fundamentally and arbitrarily violated the basic tenets of free markets and about three centuries of law regarding bonded indebtedness and bankruptcy that it has thrown the legal standing of the entire US market system in question. There’s not going to be a genuine recovery until rule of law is restored.

      1. Except there is no rule of law so you’re kind of fucked.

      2. check your privilege

    3. Buh-buh-buh everything President Empty Suit touches turns into gold

      Didn’t you read the whole post? It was gold. Millions of jerbs saved! Had the government not lost $10.9 billion, we would have nothing but bikers with mohawks and hockey masks.

  5. One of the worst things about this is that the problems that drove GM into the ditch haven’t been solved.

    Here’s the scumbag UAW president at the time, Ron Gettelfinger, explaining that the reason the government should bail out GM is because UAW auto companies use twice as many workers per 2,500 cars as non-UAW auto companies!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hm8mxtefRlk

    So, obviously! The reason for the government to “invest” in GM is to help keep the auto industry as inefficient as possible!

    That’s the way union minds work.

    The other problem is GM’s legacy pensions.

    According to Think Progress, in 2007, GM’s health care costs contributed $1,525 to the cost of manufacturing each car.

    GM paid more for healthcare than it did for steel! Toyota was paying $125 per car for healthcare at the time.

    http://thinkprogress.org/polit…..re-reform/

    No wonder GM had to concentrate on high margin vehicles like SUVs and trucks! They had to make up for that $1,400 difference in cost per vehicle. How do you do that and compete in low margin vehicle markets?

    They were really hoping the Volt would take off.

    This will happen again come the next downturn.

    1. Here’s the scumbag UAW president at the time, Ron Gettelfinger, explaining that the reason the government should bail out GM is because UAW auto companies use twice as many workers per 2,500 cars as non-UAW auto companies!

      How dare you criticize a man how supplies the workers who assemble the Ladas and Trabants that we all enjoy so much…..

      1. That guy is such a scumbag.

        GM management was finally extracting concessions from the UAW (finally it became too hard to ignore reality), but once Obama suggested that GMAC financing could be eligible for TARP funds, Gettelfinger broke off negotiations with GM management and started negotiating a bailout with the Obama Administration.

        Incidentally, that’s money that was never repaid–so you can add that to the cost of the GM bailout, as well.

        From what I can tell GMAC Financial Services was paid $17.3 billion in TARP money–and they never paid back a single penny.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T…..rticipants

        That’s right–the UAW stiffed the working taxpayers of America with a fat bill, never paid it back, and they go around acting like they’re all about fighting for the middle class. They screwed the working people of America so hard!

        …and they’re not even apologetic. They don’t give a shit about anybody that isn’t an overpaid UAW member.

        1. Don’t forgot how much they screwed the bondholders so that the UAW would get its sweetheart deal. There are additional billions that I’m too lazy to compute.

  6. Of course there would’ve been problems. Similarly, without the stimulus, unemployment may have gone as high as 8%!

    1. You know what’s funny is the actual worst-case Obama projections of what could have happened to unemployment and labor rate participation in the event of no intervention actually transpired.

      Worst of both worlds!

    2. Thank Christ it’s down to 7% five years later.

      My hero.

      *bats eyes dreamily*

  7. What might have happened to that money, those resources, those skills, those people, if they had not been diverted by government action?

    They would have collapsed into a singularity, not only being destroyed for all time, but taking much of the rest of the economy with them. I know its true because Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman told me.

    1. Obama saved GM from bankruptcy by taking it into bankruptcy. Um, er, nevermind.

  8. I wonder how long it will be before the union will have to be bailed out again?

    1. It’s a cyclical stock.

      Next downturn in the economy.

  9. Another of the ‘things not seen’ are the number of votes bought for the Dems with our money.
    Aren’t you proud?

  10. Second Shreek bate of the day!

    1. Oddly, he hasn’t risen to either, yet. Perhaps even Shriek has his limits?

      1. Its tough to spin a $10B loss as a win.

      2. Haven’t seen Tony around much lately either.

        At some point, it sinks in with everybody, right? …even the true believers.

        They must be realizing something–even if they can’t put words to it yet.

        1. They must be realizing something–even if they can’t put words to it yet.

          They realize nothing.

          I imagine Tony has spent a fair portion of his useless sockpuppet existence dishonestly “winning” these arguments. He has probably retreated to try and figure out why if everyone else eventually buys his bullshit why it never works here?

        2. Ken Shultz|12.9.13 @ 7:07PM|#
          “Haven’t seen Tony around much lately either.”

          Tony ended up a bit twisted in the min-wage thread, defending some gal preggers with her third in a min-wage job.
          Seems kids ‘just naturally happen’ according to him and he’d never support abortion, right?
          I asked how many had ‘happened’ to him and didn’t get a reply.

    2. Dickless Cheney!
      Bush lied!
      GOP did it first!

      I have refuted your arguments. Surrender to the inevitability of my superior intellect.

      1. Thats’ GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!

  11. My favorite part about Chevy is that even with the bailout and the tax breaks and the ridiculous rebates for the Volt and the government literally buying fleet sized amounts of GM cars, they are STILL a giant mess.

    They still make shitty cars that people don’t want (minus the Vette).

    1. …………and it only took them 60 years to get the vette up to Toyota level build quality,just wait….in 60 more years they will match Porsche in build quality………

    2. The ZR1 is an American (production) supercar that runs with the fastest cars in the world, and for a fraction of the price.

      The ZR1 videos on youtube are droolworthy, what a bad lad it is!

    3. You can pry my cold, dead hands from my Sonic.

  12. Don’t I remember them telling me a number of years ago that they’d MADE money on the GM bailout?

    1. Ed Schultz used to trumpet that GM “paid its loan off early”. As it turned out, the company paid off its first loan with money obtained from a second loan.

  13. read on some auto blog site that gm was selling deawoos rebadged as chevies in Europe……….no one was buying the pos’s, plus it was killing the established gm brands[opel and Vauxhall]……….gm finally pulled the plug after sinking over a billion dollars in that fiasco…….

  14. No one knows, or will ever know

    Actually we do know.

    The pay for one job at $50,000 for ten years is $500,000

    50 billion divided by 500,000 is 100,000 jobs paying $50,000 each for 10 years.

    That is what was taken out of the economy.

    1. Union welfare.

  15. The government isn’t much of an investor when it has to take no risks.

  16. Is that beautiful car an old Bentley?

  17. What might have happened to that money, those resources, those skills, those people, if they had not been diverted by government action? No one knows, or will ever know, and the government would prefer you not think about it.

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