Final? GM Stock Sale Announced By Treasury Department

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For many that had little to no interest in the bailout that General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) received from the United States government, it’s easy to forget that as a taxpayer you are still in possession of a large chunk of the Detroit automaker. Specifically, you own 7.3 percent of the company, or 101.3 million shares of common stock, following the recently completed second round of trading according to a Treasury report from September 13.


Today, the U.S. Treasury announced that it would begin a third round of selling immediately.

GM purchased 200 million of the government owned shares

In 2009, taxpayers owned 60.8 percent of General Motors as an equity stake in exchange for the $49.5 billion bailout and bankruptcy reorganization of the company. Last December, General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) purchased 200 million of the government-owned shares. Following that sale, the Treasury department announced that it would completely divest itself from the company by March 2014. While some might argue that this is too soon given General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)’s recent successes, that’s the plan.

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) shares are trading at $37.01 this morning and are very unlikely in the next few months to reach levels necessary for the Treasury to fully recover the bailout spending.

“Treasury will continue to wind down the taxpayer’s investment in General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), a critical part of the administration’s response to the financial crisis that prevented the collapse of the American auto industry and saved more than one million American jobs,” Tim Massad, Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability, said in a statement. “The third trading plan will allow us to continue exiting the investment in accordance with our previously announced timetable while maximizing the taxpayer’s return.”

Bailout is reasonably successful

No further details of the Treasury’s plans were announced today.

While many argued the merits of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), including, and perhaps most famously Mitt Romney, the Treasury has recovered over 96%, or $404.9 billion of the $420.92 billion it spent with TARP. When that is added to the additional income from its equity stake in American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG) the treasury has taken in $422.5 billion. Hardly a health profit, but a reasonably successful bailout nonetheless.

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