GM Bailout Ends as U.S. Sells Last of ‘Government Motors’

Posted by Bloomberg

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General Motors Co. (GM), almost five years after first receiving government aid, is free from U.S. taxpayer ownership after the Treasury Department sold off its remaining stake in the nation’s largest automaker.

The sale marks the end of Government Motors, as GM was derisively labeled by some critics after the U.S. government stepped in with emergency funding in 2008. Bailouts from the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations helped GM avoid liquidation and reorganize in a 2009 bankruptcy that has given new life to the company.

The U.S. lost about $11 billion on its investment of about $50 billion in GM, which was the largest piece of an industry bailout that became a centerpiece of Obama’s first term. With lower labor costs, less debt and only its strongest brands, GM has been poised to take advantage of the best U.S. industry sales since 2007.

“This marks one of the final chapters in the administration’s efforts to protect the broader economy by providing support for the automobile industry,” Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew told reporters today on a conference call.