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U.S. Government Sells Last Of Its GM Shares

Although the government recovered only $39 billion of the $49.5 billion it put into GM, The White House says the move helped save the auto industry.

U.S. Government Sells Last Of Its GM Shares
Detroit Free Press / Patricia Beck

‚ÄčThe U.S. government sold the last of its remaining shares in General Motors Monday.

Overall, taxpayers lost $10.5 billion on the deal to keep GM from failing. The government bailed the company out with $49.5 billion. They’ve made $39 billion back through selling shares. (Via Voice of America)

This news comes as no surprise. Last month, the Obama administration said it would sell off its remaining two percent stock in GM by the end of the year.

Despite the $10 billion loss, The White House says Americans got their money’s worth. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew spoke to reporters Monday, saying:

“The president’s leadership in responding to the financial crisis helped stabilize the auto industry, and prevent another Great Depression … With the final sale of GM stock, this important chapter in our nation’s history is now closed.” (Via The New York Times)

And GM’s executives sounded glad to lose the government as a shareholder and hopeful that could lead to higher sales — especially for pickup trucks. GM’s North American president tells the press pickup buyers particularly seemed to object to government intervention in GM’s business. (Via General Motors)

GM was one of two auto companies that received financial aid from the government after 2008's financial crisis. The other is Chrysler, whose IPO was recently pushed back to 2014.