Obama hails auto bailout as Treasury sells off last of GM shares

McClatchy Washington BureauDecember 9, 2013 

President Obama today hailed the news that the U.S. Department of the Treasury has sold all of the remaining shares of General Motors common stock it held to keep the company afloat.

Obama touted the move as proof that the auto bailout worked.

"In 2011, we marked the end of an important chapter as Chrysler repaid every dime and more of what it owed the American taxpayers from the investment we made under my administration’s watch," Obama said in the statement that serves as a bit of a victory lap. "Today, we’re closing the book by selling the remaining shares of the federal government’s investment in General Motors. GM has now repaid every taxpayer dollar my Administration committed to its rescue, plus billions invested by the previous administration."

"Less than five years later," Obama said, "Each of the Big Three automakers is now strong enough to stand on its own.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Treasury has recouped a total of $39 billion from the original GM investment -- which was $49.5 billion, making it a taxpayer loss on the GM bailout of $10.5 billion.

To date, Lew said, Treasury has recovered a total of $432.7 billion on all TARP investments - including the sale of Treasury’s shares in AIG - compared to $421.8 billion disbursed.

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