In April, I noted that General Motors repaid taxpayers for the company’s government-initiated bailout loans in full. There has been quite a discussion about this repayment, but the main points are that the loans accounted only for a small portion of the bailout, and one could consider that the loan repayment was possible only due to more government money inflows.
Though the loan portion has been repaid, the U.S. Treasury still controls the company through its ownership of 61% of outstanding shares of common stock and $2.1 billion in preferred stock.
Whatever your perspective, GM is continuing its plans to move away from the Treasury’s controlling stake. They will buy the preferred stock back from the government, which has been earning taxpayers a 9% dividend. GM plans to re-introduce common stock to the public later this year and the Treasury will sell its shares on the open market. The company will pay its union debt and will soon open a significant credit line it doesn’t plan to use.
So here are the questions: Will you buy GM stock? Will you buy GM cars? And what do you think of GM’s bailout? Is GM even a relevant manufacturer today?
I have nothing against GM cars. I have no major experience driving one. My current car is a Honda Civic, the second Honda Civic I’ve owned. My first car was a very used Toyota Celica.
CNN Money, Chris Isidore, October 28, 2010
Updated October 12, 2016 and originally published October 29, 2010.