... that bailout of General Motors working out as well as predicted.
General Motors (GM) shares fell to a fresh 2012 closing low of 19.57 on Monday. The stock hit 19 in mid-December, the lowest since the auto giant came public at $33 in November 2010 following its June 2009 bankruptcy.
Normally you might say, tough luck investors. But this is Government Motors. The Treasury still owns 26.5% of GM, or 500 million shares. Taxpayers are still out $26.4 billion in direct aid. Shares would have to hit $53 for the government to break even.
Those shares were worth about $9.8 billion as of Monday. That would leave taxpayers with a loss of $16.6 billion.
We know how the unions got bumped ahead of secured creditors in the bankruptcy proceedings and how General Motors was paying off its TARP loan, not with its own profits but rather another line of TARP credit but we were heretofore unaware of the following bit of bookkeeping shenanigans:
But that's not the full tally. Obama let GM keep $45 billion in past losses to offset future profits. Those are usually wiped out or slashed, along with debts, in bankruptcy. But the administration essentially gifted $45 billion in write-offs (book value $18 billion) to GM. So when GM earned a $7.6 billion profit in 2011 (more on that below), it paid no taxes.
Include that $18 billion gift, and taxpayers' true loss climbs to nearly $35 billion.
In a world where we are supposed to worry about how Mitt Romney spends his own money and not worry about how Barack Obama is spending our money, just chalk up General Motors as another Obama public equity fail.