Obama Proving $418 Billion Bailout No Failure as GM Buys Shares
The U.S. Treasury’s plan to sell its remaining 32 percent stake in General Motors Co. is a leap forward for the Obama administration’s effort to end a $418 billion bailout program that in four years was transformed from a political albatross to a winning campaign issue.
The decision to exit GM within the next 15 months, and the Treasury’s sale last week of its remaining shares of insurer American International Group Inc., will erase two corporate symbols of the 2008 financial crisis from the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program. Taxpayers spent $182.3 billion on AIG and $49.5 billion to rescue GM.
“This shows that the Obama administration, as it enters its second term, wants to close the book on TARP as quickly as practicable,” said Stephen Myrow, who worked on the program in 2008 as a Treasury official in the administration of George W. Bush and is now managing director at ACG Analytics Inc., an investment research and consulting firm in Washington.