It was learned last week that the US tax payers are still missing the repayment of 132 Billion dollars from TARP, which was launched in 2008. In a report issued Thursday by Christy Romero, who is the acting special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The Program, as we all recall, was to save the financial sector from themselves because of their addiction to the derivatives game (think World Series of Poker).
In 2009, the remaining cash in TARP was split between a variety of business (mostly banks) but there sat GM. Facing Chapter 11, GM was first rebuked then denied by the President. GM had to do what any failed business has to do, it had to file for bankruptcy and they did; wiping out all the stockholders who stocks were completely vaporized into worthless pieces of paper. Then after filing and less then a month off of the stock exchange; GM reemerged with an infusion of American taxpayers borrowed capital. With backing of the US and Canadian government; GM was now owned more by the state then it was private investors.
Fast forward to this week. Here is what President Obama had to say in the State of the Union Address:
On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Some even said we should let it die. With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen. In exchange for help, we demanded responsibility. We got workers and automakers to settle their differences. We got the industry to retool and restructure. Today, General Motors is back on top as the world’s number one automaker. We bet on American workers. We bet on American ingenuity. And tonight, the American auto industry is back.
This is classic example of where politicians say things that are rather hallow but are not completely false, so in lies some grey area (wiggle room). Mr Obama actually did refuse to help GM at first. So therefore, President Obama only refused to let them fail, well… only after he first refused to help. He can say it was because he “demanded responsibility” but the truth of the matter is; he was weighing the political capital in letting it fail or saving it. Being one of the most anticipated Presidents in decades, he wasnt about to start out his presidency by backing a losing horse. Think about it, organized labor are as close to the Democratic hip as the Evangelicals are to the Right’s, so for him to not having saved it from the jump means he was weary of the public’s growing anger towards the bailouts.
As far as the 1 million jobs, it is including all the suppliers and they wouldnt have all lost work. There is many small businesses across the country that feed off the automotive industry but many of them would have survived because most of them are diversified enough to withstand the hit. Its also worth noting that even if GM did face liquidation, another automotive company would have stepped in and bought the brand. Thus many jobs would have been saved if not most; even without the bailout.
As far as GM being some kind of triumph or success story… you give me any business and dump 34 Billion dollars of outside investment money into it that costs said company nothing; Ill build you a success story too. Who couldnt, with that type of Capital/lottery/welfare? Now, about the American auto industry being back? In the words of the immortal Lee Corso: not so fast my friends. According to the US Treasury, US Taxpayers would need to sell its GM stocks at $53 per share to break even. Friday, January 27th it closed at $24 per share. How long do we have to wait to see if this investment at least breaks even? Being GM is the “worlds number #1 car-maker” now, don’t ya know…lets hope its sooner rather then later.