US state exits stake in GM

City A.M. Reporter
THE US government finally sold its last shares of General Motors yesterday, leaving taxpayers saddled with a total shortfall of about $10bn on the car-maker’s 2009 bailout.

“With the final sale of GM stock, this important chapter in our nation’s history is now closed,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said.

Washington DC came to the rescue of America’s auto industry during the darkest days of the country’s 2007-09 financial crisis.

The government’s exit could benefit GM in several respects. The company has carried a certain stigma since taking $49.5bn in government money four years ago. “They can finally put ‘Government Motors’ in the rear view mirror, and that’s an important step for consumers and for the company,” said Guggenheim Securities analyst Matthew Stover.