US government to exit GM by end of 2013

On Thursday, the US government announced that it expected to sell its last shares in General Motors (GM) by the end of the year. The government will sell its remaining 31.1m shares on a gradual basis on the open market.

The government has so far recouped $38.4bn (£23.8bn) through selling 70.2m shares. However, it is expected that the taxpayer will still lose out to the tune of $10bn on the $49.5bn bailout. GM has since returned to profitability and became investment-grade rated and returned to the Standard & Poor's 500 index.

Treasury deputy assistant secretary, Tim Bowler, said in a statement:

Treasury’s investment in the American auto industry was part of President Obama’s broader response to the financial crisis, and it helped save more than one million jobs.

Had we not acted to support the automotive industry, the cost to the country would have been substantial — in terms of lost jobs, lost tax revenue, reduced economic production, and other consequences. Our actions have enabled the industry to rebound.