General Motors (GM) shares closed down 1.5% to 19.02 on Monday, hitting 18.85 intraday. That's the lowest since the U.S. auto giant came public again in November 2010 at 33 a share. Update: GM shares early Tuesday fell 1.4% to 18.76, hitting a new low.)Heckuva job.
That raises the taxpayer loss on the GM bailout to just shy of $35 billion. Here's the math:
GM doesn't have to pay back anything else, but taxpayers are still out $26.4 billion in direct aid. The Treasury still owns 26.5% of GM — 500 million shares. The stock would have to rise to about 53 to break-even on that direct aid. At the current price, the Treasury's stake is worth just $9.51 billion. (Taxpayers lose $5 million for each penny that GM stock falls).
Do we really want government picking winners and losers in the market, a la Solyndra? What evidence is there that government is any good at this?
Update, 8/13/12: How much are we taxpayers losing on the auto bailouts? This much:
The Treasury Department says in a new report the government expects to lose more than $25 billion on the $85 billion auto bailout. That's 15 percent higher than its previous forecast.