Never ever ever ever ever buy another GM car

They’re lying in this most recent ad campaign, strongly implying they have paid back taxpayers for all the money they got from the Federal government. And it’s their venal, lying CEO saying it too. No blaming an ad company or campaign gone wrong.

They’ve gotten $50+ billion of our money from the feds lately. The payback amount they are touting is about 15% of that. Several congress-critters are even claiming that they payback of this loan was done with other Federal funds.

This is how stupid they think we are.

UPDATE: Here’s a pretty good breakdown of their shell game:

Basically, GM will be using a portion of the $50 billion in TARP bailout money [3] it received to in turn repay another portion of the TARP loans.

The reason GM can do this is because when it emerged from bankruptcy, it struck a deal with the Treasury Department to carve up its obligation to the government in four different ways.

They are, briefly: 1) $986 million remained an obligation of the old GM, the husk of the company left behind through its bankruptcy restructuring, and will never be seen again, 2) $6.71 billion remained as an interest-bearing loan, 3) $2.1 billion of the obligation was converted to preferred stock, which is a form of equity ownership that pays a fixed dividend, and 4) the rest was converted to a 60.8 percent equity stake in GM.

So, for GM to completely pay back the government, GM would have to completely repay the $6.71 billion loan with interest and purchase the government’s preferred shares (as well as keeping up dividend payments), and Treasury would have to make a pretty penny, in the range of $40 billion, selling its common shares after GM goes public again.

Let’s break it down even more:

GM is no longer a publicly traded company. It had about 600 million shares of stock outstanding at the time the government “bought” them. I’m going to be very generous and value that stock at its 52 week high of about $25 before its low of about one penny the day before the government took over. That’s $15 billion in outstanding stock.  Most people put GM’s market value at about $10 billion the last few years. But let’s say GM is really worth $15 billion as a business. There are now 60 BILLION shares of GM, the majority held by the US federal government. So let’s say a GM share is now worth 25 cents  ($15 billion/60 BILLION). I’m wildly overestimating there: would you buy 4000 shares of GM right now if you could for $1000? Remember that only a short time ago, previous GM common shareholders were raped in a 100-1 reverse split. All those previous shareholders now own about 6 billion of the 60 BILLION shares, with the rest held by the feds (60%), unions and other ne’er-do-wells.

Evidently GM is going to try an IPO this year. How do you think that’s going to go? A share of GM now is the equivalent of 100 shares from before, in terms of total shares outstanding. So estimating 25 cents a share is like $25 a share back when they didn’t have a BAZILLION shares outstanding. And the feds only have about 35 billion shares. so, lessee….GM still owes the gubmint about $50 billion, after this supposed repayment, so if the gubmint is going to get their money back in GM stock then each GM share needs to be a lot closer to $1.50 than to 25 fucking cents. When was the last time GM stock sold for $150 a share? Uh..NEVER. It’s high in 2000 was about $90.

A lot of outside people are estimating that taxpayers will be soaked for about $30 billion by GM and the Obamanistas before this is over. I think they’re optimistic. Every one at GM and in the gubmint and in the unions is prognosticating that GM is going to kick ass on all the competition. Really? Why? They’re not quite as screwed as they were before but they’re still saddled with unions and pensions and the sense that the government really can’t afford to walk away from the table now. They’re being run by a goddamn liar–he probably lies to himself more about the future than he does to us about paying back money.

I see no reason to believe that GM will not eventually fold completely after further infusions of cash that will rival the amount spent on the Iraq war.


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