The Corner

Auto Bailout Cost Jumps to $25 Billion

A new report from the Treasury Department reveals a predictable outcome: Government investments, and investments in American auto companies, generally turn out to be losing bets. When you manage to combine the two, this is what you get, per the Detroit News:

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.

In a monthly report sent to Congress on Friday, the Obama administration boosted its forecast of expected losses by more than $3.3 billion to almost $25.1 billion, up from $21.7 billion in the last quarterly update.

The report may still underestimate the losses. The report covers predicted losses through May 31, when GM’s stock price was $22.20 a share.

On Monday, GM stock was trading down 6 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $20.49. At that price, the government would lose another $850 million on its GM bailout.

The government still holds 500 million shares of GM stock and needs to sell them for about $53 each to recover its entire $49.5 billion bailout.

Treasury spokesman Matt Anderson said the costs were still far less than some predicted. “The auto industry rescue helped save more than one million jobs throughout our nation’s industrial heartland and is expected to cost far less than many had feared during the height of the crisis,” Anderson said.

The Obama administration initially estimated it would lose $44 billion on the bailout but reduced the forecast to $30 billion in December 2009.

Patrick Brennan — Patrick Brennan is a writer and policy analyst based in Washington, D.C. He was Director of Digital Content for Marco Rubio's presidential campaign, writing op-eds, policy content, and leading the ...

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