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Taxpayer Bath On GM Gets Deeper

So, General Motors, that is the company that you and I own, folks, announced their 3Q results today. And, while they beat consensus estimates for the quarter, net income fell by 15% year over year. The company cited a worsening economic landscape in Europe as a primary cause for the weaker year over year performance. They also provided a fairly bleak outlook based on the likelihood that Europe does not look to get better anytime soon. The stock was off at least 2% in early trading today.

The GM Bailout is pretty complex and convoluted so most people probably do not get the fact that the taxpayers are getting absolutely screwed. I have been trying to simplify so maybe I can get a better understanding of just what this thing is costing us. I have to use some pretty round numbers in order to make it digestable. Suffice it to say that the taxpayers have over $40B still invested in GM. We own somewhere between 65-70% of the equity in this dog. That means that just based on todays stock action taxpayers lost about $800M, almost twice what we paid for that other famous dog, Solyndra. That is just one day people!

Additionally, at the time of the IPO(approximately $33/share) GM’s market cap would have been roughly $47B. At 70% ownership the taxpayer portion of that would be about $33B, still leaving us far short of recouping all the money transferred to this turkey. Since that time GM has experienced a 30% drop in the stock price resulting in losses to the taxpayers of about $8B. That is in just one year. That is about 15 Solyndras for those trying to keep score. Way to go financial wizards of the Obama administration.

Some estimates suggest that the market cap would have to rise to $60B in order for taxpayers to be made whole on this stinker. That is a 250% move up from the current stock price. Anybody besides me think this is a longshot? We don’t seem to be heading in the right direction, either. Maybe it is the $27B in unfunded pension obligations that is holding the Government Motors stock price down.

The worst part of this sordid saga is that we have to listen to Obama go around and tout this as some kind of huge government “success”. The fact that this represents government success is really the problem, isn’t it? Or, maybe the real problem is that the people are too stupid to see what is going on right under their collective noses even when it stinks.

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