US: taxpayers lost $9.3 billion from automotive rescues image

Back in 2009, the crisis was grinning at one of the largest and most powerful industry in the US – the auto sector. The government had to step in and save not just financial institutions, but also automotive entities.

Now, five years later, that dreadful economy chapter has come to a close, with the US Treasury Department selling its remaining shares held in Ally Financial Inc. The end result for the American taxpayer – a loss of $9.3 billion on the auto company bailouts. According to department figures released this week, the Treasury recovered $70.4 billion after rescuing companies such as General Motors, Chrysler, auto lender Ally Financial, etc, but spent a total of $79.7 billion of taxpayer funds. “This program was a crucial part of the Obama administration’s effort to stop the financial crisis and protect the economy from slipping into a second Great Depression,” commented Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew.

This month the Obama government has divested its remaining $1.28 billion stake in auto lender Ally Financial Inc., finalizing the last large bailout that stemmed from the emergency government program initiated back in 2008. When it comes to Ally, the government at one point had control over 74% of its shares after using $17.2 billion to rescue the company. The Troubled Asset Relief Program included numerous bailouts and the total proceeds for the government from all companies involved have tallied $441.7 billion – $15.1 billion more than the $426.6 billion that was initially used.