Uncle Sam Books 50% Loss As Government Motors Buys Back 200MM Shares From Tim Geithner

Tyler Durden's picture


A few days after divesting its stake in the firm that started it all, AIG, and at a profit at that (ignoring that the risk has merely been onboarded by the Fed whose DV01 is now $2+ billion as a result), the US Treasury continues to divest of all its bailout stake, this time proceeding to GM, where the channel stuffing firm just announced it would buyback 200MM shares from the US government at a price of $27.50. More importantly, the "Treasury said it intends to sell its other remaining 300.1 million shares through various means in an orderly fashion within the next 12-15 months, subject to market conditions. Treasury intends to begin its disposition of those 300.1 million common shares as soon as January 2013 pursuant to a pre-arranged written trading plan. The manner, amount, and timing of the sales under the plan are dependent upon a number of factors." Assuming a price in the $27.50 range, this implies a nearly 50% loss on the government's breakeven price of $54. So much for the "profit" spin. One hopes all those Union votes were well worth the now booked $40+ billion cost to all taxpayers.

One wonders why the US government did not open up this particular buyback to a public tender: after all some taxpayers may still care about the financial mismanagement of Uncle Sam. Then again, perhaps not.

From GM:

General Motors today said it will purchase 200 million shares of GM common stock held by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for $5.5 billion, or $27.50 per share.  The share buyback is part of the Treasury’s plan, also announced today, to fully exit its entire holdings of GM stock within 12 to 15 months, subject to market conditions.

Treasury has announced its intention to sell its remaining shares of common stock into the market through various means and in an orderly fashion.  Treasury intends to begin its disposition of its remaining shares as soon as January 2013, consistent with a pre-arranged written trading plan.  In addition, Treasury has agreed to relinquish certain governance rights that were included in the U.S. Treasury Secured Credit Agreement with GM.

“This announcement is an important step in bringing closure to the successful auto industry rescue, it further removes the perception of government ownership of GM among customers, and it demonstrates confidence in GM’s progress and our future,” said Dan Akerson, chairman and CEO of GM.

Dan Ammann, senior vice president and CFO added, “A fortress balance sheet has been a pillar of GM’s financial strategy and has enabled us to undertake today’s actions.  GM’s balance sheet will remain very strong, with estimated liquidity of approximately $38 billion at the end of 2012, following the closing of the share buyback.”

The repurchase price of $27.50 per share represents a 7.9 percent premium over the closing price on December 18, 2012.  The share buyback is expected to close by the end of the year.  This transaction will be accretive to earnings per share, as GM’s total shares outstanding on a fully diluted basis will be reduced by approximately 11 percent.  In association with this share buyback, GM expects to take a charge of approximately $400 million in the fourth quarter, which will be treated as a special item.

After the repurchase, Treasury will continue to own approximately 300 million shares of GM common stock, or approximately 19 percent of the outstanding shares on a fully diluted basis.  Government ownership of GM stock was the result of the auto industry rescue that began under President George W. Bush in 2008 and which was expanded by President Barack Obama in 2009.

The industry in general, and GM in particular, have rebounded sharply since the rescue.  Since the rescue, GM has announced investments of more than $7.3 billion in the U.S. and created or retained more than 20,000 jobs.

“We come to work every day grateful that taxpayers from the US and Canada stepped forward to rescue our industry, and determined to show this extraordinary help was worth it,” Akerson said.

* * *

And just because you asked for it again, here is GM's channel stuffing in its full glory:

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Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:28 | 3078084 Cursive
Cursive's picture

Sell now, before the loss is 100%

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:52 | 3078145 CPL
CPL's picture

Well, they'll get the opportunity to buy it all again on the pink sheets for the low low sum of. 0.00007 cents.


Government penny millionaire!

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 10:52 | 3078465 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Losses are now revenues in "mark to fantasy" accounting.  No worries.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:27 | 3078085 Manipulism
Manipulism's picture

Gold low intraday:

1    666     , 65

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:52 | 3078152 CPL
CPL's picture

Paper gold intraday.


Good luck prying that from someone's hands with 80% of the mining capacity offline and drastically shrinking output.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 10:23 | 3078299 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

I'll sell mine for $2800 oz

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 12:14 | 3078846 CPL
CPL's picture

Can't sell money, only exchange it for local currency if silver or gold is difficult to transact with.


So, if you keep thinking it's a buy and sell swap, you are holding it for the wrong reasons.  What you are holding is the bridge facility you and I will need to move from the dying green back into the proposed Blue back offered at a table option over the past summer.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:28 | 3078092 NeedtoSecede
NeedtoSecede's picture

I used to be a fan of GM vehicles (had several trucks and SUVs over the years that performed well for me), but aftet this circle jerk charade bullshit I will never buy another vehicle from GM or any of its brands.

Fuck you GM!

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:30 | 3078094 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Got to clean the books for the next round of bailouts. Expect 10x more now that the precedent has been blown wide open.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:33 | 3078104 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

precedent and success because of course it would have been worse.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:32 | 3078095 cxp
cxp's picture



US Housing start fall 3%


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:33 | 3078099 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

 geez louise. the government and GM gets decide when we take a loss? I want to average our entry price down and let this thing ride.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:33 | 3078100 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

fuck you obama and ratner.  assholes.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:33 | 3078101 vas deferens
vas deferens's picture

meredith whitney goes bullish bank of america & citi....    WTF she has to know these are zombie banks!?!


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:41 | 3078116 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

If she's betting on a rigged market that will prop up these banks at taxpayer's expense....then I'd think it's a good bet.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:33 | 3078102 BurningFuld
BurningFuld's picture

You guys do know that the Fed is buying Mortgage Backed Securities to support it's investment in....drum roll...GM???



Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:35 | 3078105 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

they are genius building cars at todays prices and selling them at tomorrows. its like putting gold back into the ground for a later date.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 10:25 | 3078313 DOT
DOT's picture

So, I should stop putting my gold in the ground?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:40 | 3078113 Oldballplayer
Oldballplayer's picture

Government Accounting:  We gave you $40 billion.  We never expected to get any of it back.  So, we get $20 Billion back.  Therefore, we made a $20 billion profit because no one ever gives us back money.


There, you see....its all good.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:41 | 3078115 redd_green
redd_green's picture

Tylers: who CARES!!!   The banking and military industries have stolen trillions, TRILLIONS (sorry for yelling) from the US government.  So, what the efff is the big deal with some crappy company, that provides at least some jobs to Americans (yeah, I know very well that they do a lot of assembly and buy parts made in other countries, but there are SOME US jobs)?      Better to prop up shitty companies that actually do provide some benefit to the bottom 99% of US citizens, than give it to the crooked banking system, or pump it into more drone bombing of civilians.     Think, man!

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 16:00 | 3079952 fuu
fuu's picture

"Better to prop up shitty companies that actually do provide some benefit to the bottom 99% of US citizens"

Bullshit. Shitty companies should fail. Period.


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:43 | 3078118 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Look like an order for more Drones is in the works with this new cash

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:44 | 3078121 MyBrothersKeeper
MyBrothersKeeper's picture

I agree that they see 2013 as very iffy with a possibility of recession....they don't want to see the share price go down under 20 again.  Furthermore, how long will it take to get back to the $52 break even price?  The biggest thing, however, is it's not their money....it's the taxpayers.  You take a 50% loss and you can't even deduct it.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:49 | 3078137 redd_green
redd_green's picture

Either the US Government pumps money into an abysmally managed company, run by the very same group of idiots that ran our banking system into the ground, but a company that provides a few US based jobs.   or you pay all of those workers welfare and food stamps when yet another US company ran away from its problems and ran itself out of business.  What's the better choice?   I vote for letting that awful company stay in business as long as it can, even if the incompetents that run it stay there too. 

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 13:23 | 3078739 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Did you factor in that the awful company will be back for another bail out at some point?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:48 | 3078128 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

Have to ask yourself if you would have done that with your own investment.  Oh, I forgot, it is my investment, as a Taxpayer I will take the loss. 

So, the Government takes money from all Citizens and gives it to GM and their Unions.  That is fair.  Right.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 09:58 | 3078164 madcows
madcows's picture

You could hardly call that a loss.  Obama would call it money well spent.  It helped purchase the rust belt vote for the election.  Forward!

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 10:00 | 3078170 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Buying watermelons for a dollar and selling them for $.50 is gonna take a bigger GM truck to make a profit.

If I had a Harvard MBA or PhD, this would somehow make sense, I'm sure.

Probably gotta brush up on my Krugmanomics.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 10:04 | 3078181 hedgelessWhoresMan
hedgelessWhoresMan's picture

This was all about saving the union from the begininng.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 10:08 | 3078183 toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

Reclusive man dies leaving cousin with $1,200 in cash, $165,000 in mutual funds, and $7,400,000 in precious metals!



Wed, 12/19/2012 - 11:26 | 3078637 edifice
edifice's picture

In 10 years, stories like this will be commonplace. I'm surprised the State didn't confiscate the gold coins.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 11:53 | 3078754 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

There was some healthy confiscation through the estate tax.  And if the heir tries to sell them, there will be more confiscation.  So no worries there.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 10:14 | 3078238 DOT
DOT's picture

Ho Hum.  Another day of corrupted info being spewed over the airwaves. If the golden one in DC spends $100B and gets back $20B, the headline will read:

"Obama saves Billions for Taxpayers"

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 10:24 | 3078301 JethroTull
JethroTull's picture

I'm a newbie. What's "channel stuffing" mean?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 10:29 | 3078340 DOT
DOT's picture

When a manufacturer moves a car to dealer inventory the car is considered "sold".

As the chart amply displays, inventories are up. The distribution channel is "stuffed".

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 12:23 | 3078882 JethroTull
JethroTull's picture

Thanks. Makes a lot of sense, the definition not the practice.


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 10:24 | 3078312 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Can I claim that loss on my tax return?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 10:38 | 3078374 DOT
DOT's picture

Just more to be carried foward.


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 10:29 | 3078339 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

Just think....if Romney wasn't so stupid as to open his mouth and say he would not have given GM the bailout (but apparently had no problem giving big bank buddies "loans"), he would probably be President.  He had political cover. Bush started the shit.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 10:33 | 3078346 phoolish
phoolish's picture

Forget about "Break Even" or "Profit."


It took a $6+T manipulation of the economy force anything resembling a "profit" to occur.  The direct cost isn't the correct measure - the entire cost of the entire stimulus & spending is the true amount.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 10:45 | 3078422 caShOnlY
caShOnlY's picture

fuck you GM

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 10:57 | 3078501 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

Meh. They'll make up for it in volume.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 11:12 | 3078585 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"this implies a nearly 50% loss on the government's breakeven price of $54. So much for the "profit" spin. One hopes all those Union votes were well worth the now booked $40+ billion cost to all taxpayers."


It's even worse than that.  The government borrowed trillions in order to pump up the economy, so that people would go out and buy GM cars.  The government bought cars, as well, at tax payer expense.  So what is the true cost, when the unseen is added to the seen cost?

How many trillions did the government borrow so the banks could be seen as paying back TARP?  Black is white, up is down.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 11:23 | 3078622 SkottFree
SkottFree's picture

This must be how Time managed to get him on the cover, Don't mention "One hopes all those Union votes were well worth the now booked $40+ billion cost to all taxpayers." It's only $40+Billion!

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 11:25 | 3078633 cobra1650
cobra1650's picture

GM is always ten years behind the German and Japanese.  Now the Koreans are starting to bury GM and the Japanese.   Driving a GM rental car always feels like a cheap toy...sheet metal with a steering wheel.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 12:02 | 3078793 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Well how does this fit in with this oligarchical sleight of hand, if it is sleight of hand?

Would there be a whiff of CRONY capitalism in this, involving a scion of "creative destruction" shadow banking, the kind that ZH admires? 

David Einhorn Nails It On General Motors - Business Insider

Privatised Profits and Socialised LOsses; the beat goes on.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 12:57 | 3079046 muppet_master
muppet_master's picture

-50% LOSS? WOW !!

odummer the SHOE SHINE BOY, sure knows how to pick em (solyndra)...LOL !!!!!

is that odummer's plan B???

i don't do any stock picking...i just bet against or for the entire casino...though i'm betting heavily against the casino..YESTERDAY i said spx TOP = 1447...

just wait for sub 1000 spx...i'm also SHORT AAPL ($700)....posted on real time here at ZH when shorting AAPL @ $700...of course it hasn't gone straight down..i said to:

sell deep in the $$$$ puts after a massive strings of sell-offs......buy back those puts after massive dead cat bounces....wash, rinse, repeat...now waiting for aapl to fall below $425 for me to repeat.....and wait for $500 pump.......repeat until aapl falls below $200....WHILE STILL KEEPING THOSE AAPL $700 shorts....= long term capital gains....

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 13:03 | 3079076 muppet_master
muppet_master's picture

from my alloted 10 minutes

of "monioring" the casino, for the day...i see that Reid is working on bill to help Sandy (storm) victims.....$$$ that instead could be used to "save" the fat cat's (the 1%) casino!!!!

after Sandy Hook, i said on ZH that odummer was ignoring the Sandy storm victims, because he didn't want it to look like Katrina...no trailers...bc then HOW would it be "Bush's fault?".....

i wonder if the idiots (odummernomics) thought there was a "connection" between Sandy & Sandy Hook...yes and its all a ZH blogger's faullt....who lives in CA....freaking idiots....

the demon-rats mantra is IF IT DOESN'T AFFECT YOU, THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE NO INTEREST...LOOK THE OTHER WAY...freaking hypocrites....

odummer to Sandy victims:  DENIED !!!!!

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 13:09 | 3079111 Iambic PentaMaster
Iambic PentaMaster's picture

Obama is trying to have it both ways:  Socialism AND Fascism.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 13:18 | 3079163 TheOldMan
TheOldMan's picture

Let us not forget the immense NOL that "magically" made it through the "political" bankruptcy. That's another $10-20B eaten by the taxpayers.

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