US taxpayers lose $10bn after Treasury sells final stake in General Motors

 

American taxpayers have lost $10bn (£6bn) as a result of the US government’s bailout of General Motors during the global financial crisis.

The US Treasury sold its final tranche of GM shares yesterday and confirmed that the total sums recouped for the public purse fell short of the $49.5bn pumped in to rescue the bust carmaker in 2008 and 2009. However, the US Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, defended the bailout saying that it had prevented the collapse of the American car industry and saved a million jobs.

“With the final sale of GM stock, this important chapter in our nation’s history is now closed,” he said.

The news came as Bank of England Governor Mark Carney criticised American politicians for “kicking the can” rather than settling the US government’s fiscal problems.

He said that the present round of wrangling between Democrats and Republicans in Congress, which is designed to avert another government shutdown on January 15, “doesn’t do anything to fix the longer-term  fiscal problems

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