AIG and General Motors make strides in repaying bailouts

AIG

AIG recently raised more than $6 billion to pay back the U.S. Treasury. Photo Credit: David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY

AIG and General Motors have been making great progress in paying the United States Treasury back for the bailout loans both companies received. AIG and GM were both maligned for the huge amount of money the firms received from the government, but they are returning to solvency. AIG was the single largest bailout performed under the program.

MetLife stock sold to pay back loans from Treasury

Insurance giant AIG sold a portion of its shares in the MetLife insurance company and turned over the proceeds to the United States Treasury, according to USA Today. AIG gave up 146.8 million shares of MetLife stock, from which the company raised $6.3 billion to make payments to the United States Treasury. AIG is using the funds in the effort to repurchase the $18.2 billion the Treasury holds in preferred equity shares of AIG. The government also holds 92 percent of AIG’s common stock, which was a condition of the bailout package the insurance giant received from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. AIG was the single largest bailout, receiving more than $182 billion in total. The bailout included the Treasury and the Federal Reserve purchasing toxic asset from the company and $68 billion in loans.

General Motors on the road to health

General Motors, another notorious bailout recipient, borrowed $49 billion from the government to stay afloat, and the company has been making huge strides toward paying it back. General Motors recently announced in an earnings report that the company had made a profit every quarter of 2010, according to Reuters. This marks the first time since 2004 that the automaker has been profitable for an entire year, and it made the largest profit since 1999. GM posted a profit of $4.7 billion for 2010, though the stock price for the company has barely moved since the initial public offering in November. The Treasury still holds 33 percent of GM stock, which is a significant reduction since November 2010, when the Treasury held 61 percent. It is projected that the GM share price will have to rise to $53 per share for the government to break even.

End result of TARP

David Miller, the chief investment officer for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, said that the cost of corporate bailouts is not likely to be more than the money allocated for the housing crisis, according to Reuters. Miller said the Congressional Budget Office estimates that TARP will cost a total of $25 billion, and the Obama administration estimates slightly more than $28 billion. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said the estimate of $25 billion may be high. Various companies still owe the government $135 billion for TARP loans.

Sources

USA Today

Reuters on General Motors

Reuters on TARP estimates

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