The bailout of General Motors Co.
played an important role in the re-election of President Barack Obama, who stumped on the issue in Midwestern swing states. Now comes the hard part: unloading the government’s stake, probably at a big loss.
GM received $51 billion from the U.S. Treasury in 2009. Taxpayers have recouped $24 billion and still own 32 percent of the company. The problem is that GM shares are trading at less than half the price the government said it needs to break even. Selling the shares was politically precarious before the election because that would have locked in a loss -- $14.1 billion at today’s closing price. Now that the election is over, cutting the stake could be good for GM’s image and its stock.