Of the top bailout recipients, GM is the biggest laggard, the TARP watchdog says in his latest quarterly report to Congress. Bank of America, Citigroup, Chrysler and Chrysler Financial all have paid off their debt and left the TARP program. Even AIG has paid back more than 75% of what it owes taxpayers.Actually, GM may be deceiving us about what they claim to have paid off.
GM, on the other hand, still owes more than half the $50 billion in federal funds it received when the combination of the recession and its costly union contracts drove it into bankruptcy. And its lending arm, GMAC (now Ally Financial), still owes $14.5 billion.
What's worse, it's not clear that GM actually repaid what it's gotten credit for repaying. Check out this note buried in the inspector's report: "As part of a credit agreement with Treasury, $16.4 billion in TARP funds were placed in an escrow account that GM could access only with Treasury's permission."
As it turns out, GM got Treasury's OK to "repay" more than $6.7 billion "using a portion of the escrow account that had been funded with TARP funds." So GM is merely paying the government back with government money, not money GM is earning selling cars, as the administration has claimed.