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US taxpayers no longer own part of General Motors


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US taxpayers no longer own part of General Motors

Washington’s bailout of General Motors is over. The US Treasury has sold its last shares in America’s largest carmaker, taking a $10 billion loss (7.25 billion euros).

It stepped in to stop the collapse of GM and Chrysler during the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

“This important chapter in our nation’s history is now closed,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said.

“We will always be grateful for the second chance extended to us and we are doing our best to make the most of it,” GM Chairman and Chief Executive Dan Akerson said in a statement.

At the time the bailout was controversial and much criticised, but US carmakers are now back in profit and a just published report from the Center for Automotive Research said it saved 1.5 million jobs there which kept tax money flowing into government coffers.

It estimates that $105.3 billion in personal and social insurance tax collections were preserved through the bailout.

GM names female boss

General Motors has announced that Chief Executive Dan Akerson will step down next month and be replaced by Mary Barra, the company’s global product development chief.

It is the first time a major US carmaker has been led by a woman.

The company said in a statement that Akerson, who is also the chairman, will leave on Jan. 15, pulling ahead his planned departure by several months. His wife was recently diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer.

Barra, 51, the executive vice president for global product development, purchasing and supply chain, was elected by the company board as the next CEO and will become a director. Theodore Solso, 66, will succeed Akerson, 65, as chairman.

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