America’s loathed TARP may turn a profit. That could be a problem
Jun 9th 2011 | WASHINGTON, DC | from the print edition
[Greg Ip] THE federal government is bowing out as America’s most hated fund manager. On June 3rd the Treasury reached an agreement to sell the rest of its holdings in Chrysler, a carmaker, to Italy’s Fiat. Ten days earlier it began to sell its stake in American International Group (AIG) through a public offering of the insurer’s shares. General Motors has returned to the stockmarket (the government still owns 26% of it) and Ally Financial, a former financing arm of GM and Chrysler, will soon follow. In March the Federal Reserve began selling mortgage-backed bonds it inherited from AIG.
Nobody liked the bail-outs, not even the
rescued. Tim Geithner, who oversaw them first at the New York Federal Reserve and now as treasury secretary, this week quipped to bankers: “I’m glad to not have as much equity in all of you as a group anymore.” “So are we,” one shot back. The public was the most outraged, yet on a narrow reckoning of profit and loss, taxpayers have little cause for complaint.
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