This morning, General Motors started offering shares for sale for the first time since it emerged from bankruptcy protection last year.
As of today, the U.S. taxpayers' stake in the company will drop by more than half. Because GM was able to command a higher price than it anticipated — launching at just over $35 instead of in the high 20s as many expected — it was able to raise a substantial amount for the federal government. As a result, the government’s portion of GM equity dropped from around 60% to roughly 26%.
Many who opposed the bailout have referred to GM as “Government Motors,” and that’s a label GM would like to lose for good. Still, the New York Times says, GM shares will have to trade north of $53 for the federal government to earn back all the money it poured into the Detroit automaker.
G.M. Shares Surge on Market Debut (New York Times)