Government Sells Final Stake in General Motors

Auto bailout ends as Treasury Department sells final GM stock.

The General Motors logo is displayed at Boardwalk Chevrolet on Nov. 9, 2011, in Redwood City, Calif.
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The bailout of General Motors that started under former President George W. Bush came to an end Monday when the Treasury Department sold its final stake in the automaker.

The Treasury Department announced that it recouped $39 billion from the sale of GM stock as it winds down the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Chrysler also was rescued from bankruptcy as part of TARP during the start of the financial crisis, but repaid the government bailout in 2011.

[READ: The Auto Recovery Is in Overdrive, but for How Long?]

President Barack Obama said the GM sale shows that America's major automakers are "profitable for the first time in nearly a decade" and can stand on their own again.

"The industry has added more than 372,000 new jobs, its strongest growth since the 1990s," Obama said in a statement. "Thanks to the workers on our assembly lines, some of the most high-tech, fuel-efficient cars in the world are once again designed, engineered, and built right here in America, and the rest of the world is buying more of them than ever before."

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said the bailout "helped stabilize the auto industry, and prevent another Great Depression."

"With the final sale of GM stock, this important chapter in our nation's history is now closed," Lew said. "The president understood that inaction could have cost the broader economy more than 1 million jobs, billions in lost personal savings, and significantly reduced economic production."

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