U.S. Capitol at duskEnlarge Photo
In a result that surprises no one but ought to shock us all, a congressional panel has released findings that tens of billions of dollars of the U.S. government's bailout of the auto industry won't be repaid.
The report, undertaken by the Congressional Oversight Panel, says that about $5.4 billion of the money borrowed by Chrysler won't be repaid, and it is "highly unlikely" that the government's 61% stake in General Motors will fully repay the $50 billion in funds the company received.
Not all of the money has disappeared, however. Chrysler is good for just over $5 billion of the funds lent, and as long as GM's stock improves in value, some of the money will be repaid. Out of the grand total of $74 billion loaned to the industry, about $23 billion of the funds will be subject to what the report calls "much lower recoveries," though exactly what that means isn't conclusive.
The bottom line: don't expect to see much of the funds given to the auto industry coming back into government coffers. Not that you did in the first place.
By way of comparison, however, the banking industry has only repaid about $68 billion of the $700 billion in government TARP funds issued.