How will GM's public offer affect tax payers

Paint peels from the GM logo painted on a chimney at the shuttered GM assembly plant in Janesville, Wis.


STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Within the next day or two, General Motors will finalize its plans for an Initial Public Offering. The Detroit automaker's IPO could raise billions of dollars and allow GM to partially repay taxpayers for the bailout it got from Uncle Sam.

Micki Maynard is senior editor of the Midwest public radio project Changing Gears. She's with us live from Chicago. Good morning, Micki.


CHIOTAKIS: Explain this to me -- GM is going to go public -- does that mean taxpayers no longer own the automaker?

MAYNARD: Not at all. The tax payers own about 61 percent of General Motors. And once this stock sale takes place it's expected that stake will go down to about 40 percent. So we'll own less than half of General Motors but we'll still own a big chunk.

CHIOTAKIS: We'll be sitting in the back seat instead of the front seat, right?

MAYNARD: I think that's a good way to put it.

CHIOTAKIS: Did we, the tax payer, get a good deal from our GM purchase?

MAYNARD: You know it's impossible to say yet whether financially we got a good deal because there are people who say the money will never be completely paid back. But what we got out of this was the economy didn't crater. People said that letting the car makers go out of business might really crater the economy -- that didn't happen. Jobs were preserved, dealerships stayed open -- some of them closed. So we'll see. We'll know in a few years whether this was a good deal or not.

CHIOTAKIS: Micki Maynard, senior editor of the public radio project Changing Gears. Micki thanks.

MAYNARD: My pleasure.


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