Fallout: The Financial Crisis

GMAC now part of the bank bailout

Steve Henn Dec 30, 2008
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Fallout: The Financial Crisis

GMAC now part of the bank bailout

Steve Henn Dec 30, 2008
HTML EMBED:
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TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: A company that got into the mortgage business at the wrong time was GMAC. It’s a car financing company. And until last night, it was about dead in the water. But you, the taxpayer, stepped in with another bailout. The government is taking a $5 billion stake in GMAC. And it’s coming out of the money for banks, since GMAC was allowed to become a bank. Marketplace’s Steve Henn has more.


Steve Henn: GMAC has been scrambling for weeks to get a piece of the bailout pie. GM’s finance arm was in tough shape. During the housing boom, it branched out from its core business making car loans and became one of the most aggressive home lenders in America.

Keith Crain: After that happened, home lending self-destructed.

Keith Crain publishes Automotive News. He says the housing crisis left GMAC too strapped to make many car loans, and that’s crushed GM’s sales. With this cash infusion, GMAC’s books suddenly look a lot better. But Crain’s not optimistic that’ll mean more sales for GM.

Crain: GMAC is going to want to make money. They are not going to want to subsidize the sales of General Motors.

When GMAC was founded decades ago, its entire purpose was to help move cars off the lot. But now as a stand-alone bank, it has to answer to its own shareholders and keep banking regulators happy.

In Washington, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.

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