GMAC Set For More Federal Assistance

Guess who’s back for a second (third or fourth?) bite of the federal apple. Your favorite government owned auto finance company — GMAC.

It seems that the $3.9 billion second quarter loss ( it lost $2.48 billion in Q2 2008) has put it in a bit of a bind so it’s talking with the Fed about how to go about raising $5.6 billion. That’s the number it got saddled with after the “stress tests” and it has until November to come up with the dough.

An article in the Wall Street Journal suggests three ways to get the money. Sell some assets, attract private capital or get more federal help. I’ll leave it up to your powers of financial analysis to figure out which of those options is not a pipe dream.

The company has sold $4.5 billion of FDIC guaranteed bonds and would like to sell more. They were originally approved for $7.4 billion but they need the approval of the FDIC to sell the rest. That one has to be giving Sheila Bair heartburn. But do the math and an extra $2.9 billion from the bonds still leaves a $2.7 billion hole. Taxpayer can you spare a dime?

You, my friend, currently own 35.4% of this company and it just happens to be the primary source of financing for your two government owned auto companies, so it’s pretty obvious what Tim, Ben and Sheila are going to do here. Take heart, however, more government financing means that you get a larger share of the company, all the better to set you up for the big payday when this all works out.

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