U.S. exits GM stake, taxpayers lose $10.5 billion

The U.S. government ended up losing $10.5 billion on the General Motors bailout, but it says the alternative would have been far worse.

The Treasury Department sold its final shares of the Detroit auto giant Monday, recovering $39 billion of the $49.5 billion it spent to save the dying automaker at the height of the financial crisis five years ago.

Without the bailout, the country would have lost more than 1 million jobs, and the economy could have slipped from recession into a depression, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said on a conference call with reporters.

NBC News.com.

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