GM Spending Federal Bailout Billions on 'Operating Expenses,' Specific Accounting Unclear

GM Spending Federal Bailout Billions on 'Operating Expenses,' Specific Accounting Unclear http://tinyurl.com/my24h6
General Motors' steady slide toward bankruptcy protection despite the
government's massive rescue efforts raise the question of what happened to the billions of dollars it has received in federal loans.
The federal government has injected nearly $20 billion dollars into GM -- including $13.4 billion in December and a higher-than-expected $4 billion this month.
"It's being used for operating expenses," GM spokeswoman Julie Gibson told FOXNews.com.
When asked for specifics, Gibson said it's been used for payroll, suppliers, plants and other operational expenses. But Gibson could not say how much of the money had been allocated to each expense or how much is remaining.
"We have money coming in and out," she said, adding that some of the funds are kept as cash on hand.
When asked how the rest of the federal funds will be used, Gibson said, "It's kind of a difficult question to answer because the money continues to be used for operational purposes. It's kind of hard to spell it out."
Gibson noted that the company's priorities were outlined in its viability plan that was rejected by Obama's auto task force.
She suggested poring over GM's financial earnings report for more details. The report shows the company reported a first quarter loss of $6 billion, with revenue falling by more than half. But details on how the billions of federal assistance have been used were lacking.
The White House and the Treasury Department refused to return repeated messages requesting an interview.
"You're running a fool's errand trying to get an account of it," said Gerald C. Meyers, a professor of business at the University of Michigan and an auto industry expert.
"It's fungible. When you pour it in, it just gets spent. It's not assigned to anything. They take it one from one pocket to another pocket."
Meyers said allowing GM to go into bankruptcy late last year, as many GOP lawmakers called for, still would have cost the government money to support those who lost their jobs.
"It may not have been $19 billion, but it would have been billions," he said, calling it a "social cost."
GM is expected to file for bankruptcy next week. The federal government would have to pour billions more into the company to help it through bankruptcy court reorganization.
GM said Thursday a committee of bondholders has agreed to a sweetened deal proposed by the government to erase the automaker's unsecured debt in exchange for company stock. The news came in a regulatory filing that spells out the Obama administration's game plan for what it hopes will be a speedy Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization that will leave GM with a much smaller debt load and the federal government as the dominant shareholder.
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Meyers, what a bone head. People actually go to his school? Better to pay more for a job than you make. No wonder the idiots are broke.
But he did get this right: "You're running a fool's errand trying to get an account of it,"
By now it is well laundered.

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