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GM's Massive Taxpayer IOU Remains

As for GMAC, it hasn't paid back any of its bailout funds.

The incentives offered to GMAC Mortgage aren't meant to be repaid.

In practical terms, the best way to sum up GM's bailout is this: Taxpayers committed as much as $70.5 billion to the automaker and its one-time subsidiaries at the pinnacle. Just $21 billion, or 30%, has been returned so far, with another $49.5 billion outstanding. Taxpayers may offer GM's former mortgage lender another $1.5 billion in incentives, free of charge, to help troubled borrowers. (GMAC Mortgage, it's worth noting, is the only servicer that's been sued by the government for alleged fraud over the so-called "robosigning" scandal.)

It's true that General Motors has made great progress, a whole lot faster than anyone expected. The Treasury believes it will lose about $17 billion on automotive industry investments, far below initial cost estimates. But, importantly, the most recent from TARP's inspector general indicates that GM's offering price fell about $100 short per share.

"In order for Treasury to recoup its common stock investment in New GM and the $986 million retained by Old GM, a review by SIGTARP for Senator Charles Grassley determined that New GM would need to receive an average of $133.78 per share, before giving effect to any stock split that may occur," says the report . "This figure does not include the underwriting, legal, and other costs that Treasury will incur in connection with the IPO, nor does it account for any interest or dividend payments received from New GM or the costs incurred by Treasury to borrow the funds it provided to the GM entities."

GM's advertising campaign has generated a lot of buzz recently by acknowledging defeat, thanking Americans for their charity and promising to turn the company around. But in regards to how much of its bailout has been repaid, the opening of GM's "Reinvention" commercial from the summer of 2009 might be the most apt.

As a sun rises and sets over the skyline of Detroit, an announcer says : "Let's be completely honest."

-- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Lauren Tara LaCapra.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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