While companies must prove that tax avoidance wasn't the main reason for the acquisition if challenged by the Internal Revenue Service, the hurdle is quite low, Willens says. Still, what may have been a low hurdle for Clarus, which few people have heard of, may prove to be a different story for GM. If GM gets its deal done, however, don't be surprised to see other big losers from the crisis start bulking up. -- Written by Dan Freed in New York.
Neil Barofsky, TARP's special inspector general, estimates the government will need to sell its common stock holdings in GM for a little less than $134 per share in order to recoup its investment in the iconic car company.