Originally Posted by divisionbell77
They had a restructuring plan, but needed a loan to get them there.
Most of the money the U.S. government put into GM was in the form of equity ownership, not loans. The money that remains outstanding is equity, not loans.
GM also benefited from the washing away of debt granted by the government, including the unprecedented treatment of debtor classes that held liens against the company.
Finally, GM was granted the tax credits for the losses incurred by the "old" GM, which are worth (from memory) around $30 billion dollars. So, GM can shield an additional $30 billion dollars of future income from taxes; this was also unprecedented.
The UAW was given an equity position in GM in exchange (in part) for their pension liabilities. Nothing wrong with that per se, except that other classes of debt holders with equally valid lien status were summarily written off. That's probably one are in which many folks got pissed - the unequal (and arguably unlawful) treatment give these debtor classes.
The U.S. government equity stake in GM is another area that distresses many people - that probably doesn't need my explanation.