GMAC Asks for Fresh Taxpayer Lifeline

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by ASusilovic, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. In a stark reminder of how some battered financial firms remain dependent on government lifelines, GMAC Financial Services Inc. and the Treasury Department are in advanced talks to prop up the lender with its third helping of taxpayer money, people familiar with the matter said.

    The U.S. government is likely to inject $2.8 billion to $5.6 billion of capital into the Detroit company, on top of the $12.5 billion that GMAC has received since December 2008, these people said. The latest infusion would come in the form of preferred stock. The government's 35.4% stake in the company could increase if existing shares eventually are converted into common equity.

    The willingness by Treasury officials to deepen taxpayer exposure to GMAC reflects the troubled company's importance to the revival of the auto industry. Founded in 1919, GMAC has $181 billion in assets and is a major financier for 15 million borrowers and thousands of General Motors and Chrysler car dealerships.

    The new capital would help firm up GMAC's balance sheet and solidify its auto-loan business. GMAC provides the vast majority of wholesale financing for GM dealerships across the country, meaning thousands would be unable to bring new vehicles onto their lots if GMAC were to collapse.

    Federal officials also are moving to shore up GMAC's ability to fund its daily operations, with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. telling the company Tuesday the agency will guarantee an additional $2.9 billion in debt, according to people familiar with the discussions. The FDIC guarantee will make it easier for the company to sell debt to investors. The FDIC backed $4.5 billion in GMAC-issued debt earlier this year.

    The FDIC approval came just four days before the expiration of the regulator's program that guarantees debt issued by certain banks. It ended months of tense negotiations between GMAC and regulators. Without a deal, the company would have been forced to further reduce its lending volume. New-car loans by the company tumbled 55% to $5.6 billion in the second quarter from a year earlier.

    As part of the agreement, GMAC agreed to keep interest rates on deposit accounts offered through its banking unit at certain levels, according to people familiar with the situation.

    While GMAC would be the only U.S. company to get three capital injections from the government since the financial crisis erupted two years ago, thousands of banks and other financial firms remain weakened by exposure to fallen real-estate values and clobbered financial markets.

    Among U.S. banks that got a total of $204.64 billion in aid through the Troubled Asset Relief Program, just one-third of the capital has been repaid so far. Government officials are skeptical that some banks now wanting to escape the government's grip are strong enough to do so, with Bank of America Corp.'s attempt to repay bailout funds snagged by a disagreement over how much additional capital the bank must raise to satisfy regulators, people familiar with the situation said.

    At GMAC, the likelihood of a third infusion increased when the government's stress-test results were released in May. The tests were conducted to determine whether banks would need more capital to continue lending if the economy deteriorated in 2009 and 2010. The test concluded GMAC needed $11.5 billion in common equity to continue lending in a stressed economy.

    GMAC raised some of the money directly from the government, but a significant hole remains. The company hasn't been able to attract much capital from private investors because it isn't listed as a public company, forcing GMAC to begin negotiating with the government to find the remaining funds. GMAC and Treasury officials are now negotiating about exactly how much capital the company needs.

    "GMAC is the only one of the banks that went through the stress test to need additional government capital," Treasury spokesman Andrew Williams said. "All other institutions were able to raise any necessary capital from investors and several paid back the taxpayer."

    People close to GMAC said the company's outlook is better than it was in May, and that unlike other banks that went through the stress-test process, GMAC won't be forced to fill the entire capital hole even with a third infusion. Bank of America has raised about $40 billion in new equity, higher than the $34 billion required, and regulators are asking it to raise even more if it wants to return $45 billion in U.S. aid.

    Business as usual. Bailout -mania....
  2. pspr


    What? Car dealers can't get loans elsewhere?

  3. the1


    Nah, it's not that. This is an indirect way of bailing out GM. A large part of their revenue/profits are derived from lending activities rather than manufacturing activities. If GMAC falls GM falls.

  4. ammo


    someone smarter than me claimed earlier this year that if GM went under,AIG is insuring their pension fund, we need to seriously think about firing our accountants /money managers. The newest newb on et that is struggling trading has more money sense than all of DC put together