The government has so far recovered $23 billion of its $49.5 billion bailout loan to General Motors, but the balance remains tied up in 500 million shares of the automaker's stock. At current prices, the federal government would lose more than $15 billion on the loan.
"Our perspective is that the company has made real progress, but the market hasn't given them as much credit for that as it might," Tim Massad, the assistant Treasury secretary who oversees the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, told The Detroit News.
GM's transition back to public trading went better than expected -- with the company's IPO going for $33 per share - but things have declined in subsequent months. Despite much improved profits GM's stock is currently trading around $22.37 per share, well below the $53 mark needed for the government to break even.
The government's bailout of GM once again made headlines this week after presidential hopeful Mitt Romney stated they he deserved "a lot of credit" for the resurgence of Detroit.