President Obama says that auto bailouts have paid off

President Barack Obama with auto industry executives

Presidebt Barack Obama said that the government-funded bailouts of the auto industry had paid off. During his weekly radio and Web address on Saturday, Obama said that he will keep pressure for an overhaul of U.S. financial regulations, saying the promising news from the auto industry had not reduced the need for Wall Street changes.

General Motors and Chrysler both reported progress this week in their government-financed turnarounds. Nonetheless, the Obama administration said that it still forecasts some loss on the taxpayer bailout of both companies to help them recover from the economic downturn.

GM announced last week that it has made its final payment of $5.8 billion to the U.S. Treasury and Export Development Canada, paying back its government loans in full.

Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, a senior Republican on the Finance Committee, later said that GM’s payment was coming from U.S. Troubled Asset Relief Program funds in an escrow account, rather than from GM earnings.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)