The Obama administration has not had many success stories in the last year, with unemployment turning negative, growth turning anemic and Congress turning calcified. But this is cause for muted celebration: General Motors, turned "Government Motors" when Treasury took over the company and steered it through bankruptcy, is ready to drive off on its own power.
The automaker earned $1.3 billion in the second quarter of 2010, it's second consecutive positive profit report, and investors expect a public offering as soon as Friday.
The good news is coming from good places. Although the company cut 20,000 jobs and a dozen U.S. plants, the profits aren't coming all from cost cuts. Revenue grew from $32 billion to $33 billion in the second three months of the year. What's more, the company is seeing a strong North American market for its goods. While it's certainly not bad to have a strong overseas market, any indication that the American consumer is actually breathing out there is nice to hear.
There's lots of silver lining, but the dark cloud for tax payers is that an IPO won't end the government's significant stake in the company. As the Michigan Messenger reports, the federal government will reduce its stake in the company from about 60 percent to below 50 percent in the initial IPO, and sell off the rest of the taxpayers' stake in the company bit by bit.