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Financial Assistance: Ongoing Challenges and Guiding Principles Related to Government Assistance For Private Sector Companies

GAO-10-719 Published: Aug 03, 2010. Publicly Released: Aug 03, 2010.
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The recent financial crisis resulted in a wide-ranging federal response that included providing extraordinary assistance to several major corporations. As a result of actions under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and others, the government was a shareholder in the American International Group Inc. (AIG); Bank of America; Citigroup, Inc. (Citigroup); Chrysler Group LLC (Chrysler); General Motors Company (GM); Ally Financial/GMAC, Inc. (GMAC); and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (Enterprises). The government ownership interest in these companies resulted from financial assistance that was aimed at stabilizing the financial markets, housing finance, or specific market segments. This report (1) describes the government's ownership interest and evaluates the extent of government involvement in these companies, (2) discusses the government's management and monitoring of its investments and exit strategies, and (3) identifies lessons learned from the federal actions. This work was done in part with the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) and involved reviewing relevant documentation related to these companies and the federal assistance provided. GAO interviewed officials at Treasury, Federal Reserve, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and the banking regulators, as well as the senior executives and relevant officials at the companies that received exceptional assistance.

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AssetsCapitalCost sharing (finance)Economic stabilizationExecutive compensationFederal regulationsFederal reserve banksFinancial institutionsFinancial managementFinancial markets regulationGovernment sponsored enterprisesInternal controlsInvestmentsLending institutionsLessons learnedMonitoringPrivate sectorStocks (securities)Financial assistancePublic health emergencies