Surely someone in the Treasury Department was aware of this at the time the bailouts were being rushed through Congress. The money the government cannot recoup now becomes a taxpayer subsidy of the shareholders of the born-again companies.
In order to recover taxpayer funds handed over to GM , the new company would need a market capitalization of $66.9 billion. The highest capitalization GM had achieved prior to the bailout was $57 billion back in 2000. Chrysler would have to achieve a market capitalization of $54.8 billion for taxpayers to get their money back. Prior to its acquisition by Daimler in 1998, Chrysler was capitalized at $37 billion.
There was a reason the two car makers couldn't round up enough private investment to survive -- investors knew GM and Chrysler were dogs and they weren't willing to put up their cash. Cue los federales.
We can't afford to put more money into health care for the poor, the old, the infirm and children, but we can afford to hand money over to investors. Some things never change.