The U.S. government is starting another phase of selling off its General Motors stock after cutting its stake in the automaker to just over 7 percent. The Treasury Department said it still owns 101.3 million GM shares. It got 912 million shares in exchange for a $49.5 billion bailout of GM in 2009. So far, taxpayers have recovered about $35.4 billion. At Thursday’s trading price, the government would get about $3.7 billion more. So taxpayers are likely to lose around $10 billion on the deal. The Treasury plans to sell all of its shares by April 1.
More than $3 million in cash and land has been donated for wheat research by the University of Nebraska. The university foundation will establish the Stumpf Family Research and Development Fund with the $1 million in cash and the 640 acres of land in southwest Nebraska’s Perkins County. The land’s market value has been appraised at more than $2 million. Marvin Stumpf III of Grant made the gift and says it is in honor of his family and family’s Nebraska heritage.
Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week to their lowest point in two months. The decline follows the Federal Reserve’s decision last week to hold off slowing its monthly bond purchases. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average rate on the 30-year loan dropped to 4.32 percent from 4.50 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed loan declined to 3.37 percent from 3.54 percent.
The U.S. economy grew at a 2.5 percent annual rate from April through June, an improvement from the first three months of the year. But economists are worried that growth may now be slowing. The Commerce Department said Thursday that its final look at economic growth in the spring was unchanged from a prior estimate made last month. However, the components of growth were altered slightly. Businesses added a bit less to their stockpiles and exports did not grow as fast as previously thought. These downward revisions were balanced by slightly stronger spending by state and local governments. Many analysts believe growth is slowing to a sluggish rate at or below 2 percent in the current quarter.