General Motors Repays Bailout Loans Early

General Motors is paying its bailout loans back in full and ahead of schedule.

"Today, General Motors is announcing that it has made a payment of $5.8 billion to the U.S. Treasury and Export Development Canada. We're paying back -- in full, with interest, years ahead of schedule -- loans made to help fund the new GM," CEO Edward Whitacre announced in an opinion piece in the The Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. is owed a payment of $4.7 billion and Canada $1.1 billion, when accounting for exchange rates, as part of GM's bailout package, according to a Reuters report.

%%DynaPub-Enhancement class="enhancement contentType-HTML Content fragmentId-24139 payloadId-101546 alignment-left size-small"%%Taxpayers and the government are now waiting for the next GM payout, which will come when the company launches an IPO and the U.S. can extract itself from ownership in the slimmed down auto giant and its $50 billion bailout.

Ownership stakes in GM were doled out following the company's bankruptcy last year, in which the automaker executed an amazingly quick turnaround in 40 days, exiting bankruptcy in July. The bailout package gave the U.S. Treasury a 60.8% percent stake in the now privately held GM, and Export Development Canada an 11.7% stake.

Tell D.C. the News -- at the CEO's Expense

Whitacre will head to Washington, D.C., today on a private jet to share the good news-- but this time, taxpayers won't have as much to complain about.

GM's CEO will personally foot the cost of the private jet himself, avoiding the fallout that struck the automaker two years ago when former CEO Richard Wagoner was ferried via corporate jet to Washington, where he and fellow automaker bigwigs begged Congress for bailout money, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Whitacre is apparently shunning the commercial aircraft route and its time-consuming security checkpoints as he jets to a factory in Kansas to announce the bailout repayments before heading to Washington to update Congress, the Journal reports.