Some are saying that the timing of GM's IPO is political

If government ownership means that politics determine all sorts of business decisions, why not the timing of the IPO?

But some are questioning whether the IPO's timetable may have more to do with the political calendar than maximizing taxpayers' investment.

"There is obviously a political aspect to the timing," Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of Edmunds.com, told AFP.

Although GM has posted two quarters of solid growth the future remains uncertain, which could lead investors to pay less for shares than they might in one year's time, when GM's rebound might be more established.

The size of the sell-off, while headline grabing, also creates the risk of being under-subscribed, according to Anwyal. . . .

IBD has a similar view:

GM's rush to the IPO market before it posted a convincing series of profitable quarters raises questions about why it picked a time like this to issue new shares to the market.

After all, J.D. Power on Thursday just lowered its auto sales forecasts to 11.6 million units in 2010 and 13.2 million units in 2011, largely because it expects a slow economic recovery. Overseas markets are slowing, and GM profit is expected to be lower in the second half of 2010 than the first.

At a minimum, an IPO at this time of market volatility means GM will raise less capital than otherwise. Yet GM hopes eventually to raise up to $20 billion. Even if successful, that's far short of what taxpayers have put in. So why now? Only when you consider the upcoming November election does GM's puzzling timing make sense.

Government Motors, it seems, is still run by the government. Until that ends, GM won't be any more sustainable than in the past.

The truth is, both the carmaker and the Obama administration have taken heat from the public ever since Uncle Sam handed the automaker a $50 billion bailout in June 2009.

The cash gave the feds a 61% stake, and the White House used that stake to throw its weight around. The government meddled in GM personnel decisions, questionably ousting its CEO, Rick Wagoner.

It ordered up pricey new "green" cars to satisfy the Obama agenda, instead of what customers wanted. And it stiffed GM bondholders by giving priority to unsecured debt from union contracts, throwing 200 years of U.S. bankruptcy precedent out the window.

The car company is hanging in there. Its second-quarter earnings of $1.3 billion were the best since 2004. However, for the Obama White House the political price for its hamfisted intervention has been high. It now seeks to extricate itself from that. Hence, the IPO. . . .

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