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U.S. Government Scores Big With Exchange Agreement

They did it in 1983 when they guaranteed a loan for Chrysler in exchange for warrants to buy its stock. And they have done it again since then.

In December 2001 the U.S. government offered loan guarantees to American West Holdings Corp., US Airways Group and others in exchange for warrants to buy their stock. (It was a commitment to help airlines reeling from the impact of the 2001 September terrorist attacks.)

To date, profits on their “exchange agreement” are $264.6 million. Now the government faces the decision of whether to sell or hold its airline stocks.