General Motors (NYSE:GM) maintains a huge cash reserve, over $20 billion worth. That has led many observers to ask: Why doesn't GM return that cash to shareholders with a big dividend, or invest it in something, or pay back the federal government for its bailout?

It turns out there are very good reasons for GM to be holding a huge cash position. In this video, contributor John Rosevear takes a closer look at what GM is thinking -- and at why the company's fans and shareholders should cheer GM's newfound financial discipline.

Fool contributor John Rosevear owns shares of Ford and General Motors. Follow him on Twitter at @jrosevear. The Motley Fool recommends Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.