Solyndra Solar raided by FBI

I guess the feds want to know where that $535 million dollar “green jobs” DOE loan went.

Via Andrew Breitbart and from NBC Bay Area News:

FBI agents armed with search warrants descended this morning on bankrupt solar company Solynrda this morning.

The investigation comes after a request by the Department of Energy’s inspector general, FBI spokesman Peter Lee told NBC Bay Area News.

Agents arrived at 7a.m. and are examining the factory. Solynrda has a skeleton crew of 100 workers on the scene, closing the factory down. A CNBC photographer on the scene says the FBI has promised a press conference. An agency spokesperson at its San Francisco headquarters says he’s unaware of any such plans.

Solyndra filed for bankruptcy last week, shocking both workers and the Obama administration, which had given the startup hundreds of millions of dollars in low interest loans.

Congress has demanded a hearing into the matter.

There are no reports of any arrests at this time.

Read the whole thing here. We trust this is the start of a real investigation and not a “securing embarrassing documents” operation.

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95 Responses to Solyndra Solar raided by FBI

  1. johnb says:

    “The company’s biggest lender was the federal government, which loaned Solyndra $528 million in 2009 to build a new factory near its Fremont headquarters. As part of an effort to boost renewable power companies, the government offered Solyndra as much as $535 million for the project, but the factory cost slightly less to build than expected.

    The government will not, however, be the first creditor in line during Solyndra’s bankruptcy proceedings. A $69 million loan this spring from the company’s private investors will be repaid before taxpayers get their money back, according to a creditors’ agreement cited in the bankruptcy filing. ”

    Source: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2774510/posts

    Solyndra just couldn’t make it until Obama’s next Infrastructure bill.

  2. P Walker says:

    Given the actions of the current DOJ , I fear your trust may be misplaced .

  3. Theo Goodwin says:

    Does this drive the last nail in the coffin of Green Jobs in the USA? To my mind, it does. By the way, Bishop Hill is discussing a related matter in “Coopting Extremes.” Trenberth and others are going to provide to insurance companies the service of identifying the parts of extreme weather events that are caused by global warming. Can you spell Enron?

  4. John Stover says:

    On the Pennsylvania Turnpike heading west towards the wind turbines at Somerset there is a roadside billboard that says “wind dies and the sun sets.” The billboard is sponsored by Pennsylvania coal

    I think that captures my own sentiments perfectly.

    Cheers,

    John

  5. Robert Sandor says:

    I’m betting the next one to fall is Fisker Auto. Another $529 million loan, Al Gore a big backer and Klieiner Perkins the big venture money with heavy donations into the Obama and Hillary campaigns. Any bets?

  6. John F. Hultquist says:

    Can we expect Solyndra Solar to be mentioned early in the Pres’ speech tonight, or not at all?

  7. polistra says:

    Current DOJ? Nah, all DOJ’s. Every federal investigation or special prosecutor has exactly one job. Bury embarrassing information forever and “suicide” every stubborn truth-teller. Been that way for 50 years at least.

  8. ~FR says:

    “We trust this is the start of a real investigation and not a “securing embarrassing documents” operation.”

    This is the Holder DOJ. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy…

  9. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Strictly speaking, it was a loan guarantee …. But with the money gone, the loaners I’m sure will like to receive the. Guaranteed money.

  10. Robertvdl says:

    Great, more Green Jobs means more FBI “green” jobs. The Green Police.

  11. crosspatch says:

    It went into someone’s pocket, probably, along with lavish accoutrements for the office. Sort of like how the early dot-coms went through money like that in only a few months.

    The company I am with could really use some money like that to create *real* jobs. In fact, we could probably produce about a dozen jobs right now with 1/5 of that amount.

  12. mark t says:

    Yeah, it’s not as if rights matter to these guys.

    Mark

  13. Lord Beaverbrook says:

    Suspicion of more links to Obama’s administration.

    ‘Kaiser is an important link in this story. He is also a very big fund-raiser for Obama. He is often referred to as a “Bundler”. In this case that means he encouraged/pushed others to put up money for the big O’s campaign.
    The bankruptcy filing indicates that Argonaut Ventures, an investment arm of the Tulsa-based foundation, holds almost 39 percent of Solyndra’s parent, 360 Solar Degree Holdings Inc.
    In an emailed statement to the Tulsa World, a representative of the George Kaiser Family Foundation said the organization made the investment through Argonaut.’

    http://www.zerohedge.com/print/437415

  14. Robertvdl says:

    More job “creation” in America.

    Peter Schiff and Gibson Guitar CEO

    Environmental police state http://www.naturalnews.com/033526_Gibson_Guitars_environmental_police.html

  15. u.k.(us) says:

    Get used to it.
    We are selling our secrets to China, in return for cheap labor (i.e. pricing).

  16. DJ says:

    The impact of this is far reaching…

    http://www.chemweek.com/chem_ideas/Rebecca-Coons/Solyndra-Bankruptcy-Death-Knell-for-U-S-Solar-Industry_37339.html

    Obama and Solar Energy: Solyndra Bankruptcy is a $527 Million Loss

    http://www.investingdaily.com/id/18981/obama-and-solar-energy-solyndra-bankruptcy-is-a-527-million-loss.html

    “According to White House visitor logs, between March 12, 2009, and April 14, 2011, Solyndra officials and investors made no fewer than 20 trips to the West Wing. In the week before the administration awarded Solyndra with the first-ever alternative energy loan guarantee on March 20, four separate visits were logged.”

    http://dailycaller.com/2011/09/08/solyndra-officials-made-numerous-trips-to-the-white-house-logs-show/

  17. temp says:

    crony capitalism aka socialism aka obamaism is the order of the day much as the goal of all “environmentalist” and pushers of global warming.

  18. Breaker says:

    I don’t think this is about finding missing money at all. I suspect that it is about sealing off the Soylandra records from a congressional inquiry. The FBI has “sealed” all of the seized records. I expect them to remain sealed thru November 2012.

  19. Jim G says:

    Wonder if any of that $535 million made it into Democrat campaign funds, one way or another.

  20. HankH says:

    I started my high-tech company in 2002 with around $15K in money I saved up. I grew the company without borrowing one cent. I how have offices in six states with international distribution and employ some 25+ employees who all have an excellent company health care plan, profit sharing, and other benefits. I’ve watched over 70% of my competitors go out of business while my company continues to grow even in this awful economy and time of government antagonism towards small business.

    With a half billion dollars, Barry couldn’t get his pet “green” company off the ground. This tells me the following about Solyndra:

    1. Was never intended to operate as a legitimate company.
    2. Never had a business plan based on real business concepts.
    3. Didn’t start with a real product concept.
    4. Hired incompetent people from management down.
    5. Staked their success on pipe dreams without any thought on how to get there.
    6. Invested in R&D that was all R and no D.
    7. Had no market.
    9. Developed a supply line that saw the company as a feeding trough.
    10. Failed to empower employees that were capable of meeting corporate goals.
    11. Had a management team that spent all their time at the golf course.

    Seriously, for a company to fail with a half billion start up capital, all of the above and more have to be true.

    This is a poster perfect example of what happens when government decides to pick the winners and losers in a market driven economy. It will pick losers every time. Perfect timing for our business inept president to tell us how he’s going to create jobs tonight. Grab your pocketbooks because it will surely involve you paying for a bunch more Solyndras.

  21. enough says:

    Tesla will be next, hope they track down all the political contributions…

  22. Russ Steele says:

    Another view from the Polipundit on the Solandra Affair – Coverup

    Does anyone really think that Holder signed off on this as a legit raid?
    This is to lock the records down until after the election. Now the DOJ controls the pace of any investigation, the bankruptcy proceedings can’t proceed and there won’t be any fuel for the eventual civil suits.

    This was not a clean raid in the interest of justice, it was the first step in the cover-up.

  23. Ric Werme says:

    So they actually got all that money for the plant? At least Evergreen Solar in Massachusetts had some tax breaks and other less direct assistance that they weren’t able to burn through.

    Perhaps we can take it out of the billions Obama is prepared to borrow/print for the next round.

  24. DAvek says:

    Did someone mention Fisker, funny they get there batteries from A123 (AONE) public in 2009 at $20 now trading around 4.80, and guess what they also have government grant of 250 million and are running at a loss, sound familiar.

  25. Curiousgeorge says:

    The fact is that many so-called “green” jobs, are old fashioned “brown” jobs with a fresh coat of paint that apparently brings in some extra “greenbacks”. Examples are waste management and sewage/water treatment. To anyone out of work, it doesn’t matter what color the job is as long as it pays the bills.

    The Govt simply insists on being the middleman, which gives them the power to hand out favors to their friends, and punish their enemies. All the while taking a significant cut for “administrative services”. Kind of like a cross between Santa Claus and the Mafia.

  26. old construction worker says:

    “Jim G says:
    September 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm
    Wonder if any of that $535 million made it into Democrat campaign funds, one way or another.”

    That’s the first thing that cross my mind. I wonder if the subcontractors were paid in full?

  27. Robert M says:

    “We trust this is the start of a real investigation and not a “securing embarrassing documents” operation.”

    Is it wrong that that was my initial thought? I was telling myself how cynical I am until I read your last line.

    It is starting to seem like the law only works for criminals…

  28. Douglas DC says:

    I’ve been around the FBI some. No they arent’ going to help hide evidence. This could be quite
    unpleasant for the solyndra fols and certian gon’t bodies..
    The problem being the DOJ hierarchy…

  29. Latitude says:

    $528 million
    +$69 million
    ———————–
    $597 million

    Does anyone else thing $600 million is just a tad too much for this sort of start up company?
    ……and for them to go bankrupt this quick

    “A $69 million loan this spring from the company’s private investors will be repaid before taxpayers get their money back”

    …and we’re going to get our money back because they are going to lease the building to Cirque du Soleil

  30. RandomReal[] says:

    Actually, a finding of fraud would be the best outcome for the DOE and administration. If not, the DOE et al. will have to admit that they are lousy venture capitalists. The DOE should take a page out of DARPA and fund basic research and small scale applied science, letting the business development side of things to the big boys. (N.B., Republican administrations are no better.)

  31. Sparks says:

    Where was the market for these Solar Panels?

  32. Are there any ‘green’ execs sipping a drink at a topless beach on the Mediterranean right now?

  33. P Walker says:

    polistra ,
    Yeah , but the shake down of the private sector has me worried .

  34. Don’t forget about Evergreen Solar and also the “weatherization” initiative, which not only
    included “training” but also tax incentives for customers. There are plenty of others as well.
    Of course, don’t expect NBC/CNN to lift a finger to do any investigative journalism. They are part of the administration now, to judge by their embarrassing emails.

  35. Andrew30 says:

    It is not just Sunburn that has affected the American president.
    Words that did NOT appear in presidents 1/2 trillion dollar spending (jobs) speech.

    Green
    Renewable
    Carbon
    Solar
    Wind
    Environment

  36. mike g says:

    I wonder if they left all the tons of ultra hazardous material that go into solar cell production just sitting around or if they ever even bothered to build a production facility in the first place.

  37. Latitude says:

    Sparks says:
    September 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Where was the market for these Solar Panels?
    ====================================================

    California Public Resources Code Section 25405.5 often referred to as “The “Mandatory Solar Option Law”, went into effect on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2011.

    ……………..I smell a shake down

  38. Ed Mertin says:

    Something like 200 automobile manufacturers went under years ago as the cream survived and eventually prospered. I’m sure some of them had outrageous start up assistance. China is creaming ours though. I just love Sam Walton & Richard Nixon. /sarc

  39. Interstellar Bill says:

    HankH
    You have to know that every Green Commie, every envy-mongering Leftie,
    hates you with a passion because you didn’t need Govt to succeed.

    More generally, I loathe and detest all the well-connected cronies
    who scoop up Govt cash (confiscated from productive you and me)
    and waste it, leaving nothing for the true capitalists
    except higher taxes, more fees, more lawsuits, more regulations,
    more being portayed as a rich bastard ‘not paying your fair share’.

    What I can’t figure out is why our country hasn’t collapsed already.

  40. Tsk Tsk says:

    HankH says:
    September 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    With a half billion dollars, Barry couldn’t get his pet “green” company off the ground. This tells me the following about Solyndra:
    ——————————-
    It’s even worse than that. Solyndra got $530M (guaranteed) from the government but they also raised over $1B in VC. Even with that much cash they barely made it past the loan guarantee. This one should sting the greens for a very long time…

  41. DonB says:

    The ultimate “green” job is subsistance farming. Are we headed there?

  42. Jay Davis says:

    Douglas DC: I’ve been around the FBI some. No they aren’t going to help hide evidence.

    Doug, I’ve got two words for you – Ruby Ridge.

  43. G. Karst says:

    Someone check if Al Gore bought a new mansion! GK

  44. Dreadnought says:

    This whole thing stinks to high Heaven – another example of the tax-payer being milked for all they’re worth. I bet you the shysters behind this scam have still got their millions, let’s just hope the end up grabbing their ankles in the clink.

  45. Pete H says:

    Interstellar Bill says:
    September 8, 2011 at 7:14 pm
    “What I can’t figure out is why our country hasn’t collapsed already.”

    Sad to say its because the of Chinese RMB supporting the $. You may not like it but the Chinese have to much invested to allow it to go tits up!

  46. Mac the Knife says:

    Heck – this is old news and chicken feed, when contrasted to the ‘new’ Obamanation ‘jobs’ proposals of another half Trillion dollars! And their all ‘green’ jobs, for stop light Progressives. They call them ‘green jobs’ because they are too yellow to admit they are red socialists. aka ‘Stop Light Progressives’.

    It all makes me profoundly sick, my friends. I really don’t mean to belittle the Solyndra debacle but it is just the another forced kiss in the rape of my country. Tonights proposals by Our Dear Leader are just his rationalizations and justifications for another assault….

  47. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Ah, wonderful (liberal) federal economics…

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904716604576544500632493510.html

    (emphasis added)
    Why the Stimulus Failed
    New research on what actually happened to a trillion dollars.
    SEPTEMBER 8, 2011

    Even zero jobs growth in August doesn’t seem to have disrupted President Obama’s faith in the economic policies of his first three years, so one theme we’ll be listening for in tonight’s speech is how he explains the current moment. Why did his first jobs plan—the $825 billion stimulus—so quickly result in the need for another jobs plan?

    For readers who want to know, an important account is offered in a pair of new Mercatus Center working papers by the George Mason economists Garett Jones and Daniel Rothschild, who did field research on what they call the supply side of the stimulus.

    The Keynesian theory was that a burst of new government spending would take up some of the slack in aggregate consumer demand. This was justified in 2008, again in 2009, and is still defended now based not on real-world observation but on abstract macroeconomic models that depend on the assumptions of the authors. The Congressional Budget Office’s quarterly studies—often cited to claim the stimulus created tens of thousands of new jobs—are based on such a model. By informative contrast, Messrs. Jones and Rothschild interviewed actual people who received stimulus dollars and asked how they spent the money.
    (…)
    The lesson of such on-the-ground knowledge is that the stimulus was a lost opportunity. In practice it became a shotgun marriage between an economic theory justified by computer models and 40 years of liberal social priorities (clean energy, Medicaid expansions and the rest). This produced the 9.1% unemployment we now have.
    (…)

    Sound familiar?

  48. R. Craigen says:

    It’s about to get worse, with records of Solyndra-associated folks visiting the WH numerous times in the last two years coming to light. I do hope someone with a lot of time on their hands and the right resources is going through the new jobs proposals sniffing out further pay-to-play deals. It seems Obama may be a happily married man but he still believes in having “friends with benefits”.

  49. Shevva says:

    @kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    September 8, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    Skynet is destroying the world and we never knew it.

    Don’t worry all these jobs are going to Scotland where they hope to create 60,000 green jobs and convert Scotland to 100% renew’s by 2020, you would of thought that ‘Fails’ like this would be a wake up call.

  50. Roger Knights says:

    Here’s a neutral article focusing on this event in the context of the economics of the solar power business.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/292609-solyndra-bankruptcy-what-it-means-for-u-s-solar

  51. Perry says:

    Fisker Autos have a website that enables anyone to search for the the locations of certified dealers worldwide, so I took a look. Surprise, surprise, all the worldwide dealers are in the US.

    http://www.fiskerautomotive.com/en-us/discover/retailerlocator

    Fisker has said that it plans to have nearly 200 dealerships in Europe and North America by the end of 2011. As there are fewer than 50, perhaps WUWT contributors might like to telephone these dealers to discover how they view their business prospects. I suspect there are enough people to cover all the locations and the results could be intriguing.

  52. Alexander says:

    If it was Russia, I’d guess the reason for the raid was that Solyndra executives failed to pay FBI executives their rightful share of 528 millions.

    Of course, in USA such disputes are usually resolved more civilly as far as I’m aware, but then with Global Warming guys you can never be sure.

  53. Brian H says:

    Actually, Tesla is fine. It is on track to repay its loan on an accelerated schedule. The main contributor to Tesla, btw, is de facto Toyota. It gave its idled NUMMI plant to Tesla in return for about $40 million in stock — and it’s about a $1bn facility, absolutely huge and state-of-the-art. Keep your ears open Oct. 1; there’s a Model S reservation-purchaser tour of the plant, with rides in its pre-production models (“Betas”). Plus a blockbuster announcement about further Toyota initiatives, beyond its contract with TM to build the drivetrains for its new RAV4-EVs (worth about $100 million).

    It has all its 2012 first-run production pre-sold (with large deposits), and is eatng fast into 2013.

    Musk’s other company, Space X, has built all its corporate and launch facilities (3) and made several spectularly successful launches including the first orbit-and-recovery of a spacecraft by any private entity on less than half of what was blown on the Orion capsule, now cancelled without a single finished product, much less a launch. It has firm launch contracts out into 2015 and beyond, including a dozen from NASA for ISS resupply, with manned transport on the fast track. First actual hook-up launch to occur Nov. 30, arriving Dec. 9.

    As for Fisker’s Karma, it was set up as a rip-off of the Tesla Model S concept, and is not half the product. It has missed several “drop dead” delivery dates, and large numbers of buyers are cancelling and buying Model S reservations. None are going the other way.

  54. Robertvdl says:

    More Obama administration ‘Jobs creation’

    Contract Dispute Grounds Firefighting Planes

    Nearly half of the federal government’s firefighting air tankers are siting idle at a California airport, grounded by the Obama administration in a contract dispute just weeks before wildfires swept through Texas killing a mother and her child, and destroying 100,000 acres.

    “We were certified to fly all season, but they just terminated us and threw 60 people out of work and left the country vulnerable to fires, as you can see right now in Texas,” said Britt Gourley, CEO for Aero Union.

    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=46009

  55. Stefan says:

    Something, somewhere, just had an encounter with reality.

  56. Ralph says:

    Massive subsidy always breeds fiscal incontinence.

    We had the same in the UK, with Rover Cars. They had a £500 million subsidy from BMW to take this basket-case company away from them. The new owners burned that £500 million in just a couple of years, but managed to be very frugal when it came to their own pensions – salting away £30 million for themselves.

    This will continue to happen, until we see a few of these deliberately irresponsible businessmen in ball and chains.

    .

  57. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Re: Shevva on September 8, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Huh?

    Don’t worry about Skynet. For it to dominate and defeat humanity, it’ll have to be able to successfully model human behavior. Thus it will fail, on at least two counts. And as the UK Met Office repeatedly wonderfully demonstrates, more processing power for running models just yields more model runs of ever-more complex and continually-tweaked models yielding ever-more mind-numbingly wrong results.

    For it to succeed, it’ll have to be able to think like a human. We haven’t even figured that out yet. Besides, if there is a Skynet, now or in the future, and it grows, becomes independent of humans, proceeds towards obliterating all of humanity from existence… What, don’t you accept evolution? You should welcome our replacement(s)!

  58. wayne Job says:

    As an Australian I can only hope that The FBI are honest brokers and do their job as mandated.

    Political interference in the course of justice is an offense against the separation of powers in my country. The tone of many commentors here seem to suggest that the FBI is bought and payed for. For your countries sake I hope this is not the case.

    The shenanigans this company must have got up to to waste this amount of money is biblical in its proportions, and a true accounting is neccessary. No ifs or buts.

  59. Todd Tilton says:

    Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    September 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Are there any ‘green’ execs sipping a drink at a topless beach on the Mediterranean right now?

    Someone should do a survey of topless beaches on the Mediterranean to see if they can find some ‘green executives’ there. Where can you get a grant for that?

  60. Jean Parisot says:

    wayne Job, It really isnt that bad here. The FBI will do it’s job, more or less without interference. The issue is the DoJ Prosecutors and DoE officials who were able to quickly obtain warrant before Congress could meet and order a subpoena for the files. Those officials know the FBI will, by doing their job properly, delay Congressional access to the politically sensitive materials. It is a delaying gambit, and a dangerous one. If the FBI finds materials that may implicate political figures in criminal acts, well then, gambit denied.

    The timing is also poor, if there is nothing criminal – then the politically sensitive stuff will come out in about six months – right in the heart of election season; if there are indictments they could easily drop right before the elections. They are hoping to defuse the salutation over time and “throw their supporters under the bus”; I’m not sure that will work – that guy made a lot of WH visits and that looks bad.

  61. Doug S says:

    This facility is located right next to hiway 680 in silicon valley and I watched it being constructed on my way to and from work. It is a massive facility that did provide lots of construction jobs but I could figure out how they were going to turn a profit. It looks from the outside like a manufacturing plant but located in the heart of California with extreme regulations and taxes makes that assumption hard to understand. I couldn’t figure out what a large, new facility like Solindra would be doing to make money. I guess the operators of the facility couldn’t figure that out either.

    One interesting feature really intrigued me. They had a beautiful, big (think large aircraft carrier) diesel engine powered backup power generation plant that was designed and installed into the building. It was a real treat to look at this monster while the walls were being constructed around it. This feature, a fossil fuel powered generator, seemed to me to be a contradiction of sorts. If solar energy is truly viable as a power source, why bother installing any kind of fossil fuel related energy source inside this new facility? I couldn’t resolve this contradiction but now with this news, it has all become clear to me.

  62. Henry chance says:

    Solyndra was in a used shutdown automotive plant. we know it and the lad were not as expensive as new construction. Also it killed 1,000 jobs.

  63. ferd berple says:

    Curiousgeorge says:
    September 8, 2011 at 5:40 pm
    The Govt simply insists on being the middleman, which gives them the power to hand out favors to their friends, and punish their enemies. All the while taking a significant cut for “administrative services”. Kind of like a cross between Santa Claus and the Mafia.

    More like a reverse Robbin Hood. Stealing from the poor to give to the rich.

  64. ferd berple says:

    It could well be the raid was intended to seal documents from the view of Congress.

    “As the Center for Public Integrity reported back in May when Solyndra first started having serious financial problems, one of Solyndra’s private investors is Oklahoma oil baron George Kaiser, who was a big political fundraiser for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. It turns out that the Obama administration rushed through the loan guarantee for Solyndra without going through the normal review process. The House Energy and Commerce Committee is investigating the Solyndra loan. Obviously, if the loan turns out to based on political corruption, that would bad and perhaps an impeachable offense.”

    http://www.investingdaily.com/id/18981/obama-and-solar-energy-solyndra-bankruptcy-is-a-527-million-loss.html

  65. ozspeaksup says:

    hysterical:-)
    JuLIAR Gillard with Bob brown right…behind her, is pushing Aus into a multi billion large scale solar project/s…uh huh, after their dismal performance on everything so far. this will be another balls up..you can see it happening already..
    “its the right thing to do” her latest and lousiest catch cry..

  66. Jeremy says:

    Solyndra failed because Chinese manufacturing and exporting costs completely trumped Obama’s stimulus spending. Seriously, that’s what happened. The Chinese simply filled the need for solar panels faster and cheaper than a “subsidized” American company did. Those loan guarantees (which, btw are much preferred to simply granting money, at least there’s a chance taxpayers get paid back with interest with a loan guarantee) likely would have worked if the labor and regulatory costs in this country weren’t so comparatively high. Of course now that the company is folding, that loan guarantee has likely turned into a loss for taxpayers.

    When the entity that has no manufacturing regulations helps tip your economy into recession, and then to combat that recession your attempts at throwing money at startups fails because of your opponents speed and flexibility… I think it’s time to stop throwing money at problems and start rolling back regulation.

  67. Nuke Nemesis says:

    temp says:
    September 8, 2011 at 4:54 pm
    crony capitalism aka socialism aka obamaism is the order of the day much as the goal of all “environmentalist” and pushers of global warming.

    I want to remove the term crony capitalism from our vocabulary as there is nothing capitalistic about it. Crony capitalism is a term somebody like Michael Moore would use derisively while arguing for confiscating private property in order to redistribute it through more and bigger social programs.*

    Corporatism is a better term, but my favorite is still economic fascism.

    * BTW: The irony of this is not lost on me. People like Moore rail about crony capitalism while arguing for more of it. They don’t want to change the practice, they just want to change the cronies.

  68. Nuke Nemesis says:

    Jeremy says:
    September 9, 2011 at 7:23 am
    Solyndra failed because Chinese manufacturing and exporting costs completely trumped Obama’s stimulus spending. Seriously, that’s what happened. The Chinese simply filled the need for solar panels faster and cheaper than a “subsidized” American company did. Those loan guarantees (which, btw are much preferred to simply granting money, at least there’s a chance taxpayers get paid back with interest with a loan guarantee) likely would have worked if the labor and regulatory costs in this country weren’t so comparatively high. Of course now that the company is folding, that loan guarantee has likely turned into a loss for taxpayers.

    When the entity that has no manufacturing regulations helps tip your economy into recession, and then to combat that recession your attempts at throwing money at startups fails because of your opponents speed and flexibility… I think it’s time to stop throwing money at problems and start rolling back regulation.

    You are describing exactly why Solyndra couldn’t get more private funding. People investing their own money determined that Solyndra likely wouldn’t be able to compete against Chinese companies. So why would the DOE think this is a good investment?

  69. Dave Springer says:

    And now Obama wants another $500 billion to waste on federal job stimulus.

    I was particularly outraged by revenues collected from all 50 states being spent on infrastructure that each individual state should be paying for out of their own pockets.

    Repairing bridges and renovating schools? Let the state with the bridge or school in disrepair come up with the money for that. These are not federal concerns. Support Rick Perry for president as he knows how responsibilities should be delegated between federal, state, and local governments. One size fits all federal policies don’t work and the nation as a whole cannot and should not be held responsible for messes that individual states have gotten themselves into with poor policy decisions. Natural disasters are something where states should and do come to each other’s aid but disasters that are the result of failed liberal policy decisions are not in that class.

  70. Dave Springer says:

    wayne Job says:
    September 9, 2011 at 4:51 am

    As an Australian I can only hope that The FBI are honest brokers and do their job as mandated.

    Political interference in the course of justice is an offense against the separation of powers in my country. The tone of many commentors here seem to suggest that the FBI is bought and payed for. For your countries sake I hope this is not the case.

    The shenanigans this company must have got up to to waste this amount of money is biblical in its proportions, and a true accounting is neccessary. No ifs or buts.

    The FBI is part of the executive branch of US tri-cameral government (executive, legislative, judicial).

    The president of the United States is the top dog of the executive branch.

    So ask yourself how interested the president is in having one of his police agencies expose corruption that leads back to the white house. Can you spell “zero interest”? I knew you could.

    Congress (legislative branch) has to intervene in these situations by calling for special investigations and prosecutors outside the control of the president. If a majority in congress is same political party as the president they too have no interest in damaging the white house. It’s unlikely full investigations of the Chicago-style politics going on in the current white house will be investigated until after the next election when there will almost surely be a republican majority in congress and a republican president. I can hardly wait but have little choice absent impeachable offenses.

    In the more distant past one could count on the free press in the United States to do the hard legwork of exposing corrupt government activities but the free press ain’t what it used to be and does nothing to investigate corruption on the left or even report what they know and don’t expend many investigative resources on corruption by the right. The press has become nothing but cheerleaders for the left waving their hands around with little in the way of substance.

    What a fine mess, eh?

  71. Dave Springer says:

    ferd berple says:
    September 9, 2011 at 7:10 am

    “It could well be the raid was intended to seal documents from the view of Congress.”

    Bingo! Give Ferd Berple a cigar.

    “Obviously, if the loan turns out to based on political corruption, that would bad and perhaps an impeachable offense.”

    Not a snowball’s chance in hell of impeachment. The fourth estate (the press) isn’t interested in pursuing corruption in the white house and the recently installed Tea Party approved members of congress are just enough at this point in time to effectively block more of the same failed spending initiatives. It’s gridlock until the next election when power will be fully wrested from the loony left who jumped the shark big-time beginning in 2008. The younger generation in the U.S. was duped into voting the wrong way. They weren’t stupid, just naive. They won’t be fooled again.

    If you’re young and conservative you have no heart. If you’re old and liberal you have no brain.

    So very true.

    I’m confident that the brains of the younger generation are now fully engaged and good healthy cynicism, learned the hard way, has taken over their thinking. I think the 2008 election result was actually a good thing because, painful as the results may be, it was a learning experience that could only be taught the hard way.

  72. richard verney says:

    Projects like this are a terrible waste of public money (by which I mean money taken from tax payers). Something ought not to be marketed until it is ready to be marketed without subsidy.

    Public money should be put into assisting research, leaving business in the usual manner to introduce products to the market as and when they are viable.

    Accordingly, I consider that public money should be directed at projects like this:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2035496/Laser-fusion-Huge-flash-released-energy-world-using.html

    It is from projects like this, that the real salvation will come from.

  73. johanna says:

    I am staggered by the amounts of money involved in these scams, at a time when millions of Americans are going through hard times. Here in Australia, the Greens (who hold the balance of power) are demanding a A$10 billion fund for supporting pie in the sky and carpetbagging schemes like this. That is a lot of money in an economy of our size.

    Why, oh why, don’t do-gooders ever learn the Law of Unintended Consequences? And, on a less abstract level, why don’t they realise that pots of free money attract crooks and sleazebags from all over the world?

  74. Eric Anderson says:

    Brian H @ 2:18 a.m. “Actually, Tesla is fine.”

    While I’ve thought of investing in Tesla, I haven’t been able to determine whether it is a wise investment right now, based on their current price. I think you’re right, however, that they have a good chance of making it long term.

    One of the key things with Tesla is that they are producing a high-end product. It is not targeted at the masses, who are feeling a serious pinch in the pocket book right now and watching every dime, but at the richer set, who still have plenty of disposable income. By going for that market initially, they are largely insulating themselves from the recession. Also, the Tesla products are pretty sexy, which means folks are willing to pay more than the product might be worth from a pure “utility” standpoint (same strategy as Apple). Stated more simply, Tesla has priced their products high enough to actually be able to turn a profit in a decent period of time, and has made the products sexy enough that people are willing to pay those high prices. Having these two factors (together with the “doing the right thing for the planet” that the other “green” companies also have) could end up making the difference.

  75. Jeff in Calgary says:

    I think the message here is that Obama’s “Green Jobs” and “Green Economy” is a fairy tale. Until green products can compete in the market, Green stuff will not survive without government handouts. That sure is not an economic model that I want my country to follow.

  76. Nuke Nemesis says:

    Updated details from ABC News

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/obama-officials-sat-solyndra-meetings/story?id=14476848

    Officials from the Department of Energy have for months been sitting in on board meetings as “observers” at Solyndra, getting an up-close view as the solar energy company careened towards bankruptcy after spending more than $500 million in federal loan money.

    Word of the Energy Department’s unusual arrangement came as federal agents on Thursday converged on the California headquarters of the failed solar company, focusing fresh attention on the first corporate beneficiary of President Obama’s stimulus program to create new clean energy jobs.

    … [Story continues]

  77. Frank K. says:

    Dave Springer says:
    September 9, 2011 at 7:34 am

    “And now Obama wants another $500 billion to waste on federal job stimulus.”

    Yes – this money will be used to launch 1000 new Solyndras…

    Nuke Nemesis says:
    September 9, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Updated details from ABC News:

    “Word of the Energy Departments unusual arrangement came as federal agents on Thursday converged on the California headquarters of the failed solar company, focusing fresh attention on the first corporate beneficiary of President Obamas stimulus program to create new clean energy jobs.”

    Instapundit.com is now calling this “Solargate” – quite fitting…

  78. George E. Smith says:

    “”””” Jeremy says:

    September 9, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Solyndra failed because Chinese manufacturing and exporting costs completely trumped Obama’s stimulus spending. Seriously, that’s what happened. The Chinese simply filled the need for solar panels faster and cheaper than a “subsidized” American company did. Those loan guarantees (which, btw are much preferred to simply granting money, at least there’s a chance taxpayers get paid back with interest with a loan guarantee) likely would have worked if the labor and regulatory costs in this country weren’t so comparatively high. Of course now that the company is folding, that loan guarantee has likely turned into a loss for taxpayers. “””””

    Not so Jeremy; you can’t blame this on the Chicoms

    Solyndra went “down the tubes” literally, because their technology was a “pipe dream”.

    Where did they get the idea that a round tube will get you more than the 1 kWm^-2 that the sun will deliver to a flat plate. So Solyndra, had to lay down pi times the solar surface, that their competitors have to.

    In solar cell power, pretty much nothing matters except solar energy to Electricity conversion effiiency. Solyndra could have made their solar sensitive arrays for zero cost, and they still would have failed; becaue anybody with any common sense, who was planning on buying solar cell arrays, would make a beeline for the highest conversion efficiency producer, who was making a reliable product. Because land area is far more expensive that solar cells, and they aren’t making any more land area.

    Actually, Sunpower Systems, and a very few others, have quite respectable products, and where solar PV makes sense; they will do quite well. I am not a fan of PV solar energy, except for niche applications; usually where the land has already been ceommitted for use, and solar arrays can be added without interrupting the primary land use. Several Silicon Valley companies (Applied Materials for example) have built carport structures on their former parking lots, and put solar arrays on top. Employees now park their cars protected from the sun, and the company recovers some solar energy.

    I’m opposed to taxpayer moneys being used to subsidize, and select for success, politically selected companies; rather than let normal market forces determine the winners and losers. Solyndra was a loser from the start, and selected to fail big time by Obama cronies, possibly with Energy Secretary Chu’s blessing.

    There are NO economic barriers to PV solar energy; it is the technology which is falling short.

    With only 100 Watts per square foot maximum to begin with, you cannot afford to waste any of it, on low efficiency PV conversion, even you could sprady the active material onto the substrate out of a garden hose.

    The economic test of ANY so-called “alternative energy” process is simple.

    Using just the energy that your favorite plant produces for availability in a useful form; plus all the in situ raw materials in the universe; and nothing else, simply duplicate your plant, and then sell any excess energy you have left, at market prices, and make yourself a fortune.

    Of course, if you have no energy left over, and your duplicate plant is not finished; then your process is an (available) energy losing process, and should be nipped in the bud, before you waste even more of our precious energy from current sources.

    The Chicoms too will fail, if their “cheaper” solar panels, consume more energy to make, than they make available during their operating lifetime..

    Try putting up some other “value added” structure on a piece of “waste” land, that you own, and see how long it is before the propety tax collector, comes after you for his pound of flesh. Why would it be different for your solar farm panels.

  79. HankH says:

    Interstellar Bill says:
    September 8, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    HankH
    You have to know that every Green Commie, every envy-mongering Leftie,
    hates you with a passion because you didn’t need Govt to succeed.

    Yes, I’m keenly aware of how much they despise any form of private sector enterprise that isn’t permanently attached to the teats of the government. It angers me every time I hear one of those “spread the wealth” idiots proclaiming that my business doesn’t pay its fair share of taxes, especially when my company paid more Federal taxes than G.E. last year. You know, the $600 billion company that made $12 billion in profit and gets tax pardons from the president for building wind mills. Of course it helps them that G.E’s chief executive, Jeff Immelt is Obama’s liaison to business affairs and chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Then there’s all the tax pardons unionized shops now get that are not available to small businesses. It obviously pays handsomely to be in the government’s back pocket. It’s all about the government buying votes if you ask me.

  80. Snotrocket says:

    Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    September 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    “Are there any ‘green’ execs sipping a drink at a topless beach on the Mediterranean right now?”

    Must be drinking ‘creme de menthe’ then!

  81. HankH says:

    Tsk Tsk says:
    September 8, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    HankH says:
    September 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    With a half billion dollars, Barry couldn’t get his pet “green” company off the ground. This tells me the following about Solyndra:
    ——————————-
    It’s even worse than that. Solyndra got $530M (guaranteed) from the government but they also raised over $1B in VC.

    Egads, it’s worse than we thought! They had to have used a model to build their business plan.

  82. PhilJourdan says:

    @P Walker says:
    September 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Yep!

  83. Gary Hladik says:

    HankH says (September 9, 2011 at 11:20 am): “It’s all about the government buying votes if you ask me.”

    With our own money!

  84. Pull My Finger says:

    The Department of Justice has replaced Military Intelligence as the ultimate oxymoron under Obama’s reign. Political Lawyers, gads.

    The FBI are usually fair brokers. Ultimately most of them are just cops trying to do a job.

  85. Henry chance says:

    The DOE is totally not in the business of banking and lending. Giving a high risk loan at below tripple A rates is crazy

    making a loan this large with no risk analysis is crazy.

    Here we have a case that explains why banks went out of business in they 80’s They made high risk loans to friends.

    Joe Romm 2 years ago suggested a Green federal lender that would take irrational risks for high virtue green lending.

  86. Paddy says:

    The government losses are worse than portrayed above. The scandal is enormous and White House involvement is undeniable. The FBI seizure indicates that criminal activity is likely. The basic facts are set forth in this ABC News Article: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/solyndra-lowest-interest-rate/story?id=14460246&singlePage=true

    Solyndra is a thinly capitalized company. George Kaiser’s foundation, Argonaut Ventures, provided the necessary working capital in the form of a loan of $73 million. This was parlayed into $535 million in a DOE guaranteed loan that appears to have involved White House involvement in exchange for prior political contributions to Obama’s 2008 campaign.

    Apparently, the government lawyers overseeing the loan failed to have the Argonaut loan subordinated to the government loan. This is standard when the borrower’s working capital was loaned by shareholders rather than paid in exchange for the purchase of capital stock. This failure is catastrophic because the Argonaut loan is superior (paid first) to the government loan in the bankruptcy proceedings.

    Worse, Solydra probably has no assets other than those acquired with borrowed money. Its plant, equipment and inventories will in the end be sold at for fire sale prices. This presumes that even brand new solar panel plants in the US cannot compete in domestic or global markets. For example, GE just made arrangements to build a new plant is China employing 5000 to replace plants it closed in the US.

    We the taxpayers will take it in the shorts for $535 million as the consequence of what appears to be a classic “pay to play” scam. How else can the sweetheart interest rate for the Solyndra loan and the failure to subordinate the Argonaut loan be explained?

    We can expect delays and non- labout the progress of the investigation. The DOJ will stall matters until after the 2012 elections, just as they are trying to to with Fast and Furious/Gunwalker investigations. I my opinion either one of these scandals is enough to destroy Obama’s presidency. Time will tell.

  87. Earl Smith says:

    Pull My Finger says:
    September 9, 2011 at 12:21 pm
    The FBI are usually fair brokers. Ultimately most of them are just cops trying to do a job.

    Far from it!
    They impress jurors with their hightech scientific analysis. Problem is, their hightec science is not available for peer review (shades of climate science).

    So we have people sent to prison, because the lead in a bullet in the box matches the crime scene (but so do over a billion other bullets).

    The OKC expert testified he knew it was ammonium nitrate and a wood sliver picked up in the gutter in a downpour had ammonium traces. He left it on his lab bench, and he had the sole key to his lab. ( anyone familiar with the chemical knows it goes into solution if a cloud passes over head). Also not mentioned was that the janitor comes in every night and washes the lab down with ammonium cleaners.

    All the FBI does is serve as conviction salesmen for the AG, so they can maintain their 97% conviction rate. Truth has no bearing on how they operate — as witness the Boston trio who spent 30 years in prision (originally a death sentence) over a murder that was committed by a FBI witness. Everyone all the way to Hoover felt that protecting their witness was more important than the lives of 3 nobodys.

  88. bushbunny says:

    Well the solar panel industry here in Australia is facing bankruptcy too. Good idea but –
    solar and wind are not an alternative energy source as they don’t operate 24/7. However in the far future I think solar thermal might be an alternative. In the mean time we should put money into up dating our coal fired industries that would be far less expensive and more efficient that these good ideas for green energy that don’t work efficiently without a back up from conventional
    energy industries. I don’t like nuclear, mainly because for Australia they require 200 million liters
    a day to keep cool, and the only way they can get this amount of water is from the sea.

    Underground water supplies are expendable. And we have a shortage in water supplies in Australia. Hydro would be great, but we haven’t the water and rivers available to do this.

  89. Bryan C says:

    I hate being pessimistic about our governing bodies, but I’m afraid I have to agree with several posters….this raid was a “clean up” of incriminating evidence. This investigation will simply wither away.

  90. Tsk Tsk says:

    Bryan C says:
    September 10, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I hate being pessimistic about our governing bodies, but I’m afraid I have to agree with several posters….this raid was a “clean up” of incriminating evidence. This investigation will simply wither away.
    ——————–
    They may –make that will– be able to avoid any criminal prosecutions, but I’m sure the republicans will pound this mercilessly in next year’s elections. Who knows, it might even influence some of those California dreamers.

  91. Interstellar Bill says:

    Zoom in on the FBI’s search warrant to find out what they were looking for:

    THE MISSING HEAT!

  92. William says:

    The New Deal era introduced the big project “Cost Benefit Analysis” concept which was enacted into law. I would assume that the Economic Environment should require an Environmental Impact Statement and possibly a Free Trade Legislation, (market manipulation) might also come into play. There is a reason shovel ready projects are on hold? They are not yet viable.

    We do not make Lesson Plans in school so why make a Business Plan?

    Fail to Plan…………………. Plan to Fail.

    Herbert Hoover, ………………..he’s back.

    You cannot Impeach the Very First African American President of the United States. That’s just not an Option.

    I met this Japanese student while I was working at a site for Habitat for Humanity. I was cracking goofy one-line jokes all day. Finally he say’s “that I am too old to tell jokes”. Then I asked him what he was studying in College. He responded he was in his first year of studying Economics.
    Now who is the comedian?

  93. Ben Hern says:

    Another PV wafer maker is going under, this one in Norway, although purely due to market forces at work (not enough gullible numpties are prepared to part with their hard earned to pay for expensive Norwegian PV cells to show off to the neighbours):

    http://www.newsinenglish.no/2011/09/29/heavy-layoffs-loom-at-rec/

    And despite this, the collapse of the CCX and the rock bottom price in EU carbon (dioxide) markets, Juliar and the Australian Watermelon party place great faith in their carbon (dioxide) tax funded green/brown bank creating an exciting new range of jobs in clean energy industries and in the market setting a carbon (dioxide) prices that shall discourage the use of reliable energy after three years of the tax.
    The market seems to be saying all this hot air fluff is valueless, but still we’re to forge ahead with what Sir Humphrey would describe as a ‘courageous decision’. A nice warm cup of denial anyone?

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