Nanny, Nanny, Boo-Boo, Team Red Did It Too: Solyndra Bankruptcy Update

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President Obama inspecting his "investment"

How I hate the puerility of politics! As we all know, the government-subsidized solar cell manufacturer and Obama administration poster-child for "Green Jobs," Solyndra went bust last month, leaving taxpayers to pay $535 million in federal loan guarantees. Team Red cheerleaders quickly suggested hanky panky by pointing out that the investment fund Argonaut Ventures, run by billionaire George Kaiser who is a prominent campaign bundler for Obama, was a big investor in the failed solar plant. 

In a turn-about-is-fair-play mode, Team Blue flunkies are now crowing that the Bush administration also favored the Solyndra subsidies and that a private investment firm, Madrone Capital Partners, associated with the Walton (Walmart) family also lost money on the deal. The Waltons apparently contribute to Team Red candidates. 

Puhleeze! Bluesters and Redsters, y'all are missing the obvious and crucial main point: The federal government had no business subsidizing Solyndra (or any other firm) in the first place. Until you both understand that point, please be quiet. 

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  1. Solynda Green is people… from both parties putting us in the red.

    1. course to libtoid corporatists, company mgmt cannot be at fault. no, its the black guy’s fault in washington.

      1. Wait, wait. You’re not following standard operating procedure. You’re only allowed to play the race card when democrats are bashed.

        FoE clearly blames both parties for our situation. You’re gonna have to go back to your handbook to see how to react against a bipartisan jab.

        1. The handbook says, that if its bipartisan then your team only did it for the best of intentions while the other team did it because they like to drown kittens.

  2. The President Bush ,a president that the leftists hated and called a moron, did it argument is not a good argument.

    1. ^^^^This

      “Bush did it too!!!” Whatever happened to hope and change? No wonder everyone I know, lefties included, is disgusted with Obama.

    2. I really like it when leftists use that argument in a debate with me. I can actually hear their brain grinding to a halt when I tell them that I hated Bush too.

      1. You didn’t hate him enough, and you secretly supported his free market, totally deregulatory ways.

        1. “deregulatory” I almost blew coffee out of my nose. If only.

          1. If he had been, I daresay we’d not be having the economic crisis we are today.

      2. You didn’t hate him for the same reason(s). You are still an infidel.

  3. The federal government had no business subsidizing Solyndra (or any other firm) in the first place. Until you both understand that point, please be quiet.

    Come on Ron. They both understand that quite well. They also don’t give a damn. Hypocricy and power go hand-in-hand.

    Am I too cynical?

    1. Am I too cynical?

      Is that even possible anymore?

    2. I suffer the cynic’s anxiety: Am I being cynical enough?

      1. Am I being cynical enough?

        Is that even possible anymore?

  4. So if both parties participate in the corruption, then they are both relieved of responsibility for it? What the hell kind of sense does that make? If you want to perp walk some Bush apparatchik you got Solynda a bunch of money they didn’t deserve in return for campaign cash, be my guest. But while we are doing that, lets make sure we get the people who are guilty and in power as well.

    1. No, they’re right. All Democrats and Republicans must leave public office right now.

      1. I don’t think that is quite what they have in mind.

        1. Really? But if they’re all corrupt, shouldn’t they all go?

          1. They’ll go all right–all the way to the top.

            1. That’s right, though.

  5. I don’t care if Repubs did it too (albeit to a much smaller extent). The fact is the Dems got caught holding the bag with their hand in the cookie jar and their pants around their ankles.

    If they aren’t punished for blatant and obvious graft, rent-seeking, and collusion, then the message will be clear: have at it boys, because even if it goes tits up, you’ll get off scott-free.

    1. I, for one, don’t accept the defense, “Other people do it.” Since we know a large number of politicians are venal and otherwise corrupt, we have to smash the ones we catch.

      I’ve said this a hundred times here before, but why we apply a lesser standard to politicians than we do to pretty much anyone else is beyond me. I think we should apply Caesar’s maxim about wives to our public officials: “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion.”

      1. I’d extend that to anyone who holds a government job. We should expect honesty and probity, and we should damn well get it. If you, as an officeholder/bureaucrat/cop/whatever, get busted you should get increased penalties, not lesser ones. I’m thinking double what a member of the public would get should serve as a starting point

        1. Yes, I agree.

        2. While the theory sounds good, equal protection under the law and all that trumps theory.

          1. equal protection under the law and all that trumps theory.

            Joe Biden (sponsor of VAWA) would like a word with you.

          2. Actually, there’s precedent. For instance, if you go and beat up an old lady or a cop, instead of it merely being battery, you’ll get aggravated battery.

      2. I stand behind my standard:

        trebled penalties for crimes committed as a government employee.

        Off-duty, you are just a regular citizen, but if you commit the crime while performing your job? Triple it up.

        1. That’s the way it should be, except that those are the people making the rules.

        2. RICO by default for all government employees. I like it.

    2. …Dems got caught holding the bag with their hand in the cookie jar and their pants around their ankles.

      Wow, they were multitasking like crazy before they got caught.

      1. I suggest they split-up the cookie jar and pants duties between two people. [JOBBBBS!]

        1. I think Weiner is looking for a job….

  6. TEAM RED totally tried to shut down Gibson too, I bet.

    1. And if they did, that makes it okay I guess. If Republicans do it, it must be right. Kind of an odd argument for a Democrat to be making wouldn’t you say?

      1. The thing about The Gibson, is that it will piss off a lot of people others admire (e.g., BB King).

        1. The Gibson Raid

        2. It is downright horrific an unbelievably tin eared. Gibson is an iconic American product. Why don’t they raid Levis and Coca Cola factories next.

          1. You may have a future with the administration.

  7. Cynical bastards! Both parties want to spread the wealth around, in a manner of speaking.

  8. Bipartisanship. Noun.
    1: Two groups of statists uniting for the common purpose of fucking over the American people.

    Ib the true spirit of bipartisanship, Team Red and Team Blue gave the citizens’ money to a flimsy solar energy company, which ultimately achieved the same result as flushing it down the toilet.

    1. No, someone benefited.

      1. “No, someone benefited.”

        The banks that gave the guaranteed loan, the bureaucrat that got paid to push the paper, the agents who got paid to raid the houses, and of course the federal government that further cemented its ability to decide and intervene in whatever it wants whenever it wants and no mainstream media to question it

        1. Cui bono is always the key question in politics.

      2. Yeah, whoever’s pockets that missing half a billion is in, I would say they benefited.

  9. The federal government had no business subsidizing Solyndra (or any other firm) in the first place.

    The devil you say!

  10. So according to the timeline Bush sent the Solyndra deal before a DOE credit review committee just one day before President Obama is inaugurated. The committee remands the loan back to DOE because it wasn’t ready for conditional commitment.

    The final deal was finished in September 2009.

    So Bush pushed for the deal, but it was denied by a “committee consisting of career civil servants with financial expertise”. Obama took the baton and continued to assist in getting the deal done.

    I guess the question remains- what happened between the denial of the original push for the loan and the subsequent approval?

      1. Exactly.

    1. what happened between the denial of the original push for the loan and the subsequent approval?

      I suspect sustained attention from a White House that had pocketed large campaign contributions from major investors.

  11. In a turn-about-is-fair-play mode, Team Blue flunkies are now crowing that the Bush administration also favored the Solyndra subsidies and that a private investment firm, Madrone Capital Partners, associated with the Walton (Walmart) family also lost money on the deal

    The ‘defence’ by the Energy dept over their choice to guarantee the half-billion in loans tp the company was… “Private investors also thought it was a good deal”.

    Actually here’s the previously posted quote:

    “Sophisticated, professional private investors, who put more than $1 billion of their own money behind Solyndra, came to the same conclusion as the Department: that Solyndra was an extremely promising company with innovative technology and a very good investment

    And my take on that was basically, “yeah, why *wouldn’t* ‘private investors’ want to take advantage of the fact that the company was using political connections to secure sweetheart deals, and possibly even get regulations/mandates in their favor, as well as possibly tons of business ‘Greening up’ federal buildings… its the perfect crime, batman!

    The defence that “others lost money as well” is a pretty shitty explanation for why taxpayer dollars were being invested in politically-connected start-ups with tenuous future prospects. Whether it is Team Red or Team Blue connections (its both!) that got boku $$ handed to them by politicians…who gives a fuck? Even if the company had been viable and became profitable… there is still a question about why The Federal Government gives favors to some specific-companies based on shady and arbitrary criteria.

    “‘And we would have gotten away with it to, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!'”..

    1. Yeah, this is like arguing that Bank of America must be a class outfit because Warren Buffet just invested in them.

      Buffet bought Bank of America stock because he assumes they’ll be bailed out again and he’ll clean up the way he did during the last round of bank bailouts.

      1. Buffet bought Bank of America stock because he assumes they’ll be bailed out again and he’ll clean up the way he did during the last round of bank bailouts

        Uh, not really. The actual deal he did was provide them capital without them having to go to other institutional creditors. Or at least give them a shot in the arm for long enough so that they COULD go to other creditors (e.g. the markets) without either having to pay exhorbitant terms or having to float as much debt. If they signaled a need to raise more capital immediately, the markets would punish them even worse than they already have. Having an ‘angel’ like Buffett throw you $5bn is worth the price he’s charging.

        He didn’t go out and buy their class-A shares on the open market – he bought $5bn of preferred shares paying 6%, and got warrants for 700 million shares. I don’t know what the option strike-prices were, but its possible (likely) they were in the money *at the time of purchase*. Meaning, they were using options almost like a form of cash.

        The point is, he doesn’t care about a government bailout = he made money on the deal *the moment it closed*.

        Also, he did himself a favor by giving them some life-support when he did. He’s got billions in the markets – stabilizing BOA at a moment of crisis helped keep the markets from broadly tanking. The deal was in his interest not just from the guaranteed-profit POV

  12. Hey, team Other jumped off a cliff!! You go jump the fuck off a cliff like the other team did, and get back to me…

    Fucksticks

    1. If jumping off a cliff polls well, you can be sure we will jump, and jump further than ever if elected.

  13. The interesting story isn’t really the loan, but the bankruptcy settlement: the company’s bankruptcy plan would basically guarantee that the $850 million or so in assets would fall into Argonaut’s hands, as they’re the senior creditor and the plan calls for a lightning-quick sale in 30 days. In other words, Argonaut and Kaiser would see a $750M return on their loans to the company, and Energy would lose every penny of the $528M it gave the company.

    1. Yeah, this part is even more troubling as this is the reverse of what happened with Chrysler.

  14. All of the above being said, let’s remember that the graft really isn’t the important thing here.

    Let’s say the Feds were being completely honest and no graft were involved at all. Would that make the Solyndra investment any better?

    They showered taxpayer money on a company that failed. That indicts their policy whether they did so corruptly or “honestly”.

    1. FWIW, I don’t actually think there’s much there on the political-corruption angle. It’s looking like Solyndra’s execs were misrepresenting the firm’s condition, a la Enron, but whether any administration/DoE officials are complicit in that depends on when the loan was given.

      But your point is absolutely correct: showering taxpayer money on a company whose technology had never been shown to work outside a laboratory is indefensible.

      1. I agree with this. As has been said, never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

        Bush tried up to his last day in office to get this loan approved and was denied. This makes him look dumb for attempting to shower taxpayer money on a company whose technology had never been shown to work outside a laboratory. And the DOE review committee at the time agreed it wasn’t a viable business (yet) and denied the loan.

        But Obama, as he has been want to do, decided to take yet another of Bush’s failed policies and doubled down by continuing to push for the loan. He get it approved and Solyndra promptly pissed away a half a billion dollars.

        And as GSL points out above, there is something odd about the government NOT being the primary creditor in the bankruptcy proceedings. They normally get preferred status.

        The only potential for malice in this case is the situation involving preferred creditor status, which certain investors appear to have in front of the biggest contributor, which is the Government.

        That part doesn’t seem “only” attributable to stupidity.

  15. It’s looking like Solyndra’s execs were misrepresenting the firm’s condition, a la Enron, but whether any administration/DoE officials are complicit in that depends on when the loan was given.

    The obvious question here is, “Why would anyone believe bureaucrats at the Dept of Energy are qualified to be venture capitalists?”

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