Once, there were "green" deals:
"Juice" from the Sun 
Claimed that the dollars
Like rivers, from it, run
Turns ... out, a "blue sky" 
As dark clouds grow above
Bush disapproved it;
Obama gave a shove(-l) 
B'rack and his cronies extolled
Slew: "green" deals 
"Green" deals are gone now
Bucks: get back none 
Us? Our tax dollars?
Like blood, see: from wound, run
Gone: half a billion
Loot shlepped bought 'Bama's heart 
Gone to the donors
It funded dreams, not smart 
Watch as our greenbacks, a "sea"
Turn to foam
We'll never know
How many more "in play"
Stimulus: $ Ten million --
-- Per job: High ... price to pay 
We only know
There's nothing left for us
Nothing of our tax bucks
Just a "stimul-bust"
Barack keeps on trying
'Spite of the burn
Four hundred billion
Why won't he ever learn? 
He can't create jobs
By waving magic wand 
Only the markets
Of which he isn't fond
Let the "free markets" be free:
Jobs, again! 
 "Juice" = electricity (US only?) Also, mobster loan-shark slang for exorbitant interest rates on a loan. We taxpayers got zero interest and lost all of the principal (due to a bad principle, heh!). We were "juiced", all right: Squeezed dry and left to rot.
 "Blue Sky" -- "Kansas banking commissioner J. N. Dolley, railing against 'blue sky merchants' when pushing for passage of the Kansas (securities fraud) statute in 1910, observed that certain fraudulent investments were 'backed by nothing but the blue skies of Kansas'."
(Paging Patrick... Paging Patrick McWilliams....)
Since become a common term for stocks of fraudulent or groundless investment schemes, and the laws against them are commonly called "Blue Sky" laws. (So, when do the indictments start raining down - on the Solyndra execs, and *on the POTUS for applying pressure for approval*, despite the mountainous evidence that it was doomed from the start?)
 Gee, I wonder how that superfluous "-l" got in there?
Solyndra, a company that planned to build a new factory to make solar panels, applied for a Gov-guaranteed loan under President George W. Bush's Energy Policy Act of 2005. People who actually know something about business and investment, as opposed to career politicians, told Bush the proposal wasn't viable, and in fact, that their projections showed that the company would run out of money in September 2011. (Hold that thought!) The application was denied, very near the end of Bush's term.
President Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009. On March 20, 2009 - yes, your math is right, that's only two months later, and just over two months after the previous denial -- the Energy Dept. issued an enthusiastic press release, saying it would grant the $535 million loan guarantee, and that it would
".... create thousands of new jobs in the U.S. while deploying its solar panels across the U.S. and around the world.
"This investment is part of President Obama's aggressive strategy to put Americans back to work and reduce our dependence on foreign oil by developing clean, renewable sources of energy," Secretary Chu said. "We can create millions of new, good paying jobs that can't be outsourced. Instead of relying on imports from other countries to meet our energy needs, we'll rely on America's innovation, America's resources, and America's workers."
"Secretary Chu is moving aggressively to accelerate important Department of Energy investments that can create jobs and transform the way America uses and produces energy. This allows the Department of Energy to offer its first loan guarantee within the first two months of the Obama Administration...."
See the link in the outro.
"It was later revealed that the company's shareholders and executives had made substantial donations to Obama's campaign, that the company had spent a large sum of money on lobbying, and that Solyndra executives had had many meetings with White House officials."
The largest private investments in Solyndra were on behalf of billionaire George Kaiser, a major fundraiser for Obama in 2008. Kaiser himself donated $53,500 to Obama’s 2008 election campaign.
***He is logged as having visited the White House four times in the week or so before the loan was granted.***
(Hey! We though Obama *hated* rich people, and wanted to "soak them all"! ... Guess that's only if they don't raise funds for his election.)
Ben Bierman, executive vice president of operations and engineering for Solyndra, donated $5,500 to Obama’s election campaign. Karen Alter, senior vice president of marketing, donated $23,000 in 2008. Solyndra board members have donated at least another $27,400 to Democratic campaigns and affiliates.
CART BEFORE THE HORSE:
According to e-mails which were released exclusively to the Washington Post, the Obama administration had tried to rush federal reviewers to approve the loan so Vice President Joe Biden could announce it at a September 2009 groundbreaking for the company’s factory
This means that the groundbreaking, with Biden literally "shovel-ready" -- holding a shovel in his hands -- was actually scheduled *before* the loan approval was granted. Energy Dept. execs have complained that they were "pressured" to rush the approval process, (Would they have been pressured to rush a denial process? Just askin'... ) and kinda' thought that maybe the approval should have come before the groundbreaking was scheduled, rather than vice versa.
The Administration explained that it was in a hurry to get these jobs created!
(Or maybe in a hurry to get the unemployment numbers down as the 2012 race heats up? Once again, just askin'... but hold that thought, too.)
On August 31, 2011, Solyndra shut its doors, and employees were told to "pack up their things and leave".
Solyndra filed for bankruptcy on September 6, 2011. See the first paragraph of , where Bush's advisers projected that the company would run out of cash in September 2011. Employees received no notice, no severance pay, and not even their accumulated vacation and sick leave pay. Some are filing a class-action lawsuit, alleging deception in that the company constantly reassured them that everything was coming up roses.
(And their words were the "fertilizer". ;) Else, the workers surely would have taken (paid) vacations and sick time while seeking other employment.
Solyndra owes $783.8 million, including loans of $527.8 million to the federal government, according to documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. But if any proceeds are realized from sale of assets, guess who gets paid first? The answer is in the next f/n.
Before explaining the "restructuring" of the loan, which screwed us taxpayers even more, a brief bit of background. If you already know the meaning of "subordination" as it applies to loans, skip the explanation.
WHAT IS "SUBORDINATION"?
Let's forget these dreary times and go back to Happy Days, when the economy and housing markets were healthy.
Say you bought a home around 1999, financed by a $100,000 mortgage loan at the going rate back then of 8.5%. (for those with the best credit)
Let's also say that you later took out a Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit, for, say, $20,000. Perhaps to add a swimming pool or whatever. The bank who lent you the HEL has a "second mortgage" on your home: If the loans go into default, and the home is sold at auction, the bank with the first mortgage - the $100,000 loan -- gets first crack at the proceeds. Only if there is enough to repay them their principal, back interest, late fees, legal fees for the foreclosure, any property taxes they might have advanced, etc. -- will the 2nd-mtg. holder get anything: whatever is left, up to the amount of *their* judgment. The rule in such cases is, "First in time, first in right". In other words, whoever recorded the lien (mortgage) first has first claim. Still with us?
OK, now it's 2002. Interest rates have fallen to, say, 6%. You say, "Honey, we can refinance the mortgage at the lower rate, and save a couple of hundred dollars per month!" There will be some closing costs, perhaps a couple of thousand dollars, but the savings will make up for that within two years or so, and the next 20-odd years are pure gravy - money back in your pocket. Smart move! (Done by the econo-half of this pair *twice* as rates fell during that period.)
*But* -- when the old 1st mortgage is paid off, the second mortgage - the line of credit or home equity line - would normally "go to the head of the class" - -it now has first priority. Your new bank, who is paying off the $99,000 first mortgage (the principle went down a little as you made the monthly payments), isn't going to like the fact that *they* are in essence making a *second mortgage* loan, and that their priority will be *behind* the Home Equity line.
So they will ask the bank holding the Home Equity line to sign a "subordination" - *agreeing* to keep their lien (claim) *behind* the new first mortgage, despite having recorded their HELOC earlier than the New Bank.
*If* you have been making all payments on both loans faithfully, and in general kept your credit clean, the HELOC bank generally won't have a problem with that, especially if the total debt "in front" of them won't increase. (If you asked New Bank for a $150,000 loan, to get $50,000 "cash out" for whatever reason, HELOC bank will either balk, or require an appraisal of your home, to see if it's worth enough to cover both loans with a comfortable safety margin. But let's skip that, and go with just the same amount, for the lower interest rate.)
*That* is "subordination" -- voluntarily giving up your legal place in line to another creditor (lender).
OK, READY FOR SOLYNDRA AGAIN:
In February of 2011, Solyndra asked the Feds to "restructure" the loan. The details aren't pertinent, except for one thing: By law, such loans from the Energy Dept. *must* have first priority. Yet, in flagrant violation of same, the restructuring *included a subordination of the Fed loan to the new loans from private investors*. Like so:
"Under terms of the February loan restructuring, two private investors — Argonaut Ventures I LLC and Madrone Partners LP — stand to be repaid before the U.S. government if the solar company is liquidated. The two firms gave the company a total of $69 million in emergency loans. The loans are the only portion of their investments that have repayment priority above the U.S. government.
"Argonaut is an investment vehicle of the George Kaiser Family Foundation of Tulsa, Okla. The foundation is headed by billionaire George Kaiser, a major Obama campaign contributor and a frequent visitor to the White House. Kaiser raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama's 2008 campaign, federal election records show. Kaiser has made at least 16 visits to the president's aides since 2009, according to White House visitor logs."
Seems the subordination should be declared null and void. And the Obama Administration should be declared null and jailed. Might happen. More later.
 Their plan was simple: Produce solar panels at a cost of $6, and sell them for $3. As the old (ethnic) joke says, maybe they planned to make it up on volume? (TT: Even FG spotted the flaw in that plan, and without any help at all! Honest!) (ducks flying frying pan)
The "Green Jobs/Energy" portion of Obama's previous Stimulus Bill included about $38 billion for deals like this one. It is known to have created about 3,500 or so actual seemingly-permanent jobs, at an average cost to the taxpayers of about $10,000,000.00 (ten million dollars) per job created.
The authors, ever eager to be of public service, have agreed to split only one such job among themselves: Pay us each $5 million; we'll quit our current jobs, thus creating two more openings for others; still count ourselves as fully employed; and will enhance the economy by spending most of the money in the US, mainly at its beaches, mountains, 5-star hotels, fine restaurants, etc. And when we do make the occasional side trip to the Caribbean, we promise to fly on a US airline. Or charter a US private jet. ;-D
Hey, our plan eliminates the middleman!
Old saying: "Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result."
It's widely agreed that Bush's 2008 trillion-dollar bailout was a flop.
It's obvious that Obama's 800-billion dollar Stimulus bill isn't doing squat. ("But things would be worse without it!" Yeah? He sold it with the promise that it would get unemployment down to 8% or less. It didn't. Not even close. IOHO, things would have been *better* without it - this is one example -- but no need to debate that here. It did *not* fix anything, achieve its stated goal, or prevent the poverty rate from rising to the highest level since 1993, as it did in the most recent figures.)
Yet Obama is proposing almost half a trillion in "new" Stimulus, which is basically "same 'ol, same ol' ". Hardly even changed the wrapping. Same s**t, different day. (insert own cliché here.)
Just exactly how ineducable is he? And does he really think that we'll encourage our Congress to vote for it, despite massive (and unprecedented, in TT's feeble memory) TV campaigns urging us to urge our Reps to support it?
Pardon our cynicism, but we see this as yet another purely political ploy. (Does he have any other kind?) Knowing that Congress isn't quite that stupid, especially since Rep. Anthony Weiner's seat, which had been held by the Dems for 90+ years, went to a Republican in a district that voted for Obama by a 4-1 margin in 2008, the plan is: When Congress doesn't pass his bill, he'll campaign in 2012 that the even-worse economy (going out on a limb here) is all Congress's fault - for refusing to vote for the same stupidity for a third time. We'll see how that works out -- if he hasn't been indicted by then. See the next f/n.
Whoa! It looks like we're not such cynics after all!
"The optics of a Solyndra default will be bad," an OMB (Office of Management and Budget) official wrote in a Jan. 31 email to a colleague. "The timing will likely coincide with the 2012 campaign season heating up."
Indeed, it will.
"Questions will be asked as to why the administration made a bad investment, not just once (which could hopefully be explained as part of the challenge of supporting innovative technologies), but twice (which could easily be portrayed as bad judgment, or worse)," the email says.
Indeed, they will, and it was. (We just did.)
That not-so-magic wand may result in criminal prosecution - as it should.
It was revealed that the Obama administration had already been aware of Solyndra's financial troubles. According to the company's security filings in 2009, the company had been selling its product for less than the cost of production. An Associated Press review of regulatory filings shows that Solyndra was hemorrhaging hundreds of millions of dollars for *years* before the Obama administration signed off on the original $535 million loan guarantee.
Yet in May 2010, the company was personally promoted by President Obama in his visit as a model for government investment in green technology, (If that's the model, we'll pass on the copies, thanks.)
And even in the summer of 2011,
"This July, Solyndra's CEO visited my office as well as other members and talked about the strong demand for the company's products and how 2011 revenues were projected to double from 2010. Now as we all know, less than two months later, the company announced it would file for bankruptcy," committee ranking member Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) said in her opening statement at the Congressional hearing. "I'm perplexed how they could be in my office in July, telling me things were looking better and filing for bankruptcy two months later."
Pardon us, Congressperson, but we're not perplexed at all. It's called "lying." Also known as "business as usual in Washington, D. C." .. .Hey, don't knock it! It got the POTUS elected, didn't it?!
Although Solyndra officials had recently pronounced the company financially healthy, at the end of 2010 they had privately confided to Energy Department officials that the company was rapidly going broke and on the verge of shutting down, according to newly released records and interviews. Hence the need for the additional private loan and the "restructuring" disgust in . (TT: Hey, how 'bout that pun on "discussed", huh?! FG: (rolls eyes) See what I have to put up with, people? ;) ... also known as "throwing good money after bad". As every gambler knows, there's a time to cut your losses and run.
Wait, someone else said the same thing:
"If their model was weak to begin with, and then the market gets worse, doesn't that mean that maybe we should have just not thrown good money after bad?" asked Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va.
Maybe this is why: "Solyndra spent nearly $1.9 million on lobbying activities over a period of 43 months from 2008 to 2011."
Yes, they continued to lobby long after the loan was granted, and even as failure was approaching quite obviously.
Between September 8 and 15, 2011, Solyndra was raided by the FBI in a surprise search. Federal agents also visited the homes of Brian Harrison, the company's CEO, and Chris Gronet, the company's founder, to examine computer files and documents. The U.S. Treasury Department has also launched an investigation, as did a Congressional committee. But:
"On September 14, 2011, executives of Solyndra canceled their scheduled appearance that day before a congressional investigative committee at the last minute, citing the demands of a complicated bankruptcy and a federal investigation they face."
(cough)subpoena(cough) ... Are we so stupid as to believe the execs are handling their bankruptcy themselves,. rather than hiring a law firm, as everyone else does? And that said lawyers couldn't do without them for one day, and that the Feds wouldn't gladly allow them to get their testimony to Congress on record? Jail for contempt, surely.
No one knows where the bottom of this mess will be found. But what's known already should be grounds for numerous criminal indictments, right up to the White House. It would *not* be a first. In the Teapot Dome scandal of the 1920s, a Cabinet-level officer was sentenced to jail on corruption charges.
But wait! Isn't this the same POTUS who vilified BP, even though the Feds forced them to drill there
, and then ignored the revelation that his own overseers failed to exercise oversight, having been bought off by cocaine-and-sex parties?
... People complain that the oil lobby donates too much to Congress and Presidential campaigns. On the contrary, it seems that BP's *real* mistake was not donating *enough*.
Overall, in the long run, individual investors and private institutions have a fairly good knack for picking winners and losers. Those wealthy capitalists are so greedy and selfish that they are constantly seeking a good return on their capital, and hence, always looking for good opportunities. If they perceive that there is good money to be made in producing solar panels, dog food, or widgets, they will greedily and selfishly invest their *own* money in such ventures, without any guarantees, assistance, or encouragement from Government.
And some of *us* are among those G.S. Capitalists. We don't need to be wealthy to invest in ventures we think will succeed. Thanks to the stock markets, we can buy, say, 100 shares of stock in a company, at, say, $25/share, so that we share in its success (or failure) for only $2500. Your IRA or 401k may do that. Or you, or it, may invest via "mutual funds", which pool dollars from many individual investors to buy a more diversified portfolio of stocks -- sometimes, the entire S&P 500 (largest companies), or sometimes, specializing in one area (tech, gold, Asia, etc. -- the list is endless). Either way, this lets us po' folks participate without having to "put all our eggs in one basket".
Stock prices reflect the perception of a company over time. Rising price = investors think the outlook is rosy. Falling price = (c'mon, figure it out for yourself! ;)
If the free markets aren't willing to supply the capital for a new venture (or expansion of an existing one), it's a fairly good indicator that the proposal isn't such a good idea.
Of course, private investors can be wrong, as in the late-1990s "dot-com bubble". The difference is that when they're wrong, they lose only their *own* money, and *not the taxpayers' money*. See the difference?
Here is the other difference between letting the markets pick which firms get the cash and which don't:
As this case so clearly illustrates,
GOVERNMENT MAKES THESE DECISIONS FOR POLITICAL REASONS, NOT ECONOMIC ONES.
We *think* that everything said above proves that pretty well, and so won't pound that point any further. But if it's not clear, please go ahead and ask questions in your comments.