Friday, November 11, 2011

More great moments in the history of crony capitalism... cont.

As even more and more legacy media outlets are digging into the Solyndra scandal it becomes more and more evident why the White House is blowing off Congressional subpoena request deadlines.

From the WaPo:

At a number of points in its troubled history, the solar company Solyndra faced dire financial problems that threatened its survival. Yet at each crisis, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and officials at his agency failed to take steps that critics say could have limited taxpayer losses when the company collapsed last summer.

Instead, Energy Department officials monitoring the solar panel manufacturer and its $535 million federal loan stepped in with financial assistance, or worked to dispel concerns raised by industry analysts and other Obama administration staffers, according to previously confidential documents analyzed by The Washington Post.

The officials raised no public red flags even as Solyndra executives presented a glowing picture last summer to Capitol Hill lawmakers, describing a growing company when internal sales figures suggested one that was in serious trouble.

The newly obtained documents, along with other records obtained in recent weeks, offer the clearest picture yet of Solyndra’s deteriorating finances and the Energy Department’s extraordinary efforts to prop up the company. Chu, who is scheduled to testify next week before a House investigating subcommittee, is likely to be questioned about his agency’s willingness to invest millions more taxpayer dollars in the firm, even after the White House had abandoned hopes of a rescue.

Everybody including the Treasury Department, OMB and independant auditors knew that Solyndra was a dog but Chu, the Energy Department and, of course, the White House forged ahead with their continuing support of their fair-headed green power child.

With Solyndra technically in default this past December for failing to make a $5 million reserve fund payment as a taxpayer protection, the Energy Department could have shut down the entire operation. However, instead of doing so, DOE officials wrangled $75 million dollars out of private investors with the stipulation that placed their new investment ahead of taxpayers for repayment in the event of a bankruptcy.

If this sounds familiar it should as in the Chrysler and General Motors bankruptcy cram-down proceedings, secured creditors were told to take a back seat to union concerns.

To recap: Against the better judgement of everyone outside the White House and DOE, a $535 million loan at near-zero interest rates (which were lower than similar DOE loans) was dumped into a solar company, linked to Obama fundraiser/bundler George Kaiser, that produced not-yet-ready-for-market-time solar panels and which ultimately went belly up. If that isn't crony capitalism carried out to a "t" then we don't know what is?

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