Monday, September 19, 2011

With Solyndra all you have to do is follow the money trail.

It is no surprise Solyndra executives are refusing to testify before Congress, and invoking their Fifth Amendment rights. The investigation into this company is turning up all kinds of smelly, rotten, garbage and when all is said and done, we'll all just likely want to throw up.

The energy department pushed this deal through quickly (the conditional commitment from DOE was made in just two months) and as they submitted their application for the half billion dollar loan, Fitch Ratings assigned the corporation a B+ credit rating while Dun and Bradstreet assessed them as merely "fair".   Now consider that most Americans with a "fair" credit rating can't even get a simple car loan with a reasonable interest rate while a company only four years old gets a half billion dollar loan approved at the drop of a hat with a mere "fair" credit rating. It just makes no business sense does it?

Secretary of Energy Chu spearheaded this process all the while PriceWaterhouseCoopers issued a report stating "The Company has suffered recurring losses from operations, negative cash flows since inception and has a net stockholders’ deficit that, among other factors, raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a growing concern."

One of the things many people don't know is that George Kaiser, Solyndra's Chief financial backer (and big donor to the Obama campaign) helped the company raise $75 million in a successful effort to refinance the loan, and that the Department of Energy agreed to the refinance and that in case of default, the company may pay back investors first, before taxpayers. This means the first $75 million recouped goes to shareholders and not the taxpayers who funded the half billion dollar loan. Public money was given to a private corporation who in turn misrepresented itself to get the funds, misused the funds and the taxpayers are left footing the bill.

Even the Office of Management and Budget knew the warning signs. They viewed this loan as a very high risk to taxpayers, in fact they viewed it as a higher risk than DOE did.

At first I wondered why, instead of putting half a billion into one company, the government did not just divide that large sum into much smaller pieces and allot low interest loans for small businesses in an effort to get them moving into the energy industry. See, this would have been taxpayer money going directly back to the taxpayers, so they could start or expand businesses, purchase equipment and materials, and hire workers.  Think of the number of businesses that would have opened or expanded in that industry and think of what it could have done for many regions of the country. The problem is that the "powers that be" who had their beady little eyes on that half billion knew that they wouldn't see it if it were allotted to small businesses. It needed to go to a much larger entity where it would be hidden and hard to track. Big government always has shady ties in big business, it's been like that since the days of Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Morgan. Some things never change.

The big questions are: Why? Who benefited from this arrangement? And who at the top knew about it?  What did they know and when did they know?  I am not saying President Obama knew about this but I will say that someone in this Congress and this Administration is responsible. The "buck" has to stop somewhere.  I just wonder who the sacrificial lamb will be?

Make no mistakes, this was not an unfortunate incident nor was it an unintentional oversight. It was a seedy backroom deal between some very dishonest people. All we have to do is follow the money trail and it will eventually lead us to the guilty parties. I am just sitting back and waiting for the names, none of which I'm sure will surprise me in the least.

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