Wow: When Barry Met Kathy
**Posted by Phineas
That’s the California solar-power manufacturer that somehow managed to secure a $535 million, federally-guaranteed (1) loan through the Department of Energy at a sweetheart interest rate, even though their financial condition and business plan never warranted it. But, and I’m sure it’s a coincidence, the major shareholder is a top Obama donor and donations bundler.
And now they’re bankrupt, the investor gets reimbursed with taxpayer money, and the FBI is kicking-in the door:
Just days after the company filed for bankruptcy protection, federal agents swarmed around the Solyndra facilities in Fremont to execute a search warrant.
FBI agents were joined by officials from the Department of Energy’s Office of the Inspector General in the early morning operation.
Officials would say little about the search, which seemed to center on the Solyndra buildings on Page Avenue off Interstate 880.
“Everything is under seal,” said Julianne Sohn, a spokeswoman for the FBI.
Agents began executing their search about 7:30 a.m., Sohn said. More agents arrived in SUVs at 8:40 a.m.
The action by federal agents comes a week after the solar manufacturer abruptly closed, laying off about 1,000 workers, and two days after the company filed for bankruptcy protection.
Solyndra spokesman Dave Miller said the search came as a surprise, but he emphasized the company is “fully cooperating” with federal officials. He said he did not know the purpose of the search, but he speculated it could have something to do with the $535 million in loan guarantees the Department of Energy awarded to Solyndra.
Gee, ya think??
Read the report from ABC yesterday on the loan guarantees and unusually low interest rates for background, but here’s an excerpt that I’m sure you’ll find entertaining:
Solyndra’s most prolific financial backer is George Kaiser, an Oklahoma oil billionaire who was a bundler of campaign donations for Obama’s 2008 race. Kaiser’s Argonaut Ventures and its affiliates have been the single largest shareholder of Solyndra, according to SEC filings and other records. The company holds 39 percent of Solyndra’s parent company, bankruptcy records filed Tuesday show.
Under terms of the bankruptcy filing, investors including Argonaut — which led a $75 million round of financing for Solyndra earlier this year — will stand in line before the federal government and other creditors.
You know, I do believe I hear the House Energy Committee warming up in the wings.
Kaiser, not surprisingly, was a frequent White House visitor.
Without a doubt, this deal stinks to the heavens. Not only is it a perfect illustration of why “green jobs” –or any uneconomic, government-subsidized industry– is a doomed-from-the-start waste of public money, but it also reeks of political favoritism, backroom deals, and downright corruption.
What was it Sarah Palin said the other day? Oh, yeah…
They use [public money] to bail out their friends on Wall Street and their corporate cronies, and to reward campaign contributors, and to buy votes via earmarks. There is so much waste. And there is a name for this: It’s called corporate crony capitalism. This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk. No, this is the capitalism of connections and government bailouts and handouts, of waste and influence peddling and corporate welfare. This is the crony capitalism that destroyed Europe’s economies. It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest – to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners – the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70% of the jobs in America, it’s you who own these small businesses, you’re the economic engine, but you don’t grease the wheels of government power.
And I’ll bet you my last dollar that Solyndra is a $535,000,000 example of just what she was denouncing.
Between this and Gunwalker, Obama is going to have an… “interesting” 2012.
UPDATE: At Power Line, historian Steven Hayward raises an interesting possibility — What if the raid is an attempt by Holder to cover-up what happened at Solyndra and block any congressional inquiry by hiding behind the privilege of a claim of an “ongoing investigation?”
(1) As in, guaranteed with our money.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)