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Solyndra's High-tech Plant To Be Sold

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the no-bailout-for-you dept.

Businesses 233

Velcroman1 writes, quoting Fox News: "For sale: manufacturing and office facility with 411,618 square feet, state of the art electrical, air, and power distribution systems — and a troubled past. As part of its bankruptcy proceedings, Solyndra is reportedly very close to landing a buyer for its mammoth, high-tech production plant in Fremont, Calif. The listing agent recently gave Fox News a tour of what the new owners will get for their multi-million dollar investment. Now the once-bustling offices, conference rooms, and cubicles are eerily quiet as the facility is 'decommissioned,' according to Greg Matter with Jones Lang LaSalle realty. One wonders about the conversations held, and emails written, in the corner office formerly occupied by CEO Brian Harrison."

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233 comments

Sounds like a non-US buyer that hates publicity. (2)

sethstorm (512897) | about 2 years ago | (#40001115)

About the only entity that would want the place and equipment would be a PRC-controlled entity.

While the bailout was bad, and I disagree with their funding, anything going out of the country would be worse.

Re:Sounds like a non-US buyer that hates publicity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001159)

With a topic like Solyndra Poe's law [wikipedia.org] should be in full effect on the threads to follow.

FAILURE (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001123)

"One wonders about the conversations held, and emails written, in the corner office formerly occupied by CEO Brian Harrison."

i'll give you the short version: "How can we milk the government for more money?!?"

What a failure, so many better things that we could have done with that money.

Writing home for cash....ahh, that takes me back.. (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#40001773)

"One wonders about the conversations held, and emails written, in the corner office formerly occupied by CEO Brian Harrison."

Dear Mr. "O"....err, Mom and Dad,

Things are going great. Need money for food and rent...please send some soon,

Love Solyndra

but... (1)

alienzed (732782) | about 2 years ago | (#40001147)

why can't the people in charge be forced to work themselves out of the whole. The whole bankruptcy concept seems way too much like a get out of jail free card.

Re:but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001179)

Perhaps you meant "hole" vice "whole" in the first sentence? English skills akin to this have helped a number of entities, not just Solyndra, go out of business...

Re:but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001201)

Perhaps you meant "instead of" instead of "vice" in the first sentence? English skills akin to this have helped a number of entities, not just Solyndra, go out of business.

Re:but... (1)

Calos (2281322) | about 2 years ago | (#40001237)

The use is technically correct, if obscure.

Re:but... (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about 2 years ago | (#40001451)

The use is technically correct

is a meaningless junk phrase in linguistics. If speakers of the language do not understand it, it is not correct. The only question then is whether they are writing in the same language (answer left as an exercise to the reader).

Re:but... (1)

Calos (2281322) | about 2 years ago | (#40001561)

(answer left as an exercise to the reader)

I don't understand, am I supposed to do jumping jacks or something to unlock the answer? Is it like an achievement?

Maybe you're just speaking a different language.

Re:but... (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#40001887)

I differ on this. The fact that so many are uneducated and ignorant does not invalidate the use of the term. His usage was correct even if their understanding was deficient. I know there are often words that I do not understand but instead of complaining I take the time to learn and broaden my knowledge.

Re:but... (2, Informative)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about 2 years ago | (#40001929)

I differ on this. The fact that so many are uneducated and ignorant does not invalidate the use of the term.

Of course not, but it does place it in a different register or dialect (depending on the remoteness from the reader's idiolect). The phrase "technically correct" is meaningless in linguistics. A phrase is either understood or not. If it is not, then it is either incorrect in the speaker & listener's shared dialect (I are fast) or it is not part of their shared dialect (Marunong ka bang mag-Tagalog?). There is no such thing as "technically correct" because languages are not constructed in anything resembling a technical fashion.

Re:but... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#40002141)

There is no such thing as "technically correct" because languages are not constructed in anything resembling a technical fashion.

I felt a great disturbance in the Grammar, as if millions of teachers suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

Re:but... (2)

medcalf (68293) | about 2 years ago | (#40002237)

I'm totally on board. As a native speaker of English, if I and the dictionary disagree, the dictionary is wrong. People forget that dictionaries are descriptive, not proscriptive.

Re:but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001191)

In small/medium companies, the president/ceo provides a personal guarantee for any loans. So if the company claims bankruptcy, that ceo must also claim bankruptcy... which means (s)he may lose everything except certain classes of assets (your house being the big exception)

In large companies, banks do not require personal guarantees. In the rare case where a personal guarantee is required, the company purchases insurance to cover the potential loss. (insurance makes sense, since the ceo is an employee of the company...)

So the only reason why a CEO can walk away is because the bank has decided to not to require a personal guarantee, or the company has purchased insurance to cover the risk.

Re:but... (1)

slew (2918) | about 2 years ago | (#40001337)

That's why they say if you owe the bank $1,000 the bank owns you, but if you owe the bank $1M, you own the bank.
Of course the corollary to that old saying that somehow you find yourself owing the bank $500M, you own the government and the government owes the bank... ;^)

Re:but... (2, Informative)

Mullen (14656) | about 2 years ago | (#40001203)

Contrary to what Mitt Romney thinks, corporations are not people. The whole point of a corporation is to shield the owners (People) from losing everything they own if the company fails. There are benefits to this like not losing your house if your business goes under and negatives, like double taxation (The company pays taxes and then the owners pay taxes on their cut).

The corporation should get investors to help get the company off the ground, but they don't have any liability in doing so. The Corporation assumes all the liability if it fails.

Re:but... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001323)

Good god, do you get your news from SNL? His point was that Corporations are made up of people. Lots of people. People who pay taxes, send their kids to school, invest in their company, invest in others. His point was that Corporations are not faceless entities (which are easier to demonize-- you know, the big boogie man who'll get you if you don't vote for me?).

Re:but... (3, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 2 years ago | (#40001401)

Good god, do you get your news from SNL? His point was that Corporations are made up of people. Lots of people.

So, you are saying that what Romeny really meant was that Corporations are Soylent Green?

Re:but... (0)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#40001409)

He most certainly was not trying to combat the perception of corporations as faceless entities that are easier to demonize.

Here's the full exchange:

ROMNEY: We have to make sure that the promises we make — and Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare — are promises we can keep. And there are various ways of doing that. One is, we could raise taxes on people.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Corporations!

ROMNEY: Corporations are people, my friend. We can raise taxes on —

AUDIENCE MEMBER: No, they’re not!

ROMNEY: Of course they are. Everything corporations earn also goes to people.

AUDIENCE: [LAUGHTER]

ROMNEY: Where do you think it goes?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: It goes into their pockets!

ROMNEY: Whose pockets? Whose pockets? People’s pockets! Human beings, my friend.

It's clear that the audience is complaining that corporate profits go into the leaders' pockets, not to "the people". Romney is equivocating by saying that, "Well, the executives are people!" Technically, Romney is right, but he is using very tricky phrasing.

When he says "we could raise taxes on people", the implication is that we'd be raising taxes on all, or at least most, people. When he says "Whose pockets? People’s pockets!", now he's using "people" to refer to a very tiny group. That little oratorical trick of using a word one way at first and another way later is a well know slight of tongue, and the crowd called him on it.

Re:but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001599)

How is saying that people who own companies are people? Oh wait, because you want to demonize people who aren't like you. People who have bet their ass and worked their asses off and succeeded.

Re:but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001791)

You mean "People who have the money to make others work their asses off and harvest the production of their labor while doing little, if anything themselves to contribute except take credit for it" as is really the case.

I know, I know, you believe there's some actual hardworking CEO with his nose to the grindstone who labored his butt off, but...that's rarer than you think.

Re:but... (4, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#40001925)

You may not be aware of this but many people who have retirement plans are in fact part owners of corporations. If you have any money invested in a 401K there is a chance you own stock in big oil or other evil corporations. It happens. My retirement money is tied up in several stock funds and over the last 3 decades has grown to be a nice little chunk of change thanks to some rather smart people who invest those funds. I am not rich by any means but thanks to those corporations I may actually get to live out my later years without lining up at the soup kitchen....maybe. Then again looking at the national debt....maybe not.

Re:but... (1)

smellotron (1039250) | about 2 years ago | (#40001995)

If you have any money invested in a 401K there is a chance you own stock in big oil or other evil corporations. It happens.

Yup, I did some digging in my 401K ETF holdings and discovered that I owned a little bit of Halliburton [yahoo.com]. Whoops! I did not unwind the ETF position but I was able to redirect new investments to other funds with similar "risk profiles" but with holdings that I was more interested in promoting. Big oil, OTOH, is probably a bit more difficult to avoid. A quick check shows that Exxon and Chevron are in the top 10 for SPY [yahoo.com].

Re:but... (0)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#40002045)

Regular people own such miniscule portions of corporations as to be insignificant. In fact, they generally don't own the shares. The fund manager does. You get to take all the risk, and the manager takes a cut of the profit, or a cut of what's left if he loses your money. And as an added bonus, he gets to vote the shares, so you don't even get a say in how the company is run. And he gets to pay a lower tax rate than you. It's a sweet gig, if you can get it.

Re:but... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001847)

Let's look at his response to that. Try the 3rd paragraph...

        MITT ROMNEY: Hold on. It’s my turn. You’ve had your turn. Now it’s my turn, all right? First of all, you’re right it goes to dividends, all right, which is to the owners. But they’re not the 1 percent. All right? They’re not only the 1 percent. I’m sure, among the dividends, go to the 1 percent, but also go to the people who have pensions. All right? There’s a guy. You don’t—are you in the 1 percent? No. He’s got dividends and retirement plans, 401(k)s. They’re filled of the dividends that come out from corporations. That’s number one.

        Number two, you are right, they can go into retained earnings, which then can be used for capital expenditures or growing the business or hiring people or working capital. When a business has profit, it can do good things: give it to the shareholders and grow the enterprise. And by the way, the only way it can hire people is if it grows the enterprise.

        Now, corporations, they’re made up of people, and then, of course, the buildings that people work in. The buildings don’t pay taxes. The only people that—the only entities that pay taxes are people. And so, corporations are collections of people that are trying to have good jobs for themselves and promote the future. And so, corporations are made up of people, and the money goes to people, either to hire people or to pay shareholders. And so, they’re made up of people. So, somehow thinking that there’s something else out there that we could just grab money from and get taxes from, and everything could be better, that doesn’t involve people, well, they’re still people. And what I want to do is make America a place where those corporations that have that money decide to invest here.

        I was with a company—with a guy who runs a big chemical company. He said, "We just announced a $20 billion factory in Saudi Arabia." I said, "Why?" He said, "We wanted to build it in Pennsylvania, but the regulators in this country are not willing to act to allow us to get hold of the natural gas, so we’re going to have to go somewhere else." Tens of thousands of jobs lost, not by the corporations, but by government not doing its job. I want this to be the place where corporations—people—from all over the world want to invest here, grow here, start their businesses.

Re:but... (0)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#40002191)

And how much of the corporate profits go to retirement plans? The crowd was saying we should tax the rich, and he was ducking the question by saying "Hey, the rich are people too!" Well, yes Mitt, they are. But they're people with way more spending money than anyone else. Taxing them doesn't decrease their quality of life the way it does when you tax a regular person. But he doesn't want to face that truth, so he quickly changes the subject to talk about 401(k)s, as if you and I are making some significant portion of corporate profits.

Re:but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001475)

...The Corporation assumes all the liability if it fails.

Except in this case, of course, as it was anonymous and ignominous Washington-funded stimulus that will never be seen again. Now, don't you wish these financeers had been people instead of government?

Re:but... (0)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40001653)

why? Loss is loss. When it's the government the loss is diluted amongst everyone, when it's private it's only people who invested, and they could have been fleeced into it, or the business may have just failed. The government should fund the most risky endevaours because they are most likely to fail, but provide benefits to society as a whole *if* they succeed. That assumes of course that there's a reasonable possibility of payoff and so on, and solyndra particularly might have been a clusterfuck but on the scale of government spending one few hundred million dollar boondoggle is nothing new or particularly scandalous.

Re:but... (2)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#40001793)

The government should fund the most risky endevaours because they are most likely to fail, but provide benefits to society as a whole *if* they succeed.

Helping to fund basic research for new things, is one matter.....paying to prop up failing private businesses is quite another.

Re:but... (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#40001937)

Paying to prop up one of your major campaign donors is yet another thing.

Re:but... (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40002033)

Doesn't that basically summarize the entire point of campaign spending in the US? Don't get me wrong, I don't live there, but that seems like what they've been doing for years.

Re:but... (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40002019)

There's a broad spectrum between research and industrialization. Even figuring out how to build something in mass quantity can be highly experimental.

Re:but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40002003)

I could have told you it would have been a failure before it happened. So with my insight, I'm still as you say required to pay into the failure or face jail time. However, if I see a failing company that needs private money I can go ahead and skip it and only let the idiots lose out.

With your logic... I have a company I am starting that will save the planet. I need you to invest $1 million, if you disagree I will send IRS agents to your house and have you arrested.

Do these people even think before they post here anymore?

Re:but... (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40002155)

To quote myself

"That assumes of course that there's a reasonable possibility of payoff and so on, and solyndra particularly might have been a clusterfuck but on the scale of government spending one few hundred million dollar boondoggle is nothing new or particularly scandalous."

Though I appreciate you reading the entirety of my post before proclaiming yourself clairvoyant. I'm sure there are a lot of people who envisioned the clusterfuck that was the Iraq war was going to be a disaster, and there were many people insightful as you who proclaimed the auto bailouts doomed to fail, and who proclaimed attempts to put a man on the moon, a satellite in orbit a war with Nazi germany all destined to fail, and everyone was required to pay for those too. That's how governments work, they make a value judgment about the benefit to society, and decide if it's worth spreading the risk around or not. They can be wrong, in fact, they inevitably *will* be wrong some of the time. The question becomes what is the loss rate for government versus the benefits when it does work out.

Solyndra was funded by the US DOE. They spend 24 billion dollars a year. Of that, they lent 525 million in one year to solyndra, that was a bad loan. How often do banks make bad loans? It happens. No matter how many reviews, no matter how diligent you are, someone will always not pay. That's the risk you take whenever you loan anyone money. That doesn't mean the US government couldn't have done better necessarily, but one needs some perspective on this sort of thing. The US burns about 10 billion dollars a month in afghanistan. Of course at the time it's also blowing 4 billion a month on Iraq. So not even 2 days worth of afghan war, or 3 days of iraq war funding was spent on this scheme. I'm going to guess the US is wasting a lot more money on a lot more serious things than solyndra.

Re:but... (1)

webnut77 (1326189) | about 2 years ago | (#40002221)

but on the scale of government spending one few hundred million dollar boondoggle is nothing new or particularly scandalous.

It may not be new but it is scandalous. Government waste should not be acceptable.

Re:but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40002117)

Of course they do, it's just limited to their stake in the business.

And those acting as agents for a corporation can be exposed to greater liability in certain cases. A court can pierce the veil of liability and extend it to the actor. That's just usually reserved for extraordinary cases (breaking the law, gross negligence, etc).

Re:but... (5, Informative)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 2 years ago | (#40001217)

Without bankruptcy society would have no way of cutting losses and moving forward. Much more resources and labor would go into paying off debts that have no hope of ever getting repaid. There would be much less incentives to take risks on new ideas and innovations, and less money to do it with as the majority of money earned would be used for servicing debt. When someone or some entity is so in debt that they'll never be able to repay it all, the best thing for society as a whole is to wipe the slate clean and then not loan any more money to that entity for a time.

It seems we only apply the last part to natural persons of the working and middle classes.

Re:but... (2)

Alex Belits (437) | about 2 years ago | (#40001625)

Without bankruptcy society would have no way of cutting losses and moving forward.

It's the other way around.

Originally "entrepreneurs" were a risk sink of the society -- if they fail, they become poor, but no one else is affected, so even if very few of them succeed, there will be enormous empires built with economy of scale, unimpeded by failures of others.

With bankruptcy, risk is distributed -- personally "entrepreneur" either wins or breaks even, but banks and occasionally government take losses. This, in its turn raises interest rates and devalues currency, thus losses are distributed to every member of society. As the result, the position of "entrepreneur" serves no purpose at all.

Re:but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001645)

Unfortunately bankruptcies can have a domino effect. Causing an avalanche of bankruptcies.

A buyer at a locally owned hardware store had a debt of some $100k plus to the small hardware and lumbar store.
The guy failed to pay back the store, claimed bankruptcy. So now the lumbar store is out $200k+ from one client.
Thing is, nearly a dozen people will default on what they own the lumbar story, costing the lumbar store more than $500k per year. The company pretty much runs in the negative hoping things will improve.

Once the only lumbar store in the area closes dozens, if not hundreds, of jobs will be lost.

Get this, the guy who claimed bankruptcy has a huge home, giant garage full of new Harleys and other toys.

Unless the debtor is willing to forgive the debt bankruptcy sounds more like theft than anything else.

Re:but... (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about 2 years ago | (#40001789)

Unless the debtor is willing to forgive the debt bankruptcy sounds more like theft than anything else.

I guess he found some loophole in the law.

In my country there is no bankruptcy for humans (though such a law is proposed and may pass), only for companies and it means that the company gets shut down, employees laid off and all property is sold at auctions, the money is paid in the order of priority (IIRC unpaid salaries are first, then unpaid taxes then other debts) and not everyone may be able to get the entire amount of money (since there may not be enough money left to pay all debts in full).

So, the bankruptcy of a human would probably be the same (with exceptions for some necessary property, like the home).

Re:but... (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#40001819)

Out of curiosity, what is done in your country if a person owes more money than they can ever hope to repay?

Re:but... (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about 2 years ago | (#40002017)

IIRC most of the property is taken away and sold (there are exceptions, for example, some money is left (equal to the minimal monthly salary) and the rest of the debt stays forever, trickling away money the person earns.

Though it is not very common for people to get into such large debts here - for one, banks do not lend money easily.

Investing is inherently risky (5, Insightful)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about 2 years ago | (#40001207)

In this case the company got dumped on by the Chinese.

Investment is inherently risky. But we have to invest in our future. Some of those investments will go bust. The ones that don't , like the internet, pay for the ones that do many many many times over.

The only people making a whipping boy of this company are people who 1) reflexively hate anything the President has done or 2) work for oil and gas companies.

Re:Investing is inherently risky (5, Insightful)

medcalf (68293) | about 2 years ago | (#40001249)

Investing is inherently risky. When you invest other people's money, you are passing the risk to them. In this case, a successful investment would have enriched the owners, while what actually happened soaked not the owners, nor the politicians, but the taxpayers. This is why it's a bad idea to have politicians "invest" public funds: there is no risk to them, and potentially the gain of having helped out their financial and political supporters. Moral hazard is vast in such situations. If you are having a problem seeing it, imagine Mitt Romney investing public funds in Koch Brothers companies, and I'm sure it will be more clear.

Re:Investing is inherently risky (3, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 2 years ago | (#40001311)

Ironically, this investment failed largely because China is more effective at subsidizing their industries with public funds than we are. And it looks like their strategy in this case is going to win them the lion's share of the market going forward.

Re:Investing is inherently risky (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001385)

Ironically, this investment failed largely because China has only fictional environmental regulations, an endless supply of powerless disposable workers and no tariffs or duties to pay on US exports (until recently [bbc.co.uk]). And it looks like their strategy in this case is going to win them the lion's share of the market going forward.

FTFY

Re:Investing is inherently risky (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#40001949)

I love it, a truly insightful post at last. People act like we can actually compete with a country that doesn't have to deal with the EPA, OSHA and Social Security or the FLRA.

Re:Investing is inherently risky (2)

Pulzar (81031) | about 2 years ago | (#40002277)

People act like we can actually compete with a country that doesn't have to deal with the EPA, OSHA and Social Security or the FLRA.

The whole point is that a country that doesn't have those things will have unhappier populace with a lower standard of living, and therefore less time and inclination to innovate and go the extra mile to make something of their own work.

That's why we can't compete in mindless assembly and raw materials, but we're still doing pretty damn good in everything else.

Re:Investing is inherently risky (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#40001315)

You mean like the former administration funnelling millions to corporations like Halliburton? Very few right wing commentators harping on about "government waste" and "risky investment" back then, not that it makes it any better.

Either way, the current administration provided a $500 million loan guarantee that was unfortunately unable to be paid back - still a drop in the bucket compared to the tax breaks given to oil companies, but still not something you really want to lose. The market, flooded with below-cost Chinese panels simply beat them down.

Re:Investing is inherently risky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001381)

You do realize that the GP was bringing up Romney to illustrate why the entire idea is bad to an Obama supporter, right? He wasn't whipping out a red penis to measure against a blue penis like you're doing. If the best defense you've got for Obama is that the previous administration did the same thing... well that's a new low for Obama I guess.

Re:Investing is inherently risky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001513)

If the best defense you've got for ___ is that the previous administration did the same thing

Insert any president for the last couple of decades or so, and you'll find people who used this defense for one thing or another.

Re:Investing is inherently risky (5, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#40001731)

You do realize that the GP was bringing up Romney to illustrate why the entire idea is bad to an Obama supporter, right? He wasn't whipping out a red penis to measure against a blue penis like you're doing. If the best defense you've got for Obama is that the previous administration did the same thing... well that's a new low for Obama I guess.

You've completely missed my point.

I'm not opposed to government funding and loan guarantees at all, by either party. (I'm not an American, and both "sides" are a little too right wing for my tastes).

My point is that the Solyndra "debacle" has been seized upon by the right wing media as a way to push their small government agenda, when, of course, it's nothing new at all for the government to be backing business ventures, as witnessed by Halliburton.

You'll note that I didn't do any "dick waving" or criticise the administration for those contracts (I could - they were awarded no-bid under the table, but I'm not against the principle of funding support from government per se), merely that there's a double standard that goes into the discussion about it.

I'm not "defending" Obama for this move - if anything it was lowballed. He should have given them a couple of billion to match the sort of ballpark figures given to the oil industry, so in that sense I'm criticising him for not going far enough. I'm not defending him for doing what the previous administration did because *that's what government should be doing anyway*. In other words, I think it's a good thing. Unfortunate when it doesn't work out, like this case, but that's what happens to risky investments sometimes.

Re:Investing is inherently risky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001901)

If the best defense you've got for Obama is that the previous administration did the same thing... well that's a new low for Obama I guess.

A new low? When has 0 ever had any other defense?

Re:Investing is inherently risky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40002119)

You do realize that the GP was bringing up Romney to illustrate why the entire idea is bad to an Obama supporter, right? He wasn't whipping out a red penis to measure against a blue penis like you're doing. If the best defense you've got for Obama is that the previous administration did the same thing... well that's a new low for Obama I guess.

I didn't know that what its all about. I should go Republican. I prefer having a red penis over a blue penis.

Re:Investing is inherently risky (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#40001547)

You don't think there's a gain for the average American to have wildly successful tech companies with factories on our shores?

Solyndra was a reasonable investment. Had it succeeded, it would have been good for the country. Unfortunately, it failed, and we lost some money. As any successful businessman can tell you, the proper response to a failed investment is not "give up and never invest again".

Re:Investing is inherently risky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001945)

We already had them; they outsourced and offshored. Why wouldn't this company have done the same thing down the line? I don't know what the solution to this problem is, but setting more people up to be downsized seems myopic to me.

Re:Investing is inherently risky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40002021)

Solyndra was a reasonable investment. Had it succeeded, it would have been good for the country. Unfortunately, it failed, and we lost some money.

Bullshit. Solyndra was shopping around for government money prior to the Obama administration and were told that their plan would fail and were even told on what quarter of what year they were going to fail.

Guess when the failed? The fucking quarter of the year that was fucking predicted.

Only two kinds of people claim that it was a reasonable investment... the fuckers that looted tax payer money and gave it to their fucking solyndra buddies, and assholes that swallow democrat cock.

Re:Investing is inherently risky (-1)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#40002059)

That sounds like the sort of lie a person would hear on Fox News. Like, a million different people made a million different predictions, one of them happened to come true, and so "everyone knew this company was gonna fail!"

But hey, if you believe that, I got this great system for predicting the outcomes of ball games. I'll let you in on it free for the first four games, and when it works all four times, you pay for it. Sound good?

I couldn't have said it better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001305)

It frustrates me that China has such a huge lead in solar technology. Shit, even Saudi Arabia is getting in on green energy - for themselves.

Re:Investing is inherently risky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001353)

You know that investing in Solyndra is nothing like what FDR did with the New Deal, right? FDR was all about trickle up - getting money into the hands of the people. Even though I don't agree with those methods, at least we got something out of it (parks, bridges, post offices, books, you name it).

The Solyndra debacle was corporate cronyism and trickle down. What did we get out of it? An empty bag.

Re:Investing is inherently risky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001597)

Indeed, but what do you expect from a Republican idea? They created the fund which Solyndra accessed as part of their energy policy plan.

I would have chosen to buy out older coal plants to replace them with newer, better options, nuclear, solar, wind, even new coal facilities, but instead of that we got a loan plan.

Oh well, at least incandescent bulbs will be phased out regardless.

It was effective, but you don't agree? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001741)

That type of absurdity does more harm every day than any Solyndra "debacle" could ever.

Re:It was effective, but you don't agree? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40002331)

What was it effective at doing, exactly? It didn't end the depression. WWII did that.

Fun fun fun (0)

Vladius (2577555) | about 2 years ago | (#40001223)

The right wingers are gonna be all over this one. After all any time anything Obama fails at is good for America. It must be nice that we have someone who's fault everything is.

Re:Fun fun fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001279)

He's the chief exec. It's his fault by definition. Same was true when Bush was in charge. I won't even get into the irony of your last sentence.

Re:Fun fun fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001373)

Only if the President is an autocrat. Which, I will grant you the Republicans profess to believe, but it is not true, and their insistence on that even while they dig in their heels to avoid doing anything except what they demand.

As long as their idea if bipartisanship is getting their way and their agenda is to make Obama a one-term President, they are the wannabe tyrants.

They don't even want to admit Solyndra wasn't a fraud. Apparently they never saw Tucker. It's no crime to try and fail.

Re:Fun fun fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001439)

Sorry, but no. At best you could say there are instances where Congress acts (or refuses to act) on its own, but the question then is: Why was that politically possible? Answer: it's the President's fault.

Re:Fun fun fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001509)

Then clearly everything good that happens goes to the President's credit.

Or at least anything that the US government has a hand in, right? Because Solyndra wasn't a USG agency, it just received money from the USG. Following your logic, if the USG paid for part of something, BHO can take whatever credit/blame there is to be had.

I therefore propose that Obama take credit for the following in the upcoming election:
- GM and Chrysler's recoveries
- SpaceX's recent successes
- That DARPA plane going mach 50 for half an hour
- The wonderful pasta dinner I had last night (farmers get subsidies!)
- Slashdot (via the Welfare Department's support of CmdrTaco lo these many years)

Re:Fun fun fun (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001535)

Do you have any doubt that he will...?

Re:Fun fun fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001685)

Yes, very grave doubts. In all honesty, I don't think he'll take credit for my pasta dinner. Seriously, I just don't see it happening. Even the SpaceX thing... he'll probably pawn that off to sappy inspirational entrepreneurship or some tripe.

Re:Fun fun fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001537)

Yep, he shoulda used summa that there Unitary Executive Power to do whatever the hell he wanted.

Re:Fun fun fun (2, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | about 2 years ago | (#40001587)

The right wingers are gonna be all over this one. After all any time anything Obama fails at is good for America. It must be nice that we have someone who's fault everything is.

Yes! When you have bad ideas and you fail at trying to implement them, that is a good thing. Why is that so hard for people to understand? When Obama succeeds with his policies, America loses. That is what the saying means.

And to be fair, it's not all Obama's fault. I'd say that very little of it is Obama's fault. Americans don't realize how little power the President actually has. The lion's share of the fault belongs to Congress. It was that way when Bush was president. It's that way now. The difference is that when Bush a Republican Congress, things went very well. When Clinton had a Republican Congress, things went very well. When D's took control of Congress in Jan, 2007, unemployment was at 4.7% and the deficit was about $250 billion. Two years after D control of both houses, the unemployment rate was 7.6% and climbing and the deficit was about $1600 billion. The only blame Bush and Obama deserve is for not vetoing every piece of shit bill that passed their desks. Although, Obama does share much of the philosophy with the Democratic Congress.

Fact is, it doesn't matter who wins the White House this November. What matters is which party gets Congress. God help us if it's a mixed result because then both houses will have to bribe eachother with our money to get anything passed!

Re:Fun fun fun (1)

joocemann (1273720) | about 2 years ago | (#40001815)

So the republican congress we are staring at is responsble for the weak economy? H wait, I bet you cant wait to join your friends and blame Obama.

Eat your words.

Re:Fun fun fun (4, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | about 2 years ago | (#40002151)

So the republican congress we are staring at is responsble for the weak economy?

Wow! I don't believe I have to explain this. But, here we go:

Congress is made up of two houses: The House of Representatives and the Senate. The House members are supposed to be closer to their constituents and all of them are elected every two years. The Senate holds elections every two years, but each term is six years with 1/3 of the Senate up for election every two years. Of course, as you know, the President is elected every four years for a max of two terms.

Now, Republicans held the House of Representatives from 1995 until 2007. The Senate was more or less under Republican control through most of the Bush years, but during this time, Senators had a habit of switching sides to get what they wanted. This would either tilt control over the Dems or force a balanced Senate. However, in 2007, both houses of Congress, the US House of Representatives and the US Senate both fell under the control of Democrats. This continued through the final two years of Bush AND THE FIRST TWO YEARS OF OBAMA.

Then, in the most recent election held in 2010, Republicans took control of the House and Democrats maintain control of the Senate. When this happens, very little actually gets done. Bills must pass both houses of Congress before the President may sign them into law or veto them. If the president vetoes a bill, it does not become a law unless 2/3 of the Senate vote to override the veto. If the Senate the House can't agree on legislation, then nothing reaches the President's desk.

Why am I telling you this? Well, I assume you are either from another country and don't know how the US political system works, or you are simply a moron who was too stoned on Saturday mornings to understand the meaning behind School House Rock [youtube.com]. The point being that you have have a basic grasp of the political system before you can understand what it means when I tell you...

wait for it...

Republicans only control the House of Representatives. Democrats still control the Senate and the White House.

Re:Fun fun fun (1)

ArcherB (796902) | about 2 years ago | (#40002185)

I bet you cant wait to join your friends and blame Obama.

Um... Please allow me to quote myself from a the very comment you responded to:

And to be fair, it's not all Obama's fault. I'd say that very little of it is Obama's fault. Americans don't realize how little power the President actually has. The lion's share of the fault belongs to Congress.

Any questions?

Re:Fun fun fun (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 2 years ago | (#40002071)

Obama did inherit the inbox from hell - but this was not in the in-box. This mess was more or less created by the current administration. They were looking for some fast action and immediate results, so they failed to do some research and took a bit too much risk. If this was a private company - well - the investors knew what they were doing right? I hold the government to a higher, more conservative standard.

Look - judging a president on a single action is silly. But we have to put this one in the loss column.

Re:Fun fun fun (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 2 years ago | (#40001695)

The right wingers are gonna be all over this one. After all any time anything Obama fails at is good for America. It must be nice that we have someone who's fault everything is.

Funny, seems to me that four years ago everything was Bush's fault.

What goes around comes around, as they used to say....

Re:Fun fun fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001745)

I know that's the Republican meme, that you were so horribly persecuted by unfair criticism of Bush that now they're entirely justified in doing the same thing...

But it's not true.

Even if it were, it'd be a terrible logic from a group that prides itself on its vaunted virtues of personal responsibility. Yes, the Republican party does present itself as being holier-than-thou.

While cheering on delusions of Birth Certificate conspiracies.

Re:Fun fun fun (2)

RoccamOccam (953524) | about 2 years ago | (#40001951)

I know that's the Republican meme, that you were so horribly persecuted by unfair criticism of Bush that now they're entirely justified in doing the same thing...

But it's not true.

Study of US media bias, October 29, 2007 http://www.journalism.org/node/8197 [journalism.org], looks at coverage of the early stages of the 2008 Presidential Campaign.

Newspapers have a pro-Democrat bias:
59 percent of stories about Democrats were positive. 11 percent were negative.
26 percent of stories about Republicans were positive. 40 percent were negative.
TV networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) have a pro-Democrat bias:
40 percent of stories about Democrats were positive. 17 percent were negative.
19 percent of stories about Republicans were positive

Re:Fun fun fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40002181)

Your selective quoting is telling. You only picked the statistics you wanted.

Besides, the real problem you have is presuming an imbalance is biased. What if there's just more negative and less positive?

I know the Republicans like to think of themselves as martyr heroes standing against the forces of evil, but that presentation would be done by the most evil themselves. Evil is not dumb.

Google or Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001291)

Given the prime location (just across 237 or Dumbarton) from Facebook and Google HQ, I'd expect one of the two to snap up this premium building.

We'll see soon enough. I just drove past the "FOR SALE" sign hung prominently above Solyndra on the building's trendy facade.

If only Solyndra paid as much attention to their bottom line as they did their decor, they might still be around...

Re:Google or Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001525)

The Solyndra facility is definitely setup for manufacturing, not good for a cube farm. Google or Facebook would be better off buying the buildings built by Sun in Newark near the Dumbarton Bridge.

Re:Google or Facebook (2)

penix1 (722987) | about 2 years ago | (#40001557)

If only Solyndra paid as much attention to their bottom line as they did their decor, they might still be around...

Ummm.... No. China was, and is, doing the same to the solar panel industry that it did to the steel industry. It is massively dumping solar panels on the country at highly reduced rates because they are subsidized by the Chinese government at a far greater rate than the US is subsidizing the industry here.

Make no mistake about it. There is nothing the US government can do about Chinese dumping or Chinese manipulation of their currency because China holds so much of our debt. Armageddon is coming soon when the Chinese economy falters and the Chinese government calls in those loans. This is another reason the US needs to do something drastic to reduce its debt that China holds. But as long as there remains manipulation by the Chinese government, we will never crawl out of that hole.

Re:Google or Facebook (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001751)

From reasonable post to debunked bullshit (China doesn't hold a more then 12% or so of your debt, and that's not even the government itself) in a single paragraph. /. really is trying to become digg, isn't it?

Re:Google or Facebook (1)

joocemann (1273720) | about 2 years ago | (#40001835)

Its International Anti-Trust anticompetitive at its most obvious.... but we dont stop it with tarriffs.... why? International corps own us, too. No american citizen can get any respect close to a large financial entity.... Money is God in the USA... what a shame.

Re:Google or Facebook (1)

apcullen (2504324) | about 2 years ago | (#40001917)

Actually, I think our economy is only afloat as much as it is because China holds so much debt. They have to prop up the dollar because, if the dollar collapses, all the debt that they hold becomes essentially worthless.

this makes me itchy (5, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#40001377)

When something like this happens, I have to wonder if it isn't a shell game, to wit:

1) Company A builds a big expensive ultra modern plant, using investor and/or tax monies.

2) Company A is run into the ground, files for bankrupcy

3) Assets are sold at fire-sale prices to company B, which is ultimately, through very complicated and difficult-to-trace machinations, owned by the same people who originally owned company A.

4) The owners essentially get to keep what they've managed to squirrel away while the company was crashing, and then buy back their facilities for a song, just coincidentally free from any loan or investor obligations.

5) Profit!

Re:this makes me itchy (3, Informative)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 2 years ago | (#40001803)

I can find a lot of real life examples of this. However, you have to find places of weak corporate governance and / or government officials you can bribe. I am thinking modem day Russia or America's Gilded Age of stock operators (1870 to 1920).

Today, most bankruptcy sales are either public auction or a court appointed official - the official being selected by the debit holders. The only modern day case in which the politicians interfered with a bankruptcy was G.M. (The banks don't count - that was a bail out.)

Re:this makes me itchy (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | about 2 years ago | (#40001807)

6) Company B, having successfully fleeced the public initially, now set out a way to fleece the public....again/
7) Company B, reusing same political connections under Company A, convince gov't to buy Company B's wares.
8) Profit!
9) Use new monies to get policy makers to write restrictions that put your product/industry in a legalized monopoly.
10) Profit!
11) Become overleveraged and essential that you can then afford to make bad decisions without fear of recourse.
12) Hold industry/public hostage using "If we aren't saved, the public suffers greatly".
13) Get public monies again b/c you are too big to fail.
14) Profit!

Ok, that example is mostly a joke....mostly.

Re:this makes me itchy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001851)

the mechanism keeping that in check is: there is no way to guarantee that you will be the purchaser at said "fire-sale". auctions are open to all.

Re:this makes me itchy (1)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#40002195)

In the real estate market, and the energy market, such investments are risky. It is hard to say how much value is actually going to be placed on a building. Many, who do not understand the free market, say the value is based on input costs, but of course this is a naive point fo view.

Take the building Enron build around 2000. It costs some 200 million dollars. Some of this was likely government money direct or indirect. Enron was given a monopoly on some energy trading, and back in 2002 Fox reported that Enron received at least a billion in government loans.

In any case by the time it was finished, Enron was gone and this government financed build was unoccupied and sold off for 100 million, presumable to pay creditors that were not the taxpayers or the consumers defrauded by the sociopaths that worked for and ran the company.

The building remained empty for a few years. It remains a blight on the real estate market in downtown houston as Chevron, the company that occupies it, simply moved from one building to another.

Which is to say this is a non story as firms fail all the time, most large firms depend on government money, and buildings get build whether we need space or not.

Fox News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40001705)

WTF is Fox News? Don't you mean Fox Opinions? Fox Right Wing Propoganda? Fox Spoonfeeds "Information" To Right-Wing Religio-Morons?

I do not know of this "Fox News" of which you speak.

Re:Fox News? (2)

bhlowe (1803290) | about 2 years ago | (#40002007)

Well done! Now go back to the HuffPost to get more talking points.. (But next time, don't forget the crowd pleaser "Faux News")

more importantly the only reason (-1, Offtopic)

nimbius (983462) | about 2 years ago | (#40001859)

fox news is touring this old factory is because it helps further their agenda of demonizing the president and the democratic party. Nevermind the fact that during the housing crisis thousands of cities, states, and even the federal government were burned on taxpayer-backed loans and grants for housing developments. forget about the fact that the automotive bailout and the banking bailout were both passed carte-blanc by a a republican president that spent more than any other president in modern history. This investment, solyindra, is a double whammy for the republican party. Not only did it seek to pioneer alternative energy, it used tax dollars to do it and failed spectacularly.

it didnt fail because the technology didnt work, or the management ran over budget, or the government was overbilled as in the case of so many halliburton and other defense industry contracts. the project failed, ironically in part, because of a mixture of economic policies that began with reagan and saught to chisel apart the manufacturing foundation that made america a land of equality and prosperity. Each president elected in succession more a corporate shill than a representative of the people. Bill enacted NAFTA, George fought to keep the cheap chinese merch flowing, and obama now has the audacity to act shocked when a fledgling american industry is crushed in the face of foreign industry to which we've all but outsourced our very souls.
 
  instead of blaming our suckling reliance on china, or our completely broken 2 party system, we just bitch that obama is wasting our tax dollars, and pretend the other guy up for election wouldnt do the exact same fucking thing because we forget solyindra was a project that got its start with "the other party."

its the same shit sandwich, just different bread. cap and trade? republican idea. private healthcare mandate? republican idea. its just my opinion, but im getting pretty convinced this is all just its a house of old white people who just want to make it to retirement and die the richest. theyre willing to lie, cheat, and steal to make that happen. Thanks to cable tv stations like fox news we're taught to look only at the other party as a viable alternative, whereas 250 years ago if any member of government tried some of the blatantly treasonous shit we routinely see they would be crucified until no more than their bleached bones decorated the countryside.

this is getting off topic. i dont care
im not a ron paul supporter but its change. its not left, its not right, and some of the ideas are frightening, but its a form of change that obviously frightens the right people, because you never see him on television in an honest interview. Ron Paul is to the presidental race each year as the blooper real is to the horror film, or the comedy relief is to the action flick, and theres an entire system in place to ensure each and every ron paul remains this way.

id be willing to give him a shot. i might not like everything i get, but the big points about the fed and the military, i think i could work with just getting those.

Re:more importantly the only reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40002263)

Wrong, 0bama has spent way more than Bush ever did.

Tempest in a teapot (5, Interesting)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#40002299)

The whole program that Solyndra got the loan guarantee from was over $16 billion. The Solyndra default is 3.3% of that. The program had a budgeted default rate of over 12%. [bloomberg.com] So far there have been 2 defaults, Solyndra and Beacon Power that amounts to a total default rate is only 3.6%. 90% of the loan guarantees went to wind and solar projects that have contracts with utilities and are unlikely to default.

It's just a made up controversy being used to make political hay.

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