Friday Night Doc Dump: Did WH economic advisers raise red flags on Solyndra as early as March 2010?

posted at 1:00 pm on February 18, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Concerns over the financial status of Solyndra reached higher and sooner in the Obama administration than acknowledged, new documents from a Friday-night dump show — and not just about Solyndra, either.  Solyndra closed its doors in August of last year, taking over a half-billion dollars in taxpayer money with it, after having been approved for loan guarantees by the Department of Energy at a sweetheart rate — and having been rescued in December 2010 and January 2011 with more government intervention.  Under a threat of subpoenas from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the White House released more e-mails pertaining to their internal activities regarding Solyndra, and they show that the Obama administration and its economic advisers had raised red flags about Solyndra as early as March 2010 (via Doug Powers at the Boss Emeritus’ site):

White House emails released Friday added further evidence that concerns about the Energy Department loan guarantee program that benefited Solyndra had reached as high as President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser, Larry Summers, by early 2010.

References to Summers’s concerns turn up in a March 4, 2010, email exchange in which White House officials were second-guessing whether Obama should trumpet Solyndra’s exports to Australia during a planned visit later that month to the country.

“Isn’t this the company Larry asked questions about?” Michael Froman, a top economic adviser to Obama, said in an email to Joseph Aldy, another White House aide. “What is your view about highlighting their exports in Australia?”

Summers at the time was Director of the National Economic Council, nominally in charge of the administration’s economic policy.  He was not the only economic adviser to raise questions about Solyndra and the administration’s involvement, either.  Jared Bernstein, who helped write the case for the stimulus bill that produced the funding for Solyndra, shared his concerns with another Joe Biden economic adviser in May 2010 over the level of private investment that the green-tech stimulus loan guarantees had produced — and then suggested that no one mention it:

Meanwhile, other revelations in the newly released documents include Vice President Joe Biden’s top economic adviser flagging concerns over the company’s poor finances while preparing for a briefing with reporters a day before Obama’s May 26, 2010, visit to Solyndra’s headquarters in Silicon Valley.

In the May 25 email exchange, Jared Bernstein wrote to Herbert Ziskend, one of Biden’s domestic policy advisers, “But do you have a leverage # for Solyndra — how much pvt cap [private capital] they raised off of the loan guarantee?”

Elizabeth Oxhorn, a press aide in Biden’s office, replied with the figure: “Solyndra raised $198m in private capital between selection in March 2009 and the loan closing in September 2009.”

Bernstein responded that the figure was not one he wanted to talk about with the press. “Weird — so leverage is like 2/5 ($198 m leverage against loan guarantee of $535m)… best not to go there,” he wrote.

And yet, even with Obama and Biden’s closest advisers expressing concerns like this for months over Solyndra, the Obama administration still decided to intervene on Solyndra’s behalf in January 2011 by restructuring the loans — and by illegally subordinating the taxpayer stake to later investors in a last-ditch effort to stave off political embarrassment.  The later investor in this case was Obama bundler George Kaiser, which has already raised questions about Obama’s intervention for Solyndra.  These revelations of warnings within the highest level of economic advisers over the risks at Solyndra will only amplify suspicions about the motives for Obama’s intervention.

There’s another key quote from Summers in the Politico piece on a more general point about government intervention, too, although it came from an earlier release.  In December 2009, Summers gave his opinion of programs like the one that benefited Solyndra to one of its investors:

Summers’s concerns about the DOE program have come across in other internal White House documents that have surfaced during the investigation into Solyndra’s financial meltdown. The most notable — a December 2009 email exchange between Summers and an investor with ties to Solyndra — ended with Summers declaring: “I relate well to your view that gov is a crappy vc [venture capitalist] and if u were closer to it you’d feel more strongly.”

In that, Summers has been proven correct by this administration — repeatedly.  In the meantime, Congress needs to start issuing subpoenas to find out who knew what and when about Solyndra, and how much politics played a role in overruling the administration’s leading economic advisers and the DoE’s auditors while gambling — and losing — $535 million on a venture that would have benefited Obama’s contributors.


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According to the New York Times the workings of Tabloids in England or Santorum’s position on _____________ plus fake memos about the Heartland think tank are far more relevant then the actual policy decisions of the sitting president.

rob verdi on February 18, 2012 at 1:04 PM

No comment.

RealMc on February 18, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Nobody cares about Solyndra because nothing will be done to these criminals. Nothing!

That being said, where’s the Whitney Houston Funeral open thread? That’s what’s really important/////

JPeterman on February 18, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Solyndra? more like No-lyndra!

DHChron on February 18, 2012 at 1:07 PM

nailed it

DHChron on February 18, 2012 at 1:07 PM

“This is all Congressman Fred Upton’s Fault!”

/sesquipedalian

Del Dolemonte on February 18, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Nothing is ever going to happen to bho and team if Issa and Grassley don’t follow through with their threats of issuing subpoenas! They threaten, they give a new date for the threat and in the meantime bho and team are laughing their fool heads at congress that they aren’t following through. GROW a spine guys!
L

letget on February 18, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Hope and Change

Bitter Clinger on February 18, 2012 at 1:11 PM

nothing to see here, move along
-lsm

cmsinaz on February 18, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Nothing is ever going to happen to bho and team if Issa and Grassley don’t follow through with their threats of issuing subpoenas! They threaten, they give a new date for the threat and in the meantime bho and team are laughing their fool heads at congress that they aren’t following through. GROW a spine guys!
L

letget on February 18, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Seems to me they’re having some effect. Thus these emails being released.

Bitter Clinger on February 18, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Has anybody considered the possibility that these are newly created documents backdated to 2010? If I thought these cowards were going to roll my head as a sacrifice, you can bet I’d do just about anything to save myself. Including lying about liars.

platypus on February 18, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Pravda and Russia have more credibility these days.

Media, suffocate from what you eat, what you also dwell in.

Spontaneously combust for dereliction of duty.

Schadenfreude on February 18, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Schadenfreude on February 18, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Pay per view on those suggestions and we’ll clean up.

platypus on February 18, 2012 at 1:19 PM

That being said, where’s the Whitney Houston Funeral open thread? That’s what’s really important/////

JPeterman on February 18, 2012 at 1:06 PM

sigh….I fear you are right. I remember when Bush was in office all the snarky bumper stickers I saw that said, “If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.” I’d slap one of those on my truck right now.

redmama on February 18, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Get Woodward and Bernstein on this. There’s a real stench to the cover-up going on in the Obama White House. Some real investigative journalism could force Obama to resign.

This joke brought to you by Fantasyland.

fogw on February 18, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Yeah, all the nurses in attendance to take care of those that might faint or be overcome with the vapors is a hoot.

jb34461 on February 18, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Well Solyndra did one thing. It acted like it was suppose to and be the front company that funneled tax payer money to Obama’s backers to only be funneled back to his re-election campaign. All nicely laundered and clean. And also sending a few millions to the grand kids of the people who helped elected the current occupant.

tjexcite on February 18, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Nothing is ever going to happen to bho and team if Issa and Grassley don’t follow through with their threats of issuing subpoenas! They threaten, they give a new date for the threat and in the meantime bho and team are laughing their fool heads at congress that they aren’t following through. GROW a spine guys!
L

letget on February 18, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Agreed.
They are like the “authority figures” to the same degree the police and politicians “enforced” the laws against the OWS’ers.

Mimzey on February 18, 2012 at 1:40 PM

That being said, where’s the Whitney Houston Funeral open thread? That’s what’s really important/////

JPeterman on February 18, 2012 at 1:06 PM

sigh….I fear you are right. I remember when Bush was in office all the snarky bumper stickers I saw that said, “If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.” I’d slap one of those on my truck right now.

redmama on February 18, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Don’t see a lot of “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism” stickers either nowadays.

Shadow on February 18, 2012 at 1:42 PM

If it’s Friday night (especially with a Monday holiday to follow) then it must be time for

THE FRIDAY NIGHT DOCUMENT DUMP with Barry Soetoro!

Tonight Barry’s guest will be former executives from Solyndra!

Be sure to tune in next week when Barry will be talking Fast & Furious with FNDD regular Eric “The Red” Holder!

Be there! Aloha!

turfmann on February 18, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Another dump I saw on Drudge today. I haven’t seen it anyplace else, even on Fox. mo and the girls are on another ski vacation. This was kept quiet wasn’t it? Guess the wh didn’t want to get the voters all bent out of shape how much this would cost us?

http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2012/02/18/michelle-obama-decides-ski-aspen/
L

letget on February 18, 2012 at 1:49 PM

On the subject of energy and jihad by this regime :
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/02/report-obama-administration-is-giving-away-7-strategic-islands-to-russia/

Obama’s State Department is giving away seven strategic, resource-laden Alaskan islands to the Russians. Yes, to the Putin regime in the Kremlin.

The seven endangered islands in the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea include one the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. The Russians are also to get the tens of thousands of square miles of oil-rich seabeds surrounding the islands. The Department of Interior estimates billions of barrels of oil are at stake.

burrata on February 18, 2012 at 2:01 PM

What a piece of work we have in the Oval Office… How could America be duped into voting for him? Elections have consequences…. it will take decades to undo what this clown has done to our country.

steved95 on February 18, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Thanks for that link, burrata. It appears that the State Department is working overtime to make the US energy dependent on hostile regimes (the ME and Venezuela) or creating ill will with our neighbors (Canada), doesn’t it?

onlineanalyst on February 18, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Ir’a quite clear that green energy is about laundering green money.

The fact that the companies fall faster than the GOP favorite candidate of the week, doesn’t embarass them at all, after all, laundering money isn’t as easy as that game of slaughtering pre-born babies. They can’t do that so openly.

Don L on February 18, 2012 at 2:16 PM

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION – MOST TRANSPARENT CORRUPT & FASCIST ADIMINSTRATION EVER

CatchAll on February 18, 2012 at 2:20 PM

onlineanalyst on February 18, 2012 at 2:11 PM

I’m betting that right now, Obama Hussein Odinga is rehearsing his speech to the mexicans when he hands over aztlan territories to mexico
I’m sure it will be OK with American people , afterall he is black and has a wonderful family :(

burrata on February 18, 2012 at 2:27 PM

http://nation.foxnews.com/solyndra/2012/02/17/energy-secretary-personally-intervened-secure-14-billion-solyndra

Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu may have personally intervened in a $1.4 billion partial loan guarantee in an effort to help floundering solar company Solyndra, Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee alleged in a letter Friday.

Committee Republicans opened a new front in their ongoing investigation of the Solyndra scandal in a letter to Chu on Friday, requesting documents and emails regarding a $1.4 billion loan to a solar project that was to be supplied equipment by Solyndra.

William Amos on February 18, 2012 at 2:28 PM

What a stupid story.

What would qualify as “news” would be a story about what rational reason Obama DID have to think a company making products which had no market and cost more to produce than they could sell for was a good investment.

Did THAT ever happen? Even for a second, ever?

Of course not. But hey, let’s ignore the elephant in the living room: that this admininstration consistently makes mistakes that no reasonably intelligent second-grader could possibly make.

And instead, let’s just write endless stories on what documents might have been sent to whom, and whether they may have gotten around to actually reading it or not. Because, hey, that’s what’s really important here.

logis on February 18, 2012 at 2:32 PM

I almost like Summers. It’s from the concerns in his emails that we find out about the payback-us bill, and now about Solyndra. Way too late to do anything about it. He’s almost got enough moral scruples to worry about what Obama and liberals are doing to America, almost.

Axeman on February 18, 2012 at 3:35 PM

And the MSM will be informing the American people about the timelines an deception!…about contraceptive stuff…I mean.
I think we need Congressional Hearings on what is happening to the First Amendment to The Constitution. Where does it say “freedom of the press will be selective in it’s exercising or abridging” the freedom of speech?

KOOLAID2 on February 18, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Another dump I saw on Drudge today. I haven’t seen it anyplace else, even on Fox. mo and the girls are on another ski vacation. This was kept quiet wasn’t it? Guess the wh didn’t want to get the voters all bent out of shape how much this would cost us?

http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2012/02/18/michelle-obama-decides-ski-aspen/
L

letget on February 18, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Oh! So that’s why we have not heard from him today!
The media has him on TV every day doing something ‘Presidenten’ so he doesn’t have to dip into his campaign funds. Like I said at 3:47 PM. Love the MSM!

KOOLAID2 on February 18, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Corruption.

A Republican would have burnt and blackened toast by now.

But not Obama.

Sherman1864 on February 18, 2012 at 4:43 PM

would have been that is

Sherman1864 on February 18, 2012 at 4:44 PM

“You wingnuts come up with such cool names for fake scandals.”
crr6 forever.

Also what’s the big deal? Chu took responsiblity. Mistakes were made.

I started typing to be funny and then got madder and madder. This shit is never going to end. Does one, just one sissy with an “R” label have the moxie to bring this and other scandals up on news shows?

arnold ziffel on February 18, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Was it even a gamble, or was it simply a pay off to bundlers with taxpayer money which everyone knew would produce nothing?

burt on February 18, 2012 at 6:10 PM

http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2012/02/18/michelle-obama-decides-ski-aspen/
L

letget on February 18, 2012 at 1:49 PM

I’m sure The Won negotiated a nice price or trade in return.
The US must get something out of the deal.
Right?
/

Kenosha Kid on February 18, 2012 at 6:20 PM

oops that was the wrong quote. here:

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/02/report-obama-administration-is-giving-away-7-strategic-islands-to-russia/

Obama’s State Department is giving away seven strategic, resource-laden Alaskan islands to the Russians. Yes, to the Putin regime in the Kremlin.

The seven endangered islands in the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea include one the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. The Russians are also to get the tens of thousands of square miles of oil-rich seabeds surrounding the islands. The Department of Interior estimates billions of barrels of oil are at stake.

burrata on February 18, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Kenosha Kid on February 18, 2012 at 6:21 PM

This blog is a TOOL of the Mainstream Liberal Media.

Rather that shouting the appropriate OUTRAGE over this “document dump”, Ed helps “BURY” the facts and the story by “Throwing A Wet Blanket On It” with the understatement:

“Best not go there…..”

Effectively helping the Media “Black Out” of This Administration.

Good work – Times Magazine Wanna-Be’s

This post should SCREAM Outrage!

williamg on February 18, 2012 at 6:48 PM

What a stupid story.

What would qualify as “news” would be a story about what rational reason Obama DID have to think a company making products which had no market and cost more to produce than they could sell for was a good investment.

Did THAT ever happen? Even for a second, ever?

Of course not. But hey, let’s ignore the elephant in the living room: that this admininstration consistently makes mistakes that no reasonably intelligent second-grader could possibly make.

And instead, let’s just write endless stories on what documents might have been sent to whom, and whether they may have gotten around to actually reading it or not. Because, hey, that’s what’s really important here.

logis on February 18, 2012 at 2:32 PM

BINGO!!

All Ed is doing here – is HELPING The Enemy!

williamg on February 18, 2012 at 6:50 PM

All Ed is doing here – is HELPING The Enemy!

williamg on February 18, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Um, actually all Ed is doing here is posting a headline. Somebody else keeps writing these things.

logis on February 18, 2012 at 9:28 PM