Yep: Bankrupt Obama-stimulus recipient goes to the highest bidder, the highest bidder being China

posted at 10:41 am on December 10, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Let me get my obligatory free-trade qualifier out of the way here first: It’s not so much that there’s anything at all wrong with businesses buying and selling on the international arena, because foreign markets may have demands for products we don’t, and we all stand to make money off of one another in a mutually beneficial and productive way. Free-trade is not a zero-sum game, and everybody wins.

The problem here is that in the case of A123 Systems, a manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for electric cards, the Obama administration spoon-fed hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money into what they assured us was a guaranteed-successful endeavor at ushering in the glorious green-energy revolution and leading us down the path of ostensibly necessary energy independence. Not only has President Obama’s “investment” failed to inspire a dearth of American-made electric car-buying (which has also been very generously subsidized, courtesy of the taxpayer), but it’s brought us no closer to the energy self-sufficiency at which President Obama constantly suggests he’d like us to arrive.

The Washington Post reports:

Wanxiang America, the U.S. arm of a Chinese automotive parts giant, won the bidding for a bankrupt Massachusetts-based lithium battery manufacturer that was once hailed as a cornerstone of President Obama’s quest for American dominance in electric vehicles and battery technology.

A123 Systems announced Sunday that Wanxiang would pay $256.6 million for all of A123’s technology, its manufacturing facilities in the United States and China, and its contracts with utilities seeking grid storage and automakers seeking batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles. …

Wanxiang would not acquire A123’s Ann Arbor, Mich.-based government business, which includes all of its U.S. military contracts. Those would be acquired for $2.25 million by Navitas Systems, a Woodridge, Ill.-based provider of energy storage products for commercial, industrial and government agency customers.

True that the A123′s Michigan plant will remain open, but what we’ve essentially accomplished here is borrowing money from the Chinese, to build a company at a loss, to then sell it to the Chinese. And hey, I thought President Obama was an opponent of offshoring on principle? How is it not an intellectual inconsistency that it’s not okay when American businesses make use of international labor markets, but it’s fine and dandy when foreign-owned businesses set up shop here? Could it be that the door actually does swing both ways?

If these renewable energies into which President Obama so magnanimously gifts our money have a shot at success, the free market won’t ignore them — the federal government needs to stop playing political games with its romantical notions of venture-socialism. All appeals to logic and reason aside, don’t expect the madness to stop anytime soon:

President Obama travels to Detroit today to talk about the need for increased taxes on top earners to finance federal spending, and is using an announcement of a $100 million investment from German auto giant Daimler to illustrate that his economic prescription is working.

Obama is not likely to discuss another big business story of the day – the sale of the assets of battery maker A123 to a Chinese competitor. A123 spent at least $132 million of its $249 million stimulus package grant to build two Detroit-area factories, including one in Livonia, right next door to Redford Township, where Obama is speaking today.

Assuming a bankruptcy judge and the Obama Treasury Department approve of the sale of A123’s assets to Wanxiang Group, the Chinese battery maker would immediately become the dominant force in the industry.


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Obama, a faithful ChiCom employee.

Archivarix on December 10, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Your economic philosophy has been proven to be a complete and utter failure.

libfreeordie on December 10, 2012 at 9:17 AM

Hat-tip to rogerb.

CurtZHP on December 10, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Its really nice of us to buy America for the Chinese.

Speakup on December 10, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Since I know Ed is at home, snow blower started on first try, I guess he’s on vacation. Knock us dead, Erika.

Cindy Munford on December 10, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Hey, at least he doesn’t have to bundle campaign donations for them.

Cindy Munford on December 10, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Money well spent lent…

RalphyBoy on December 10, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Hey, at least he doesn’t have to bundle campaign donations for them.

Cindy Munford on December 10, 2012 at 10:51 AM

It works the other way around – the Chinese bundle campaign donations for him.

Archivarix on December 10, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Archivarix on December 10, 2012 at 10:54 AM

You have to admit that Obama bundled a pretty penny for him. This guy is a true support of the global economy.

Cindy Munford on December 10, 2012 at 10:56 AM

lithium-ion batteries for electric cards

that’s about all they’d power, but supposedly they were originally intended to power electric cars.

SoRight on December 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Hey, Where are all the trolls acknowledging Obama’s ownership of this debacle?

See how that works in all season for all reasons – ‘cause there are lots of Obama debacles to go around.

Galt2009 on December 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Not only has President Obama’s “investment” failed to inspire a dearth of American-made electric car-buying

Psst, Erika, there is a dearth of electric car buying. Dearth = lack. You might mean “plethora.”

As for China buying this company, does this mean we taxpayers will be getting our investment money back? Hey, quit laughing hysterically.

rbj on December 10, 2012 at 11:05 AM

ARE CHINESE BIGGER FOOLS THAN OUR GOVERNMENT?

They are paying 256 million for a company which spent 132. If they spent 132, what is it really worth? Not to mention this obsolete electric car scheme is doomed to failure if the free market fails.

This is 2012; in 1912 there were electric cars available. Soon after there none. The same parameters prevail today, limited range, expensive batteries and long charge times from carbon dioxide emitting plants.

Those who will not learn from….

FOWG1 on December 10, 2012 at 11:08 AM

At least this website learned the lesson of its anti-American worker, free trade rhetoric…

Oh…wait…

HB3 on December 10, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Free-trade is not a zero-sum game, and everybody wins.

Really???…

When an American worker makes $45 a month, I guess then we will be on an equal footing with Asian workers…

PatriotRider on December 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM

FOWG1 on December 10, 2012 at 11:08 AM

While it’s hard to believe that anything can be bigger fools than the U.S. government, we should probably consider any possibility as a feature.

Cindy Munford on December 10, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Heh, the Chinese finally figured out that borrowing money to Obama was a loser.
So they are taking the money they would have “loaned” us – and are buying America.

redguy on December 10, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Follow the money.
Somebody is getting rich from this.

NeoKong on December 10, 2012 at 11:18 AM

It’s almost as if the Dog Eating Retard And His Gang of Morans don’t possess one iota of economic acumen.

Crazy talk, yeah that’s what I do.

Bishop on December 10, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Since I know Ed is at home, snow blower started on first try, I guess he’s on vacation. Knock us dead, Erika.

Cindy Munford on December 10, 2012 at 10:50 AM

I’ve gone green with my snow removal, the method is called “Kids With Shovels”.

Bishop on December 10, 2012 at 11:21 AM

OK…so we sell off a battery development company that we put 250 mil into because it couldn’t survive only to immediately invest millions more into a new battery development lab.

Michigan was selected for two new advanced battery research facilities as part of a five-year, up to $120 million partnership involving the U.S. Department of Energy, officials announced Friday.
AP Wire
Holland
Dec 1, 2012

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow joined other officials including Energy Secretary Steven Chu to announce the project. She said in a release that one facility is planned for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the other at Michigan State University’s Bioeconomy Institute in the southwestern Michigan city of Holland. Both are part of Argonne National Laboratory’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research.
The University of Michigan said it’s expected to get $7 million and its portion will involve about a dozen researchers. Details about the Michigan State facility weren’t available Friday afternoon.
Companies involved in the project include Midland-based Dow Chemical and Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc. Johnson Controls announced last month it would buy the automotive business of battery maker A123 Systems Inc., which filed for bankruptcy protection, including its two Michigan factories.
Stabenow said in the release that the centers are “further cementing Michigan’s global leadership role in the advanced battery industry.”
“These new hubs will bring together Michigan’s innovative businesses and universities from across the state to create more breakthroughs in advanced battery technologies right here in Michigan,” she said.
Some people have been critical of the government’s big investments in the technology, including the $249 million federal grant awarded to A123 Systems three years ago. The company’s bankruptcy filing stoked Republican criticism of President Barack Obama’s support for “green” energy companies and A123 became an issue in the presidential campaign.
Chu said in a release Friday that “tremendous advances” have come in the past few years.
“There are very good reasons to believe that advanced battery technologies can and will play an increasingly valuable role in strengthening America’s energy and economic security … upgrading our aging power grid and allowing us to take greater advantage of intermittent energy sources like wind and solar.”

SoonerMarine on December 10, 2012 at 11:21 AM

There is a deeper truth with regards to A123 that is very carefully not being told anywhere in the Fifth Column Treasonous Media. that truth is… That A123 was always going to end up a failure and sold to China. The Enviro-Nazi’s in California guaranteed that 20 years ago and China loves them for it.

Now I am sure you are asking, what the hell am I talking about? Well, it’s really pretty much the same thing that doomed Solyendra, no, not Solyndra’s bad management. Something more basic and simple that has been concealed from the American people.

Thanks to the Enviro-Nazi’s in California China controls the world rare earth markets. Yes, it really is this simple. You do not manufacture Solar cells or Lithium-ion batteries without a reliable cost-effective supply of rare earth metals, period, end of story.

Since China controls the rare earth markets any company that manufactures any product dependent on rare earth metals success is utterly and totally dependent on Chinese benevolence. If the Chinese make the political decision that a product dependent on rare earth metals threatens a Chinese manufactured product the company manufacturing that product will discover that the cost of it’s imported rare earth metals suddenly exceeds it’s ability to manufacture a profitable product and that it’s supply of rare earth metals has suddenly become, less than reliable.

So now you want to know how the Enviro-Nazi’s in California play any part in this, right? Ok it works like this, Mountain Pass California was until the early 1980′s the world dominate supplier of rare earth metals. In the early 80′s California’s Enviro-Nazi’s shut down the rare earth metal industry in California. The Chinese laughed their collective asses off at the sheer stupidity of California’s Enviro-Nazi’s even while they leaped into action taking advantage of that stupidity.

The Chinese, unlike the imbeciles in California’s Enviro-Nazi community recognized the incredible value of controlling the rare earth metals market in a world increasing dependent upon and constantly demanding more consumer products that cannot be manufactured without those rare earth metals.

Currently the Chinese are literately holding the entire worlds silicone industry hostage. The Chinese dictate the price and availability of the rare earth metals required to manufacture all silicone computer chips.

Since the Chinese do not currently have a viable world-wide competitive CPU or GPU manufacturing industry, companies like Intel, AMD and Texas Industries are not in a position where it is profitable for the Chinese to decimate them as they did with Solyndra or take them over as they are doing with A123. But don’t allow yourself to be deceived that if they were in that position, they wouldn’t exercise that option.

SWalker on December 10, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Follow the money.
Somebody is getting rich from this.

NeoKong on December 10, 2012 at 11:18 AM

There is incompetence involved in all these ridiculous ‘investments’ in ‘green’ technology but there is also wholesale graft. The principals involved in these failed ventures always do quite well out of them.

CorporatePiggy on December 10, 2012 at 11:23 AM

When an American worker makes $45 a month, I guess then we will be on an equal footing with Asian workers…

PatriotRider on December 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM

“Zero-sum game” is a misleading term. It’s an accurate jab at the leftist ideology, but it comes up short when you realize that there ARE, in fact, a limited number of jobs available in any given year.

And a funny thing happens – when more jobs go to peasant semi-slave labor, there are correspondingly less for American workers.

BTW this does not account for dangers like what happens if Commieland suddenly swings back to its roots or instability flares up in a favorite peasant-labor nation. I do not want to live to see the day when one of the “Big Box Mart” chains has to go on national TV and announce an imminent shortage of everything because their foreign labor literally went away overnight.

MelonCollie on December 10, 2012 at 11:24 AM

….The United States of America, brought to you by our Sponsors:

China
Smuckers
United Arab Emerites
Buick
Saudi Arabia
SodaStream

portlandon on December 10, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Bishop on December 10, 2012 at 11:21 AM

I know the Global Warmers appreciate it. I call my contribution, Florida.

Cindy Munford on December 10, 2012 at 11:36 AM

When an American worker makes $45 a month, I guess then we will be on an equal footing with Asian workers…

PatriotRider on December 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Sorry dear, it isn’t the amount of compensation being paid to the American worker that places it on an equal footing with Asian workers. It is a combination of State and Federal regulations and energy prices that achieve that end.

American workers achieve a level of productivity that is unmatched anywhere on earth. This is not my opinion, it is a documented fact.

Measured by output per person, no country in the world can even come close to matching the productivity of American workers – they will produce 30% of global output this year with only 5% of the world’s labor force.

Various Asian countries, or other countries that compete with American companies do not succeed because of their labor costs, they do so because of the regulatory environments, or more precisely the lack of those restrictive regulatory environments. The cost of labor in those countries is just what you might call icing on the cake. The cost of labor might be lower, but likewise so is the quality and quantity of output.

SWalker on December 10, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Free-trade is not a zero-sum game, and everybody wins.

When an American worker makes $45 a month, I guess then we will be on an equal footing with Asian workers…

PatriotRider on December 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM

While I would say the jury is definitely still out on “everybody wins” with “free trade” in global economy, I would also say that a) protectionism is dead, and, b) the continued move toward global wage equalization is unstoppable (and sure to generate more war around the globe, especially revolution with outside partisan participation). You don’t really think the US military “AfricaCom” is all about terrorism, do you? Our SOCOM action against the Lord’s Resistance Army ain’t nothing but the orchesta tuning-up.

For everyone below the banker-level investor-class, times are only going to get more interesting.

M240H on December 10, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Why does Deeee-troit need help? Isn’t it a Democratic “Worker’s Paradise”?

GarandFan on December 10, 2012 at 11:49 AM

The cost of labor in those countries is just what you might call icing on the cake. The cost of labor might be lower, but likewise so is the quality and quantity of output.

SWalker on December 10, 2012 at 11:40 AM

By the way, labor, as a percentage of manufacturing costs represents on average for non-farm related manufacturing between 8 and 15% of total overhead. While materials and energy and regulatory fee’s represent between 75 and 80 percent of the overhead cost.

SWalker on December 10, 2012 at 11:51 AM

SWalker on December 10, 2012 at 11:22 AM

The environmentalists will only be happy when they manage to drive us to the ancient nomadic family group hunter gathers of the past. Any kind of agro society is completely against their belief system. Take a look at Indians in the Amazon and you will see the Utopian fantasy of the environmentalist.

Frank Enstine on December 10, 2012 at 11:51 AM

SWalker on December 10, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Good post.
I knew about China cornering the rare earth market, but didn’t know about the California story.
One would think that rare earth production would be of strategic interest to us.
Too bad we don’t have a president who is actually interested in the welfare of this country.

justltl on December 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM

SWalker on December 10, 2012 at 11:22 AM

The environmentalists will only be happy when they manage to drive us to the ancient nomadic family group hunter gathers of the past. Any kind of agro society is completely against their belief system. Take a look at Indians in the Amazon and you will see the Utopian fantasy of the environmentalist.

Frank Enstine on December 10, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Some of them yes, most of them, though, I believe are fascist control freaks. the evidence of this is seen indisputably in their own chosen lifestyles. They themselves do not abandon or forgo the luxuries or conveniences of a modern technological society, instead they seek to exercise control over other groups within the technological societies that they live.

That isn’t about preserving or protecting the environment, it’s about the exercise of raw power.

SWalker on December 10, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Hey.. lets just sell it all to China.

Sell them the welfare dept. Let them finance it and run it. Put their flag out front. Sell them the EPA. Let them run it, staff it with Chinese and plant their flag out front on the building somewhere. Drape some red banners and a picture of Mao. Who would object? Certainly not the GOP. If someone does.. Boehner and McConnell would just shut them down. At least Boehner would. The media wouldn’t object.

Think of the money we’d save. We’re all headed this way anyway. Let them just move in and take it all over. That would free up more money for even longer and better Obama vacations.

I’m wondering…. serious question someone should as Boehner… how much tax payer money would it take for Obama to spend on his vacation before the Republican leadership would object?

Another good question. Obama invited this Psy guy to his party. Psy guy has ranted about killing American soldiers and their families.

So.. someone should ask Boehner… What kind of a murderous ranting lunatic would Obama have to invite to a WH party and shake hands with to offend the GOP leadership? Is this something Presidents should do more of? Would Boehner think this relevant for the American people to know?

If a Republican did this.. would Boehner think it cool?

JellyToast on December 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM

One would think that rare earth production would be of strategic interest to us.
Too bad we don’t have a president who is actually interested in the welfare of this country.

justltl on December 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Yes, a rational and logical individual would think exactly that, however this issue isn’t about rational or logical thinking, it’s about certain groups obtaining and increasing their political power.

SWalker on December 10, 2012 at 12:01 PM

In my best “Pie Supper auctioneer voice”……..

“Ttttttttttttto the hiiiiiiiiiighest bidder. Look at this rrrrrrred Shiite and baaaaluuuuue pie box here. Folks this pie, I just looked in the box is miiiiighty fine. It’s got your natural resources, yer Oceans white and foam and yer purple mountains. With a hayyynkerin of Teaters throughout. Got a lotta potential. Who bids first?………right over there in the Far East corner……Chhhhiiiiiiiiiina. Who’s next?”

THAT is where we are at folks. We’re being sold like a fancy boxed pie at a school pie supper.

Politicians suck.

PappyD61 on December 10, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Follow the money.
Somebody is getting rich from this.

NeoKong on December 10, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Yes, and they all have Chicago addresses (some also have temporary addresses in Washington, D.C.).

AZCoyote on December 10, 2012 at 12:07 PM

SWalker on December 10, 2012 at 11:22 AM

You are a mine of information! You dig through and find the most interesting and pertinant info that abounds!!

I do believe you should be added to at least the Green Room!

Your commentary is always soooo informative, and I have learned much from your postings!

Many Thanks SW!!

Scrumpy on December 10, 2012 at 12:12 PM

The answer is so simple! China and India, watch out, the US may remove a few regulations and take over your manufacturing jobs.
 
bayam on February 24, 2011 at 3:42 PM

rogerb on December 10, 2012 at 12:13 PM

SWalker on December 10, 2012 at 11:22 AM

You are a mine of information! You dig through and find the most interesting and pertinant info that abounds!!

I do believe you should be added to at least the Green Room!

Your commentary is always soooo informative, and I have learned much from your postings!

Many Thanks SW!!

Scrumpy on December 10, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Why thank you Scrumpy, but I doubt that the staff here needs or wants the competition, besides, I don’t know that I have the self discipline that Ed and his crew have clearly displayed in being able to crank out article after article everyday.

SWalker on December 10, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Our govt, over time, has become so corrupt, so easily bought, and our politicians garner such wealth and riches…

All because they have their own rule book, they don’t follow the one the rest of us are obliged to follow.

It’s time for that to stop…

The ‘sickness’ in DC and with pols is their greed…

Scrumpy on December 10, 2012 at 12:17 PM

SWalker on December 10, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Don’t sell yourself short :-)

You have what it takes, your website is fantastic!

You are concise and precise with what you have to say, and I like that!

I would never have known about rare earth metals, until you mentioned it!

Scrumpy on December 10, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Remember Doc Zero, he, if I remember rightly, wrote one article a day… that’s all it takes…

Submit your Resume SW! :-)

Scrumpy on December 10, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Our govt, over time, has become so corrupt, so easily bought, and our politicians garner such wealth and riches…

All because they have their own rule book, they don’t follow the one the rest of us are obliged to follow.

It’s time for that to stop…

The ‘sickness’ in DC and with pols is their greed…

Scrumpy on December 10, 2012 at 12:17 PM

ROTFLMAO…Indeed, which is why many of us out here in the real world have taken to calling Washington DC… Mordor on the Potomac… We have indeed fallen sway to Sauron, the Dark Lord of Mordor…

SWalker on December 10, 2012 at 12:25 PM

And all the democrat union supporters said….

yeah, nothing…

tom daschle concerned on December 10, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Your economic philosophy has been proven to be a complete and utter failure.
 
libfreeordie on December 10, 2012 at 9:17 AM

 
Hat-tip to rogerb.
 
CurtZHP on December 10, 2012 at 10:48 AM

 
For the record, I love to see other people posting it. I mostly do simple google searches, and I know there are tons out there that I miss or I’m not around when an appropriate thread comes up.
 
Apply liberally.

rogerb on December 10, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Another sign of impending financial collapse:

The yard sale.

“We could sell that stuff in the garage and use the cash to pay this months credit card bill…..that’ll fix everything”

BobMbx on December 10, 2012 at 1:03 PM

BobMbx on December 10, 2012 at 1:03 PM

+1. I fully expect to see it.

MelonCollie on December 10, 2012 at 1:07 PM

I’ve gone green with my snow removal, the method is called “Kids With Shovels”.

Bishop on December 10, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Posts like that can get you a visit from child welfare and/or the local snow-shoveler union.

BobMbx on December 10, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Follow the money.
Somebody is getting rich from this.

NeoKong on December 10, 2012 at 11:18 AM

and bankrolling their re-election campaigns

burserker on December 10, 2012 at 1:10 PM

SWalker on December 10, 2012 at 11:40 AM

I agree with you…I was being general in my statement…

PatriotRider on December 10, 2012 at 1:20 PM

…tax the rich and all our problems will be solved!

KOOLAID2 on December 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Well, technically, China already owns us, so…

LoganSix on December 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Perfect ending to the Obama bailout.

But the sale is at a far cheaper price than AIG sought and will lead to a substantial loss, the insurer’s price for getting out of its last major non-core asset following the U.S. government bailout of the company in the financial crisis.

Schadenfreude on December 10, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Crazy talk, yeah that’s what I do.

Bishop on December 10, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Your crazy talk is more sane than all the supposedly sane ones.

Schadenfreude on December 10, 2012 at 3:38 PM

It works the other way around – the Chinese bundle campaign donations for him.

Archivarix on December 10, 2012 at 10:54 AM

That’s just a kickback for Obumble making sure they can buy the rest of the US at fire-sale prices….

dentarthurdent on December 10, 2012 at 3:44 PM