Solyndra - A few new facts. A few new questions

Bruce Krasting's picture

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
bugs_'s picture

It could just be a typical fraudulent conveyance but it also could be an attempt to hide who exactly was on the list of receivables.  Perhaps there was someone on that list that owed money and couldn't pay.  Perhaps there is someone on that list that simply cannot stand public exposure.

In any event getting the list of who those receivables are and how much each one owes could yield an unexpected surprise.

Earl of Chiswick's picture
Another Obama fundraiser (not Kaiser) linked to loan program that aided Solyndra


9:59 p.m. CDT, September 16, 2011

Steve Spinner, who helped monitor the Energy Department's issuance of $25 billion in government loan guarantees to renewable energy projects, was one of Obama's top fundraisers in 2008 and is raising money for the president's 2012 reelection campaign

 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/la-na-solyndra-donor-2011...

 

bankruptcylawyer's picture

bruce the noose. hanging the goose

Moe Howard's picture

Fucking bush did it AGAIN! O'bummer, the poor blue lipped Irishman, can't get a break!

scatterbrains's picture

Pimm Fox on bbg saying this is all Bush's vault  lol

I did it by Occident's picture

Maybe a 'poison pill' from the bushies?  They "shelved" the loan proposal several weeks before Obama took office.  Obama and his cronies couldn't help themselves and walked right into that one.   Bush is dumb like a fox. 

Pun definitely intended :)

Earl of Chiswick's picture

I listen to/watch him on bbg  - do you have the clip cause he ain't no dem left progressive - far from

the grateful unemployed's picture

it sounds as though they are buying the outstanding orders,( in bankruptcy court they would probably be cancelled and the inventory auctioned off? ) in order to fulfill those orders.

If a venture capital company is involved there is no way of knowing who owns what. VC was the business model which phony defense contractors used during the Bush admin, such as the one for which Duke Cunningham went to prison. In that case he Duke steered a contract toward his friend, who was running the front, a building with no employees, no capital, etc. Once the guy had the contract he could then seeking funding to fulfill the orders, although it was a contract for a bogus service in the first place.

those guys were moving money all around, especially into things like online casinos in the Caribbean, and the money was kicked back to GOP players like Jack Abramoff and Tom Delay. I doubt that Obama and his Chicago gangsters have any clue about how to run that kind of scam, or how to fix voting machines, or make airplanes crash (into tall buildings sometimes)

there is however a smell to it, after all Obama saw no evil in anything Bush was doing, but most of his stuff is low level Chicago style political favors. he is pardon the pun, not in the Bush League about this.

infinity8's picture

I read it as they bought the inventory on the cheap (and the receivables) and will fulfill at a much nicer margin (and collect) - difference goes away in bk. - ? - amounts "unknown".

IQ 145's picture

Whoa. what  an excellent post.

anony's picture

This makes a lot of sense until the partisanshit creeps in:  "...not in the Bush League."    

Which is utter bullshit since they all play in the same league with the same rules, i.e. "Don't get caught. And when you do find a Lawyer who can bend the law until it's unrecognizable to its own mother".

This is fraud, it's real, it's a lot of money, and you don't know the half of it.  AND there's more of it going on in the Absurdistan wars with trillions being siphoned off by theBamster's Masters of the Universe. AND you don't know how Lord Blankfein managed to walk away with who knows how many more billions.

This isn't smelly, it's putrid, now in the spin machine, which you seem to be a part of, and it's rotten to very foundation, aborned in an alien's womb 

 

the grateful unemployed's picture

deficits are not in an of themselves bad, but when the money isn't spent on goods and services which bolster the economy, then deficits are deadly. in the USSR post empire, we bought huge amounts of weapons grade uranium, and most the money was spent on property along Monte Carlo, etc. Gangster capitalism. the income disparity gap widened significanlty during this period in America when the thieves who worked through the Bush admin ripped off the country. pallets ofmoney were thrown at people in Iraq, half of it was returned in campaign kickbacks.

Obama is a sheep, left to fatten up a bit before the wolf returns.

 

I did it by Occident's picture

yeah, basically the American League and the National leagues.  The elections are like the all-star game (mid-terms) and the world series (presidential election).  But does it really matter in the grand scheme which team wins?  not really. 

dlmaniac's picture

And the pretender in chief wanna spend another 450B on such fraud?

Instead of debating OweBummer's latest Job Act I think Congress should initiate an impeachment procedure.

disabledvet's picture

What needs asking is who is financing the Chinese competitors that have cost the DOE a fortune. If you answer "Goldman Sachs"'then i think all your complex questions will be simplified and answered. Move along children! Move along!

Crab Cake's picture

If it involves a political party, a politician, a corporation, a highly monied interest, Wall St, or DC.... I assume guilt. 

I have lost all faith in the political and business "leadership" of this country.  In fact, as far as I'm concerned the Constitutional Republic known as the United States doesn't exist anymore.

anony's picture

The bricks and mortar are still here, but it's the virtual reality of it that it has become that is more real with more consequences than can be conceived by man.

dizzyfingers's picture

 

http://www.whitecollarfraud.com/959695.html

Solving the Problem of White Collar Fraud & Bad Audits

Focus on Accounting Education

"You are going to go into a profession where you really don't know people's true intentions. Fraudsters like myself, we build a whole world of respectability around ourselves. I gave money to a lot of charities while I was committing my fraud. My cousin Eddie, he gave a lot of money with his stolen money to a lot of charities. He gave a lot of money to politicians. He built wings on to hospitals and built a big aura of respectability around him and people were in awe of him. This is what fraudsters do," Antar said.

March 3, 2005: Muleskinner News (Central Missouri State University) article "Famous Fraudster Visits Central" by John Lawrence


Accounting Education

The main pillar behind the strength of our capitalistic economic system is the integrity of financial information. Such information is disseminated by companies and relied upon by investors, lenders, creditors, governments, and other third parties to make crucial economic decisions.

However, fraudsters are committing ever larger frauds year after year, while the government and professional regulatory bodies pass laws, rules, and regulations that frankly are not solving the problem.

The accounting profession is not properly educated, trained, and experienced to deal with criminals of my former caliber. While criminals do sometimes get caught (and most of the time it is not as a result of independent audits conducted by CPA firms), it is often too late to undo the economic damage and carnage already done: lost integrity in the financial markets, billion dollar investor and creditor losses, and unemployment.

While I do not advocate anything less than strict and harsh sentencing for white collar crime, major prosecutions and sentencing of criminals (while making good headlines) do not significantly solve the problem of preventing white collar crime.

Strong sentencing and punishment should be considered as a means of exacting responsibility on these criminals and not used as a primary means of prevention. The best use of harsh sentencing comes is to induce otherwise non-cooperating criminals into government witnesses.

The solution is very fundamental. It is about education. Congress cannot legislate competence, but it can learned. Legislation such as Sarbanes Oxley should not be legislation without teeth. Accounting students and auditors simply do not have enough education on white collar crime, prevention, and detection.

Most colleges and universities do not offer a single fraud or forensic accounting course for accounting students. They learn it as a subset within an auditing course. The few colleges that have such courses only offer them as an elective subject.

Most accounting students never learn about securities law and other basic subjects covered on the CPA exam in college. They must "learn" these subject areas in a CPA exam (cram) review course after they graduate.

Criminology courses are almost nonexistent to accounting students. They are not even taught how to ask proper questions or conduct field interviews. Criminology and interview skills are not covered on the CPA exam.

Today most accounting students graduate and obtain CPA licenses with ever taking a specific full semester course on white collar crime, forensic accounting, criminology, internal controls, securities law and many other important areas required for the profession and the investing public that relies on the integrity of their work product.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) which has over 300,000 CPAs as members, only “recommends” that CPAs take 10% of their continuing education credits in fraud with no specific criteria for accountants who spend most of their time on audits.

We must make a complete reevaluation and overhaul of accounting education in America today to take into account the biggest enemy to American capitalism – white collar crime. It must no longer be considered a side issue to the profession.

The educational community, regulatory agencies, and licensing authorities must move now to require strict education standards for any persons entering the profession as well as those practicing in it now. It is an issue for us all as we would demand any critical profession to rise up to the challenges facing our society as we have in the sciences and elsewhere.

I was a CPA and a fraudster who committed one of the largest securities frauds of the 1980’s involving the electronics retailer Crazy Eddie Inc. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants sold educational materials (for which I receive no compensation by choice since I deserve none) featuring interviews of me about this fraud in an effort to educate its members about accounting fraud.

The AICPA web site and the CPA Letter issued by the AICPA in February/March 2003 said:

“Sam Antar, a former CPA with the now-defunct Crazy Eddie's electronic chain, would be the first to agree that CPAs need to learn more about fraud. That's because Antar, now a convicted felon, helped engineer a half-billion dollar financial statement fraud that was made possible by taking advantage of the company's independent auditors.”

Therefore, I ask why isn’t any one listening to the confessions of a criminal mind? Is it not logical that the first step toward defeating us is to learn more about us? Remember the saying, “Know thy enemy.” As a criminal I knew my auditors much better than they knew me. They never caught me. It was family infighting that brought me down. Unfortunately, most of the time the auditors are the last to know about frauds committed under their noses.

To the accounting profession and the public at large: listen my warnings and wake up. Not every former fraudster is willing to come forward and give you this advice. The profession needs to do more work to address white collar crime.

If you do not listen to me you will continue to experience ever growing massive frauds that our current laws cannot prevent because the auditors of America’s corporations have no skill to match wits with people like me (or rather like I used to be). The risks to the future of the accounting profession, capitalism, and our economy are enormous.

Respectfully,

Sam E. Antar

 

Bruce Krasting's picture

Sam,

Thanks for contributing to this discussion. It always helps when an expert chimes in.

I hope you have landed on your feet, and learned a lesson.

bk

FinalCollapse's picture

Sam - that's bad. If Eric Holder were the AG at the time you committed the fraud, you would be basking in the sun, on the deck of your super yacht. The golden years for fraudsters are now. Given the fact the Obama will not survive past 2012, all fraudsters are racing to steal as much money while they still can. The race is on.

Quantum Nucleonics's picture

The purpose of these transactions should be pretty clear.  A politically well connected investor is draining the company of cash and assets in order to protect them from creditors and claw back their equity.  Yes, you the tax payer are getting screwed coming and going.

anony's picture

You know better than to say that a significant amount of taxpayer money "Was LOST".

The money is somewhere and while your questions need answers, they do not get at the crux of the matter:

Where is every cent of the money that entered their bank account from day one until one sceond ago?  Who got it?  For what? How much more will they get?

Every damned dime needs to be tracked to its payee.

 

Roscoe's picture

I'm confused why the United States is not listed in the bankruptcy filing as a significant investor. The listed significant investors don't add up to anyhwere near 100%, so where does the taxpayers' investment rank in all this? As a taxpayer, wouldn't one have standing to challenge this?

Here's the text from the filing:

As noted above, Solyndra is 100% owned by Holdings. Holdings,’significant investors include Argonaut Ventures (38.99%); Madrone Partners (13.00%), USVP Venture Partners (9.20%); and Rockport Capital Partners (7.33%).

Link to the filing: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/pdf/Solyndra-affidavit.pdf 

 

Quantum Nucleonics's picture

The US provided a loan guarantee.  Bank XYZ provides the funding, to the extent that Solyndra stiffs Bank XYZ, said bank turns around and asks Uncle Sam to write a check to Bank XYZ to cover the loss.  Depending on how this deal was structured, you might not see the US directly in the filings.  Also, even if it was a direct loan, the US would be listed as a creditor, not an investor.

MrBoompi's picture

Anyone who thinks we will get clarity or transparency from a fascist government needs to have his head examined.  American taxpayers are the patsies, the RUBES.  Our government is there to protect the financial predators, not us.

ptoemmes's picture

I find it a tad amusing that the Solyndra "story" has made it on NBC Nightly News and CNN a few times this past week - FOX no doubt soon if not already.  Of course they do not have a snowballs-chance-in-hell of doing it the kind of in depth reporting that is needed (seven minute segments and all) you have Bruce.  Yes, I see the top post about The Daily Show.

You probably do not need the help, but ever think of trying to team up with Matt Taibbi on this one?

 

Keep it up.

 

Pete

Ruth's picture

Thanks Bruce, ZH and of course the ZH community for making this topic what it is ...corruption.

DaveyJones's picture

"There are questions of who did what to whom and when."

THEY screwed US like they ALWAYS DO

snowball777's picture

Eat your peas under the shell!

clagr's picture

From a very unlikely source, Ralph Nader, popped up the comment that Govt loan guarantees are a regularly occurring event in large high risk start ups, of which some are going to go bad. His example was ALL nuclear power plants. This stopped me from foaming at the mouth at this outrage.

Not that Solyndra isn't the worst type of political payback--which I hope we prosecute to the limit of the law (under Holder--Right!!)

This is just another step on the ladder to financial hell that misallocations of capital by the Federal Programs have caused (Think all wars, Fannie and Freddie and GNMA, poverty programs in excess of truely disabled or very temporary, frictional unemployment.)

In this light the latest financial collapse is all due to Federal Government intervention {thanks Barny and Chris}. The 'greedy' bankers were pawns reacting to federal policies ("if you don't do sub prime lending you don't get branch expansion approval" [but more realistically you don't get to make loans since other fools will do it] and 'greedy' borrowers who would have been foolish not to take the lottery chance at riches with the Feds pushing this 'get out of ghetto free' policy.)

 

malikai's picture

All subsidies should be cut, period. Solyndra, nuclear power plants, farms, oil, you name it. Every single one of them brings with it moral hazard and monopolistic eventualities.

IQ 145's picture

Ford Motor company, symbol F on the NYSE is buyable at todays price and is participating in the present rally; The price chart supports the thesis that it can rally 20% in the next three months; anything bought on this rally will have to be sold again; it's just a rally in a bear market.

wang's picture
wang (not verified) Sep 16, 2011 9:14 AM

here are the emails from the WH that talk about Solyndra

http://republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/Media/file/Hearings/Oversigh...

 

There is one email that seems to absolve the WH of political interference (or at least it is being spun that way)  it is towards the bottom of the PDF

excerpt here

http://oi51.tinypic.com/29fuvx0.jpg

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

Dis, right you are..a captured GOV ends up looking like fools and idiots.. the MSM will look at anything but the fact of systemic corruption with washington's planned economy socialist BS.

.

dis-stressed's picture

Having an equity or distressed investor in a bankruptcy make priming DIP isn't all that unusual. After all, why would you invest good money after bad that didn't have the highest probablility of repayment.  (Why someone thought there was hope of upside here is another question.) Most of the manuvering here looks like it is to protect the most recent investment of Argonaut - and who knows maybe someone thought they could do some face saving (seems highly doubtful they thought they could get recovery on equity).  Bankruptcies are full of conflicts, but at least the behavior of the parties looks like they are paying attention to priority of claims, unlike GM. Since Argonaut is in first position with its lien, the transaction you are focusing on is really moving the chesspieces of collateral that first goes to Argonaut anyway.  You earlier mentioned the ability of Argonaut to credit bid....they are in first position, so unitl their claim is satisfied (net of priority claims, court costs and legal fees of course) they get paid first - so the theory is that the credit bid is same as claim.

I think the bigger issues are how can anyone invest so much money, and taxpayer money at that, and not even have a going concern to show for it?  The corruption and ineptitude is clearly at the nexus of Argonaut and Govt in the initial transaction and ongoing involvement....unfortunately there is a lot of history in boondoggles like this...think ethanol (I actually did feasiblity studies of plants in the 80's - none feasible by the way, even though that didn't prevent one from being built with government help), synfuels, etc.

 

cramers_tears's picture

After all, why would you invest good money after bad that didn't have the highest probablility of repayment.

Could be Kaiser is butting in at the front of the line for senior secured debt-holders.  This transaction is all about the numbers.  If Kaiser loans post-bankruptcy 4M that gets a free and clear security in 3.8M AR and ?-M Inventory from the bankruptcy judge - Kaiser gets the inventory free and clear and the corresponding profit from that inventory.  Of course, this is still all about the numbers, but I'm sure Kaiser/Argonaut won't be making any loans unless both AR and Inventory are secured and segregated from bankruptcy assets.

Bruce, we're depending on you to keep tabs on this unfolding story.  Monitor the USGOV's performance in the bankruptcy proceedings.  I've tried to get an actual look at the facility for the original 535M DOE loan and the extra 67M the DOE was contemplating (which some say was partially funded) - but hell if I can find it.  I'm sure Bk of Ok was involved in some way.  This may prove a great lever on tubing the OBOT. The White House doesn't like the "Optics" -http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0911/63675.html   I'm sure Rove and the rest are watching this.  Hell, don't be surprised if Kaiser starts making some serious contributions to Crossroads.  It's all just a big Uni-Party anyway.

Keep this story out there, Bruce.  We're counting on you.

dis-stressed's picture

If I understand Bruce's reporting, Argonaut is the Senior debt holder and they are using the carve-out of liquid assets as a large source of the funds for the DIP....so there isn't much change there.  Agonaut is effectively priming itself. or maybe I should say being very creative in making sure the most liquid assets in the case are available for use as cash

Freebird's picture

Surely, this last minute, asset stripping transaction to a new related company is reversible even under US law no?

dis-stressed's picture

It may be academic....if the senior claim is impaired then the sale proceeds only go to them and the administrative claims anyway.  But you are correct that the court potentially has the ability recapture those assets - but very likely only if the US govt (next guys in line) argue that they want the court to do that. I'm not familiar enough with the case to know if there would really be any difference in the final analysis

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

Dis, business as usual you say: 1/2 billion public debt and the dept of energy is not first in line? gotta have big fraud to run thru that kinda dough in so short a time..why Obumas foot prints are hardly cold and it's tits up.

dis-stressed's picture

I'm simply saying that no one would have put new money in the deal underneath the 1/2 billion.  So, the choice was 1) gov't could have stepped up with more money or 2) another party would have to. If the thing was looking like it might fail, then the new money would have been in an amount less than liquidation value (if the money was halfway smart anyway) and would have required a senior lien, so that if failure did happen the money could be recovered, or 3) don't put any additional money in and have a freefall bankruptcy and liquidation.  In this case the new money appears to have delayed 3 and is pursuing and orderly liquidation. Don't be suprised if  the new money doesn't show up as "Stalking Horse Bidder" and has lots of advantages including knowing the deal better than anyone else and having a big break-up fee and a compressed timeframe for the sale (hence controlling the DIP)

I'm not saying you and I as taxpayers shouldn't be pissed off, I certainly am.  I simply think that Bruce is following the smoke and the fire happened earlier

Clark Bent's picture

Is the Fed's loan non-dischargeable, like so many other debts where the fed is the creditor? If so, mightn't it be that they are trying mostly to get the assets out to restart the company under another name sans debts? Or maybe sell it all to China along with whatever taxpayer subsidized patents might be therein? Also, aren't we still in Chapter 11? Are we sure that the company is liquidating?  

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

making big gov bigger to serve us better..thanks socialists everywhere

Miss Expectations's picture

The Honorable Mary Walrath is also the Judge assigned the bankruptcy of Washington Mutual...you know the deal where JP Morgan Chase gets it all.

Unjust Deal: How to purchase a Multi-Billion dollar bank for FREE

By all accounts, JP Morgan Chase (JPM) purchased the whole bank assets of Washington Mutual for 1.88 billion in September of 2008.  Anyone would agree that 1.88B for a 110 year old organization that had 270 billion on deposit, 29 billion in liquid cash, 2700 banks, 8000 ATM's, and a credit card company is an unjust deal that deserves scrutiny.

The deal becomes even more unjust when one considers the impact it has to JP Morgan - - the deal creates the nation's second-largest branch network.   A combined network reaching 42% of the U.S. population, with strong positions in attractive markets such as California, Florida, New York, Texas, Arizona, Illinois and Washington.  With the assumption of WaMu’s assets, JP Morgan will have $900 billion in deposits, 5,400 branches and 14,000 ATMs in 23 states.

http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/415296-truth-and-transparency/58778-un...


Dingleberry's picture

The MSM is ignoring this story for the most part, so you know it's fucking serious. These mother-fuckers are relentless in their fraud and greed.

malikai's picture

I know it's not the same thing by a long shot, but doesn't this reek like Enron's off-balance sheet transfers? Perhaps in the inverse?

Hephasteus's picture

Deleware. Deleware has a nice kangaroo court. What's all this duck talk. It's kangaroo's you should be worried about.

Flocking swans's picture

Bruce, let me know when you find the blue dress...