Solyndra - The Obama connection

Bruce Krasting's picture

I wrote about the solar panel manufacturer Solyndra last week; "Government Investment Disaster in the Works" I highlighted all of the negatives that the company was facing.

It was pretty clear to me that that company was facing trouble. But I had no idea that they would file Chapter 11 the very next day. (Sometimes you just get lucky)

I also made note of some scuttlebutt that George Kaiser (Oklahoma oil billionaire) was involved with Solyndra. I have been looking for a confirmation of this. Kaiser is an important link in this story. He is also a very big fund-raiser for Obama. He is often referred to as a “Bundler”. In this case that means he encouraged/pushed others to put up money for the big O’s campaign.

The Tulsa World filed a story Re the Kaiser connection earlier today. (What better place to get the news than a home town paper). Quotes from the TW article:

The bankruptcy filing indicates that Argonaut Ventures, an investment arm of the Tulsa-based foundation, holds almost 39 percent of Solyndra's parent, 360 Solar Degree Holdings Inc.

Okay, so who is behind Argonaut Ventures?

In an emailed statement to the Tulsa World, a representative of the George Kaiser Family Foundation said the organization made the investment through Argonaut.

So the family foundation was the source of the money that got Solyndra going. But George Kaiser tried to distance himself from this very ugly story. A quote from a Kaiser “spokesperson”:

"George Kaiser is not an investor in Solyndra and did not participate in any discussions with the U.S. government regarding the loan".

Interesting that Kaiser is doing his level best to distance himself from the stink. But it does not work for me:

George Kaiser is chairman of BOK Financial Corp. and owner of Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. Argonaut is headed by Steve Mitchell, who also served on Solyndra's board of directors.

So Kaiser wants us to believe that the Family Foundation he runs invested some $300mm of the families “excess cash” and he did not really know about it. The guy who is running the family’s investments (Steve Mitchell) is also sitting on the board at Solyndra. And we are supposed to believe that George Kaiser was just a passive investor? Not a chance.

We have Mr. Kaiser on the record on this. Again, his words:

“George Kaiser did not participate in any discussions with the U.S. government regarding the loan".

He never spoke to Obama about this? Not even once? Not even when Obama went (twice) to the company’s manufacturing offices in Pa and CA? I don’t believe that denial.

There is one very slippery fact that I am wondering about. It has to do with subordination. This a legal issue on who gets paid first in a bankruptcy. In all cases the equity is last on the list. But that is not the situation with Solyndra/Kaiser. From Bloomberg:

In February, Solyndra and its lenders reorganized the company’s debts, putting the U.S. loan behind $69.3 million owed to other lenders, including an affiliate of Solyndra’s biggest shareholder, Argonaut Ventures.

This kind of stuff is not supposed to happen. The equity interest of the Kaiser family got a preference as to the right of repayment from Solyndra. Kaiser got in front of the line. He got in front of the US Government’s $528mm IOU from Solyndra. Kaiser got in front of the interests of the American taxpayer. There had to be some very serious arm-twisting going on in the background to achieve this feat.

I’ve looked at the BK filings. The company is going to sell its assets in an effort to pay of all creditors. The question is who gets paid first and what are the liquidation proceeds.

Solyndra had lousy technology. There are tons of flat panel manufactures left standing. Whatever Solyndra has for sale is not going to be worth much. I’m guessing around 20 cents on the dollar from book. The company has listed $859mm of assets. By my calculation the cash value will be under $200mm.

There are employee claims that come first. Next in line come trade creditors. Then comes the senior unsecured debt owed to Argonaut. The lawyers (There are a ton of big shots already involved) will get their pound of flesh. That leaves next to nothing for Uncle Sam. The taxpayers are going to take it in the ear for $400-500 million.

This story will hound Obama. His campaign got big bucks from a guy who ended up costing the Feds a very big penny. This is a story that could drag Obama down. He either has to step up and explain how this could have happened or he can say nothing. He has to provide some clarity on the George Kaiser connection. If he chooses to keep mum on this mess he will have to face Congressional hearings for the next 18 months. There will be a story in the paper every week or so. The Republicans will see to it. This is a story that could turn an election.

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chinawholesaler's picture

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Anonymouse's picture

Bruce, please clarify.  You state that the earlier reorganization subordinated the gov't loan to a loan from an affiliate of Kaiser's company.

But your later language implies that it was subordinated to an equity interest.

Not sure that would (necessarily) be a problem.  An equity owner can have a debt stake.  In fact, sub debt holders often take a senior position to get a seat at the table and protect sub debt interests.  Seems to me equity could do the same.

Is that what happened, or is it more nefarious?

gangland's picture


Newsbounce's picture

CNBC and others reporting  the Feds just raided the building

semiconscious's picture

i can follow all this kind of stuff, up to the point where the authors say something along the lines of of 'this will hound' so'n'so, or 'affect' something. it's at that point that my disbelief kicks in...

DosZap's picture

Thnks for the heads up Bruce I forwarded the link to the Ron Paul for POTUS Campaign, should make for some fun quesions.

CoolBeans's picture

Welcome to how biz seems to be done these days in the USA (and surely elsewhere).  This is beyond disturbing.  Worse than scummy - I feel I've waded in muck reading it.  I have to take a shower.  We must demand their heads.

daxtonbrown's picture

Another guy to research on solar pay for play is Harry Reid.  I actually wrote Harry Reid's only biography "Harry: Money Mob and Influence", which goes into payoffs by pimp Joe Conforte (yes, I have a reputable source). Harry has been pushing solar for a long time and twisting arms, I just haven't had time to follow it all the way. Check here for some of the dirt story

janus's picture

okay, since reginald is MIA...i guess i'll start posting my pretend plays on Mr. Krasting's pages:

my 2X leveraged shorts on the dow and s&p are still open; fortunately, i got in when futures were already fairly high...didn't lose too much yesterday; but, since they're still open, no loss yet (no, i DO NOT AVERAGE LOSERS -- but i do have big, clangin balls).

dow and s&p futures are bout steady right now...and, with all this oil talk; i'm gonna bet on rank manipulation.  sure, there's a bit of bad news outta japan, some good from germany, and the brit are gonna get ahead of the SNB backwash and start up their presses (GBP is goin qe nuclear!).  so, anyway, none of this will matter.  it's about hedging for oil dollars from the barons.

we'll see if janus's corruption plays work out:

DOUBLE DOWN, BITCHEZ!!!! (i'm up 68% net on the month playin corruption as it stands -- let's see if this is just a matter of ignoring all fundamentals and beating the grifters at their own game)

4Xleverage short on dow and s&p...

boom, bitchez!

oh, gotta give bernake somethin to hang his 'deflationary' hat on today in minnesota, don't we...gotta sway a hawk that's just itchin to go dove ALL the way -- let's REALLY sell it you swine-fucker bernake!

now for a few hours sleep, and, then see what's brewin an hour after the bell!

stay away from gold and silver paper markets today...just an eerie feeling.


Tompooz's picture

Meanwhile in Europe, the top diamantiers of Diamond Quarter in Antwerp (170 of them) are found to have secret accounts with HSBC in Switzerland to the tune of at least a billion dollars.  These are the respectable chair of the diamond bourse and his cronies.

A billion dollars in "black money" can do a lot of financing..

HungrySeagull's picture

That leaves Trump as the only viable opponet for the next election.

Dirtt's picture

"The Republicans will see to it."

I wish THAT made me feel any better Bruce.  As much as I hate David Axelrod - and loathe punks like Phil @ Phil's World - the race for 2012 is making me highly skeptical that we can save "Rome."

Damn.  Even the people I expect to stand tall are falling for the "New Boss."

The GOP is proving to be a bunch of cocksuckers.  And I don't mean it in a good way.

digalert's picture

Looks like "I didn't come here to bail out Wall st. fatcats" Barama is showing some of his own redistribute the wealth handywork. You know who's fucked again? All the poor blacks that he promised to help. Yesiree, $500 million bucks could have gone to the community, straight to Wall st. fatcats.

Dingleberry's picture

Ok Children,  follow the logic if you can (or just follow along if you went to public school):

1-Chicago politics are the most corrupt in the nation

2-the hustler -in-chief Obamster came from the Chicago political scene

3-Ergo, Obamster is FUCKING CORUPT.


Did you comprehend this brilliant argument?  Now you know....

NoClueSneaker's picture

.... just a fart from the sidelines:

Triple Canopy


( Found it ... not up to date, but however ... ) Chicago works :-)




CompassionateFascist's picture

Small potatoes compared to the 3 Billion Zero gave Brazilian State Oil. Big stakeholder there: Soros. Who bankrolled Obama's '08 campaign @ $200 million.

nmewn's picture

In case you're interested Bruce...MIT's Jonathan Gruber and the ObamaCare fraud;

"Gruber began negotiating a sole-source contract with the Department of Health and Human Services in February of 2009, for which he was ultimately paid $392,600. The contract called for Gruber to use his statistical model for evaluating alternatives "derived from the President's health reform proposal." It was not a research grant, but rather a consulting contract to advise the White House Office of Health Reform, headed by Obama's health care czar Nancy-Ann DeParle, to "develop proposals" for health care reform."

Maybe they can be stopped before they cart off the WH furniture...but it ain't lookin promising.

There is a level of palpable hatred among the populace that has built up over the last ten years or so for all things academic/scientific/scholarly/elitist...this is one of the reasons why.

They have all become nothing but common thieves.

ResFam's picture

Any relation to Corey Gruber at FEMA? 

"He never spoke to Obama about this? Not even once? Not even when Obama went (twice) to the company’s manufacturing offices in Pa and CA? I don’t believe that denial."

George Kaiser has had 16 meetings at the White House between 2009 and 2011.  You can see for yourself here:

It should be very easy to crowd source who Kaiser was meeting with, and why.  Also, check out who else Kaiser attended the meetings with by doing a search just of the "UIN" number.  Some of the "attendees" are interesting, but I haven't spent a lot of time looking into it (e.g. looks like Kaiser attended several WH meetings with Brad Carson, Ken Levit and Tony Knowles, all of whom work for Kaiser's National Energy Policy Institute.


ResFam's picture

Woops!  Daily Caller is already on this.  It wasn't 16 meetings... It was more than 20 meetings and White House officials met directly with Solyandra officials and Kaiser (so much for his denial).

Incidentially, the FBI is raiding Solyandra's headquarters right now. 

Bloodstock's picture

The only silver lining to this gray cloud is that there is no honor among thieves. They will eat each others flesh and like it. There will be no passing of the grey poupon.

New_Meat's picture

"Maybe they can be stopped before they cart off the WH..."

"W" keys on all them computer keyboards.

Oh, wait, ... dang ... that was so last decade ;-)

- Ned

dexter_morgan's picture

must be those 'greecy wheels of capitalism' .........

dexter_morgan's picture

Welcome to the kleptocracy. Funny....are there any multi-billionaires that don't support the big O and lefties in general? Hmmmm, maybe that's how they got to be multi-billionaires......

Zymurguy's picture

Time to start writing more letters to the congress critters... this and fast & furious are just gaining some momentum.

Frankly, if I were running the investigation and saw one more stall tactic from the ATF I'd have the FBI arrest, er, maybe the CIA, um, well, maybe the Justic Dept.  uh no.  Damn.

Spirit Of Truth's picture

Denninger is on the case, too:

Telling that high-figure criminals are usually brought down on smaller charges like Capone and tax evasion, cause Obama is a walking monument to fraud and deceit IMHO:

So maybe this trivial case will be the straw that breaks the camel jockey's back.

Even so, isn't Obama what the American people demand, i.e., fraud and deceit?  It's a matter of extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of the crowd IMHO. One could well argue that Americans would be greatly disappointed and angry if they were not being misled. Thus, who's really to blame as we march headlong into self-destruction:

The "Fall" Is Approaching

Rainman's picture

Candidate TIC managed to slip his neck out of the Rezko scam noose when even another bona fide uber-liberal was on attack. Now he's protected. POTUS can't be impeached for " seeming incompetence " or campaign horse trading or any type of chicanery or lies....even if it is on the public dime. It's a flaw in the Constitution that will seal our doom. You just have a hell of a time ridding yourself of these fuckers when the electorate screws up...across the board.  That and growing demographic ignorance and dependency is a devil's potion.

robobbob's picture

Yes, but did you know the POTUS's home back in Chicago has several different $ donors, including a judge, listed as the property owners?

or that the subdivided property was transferred without proper filings or any taxes being paid?

don't think thats covered under executive prerogative

sellstop's picture

Yea, the guys rich so he must be stupid. Did he talk to Obama about getting money for an investment of his? He would be stupid if he did.


New_Meat's picture

Bruce, I don't know your background.  But there are business and technical reasons why this whole "green" stuff doesn't work.  So the entire "green industry" is all BK eventually.

I'll do some work and get back if you'd be interested.  But start with real large-system experience:

  • Spain (1 green job: 2.6 or so real jobs lost)
  • Denmark (huge wind, but 100% fossil backup, therefore the fossil units are (to quote a friend) "powering up and down like a bride's dress on wedding night"
  • Separation of effects for prospective "green-house gasses" (percent of CO2 contribution to the "green house effect" ) then, of that, percent of the CO2 that is human caused.
  • Disambiguating the stupid term "settled science"
  • Carter Era experience with wind-generators: US Windpower, dentist (e.g.) subsidies

It's all out there.  I'll leave you with the formation of the Finger Lakes in the Good Part of New York. ;-)

- Ned

New_Meat's picture

I'd really like to know the opinion of the pussy junksta who did the reddie thing.  What is wrong with this post?

- Ned

[but, perhaps, the only thing u can du is klik on da arrow.}

janus's picture

it's called 'demon-ocracy' neddie!

it's the inevitable consequence of letting cowards sneak behind curtains and cast votes -- tell me i'm wrong!  oink oink, reagan...slop-surrey, bush.  num-num, clinton.  hog belly cravin MO! bush.  ah! now it's time to really glutton up dem fatted fools, obama!

all swine, all wallowin fat and sassy in their own crapulence!  now, half of you sows go play in FoxNews(inc)'s sty; the rest of you sloppy bitchez go to MSNBC's.  and leave the big ideas to US. 

BTW: bitchez, the reasons cited by our porcine pal are just a few among many; they are the stumbling blocks we 'pinkos' keep knockin our shins up against while we stroll merrily along with all you imbecilic 'greenies' (now there's you a reason to vote down, you fuckin cowards -- VOTE DOWN JANUS!!!!).  we're runnin out of patience; and quick-like.  if you want the consent to continue backin this largess (siphoning funds from effective social programs), then we bettah start seein something -- and, like janus said, quick-like. 

time is almost up, you neo-cons that drape yourselves in bright-green camoflage.

personally, janus has already made up his mind -- green tech + buearacrats = abject fraud.   call me ole fashion, but i still likes my basic math.


Richard Whitney's picture

Which member of the fawning press will hound BHO about this? Tell me which Beltway asskisser knows about subordination. In the unlikely event that any of those mephitic clowns knew any finance, would that person actually ask BHO? When BHO was asked a decent question on the campaign trail, it was from a plumber, and the press reaction was to investigate the plumber! Bruce, keep up the good work and your high hopes.

bankruptcylawyer's picture

bruce i love you, but this is not watergate. the clintons routinely did this and worse. and don't get me started on bush. 


this is not an iran contra, whitewater, bush's presidnecy, etc....


corruption exists everywhere and you gotta pick and choose your battles. 

at least this theif who donated to obama is trying to back solar. and he took a risk losing money on tech which will one day make america rich. just because his particular situation was crappy, you cannot ignore that sometimes, it's ok to ignore the greecy wheels of capitalism.

dexter_morgan's picture


True, this real and not mainly trumped up.

What DO they pay you guys to defend this arsehole, anyways?

What the fuck is a greecy wheel, anyways?

the grateful unemployed's picture

agree there is much bigger fish to fry, instead of petty incompetence. i wonder why BHO didnt' clear up things at MMS before the BP spill. why he was shouting Drill Baby Drill along with Sarah Palin. too bad they couldn't get Google to scrub up the GOM after that mess.

cocoablini's picture

Obama would be toast in 2012 except for the fact that the system is paying for the worst examples of the Republican party to run. The dumbest, morally bereft idiots. Ron Paul being the one with the most integrity, but the media has a blackout on him because he threatens e whole ponzi good buddy system. He is also pretty dogmatic- and it really puts him out there

the grateful unemployed's picture

he might just change parties, think about it. it would be a slam dunk, running in a primary against some half witted extremists, and nobody is old party to take the high road against his policies. who would run, Biden? Oh yeah I was your biggest supporter? If Lieberman can do, so can Obama, and he would if he were primaried, he is a political animal, he just wants the job, he doesnt' care how he gets it.

DeeDeeTwo's picture

This is the single dumbest post I've ever read on the internet, baby. STFU, please.

the grateful unemployed's picture

BO went to Iowa during the GOP strawpolls, to run against them, or with them? Was he joining them, as a fellow candidate for the office of President representing their party, or was he seriously there to run against them, which he could do from Washington? This President has betrayed his base over and over again, nothing at this point should surprise anyone.

Pants McPants's picture

This week provided me with all I needed to know about US voters: that Obama re-re-scheduled his prime time jobs speech to accommodate the opening game of the 2011 NFL season.

janus's picture

Mr. Krasting,

say what's on yer mind!  you know as well as janus that he's (obama) hedging his bets 'in case' the fed doesn't follow through with qe3. 

just linin up the oil money as a backstop against the dimunition of big-bankin dollars.

looks like NO ONE knows what's going to happen come later this month with the fed.

keep watchin how this, and other obama relationships viz. oil barons, develops.

forget markets -- look at the ebb and flow of corruption; there's where ye profits lie!

sun tzu's picture

There is no way in hell 0bama will get oil money except from a few companies like Occidental and BP. He has severely harmed the rest of the energy industry with attacks on offshore drilling and forcing Shell out of Alaska after they spent $4 billion trying to develop an oilfield there. That's like saying Ron Paul will get the backing of the government unions. 

janus's picture

sun tzu (luv da username),

i read you.  and, normally, you know a thing or two.

but, on this score, i'm sad to say you're oh-so naive.

we have a one-party system in the good ole usa -- it's called the War Party.

obama was (and still is) swimmin in oil dollars; they's now startin to flow to huntsman (perry ain't goin no'll see).  do you really believe that the dollars on the audit sheets come from the places that are claimed?

as it stands today (but there are tidal forces making STRONG headway -- namely russia) the whole world's oil industry operates under a single corporate banner -- the stars and stripes. 

i keep trying to tell you people this (and, on a persona level, i'd throw down my life -- i kid you not -- so ron paul could walk over my cold corpse on his way to the offices of 1600 penn.; but, my friend, it WILL never happen....not as an independent (which paul realizes), and, sadly not in the party system.  do whatever you thinks best, but spend those dollars on silver and ammunition if you wanna do somthing for the cause of liberty.) 

hate to be the one to tell you, but this is all a game; and some of the outcomes are being decided as we speak -- and your silly votes have about as much impact on them as do, well, obama's 'objections' to drilling in ANWR.

turn it up, my man!

a man in a coon-skin cap wants eleven dollar bills/

you've only got tens,

the weatherman


HungrySeagull's picture

Forget Anwar, we are above the Artic circle now getting ready to compete with the Russians who covet everything up there on top of the globe.


realitybiter's picture

And how many legitimate, good ideas never saw the light of day because money is finite, despite the Bernank, and it got funneled into this full-tard idea?  How much of the VC's interest was preoccupied with the US loan guarantee stamp of approval therefore mistakenly thinking risk-off?


I know of one and it has been hell raising capital, but alas, the pockets are deep enough.


Those Solyndra cylinders are called FU bars.  fubars.  Can't wait until the moron in chief stutters his way out of this one.

sun tzu's picture

He'll get a pass from his lamestream media jocksniffers. How many people have even heard of Solyndra?

Fish Gone Bad's picture

If Hillary Clinton was up and running against Obama, her machine would just grind and grind and grind on Obama.  As Obama's people put a few nails in her campaign coffin, it will be interesting to see who takes the corruption story and runs with it.

Fish Gone Bad

trillion_dollar_deficit's picture

Solyndra stinks. But, not as bad as Operation Fast and Furious where new evidence suggests a sister program to funnel firearms to gangs in Indiana.