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Crony capitalism

Crony capitalism: Green firms burn through taxpayer dollars, pay huge executive bonuses, then go bankrupt

Friday, March 09, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: crony capitalism, green firms, bankruptcy

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(NaturalNews) The Obama Administration's green energy development program, which has leveraged billions of taxpayer dollars into high-risk green energy startups, is rapidly turning out to be one of the biggest financial scams on the American people in recent history. A new investigative report by ABC News has revealed that many of the now-bankrupt green energy companies that received massive taxpayer-funded loan infusions from the Department of Energy (DOE) awarded huge cash bonuses to their executives shortly before crumbling.

Many readers will recall the FBI raid on solar technology company Solyndra that took place last fall, in which agents stormed the Fremont, Cal.-based facility just days after it had declared bankruptcy. Solyndra was the first company to receive federal funding under the Obama green energy plan, having received more than $500 million, and it was also the first to fail (https://www.naturalnews.com/033551_Solyndra_bankruptcy.html).

Several months later, CBS News revealed that at least 11 other companies that had collectively received more than $6.5 billion in taxpayer loans under the Obama green energy scheme had also failed, or were in the process of failing (https://www.naturalnews.com/034717_Solyndra_green_energy_failures.html). And according to private emails uncovered by ABC News just after the Solyndra scandal made headlines, Obama and Co. knew that Solyndra, and possibly even some of the other companies it had given loans to, was in the throes of collapse long before the multi-million dollar loans were made (https://www.naturalnews.com/033606_Solyndra_emails.html).

Now it appears that the executives at many of these failed companies made off with millions of dollars in golden parachute bonuses just before their firms bit the dust, according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) records recently obtained. So collectively, these failed companies doled out several million dollars in taxpayer funds to company executives just months, or even weeks, prior to their filing for bankruptcy.

Corporate fascism now openly siphoning taxpayer dollars via government grants to enrich company executives

Beacon Power Corp., for instance, which was the second company after Solyndra to receive a DOE grant, for $43 million, awarded $259,285 in bonuses to three company executives in March 2010, just six months before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. And EnerDel, which received $118.5 million from the federal government awarded $725,000 in bonuses to three executives just a few months before filing for bankruptcy. And the list goes on and on.

It is bad enough that taxpayers are not being properly represented for their money having been squandered away by the Obama team on bad loans to failing companies. But it is even worse that a large chunk of this cash ended up padding the pockets of executives whose companies failed after having been subsidized by these very same taxpayers to begin with.

"Any company that's going into bankruptcy or any executive that ran a company into bankruptcy shouldn't be getting bonuses in the first place," said Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) in response to absurd claims made by some that these company executives actually deserved their bonuses. "The purpose of our grants for energy or almost any other grant of government is for the purpose of innovation. It's not for the purpose of feathering the nest of a private company executive."

Be sure to read the full ABC News report here:

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