Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Breaking News ...Another One Bites the Dust ... More Government Knows Investing Gone Bad ... Battery Maker A123's Bankruptcy

OPM government knows best "green investing" once again ends up with taxpayer money following  the road to waste and insolvency.

It's no wonder we never are able to collect enough taxes to keep this government money wasting machine juggernaut operating at top speed. We'll never have enough OPM for the government knows best gang to waste --- er --- invest on our behalf.

Today's particular bankruptcy involves perennial loser  A123 and batteries for electric cars.

Over the past few years, government has invested more than one billion dollars in battery makers to produce batteries to be used in electric cars. Suffice it to say that it ain't working out so well. Whatever else government officials may be, successful money managers they're not.

So in the case of battery makers and electric cars, and as was the case with Solyndra and solar, it's another idea whose time has yet to come and may not come for several more decades, if then. In the meantime, taxpayer money is wasted, and it's money we don't have to waste.

But so what? At least we're not letting the private sector invest MOM to build projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline, and for which oil there is plenty of demand. Our brilliant politicians would rather borrow and spend to buy more oil from the Middle East, Russia and Venezuela.

Battery Maker A123 Files for Chapter 11 Protection has today's breaking news:

 "Electric car battery manufacturer A123 Systems Inc., the recipient of nearly $250 million in government grants, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday.

The Massachusetts-based company and two affiliates filed for bankruptcy a day after it said it would be unable to make a $2.8 million interest payment to bondholders due Monday. . . .

The U.S. government, in a bid to jump start the electric car battery industry, has provided more than $1.2 billion to battery makers in the past three years. But the industry has been slow to take off. 

Another battery maker, Ener1 Inc., which also received a government grant, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year.

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded A123 $249 million in grants, about half of which the company has used so far to pay for some of the costs of building a factory in Livonia, Mich.

The Waltham, Mass., company has suffered losses since inception in 2001 and saw its market capitalization drop to around $162 million from $1.6 billion at the end of 2009, a few months after its public listing of shares.

The company's balance sheet took a hit last year from charges related to its investment in electric-car maker Fisker Automotive, capacity reduction in South Korea and replacement costs of defective batteries. Adding to its troubles, the company in late March disclosed it expects to spend at least $55 million in coming quarters on a recall of defective batteries."

Summing Up

What if politicians had to put up some of their own MOM alongside the taxpayers OPM before "investing" in all these loss making operations? Of course, that would put an end to the silliness.

However, that's not the way the game is played in government. It's OPM all the way.

And it's a terrible wasteful way at that.

Thanks. Bob.

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