February 06, 2012
NYC Letter: Investing With Team Barry, Part I Redux Redux -- Fisker Karma
Day 1,110 of CHOPE
And the nature of these programs are going to be ones in which for every success there may be one that does not work out as well. But that’s exactly what the loan guarantee program was designed by Congress to do, was to take bets on these areas where we need to make sure that we’re maintaining our lead.
explaining investment as gambling
WASHINGTON October 6, 2011 (White House)
A pattern emerges. Government bets gobs of taxpayer money on fantasy green start-ups connected to political donors (and this). Management outsources the jobs (and here and here). Start-up produces a defective (and this and this) or uncompetitive (and this) product. Company goes bust and lays-off American employees (and again).
Return on investment to the American taxpayer -- ZERO.
February 6, 2012 (ABC News) - Fisker Automotive, the maker of an exotic electric sports car that is being built with help from a $529 million federal government loan guarantee, has announced layoffs at its Delaware plant as it tries to persuade the Department of Energy to send it more public funds.
The company says 26 Fisker employees have been let go from the Delaware factory where renowned automotive engineer Henrik Fisker promised to one day begin producing affordable electric sedans. A Delaware newspaper also reported that subcontractors working on the car venture have been let go.
... Fisker was one of a handful of auto companies to receive sizeable federal loans to help support the birth of an electric car industry in the United States. As ABC News reported in October, Fisker's efforts have been beset by delays. And despite benefitting from U.S. taxpayer support, the company had signed a contract with a firm in Finland to assemble its first generation electric vehicle, a flashy $97,000* sports coupe called the Karma.
Accompanying the layoffs was an announcement that Fisker has approached the Department of Energy about revising the targets it had to meet in order to continue drawing money from the federal loan. Whether the Energy Department agrees to alter the terms, and invest more taxpayer in the Fisker venture remains unclear.
* That -- or something higher still. The original cost was $80,000. The trick is to take delivery before Fisker adjusts its pricing again. [Pause.] Good luck with that.