Barack Obama is a Terrible Fund Manager, and a Rotten Tech VC
Obama is a terrible tech investor. If the USA was a hedge fund, he'd be looking at a total collapse.
First, he lost $500 million on a failed, foolish, and almost corrupt investment in Solyndra, the high-flying and high-overhead solar panel maker, run by some of his financial backers. Talk about crony capitalism.
Now, he's lost another $100 million on something called Ener1. From Heritage's excellent blog, The Foundry, a post by Lachlan Markay -- and if you're not bookmarking him, you should be:
After months of financial turmoil, an Energy Department-backed lithium ion battery company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The company, Ener1, received a $118 million grant from DOE in 2010 as part of the president’s stimulus package. The money, which went to Ener1 subsidiary EnerDel, aimed to promote renewable energy storage battery technology for electrical grid use.
But despite generous federal support for the company, Ener1 was racked by problems last year. In October, NASDAQ delisted the company due to non-compliance with Securities and Exchange Commission filing requirements. A month later, the company’s president, chief executive, and top financial officer were fired.
And wait! There's more:
Ener1 is not the first energy storage technology company to file for Chapter 11 after receiving significant stimulus support. Beacon Power, which manufactures flywheel energy storage technology, received a $43 million loan guarantee from the same stimulus program that funded Solyndra. Despite having used $3 million marked for loan repayment to continue funding its daily operations, Beacon filed for Chapter 11 in November.
It's one thing to lose money that investors gave you voluntarily. Anyone who would voluntarily bet that a community organizer from Chicago with zero private-sector experience knows how to invest billions of dollars in the tech sector deserves to lose it all.
But it's your money he lost. And not today's money, either. He's lost money that you haven't even earned yet. He's losing money you haven't even seen yet. And he promises to lose more. From Politico:
President Barack Obama isn’t letting Solyndra scare him away from pushing a green energy agenda.
Pivoting off a State of the Union address in which he vowed not to “walk away from the promise of clean energy,” Obama doubled down Thursday by highlighting incentives for windmills, solar panels and natural gas vehicles during visits to key battleground states Nevada and Colorado.
Obama's got the easiest job in high finance. I'll bet fund managers and venture capitalists everywhere are green with envy. He can invest in whatever he wants. He can lose as much as he wants. And his investors -- you and me -- just have to sit and watch him do it.