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September 14, 2011

Actual Surprise: ABCNews Covers Solyndra, Top of the Show

I tried to goad @jaketapper the other day, saying his network would cover it for thirty seconds, with twenty seconds of that "context" about Enron.

Not what they did though.

Not the longest report, but the questions were properly framed -- "Did the White House rush a half billion of your dollars to a company certain to fail?"

And more at Hot Air, as Mark Levin interviews an employee who said everyone knew Solyndra was going to fail.

From an ABCNews print article:

Department of Energy officials said the rates for all of its green energy loans were set by the bank using a formula, and Solyndra’s favorable terms were not the result of special treatment.

“All borrowers under the [government loan guarantee] program receive the same treatment,” Energy Department spokesman Damien LaVera wrote to iWatch and ABC News in response to questions.

Um, no. What happens is that all borrowers in equivalent situations with equivalent risk and equivalent likelihood of repayment may get the same treatment.

But the whole point of analyzing these companies is to define them, categorize them in terms of risk and such.

That's why it's important to know how these "models" came to the incorrect conclusion that Solyndra would be fantastically profitable.

Note in the below video, at 3:36, Congressman Morgan Griffith tries to find out why all the models predicted that Solyndra's profits would -- are you ready? -- double the year following the loan.

How did they come up with that? What detailed economic model suggested a doubling of profits (during a horrendous global economy, with a business model doomed to fail) in a year?

Why, they based it on... projections provided by Solyndra CEOs. Just accepted those claims, and then, based on this stuff, pushed through the loans at super-cheap rates (and they're not loans -- they're outright gifts, as there was never any plausible way they'd be paid back).

Maybe if analysts hadn't rushed to get the loans approved by the time of the photo-op they could have done a little more work, eh? Maybe come up with their own projections, rather than just plugging in the Solyndra CEOs "double profits in one year" claim into the formula, maybe?

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posted by Ace at 08:43 PM

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