06 Feb 2012

Lessons from Solyndra

Climate Change, Economics, Shameless Self-Promotion 1 Comment

I have the EconLib featured article this month. If you haven’t really been following the Solyndra story, and want to get up to speed, this is your one-stop shopping. An excerpt:

My goal here is twofold: first, to summarize the key events in the Solyndra case and explain why it is a scandal and not just a bad investment; and second, to look beyond the Solyndra case to critique the very concept of government loan guarantees to particular companies. Because both the George W. Bush and Obama Administrations supported such loan guarantees, this is a bipartisan critique.

Even if one accepts the premises of environmentalists who argue that the government should encourage private investment in technologies that do not emit greenhouse gases, the Department of Energy loan program is unjustified. Much more efficient policy options are available—options that are much less susceptible to corruption than are federal officials channeling hundreds of millions of dollars to privileged corporations.

One Response to “Lessons from Solyndra”

  1. Luiz Inacio says:

    Great article! I think your conclusion is spot on, the government should not be risking tax payer’s money by investing in risky businesses…

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