Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Ex-Solyndra Staff Eligible For TAA Federal Aid; Packages Worth Average $13,000 Each"

Just so were clear on the concept, 1100 people are going to be retrained at a cost of $13,000 each because the "good jobs, that can't be offshored" line was just that, a line, and there is no market for the skills they acquired at Solyndra.

Just so we're clear on the numbers, From our Dec. 2009 post "What is Solyndra’s Cost Per Watt? (SOLY; FSLR; TSL)" (with heavy lifting by Greentech):
...That works out to:
  • A sale price of $3.42 per Watt
  • A cost of $6.29 per Watt
Note that in Solyndra's case, there is not an exact clear comparison with other flat panel modules - because what Solyndra considers a "module" includes some mounting equipment. Anup Jacob, a Solyndra investor at Virgin Green Fund, told us in August that the company's install costs come to around 50 cents a watt, lower than the $2 to $4 a watt install costs for other thin film companies. Arguably, the lower installations cost could drop Solyndra's cost per watt to anywhere from $4.79 to $2.79 ($6.29 minus $1.50 to $3.50 for the lower installation costs.) With a $3.42 sale price, that means Solyndra might be able to coax some profit from their billion dollar investment. Attention Wall Street: trying to figure this out with a straight face is why you pay high prices for hardworking, replaceable associates.

Compare this to First Solar. First Solar's average manufacturing cost per watt declined by $0.23 per watt, or 21.3%, from $1.08 in the three months ended September 27, 2008 to $0.85 in the three months ended September 26, 2009....MORE
Got that? 
Make it at $6.00, sell it at $3.00, try to compete with folks who are at $1.50 down to 85 cents.

So don't give me that "It was China wot done 'em in" b.s., look at the numbers.
Solyndra was a bankruptcy the day it was born.

And they wanted loan guarantees because their billionaire backers, uh...uh... are smarter than the idiots who grant said loan guarantees.

This thing should have been strangled in the crib.

No? April 2010 "The Daily Start-Up: Auditor Questions Solyndra’s Viability" (Going Concern Warning) GS; FSLR:
No wonder Solyndra investors Goldman Sachs and the estate of Wal*Mart heir John Walton pursued that $535,000,000 loan guaranatee from the U.S. taxpayer....
Followed in June 2010 by "Solar upstart Solyndra mothballs IPO plans (Funny what a 'Going Concern" Letter will Do) GS":
Okay kids, we (You, me, the U.S. Govvy) just gave these guys a $535 Mil. loan guarantee.
One of their investors is an outfit called Goldman Sachs which advertises that they bring companies public.
What is going on?...
Don't forget George Kaiser when counting the billionaires.

It should never have gotten to the point where there were 1100 employees and robots that played Disney's "Whistle while you work"

Now that we understand just how bogus this deal was and how widely known the problems were let me wrap up this intro with one of the funniest things I've seen in a long, long time:
A Solyndra Say Whaaat? "Auditor's 'Going Concern' Letter Typical of Companies Going Public"-DOE
...The story goes on to say:

... Matt Rogers, then a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, wrote to Ron Klain, at the time Vice President Joe Biden’s chief of staff, that the auditor’s advisory was “standard for companies pre-IPO,” according to the memo. Klain is now a columnist for Bloomberg View.... 
Prior to this stupidity Mr. Rogers was a Director at McKinsey & Co....
Here's the headline story from Investors' Business Daily:

The Labor Department today announced that it had approved Trade Adjustment Assistance for the former employees of the bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra.

That means all of the firm’s 1,100 ex-employees are eligible for federal aid packages, including job retraining and income assistance. The department has valued packages at about $13,000 a head.

Taxpayers will have to cough up yet another $14.3 million as a result of Solyndra’s bankruptcy. They are already on the hook for $528 million in federal loan guarantees to the company that are unlikely to ever be paid back.

The department’s decision also bodes well for a trade complaint made against China by a coalition of domestic solar panel makers. The request for the TAA was based on the claim that Solyndra failed because China was underselling U.S. manufacturers. By granting the assistance, the Labor Department has indicated it believes those charges have at least some merit.

The announcement was made quietly today by the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration on its website. The decision was reached Friday.

There was some confusion regarding the decision, which was posted on the DOL website accidentally this morning before the official announcement. A department spokesman told Capital Hill that a programming error was the cause. DOL briefly pulled the information, but has reposted it.

The TAA request was first made on Sept. 2, just days after Solyndra went bankrupt. The Alameda County Workforce Investment Board, a public-private group that aids in job retraining programs, made the request on behalf of the employees.

“We are very pleased,” said Patti Castro, interim director of the board. “These workers are highly skilled but they need the retraining available through this.”...MORE
Don't make me go to the archives for the rest of our Solyndra posts.