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Ex-Energy Secretary Praises Solyndra-Style Loans: 'More Successful Than Wall Street'

8:17 AM, Jun 10, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Ex-energy secretary Steven Chu is still praising Solyndra-style loans. He did it most recently in an interview with San Francisco Chronicle.

The paper asks, "When you look back, is there anything you'd do differently about Solyndra?"

Chu responds: 

We were evolving. Solyndra was the first loan, the one where the career people who started with the Bush administration said, "This looks like an exciting technology." The Wall Street Journal said it was one of the top 25 companies to watch. And then prices started to crash. And as we got more sophisticated in the loans, from 2009 to 2010, we started to put in measures where, OK, you're not going to disburse the whole thing. And then you have to have a very tough attitude.

Now, if you pull the plug on a loan somewhere in the middle of a startup company, the chances are they might just go into bankruptcy. But on the other hand, if the probability is high that they're going into bankruptcy, you don't throw good money after bad.

Elsewhere, Chu adds, "We're going to have a few more bankruptcies. Sometimes it'll be like Solyndra where you get 3 cents on the dollar. Others, it'll be 80 cents, or something like that. If you look at what got started and what became bankable, was it successful? Yes. We were more successful than Wall Street. So come on, guys."

UPDATE: A reader writes in:

Saw your blog on Chu’s comments.  Perhaps you should point out that its funny that after so many years as Secretary and even more at DOE he can’t differentiate between “career” bureaucrats and political appointees.   If someone is “{a} career people who started in the Bush Administration” as Chu says, they are NOT Bush people, not necessarily partisan and not to blame for HIS decision to support Solydra.   As before, he neglects to mention that the Bush Administration ended up Not approving Solyndra because it needed more work.  (Feel free to use this if you want w/o attribution if you do more on Chu).

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