A123 Systems Bankruptcy a Consequence of Consolidation Rather Than “Stimulus Bust”

By: Tuesday October 16, 2012 12:14 pm

In a bit of bad timing, A123 Systems, the advanced battery manufacturer which received one of the Energy Department’s stimulus grants to fund its operations, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today, and will in all likelihood default on some debt. The battery maker did say that it would sell its automative facilities in Michigan [...]

Austerity Fever Breaking in Europe

By: Friday January 20, 2012 9:35 am

I mentioned Ireland’s woes in my last post. It reflects a consistent pattern: austerity coming out of an economic crisis, based on faulty ideas of an expansionary contraction, followed by a backslide into recession. In some cases, the debt load increases as a result, defeating the original purpose of the austerity. That hasn’t happened yet [...]

Labor/HHS Appropriation Shows Next Stage of Congressional Budget Fight

By: Friday September 30, 2011 6:18 am

While the first battle of the Fiscal Year 2012 budget ended without incident, the next one is shaping up to be a larger struggle. Rather than an across-the-board haircut, Republicans will insist on designating particular appropriations for certain amounts of money, as long as the total hits the $1.043 trillion cap. And that means that [...]

Solyndra Demonization Fails to Connect

By: Thursday September 29, 2011 10:20 am

The right has definitely tried its best to turn the Solyndra bankruptcy into a major scandal for the Obama Administration. Fox has become the Solyndra News Network, with a staggering frequency of reports. The Washington Post has helped along this effort with a trickle of reporting, including today’s from Carol Leonnig that Solyndra “violated” the [...]

Solar Industry Booming, Regardless of Solyndra Bankruptcy

By: Thursday September 15, 2011 11:39 am

This stupid Solyndra circus is starting to remind me of the late 1990s, when any whiff of scandal was like catnip to the media. This is 1/80th of the total price of loans made from the Energy Department’s program, none of the other companies involved have failed, and yet this is supposed to be an [...]

Administration Announces Green Building Initiative

By: Thursday February 3, 2011 11:42 am

The President today proposed an energy efficiency initiative for commercial buildings that would provide tax incentives for retrofits and efficiency upgrades. Basically this attaches a “BuildingStar” component to the HomeStar legislation which has sat in Congress for well over a year. The White House estimates this program would increase energy efficiency by 20% in the [...]

China Raises Interest Rates, In Effort to Enrich Themselves at the World’s Expense

By: Tuesday October 19, 2010 12:29 pm

In an unexpected move today, China’s central bank announced an increase in interest rates, contracting its monetary policy at a time of a continued global slowdown in economic growth. The US stock market responded quickly with a nearly 200-point drop. Oil prices, also sensitive to the world economic outlook, fell by more than 2 percent. [...]

US Trade Representative Will Investigate China’s Greentech Policies

By: Friday October 15, 2010 10:04 am

Could this be a prelude to the Treasury Department’s actions? The US Trade Representative, Ron Kirk, just launched an investigation into China’s green technology investment and trade policies. The United Steelworkers petitioned the Obama Administration for an investigation into these policies in September, after revealing that China illegally subsidizes local exporters of green tech, among [...]

GE’s Immelt: “The richest people made the most mistakes with the least accountability”

By: Thursday December 10, 2009 6:45 am

In a remarkable speech, Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, gave the opposite of a Gordon Gekko speech yesterday at West Point, saying that the era of “greed and meanness” has come to an end in America. “We are at the end of a difficult generation of business leadership, and maybe leadership in general. [...]

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