Friday, September 25, 2009

WSJ: Gore-Backed Car Firm Gets Large U.S. Loan

(Crony) Capitalism is alive and well.

Gore-Backed Car Firm Gets Large U.S. Loan
(9/25/09 Wall Street Journal)

"WASHINGTON -- A tiny car company backed by former Vice President Al Gore has just gotten a $529 million U.S. government loan to help build a hybrid sports car in Finland that will sell for about $89,000.

"The award this week to California startup Fisker Automotive Inc. follows a $465 million government loan to Tesla Motors Inc., purveyors of a $109,000 British-built electric Roadster. Tesla, like Fisker, is a California startup focusing on high-end hybrids, with a number of celebrity endorsements that is backed by investors that have contributed to Democratic campaigns.

"The awards to Fisker and Tesla have prompted concern from companies that have had their bids for loans rejected, and criticism from groups that question why vehicles aimed at the wealthiest customers are getting loans subsidized by taxpayers."

And the reason (or excuse) for giving $529 million taxpayers' money to a company who is going to make a high-end sports car in Finland?

"Matt Rogers, who oversees the department's loan programs as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, said Fisker was awarded the loan after a "detailed technical review" that concluded the company could eventually deliver a highly fuel-efficient hybrid car to a mass audience. Fisker said most of its DOE loan will be used to finance U.S. production of a $40,000 family sedan that has yet to be designed." [emphasis is mine]

Yet to be designed family sedan. Also note the word "could". Money is fungible, Mr. Rogers. Or will the money given to the company refuse to be money unless it is spent for this yet-to-be-designed car?

For the rest of the article, please click on the link.


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