Friday, January 27, 2012

More Signs the Government Should Not Be In The Venture Capital Business

They aren't very good at it...unless you define "good" as making investments in companies that go bankrupt.  I first saw this over at Small Dead Animals:

State Of The Union, Jan 24, 2012;
"In three years, our partnership with the private sector has already positioned America to be the world’s leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries."
State Of The Battery, Jan 26, 2012;
Obama-backed electric car battery-maker files for bankruptcy
A bit more detail from CNS News:
 Ener1--a company that manufactures batteries for electric cars, and that received $118.5 million in federal stimulus money, and that Vice President Joe Biden visited last year the day after President Obama’s State of the Union Address—announced today that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
In last year’s State of the Union Address, delivered Jan. 25, 2011, President Obama set a national goal of having a million electric vehicles on the road in the United States by 2015—a goal that would be achieved, Obama said, by taking money out of the oil industry and “investing” it in new technology.
“With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015,” said Obama.
Ener1 Inc., which owns a company that received a $118 million U.S. Energy Department grant to make electric-car batteries, filed for bankruptcy protection after defaulting on bond debt amid Asian competition.
The company listed assets of $73.9 million and debt of $90.5 million as of Dec. 31 in Chapter 11 papers filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Ener1 has been affected by competing battery developers in China and South Korea, “which generally have a lower cost manufacturing base” and lower labor and raw material costs, interim Chief Executive Officer Alex Sorokin said in the petition.
 At least if a private investor makes a mistake, the rest of us don't get stuck with the bills.

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