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[经济学人] [2011.09.24]Letting sunlight in 让真相大白:白宫不把公众的的钱当回事吗?

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发表于 2011-9-29 11:42 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 inundate 于 2011-9-29 11:46 编辑

Letting sunlight in
让真相大白

Did the White House play fast and loose with public cash?
白宫不把公众的的钱当回事吗?

“QUESTIONS will be asked”, a farsighted official wrote in January, “as to why the administration made a bad investment, not just once…but twice.” Sure enough, Congress, the press and the Republican presidential candidates, among others, have plenty of questions about Solyndra, a maker of cylindrical solar panels that continued to receive instalments of a generous government loan even as it hobbled towards bankruptcy. Two committees of the House of Representatives were holding hearings on the fiasco this week. The FBI is investigating the firm, as are the Energy and Justice Departments and the Treasury. The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee wants the Justice Department to open a full-scale independent investigation.

1月份一位富有远见的官员说道:“人们会质疑为什么美国政府做出错误的投资,不是一次而是两次。” 当然,国会,新闻界以及共和党总统候选人对solyndra有许多疑问。作为圆形太阳能电池板的制造商,solyndra继续获得美国慷慨政府的分期贷款正当它陷入困境将要破产的时候。众议院的两个委员会本周就此败举举行听证会。美国联邦调查局,能源司法部以及财政部正在对solyndra公司进行调查。众议院司法委员会主席要求司法部门展开一次全面的独立的调查。

“We have so much material, it’s going to be a joy,” exulted Michele Bachmann, a congresswoman and presidential candidate. Like many of her fellow Republicans, she denounced as ill-advised and wasteful the stimulus package that Barack Obama pushed through Congress in early 2009, under which Solyndra got a government guarantee for a $535m loan. At the groundbreaking for the factory built with the loan Joe Biden, the vice-president, said that it was “exactly what the Recovery Act is all about”. Mr Obama, on a subsequent visit, declared: “The true engine of economic growth will always be firms like Solyndra.” Solyndra has laid off all its 1,100 staff.

“我们有很多的资料,这将令人欣喜”,米歇尔.巴赫曼狂喜道。她是一位众议院女议员并且也是总统候选人。就如她的共和党同事一样,她谴责国会2009年初通过的巴拉克.奥巴马经济刺激计划是一项欠考虑并浪费钱的项目。在此计划中,美国政府保证给solyndra提供5.35亿美元的贷款。在用此贷款开始动工建立工厂之际,副总统乔拜登称“这正是经济复苏法案的全部内容”。奥巴马在随后的访查中表示“经济增长的真正动力就是来自像solyndra这样的公司”。Solyndra已经解雇它所有的1100位员工。

That would be bad enough. But it turns out that White House staff nagged the Department of Energy and the Office of Management and Budget to approve different stages of Solyndra’s application, first so that they could declare that the stimulus was off to a quick start, and then so that Mr Biden could take part in the groundbreaking ceremony. Bureaucrats complained of “the time pressure we are under to sign off on Solyndra”, suggested that they had not been able to analyse the project properly, and asked for the event involving Mr Biden to be delayed, to no avail.

这就已经够糟糕的了。但结果是,白宫员工还不时的催促能源部和预算管理办公室批准solyndra的不同阶段的申请。这样他们就能宣称经济刺激计划在快速的开始实施,然后拜登就可以参加它的奠基仪式。能源部和预算管理办公室的官员抱怨“签订solyndra有关的申请文件承受的时间压力”。这就暗示着他们不能对此项工程正确的评估和分析。他们也要求拜登参加的活动延迟,但都没有成功。

To make matters worse, the biggest private investor in Solyndra is a foundation tied to George Kaiser, a financier who is a prodigious fund-raiser for Mr Obama. When it became obvious at the beginning of this year that Solyndra was in trouble, an investment firm linked to the foundation lent it an extra $75m, on condition that the new loan be the first to get repaid if Solyndra went bust. Even though the Department of Energy was no longer first in the pecking-order of creditors, it still authorised the disbursement of a $67m portion of the loan it was backing.

更加糟糕的是,solyndra最大的私人投资人是一家与乔治.凯撒有关联的基金会。乔治.凯撒是一位投资家,为奥巴马募捐了惊人的资金。年初solyndra明显陷入了困境,这时一个与此基金会有关联的投资公司给它贷了额外的7500万美元。前提是如果solyndra破产了,那它首先要偿还此项贷款。虽然能源部不再是债权人首选人,但它仍然可以在偿还的贷款中授权支出6700万美元。

The White House says these things happen in the world of investment. It denies that it tried to steer money to particular projects or favour certain investors, and there is no evidence to support the idea. Prominent Republicans, including Mitch McConnell, the party’s leader in the Senate, have petitioned for loan guarantees for firms in their home states.

白宫表示在投资领域这些事情是时有发生的。它否认操控在个别工程上操纵资金,也否认青睐特别的投资人,却没有证明支撑这个观点。杰出的共和党人包括此参议员的首领米奇.麦康奈尔已经请愿为他们家乡州的公司做贷款担保。

But pointing out how risky venture capital is only raises the question of why the government went into it in the first place. A far better way to promote investment in clean energy would be to raise the price of the dirty sort, through a carbon tax or cap-and-trade scheme. It is the sniggering Republicans, of course, who have prevented that from happening.

但是,指出风险投资的冒险性只是提出为什么政府要首选采取此计划这个疑问而已。要提高在清洁能源方面的投资需要提出一个长久可行的良计,这也就意味着通过增加烟尘排放税和限额交易制度将提升污染能源类的价格。当然窃喜的共和党人阻止了了此项计划的进行。
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发表于 2011-10-3 08:59 | 显示全部楼层
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