As stimulus-funded ($249 million-plus) A123 Systems sees its stock price drop back near its all-time low and waits for a Chinese rescue, two Republican senators want answers about whether taxpayer dollars are again funding jobs and technology that will be transferred overseas.
Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking minority member on the Judiciary Committee, and South Dakota Sen. John Thune queried A123 CEO David Vieau about the logistics of a proposed sale to China-based Wanxiang Group Corp. In August, just as the company reported another $82.9 million in second-quarter losses, a deal was announced in which Wanxiang would deliver $75 million in initial loans and then would buy $200 million of senior secured convertible notes, followed by a possible $175 million “through the exercise of warrants it would receive in connection with the bridge loan and convertible notes.” If fully consummated, the end result could mean A123 ends up 80 percent Chinese.
NLPC readers by now have learned there is more than meets the media’s eye when it comes to the Obama administration’s “Green” initiatives, and specifically, the government-subsidized electric vehicle program. Particularly egregious might be how American taxpayers have helped save a troubled EV company in the United Kingdom for its burdened investors.
The competition in corporate America to show who is “Greenest” or “most sustainable” has spun out of control, with the Alinskyite effect that drives corporations to spend vast amounts of time and money trying to address the whims and requests of every Leftist niche group that waves some kind of scorecard in their faces.
Environmental pressure group Ceres, whose primary activity is to drive corporations to report their greenhouse gas emitting activities and disclose climate risk in their Securities and Exchange Commission filings, recently released a report that outlines exactly what companies should be disclosing.
If you think environmentalist shareholder tactics like those employed by Rockefeller descendants on Exxon – which push their agenda via resolutions at annual meetings rather than promote company profitability – then you haven’t seen anything yet, according to a Marketwatch report yesterday. After the BP oil leak disaster and the Massey Energy coal mining accident that killed 29 workers, green activists are expected to increase pressure on corporate executives next year:
Suddenly at odds with public opinion on Barack Obama’s proposals on health care and global warming, Wal-Mart is seeking to exclude from its proxy our shareholder proposal that asks for a report on the company’s lobbying priorities. As we noted in the supporting statement, Wal-Mart favors these proposals that will dramatically raise the cost of living for its customers, at the same time it has taken a lower profile on issues like tort reform that would benefit its customers, not to mention the company and its shareholders.
The Securities & Exchange Commission this past July has proposed amending Item 407(c)(2)(v) of Regulation S-K to require disclosure of racial and ethnic diversity on corporate and related nonprofit fund boards. We have submitted a comment of opposition because we believe this rule change to be a highly misguided intrusion into corporate governance.
Even assuming benign intent - and that is a stretch of an assumption - the outcome would be anything but benign. Anyone with sound instincts knows that any submitted information would be fair game for organizations seeking to tie executive compensation to the creation of a rigorously-monitored affirmative action spoils system.