Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, January 31, 2014

Three broadcasting vans. Ten camera teams. Some 50 journalists. There certainly wasn't any lack of attention being paid to Carsten Rodbertus last Thursday as he stepped up to the podium in an assembly hall in northern Germany belonging to the renewable energy firm Prokon. And the company founder, with his gray ponytail, didn't disappoint. The press conference quickly became a spectacle.

Several hundred employees welcomed Rodbertus with applause and shouts of "bravo" -- and that despite the fact that he had brought an insolvency trustee along with him.

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Diablo

 

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The fact that they weren't successful is, according to Rodbertus, the fault of the company's investors, who backed the firm to the tune of €1.4 billion ($1.9 billion). Currently, many of them are demanding the returns that they were once promised: at least 6 percent interest per year or a refund of their principle if they wished to back out. Last week, the mounting claims led Prokon to declare bankruptcy -- 75,000 stakeholders could be left out in the cold.

Thus far, it is the highest profile failure of a business model that both politicians and investors praised for being doubly beneficial. Not only would investors boost their own accounts, but they would also help the environment at the same time. And because the state guaranteed high feed-in rates for 20 years, the promises made by financial advisors -- secure returns with a good conscience -- seemed plausible.

Indications are mounting, however, that green capitalism will not be able to meet all expectations. In courts around the country, complaints are mounting from wind park investors who haven't received a dividend disbursement in years or whose parks went belly up. Consumer protection activists are complaining that many projects are poorly structured and lack transparency. In the renewables sector, fear is spreading that the Prokon bankruptcy -- combined with plans for a reduction in the guaranteed feed-in tariff recently released by new German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel -- could scare away investors.

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Gray ponytail...a 60's burnout.

#1 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-01-31 01:08 AM | Reply | Flag:

the promises made by financial advisors -- secure returns with a good conscience -- seemed plausible.

"Guaranteed" rate of return of 6% should have been the first reason not to invest in the company. Nothing is guaranteed.

I remember back when I first joined an accounting firm and my cv was posted in the newspaper. So many "friends" from college who were pushing "solid" investments in companies with "guaranteed 15%" return came out of the woodwork it was nauseating. I went to lunch with one just to hear the pitch, he brought along his "mentor" who told me that the demand for the investment was so high I needed to write a check at lunch without even having a chance to look at the investment materials or else I would not be able to get in later. All sure signs of a ponzi scheme. I wonder what prison they ended up in?

#2 | Posted by 726 at 2014-01-31 08:31 AM | Reply | Flag:

Oh goody, an opportunity to attack green technology as if the oil companies were sending you a check in the mail Diablo. Pathetic. Ridiculous. Green technology will be profitable because we now know nuclear is never going to be safe nor affordable and fossil fuels pollute and are finite. Your ideology will have to evolve in some way for you to avoid embarrassment down the road.

#3 | Posted by danni at 2014-01-31 10:05 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

The lefties get in and they reward their rats; the righties get in and they reward their rats. It never ends.

#4 | Posted by matsop at 2014-01-31 10:40 AM | Reply | Flag:

" as he stepped up to the podium in an assembly hall in northern Germany "

Seriously? Germany?

#5 | Posted by Harry_Powell at 2014-01-31 12:44 PM | Reply | Flag:

"...as if the oil companies were sending you a check in the mail Diablo."

C'mon, Danni. You're better than that.

#6 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-01-31 01:02 PM | Reply | Flag:

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