Why won't Tom Friedman write about this fiasco?
Tom Friedman has promoted green energy and Chinese communism for years. Now why doesn't he have the basic decency and courage to write about this Chinese green energy disaster?
Walter Russell Mead writes:
The world's top-selling producer of solar panels has defaulted on a $541 million bond payment. The Chinese firm Suntech hasn't posted a profit since the first quarter of 2011 and has been relying on the government of Wuxi, the city where it is headquartered, to stay solvent. But as more bills come due, this renewable energy producer is looking less and less sustainable. The WSJ reports:
The China-based company, whose shares are listed in the U.S., was scheduled to repay foreign investors for the bonds on Friday. But Suntech, which has faced shrinking profit amid difficulty in the solar-panel market, didn't make the payment on the 3% convertible notes. [...]
Monday, the American depositary shares of Suntech fell 8.4% to 64 cents in 4 p.m. trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Sixty-four cents. By comparison, the stock was trading at $85.16 in December 2007. And as of today, it's still falling.)
Suntech, like most solar panel producers, is failing due to a glut of Chinese panels in the global market. The oversupply has driven prices below profitable margins, despite the fact that solar remains three times more expensive than coal in China.
Tom Friedman, master of the universe, has for years envied the Chinese form of government for its dictatorial powers. He has also praised its push for green power. For example, in late 2009, he wrote an article praising China's one-party autocracy, saying it was ""led by a reasonably enlightened group of people" and that China's leaders are "boosting gasoline prices" and "overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power."
Friedman exemplifies the elitism divorced from common-sense and rationality that prevails at the New York Times and similar enclaves. Friedman has never worked in industry or in the free-enterprise system -- though he enjoys the fruits of his wife's family's fortune. He guzzles carbon with gusto while salving any conscience by buying carbon credits here and there (purportedly). He has become some predictable that some wits have developed an algorithm that generates Tom Friedman columns.
One column after another has promoted green schemes that have cost American taxpayers billions and have helped bankrupt EU nations such as Spain that have sunk vast amounts of money in these absurd and impractical projects.
Friedman touted that the Chinese were leagues ahead of us in marshaling their resources to develop a booming green energy economy.
How is that boom going, Tom?
Will Friedman own up to his mistakes? Suntech is just one of a myriad of green energy bubbles that are deflating all over China and the world.