I was reading some news about one of the venture capital firms that funded my last employer:
This guy Vinod Khosla and his band of buccaneers (esp. Pierre LaMond) just raised money through a hefty California retirement pension system (CALPers) investment:
For his latest round, he won investments from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the nation’s largest pension fund, which put $200 million into the bigger fund and $60 million into the high-risk fund. About two-thirds of the investments will be devoted to green tech, with the remainder invested in more traditional technology firms.[/quote]
I then wondered, “How much other public money is going into Greentech and will the public recoup their money?” I think the answer to the first question is “A lot.” A lot of the TARP money was designated for green jobs, green tech, etc. You see ads on the job boards for “green” engineering jobs.
I think the answer to the second question is “No.” But follow the money: The Feds just passed a “CAp and trade” tax on people emitting carbon because Tom Friedman and the other Beltway fanatics said we needed to. So if all of this Green tech investment money fails to deliver us enough results to recoup their losses (we know it won’t b/c it’s the government doing the investing), they can just tax the blown money back through “Cap and Trade.” It will be yet another example of the collusion of the financial sector and government creating moral hazard, creating another bubble to burst with little to show for it, and then getting off scot-free since they’re the ones in power.
Anyways, Khosla Ventures just raised $1 billion in this economy without saying where most of it came from, so it’s likely it came from the federal government:
I wonder how much more of this is going on. Hold onto your wallets.