Why the Obama Administration Invested in Solyndra : The New Yorker
Industrial policy does have a checkered history, and in much of the developing world government intervention in the marketplace has translated mainly into crony capitalism.
Of course, some think the Solyndra failure shows that the government isn’t investing smartly. But, while government subsidies have built-in problems—most obviously, some money will go to projects that would have happened anyway—there’s little sign that the Department of Energy has handed out money recklessly: the vetting process, which relied on three thousand outside experts, was unusually rigorous. Solyndra was a wager that went wrong, but failure is integral to the business of investing in new companies...Solyndra was a big bet that happened to go bad. But we probably need to be making more bets like it.