Chart of the day: Solyndra loan guarantee vs Pentagon 'boondoggles'

Summary:As the scandal surrounding Solyndra grows, here's a chart that puts the $535 million loan guarantee into perspective. Warning: This won't necessarily make you feel better.

Solyndra's business model put the company on track to fail. The changing dynamics of the global solar market accelerated its demise. The Obama Administration's decision to award a flagship $535 million loan guarantee raises more than a few red flags -- which Jon Stewart of The Daily Show put into context this week. Still, it's worth putting the Solyndra loan guarantee into some perspective.

Christopher Mims, a Smart Planet contributing editor and blogger at Grist among other pubs, put out this request via Twitter earlier today:

Somebody, please: Infographic comparing $500 million spent on Solyndra to multi-billion $ spent on countless failed military projects.

Well, it's been answered by Philip Bump. Here's a chart comparing the Solyndra loan guarantee to what the New York Times called the Pentagon's "biggest boondoogles." The dollar amounts are in billions. Be warned: This won't make you feel better.

Chart, Philip Bump; Photo: Solyndra


This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter.

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