Companies & Markets

David Stockman: How KKR Stripped The Beds In America’s Largest Hospital Chain With Some Help From Bubbles Ben

“Bernanke’s maniacal money printing after the Lehman event catalyzed a virtual stampede back into the very same risk-asset classes which had been reduced to smoldering ruins,” David Stockman writes. It produced the craziest junk-bond binge of all times, allowing the mega-buyouts from before the crisis to survive and pay rich fees to the LBO lords.

Deluded Optimism in Corporate Earnings Growth (Now Shriveling)

These wildly optimistic estimates of earnings growth that analysts work on so studiously by copying and pasting what companies tell them, or by doing channel checks and poking around the industry, and that companies have to exceed at all costs “on an adjusted basis?” Well, they have been shrinking for 2013 – but only after reality forced them down.

The Undead Corporate Welfare Programs For Automakers

They’re at it again! Originally created by Congress in 2007, the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program provided low-cost government loans that were subsidized, and then in part eaten as we now know, by hapless and strung-out American taxpayers. In 2011, it was left behind as dead, but now the government wants to bring that zombie back.

The Shale by Rail Revolution: A Lasting Phenomenon

The US shale revolution is leaving its marks. In 2009, the US surpassed Russia as the world’s largest producer of natural gas. In May, production exceeded imports for the first time in 16 years. In 2020, the US might overtake Saudi Arabia as the top oil-producing nation. But there aren’t enough pipelines in place to handle it.

A Very Profitable Part Of Banking Goes Totally To Heck

Refinancing mortgages is phenomenally profitable for banks – one of the few growth sectors actually spawned by the Fed’s herculean efforts to force down long-term interest rates through waves of quantitative easing. Banks went on a hiring binge to shuffle all this paper around and extract fees. But now, with rising rates, that business is getting decimated.

US Tech Companies Raked Over The Coals In China

China is the promised land for our revenue-challenged tech heroes: 1.2 billion consumers, economic growth several times that of the US, and companies splurging on IT. Layer the “cloud” on top, and China is corporate nirvana: a high-growth sector in a high-growth country. Or was nirvana, now that the NSA’s hyperactive spying practices have spilled out.

Cisco CEO Reports Record Sales And “Lumpy” Demand, Just Like In November 2007, A Month Before Stocks Began To Crash

Cisco CEO Chambers gushed with positive vibes during the earnings call: “unbelievably strong results,” he said about the quarter. He talked about record revenues. “We have strong momentum,” he said, “very solid execution.” But he lowered guidance, lamented the debacles in China and Japan, and announced layoffs. Then he uttered the word “lumpy.”

NSA Pricked The “Cloud” Bubble For US Tech Companies

The cloud is a growth industry. And a religion in Silicon Valley: you’re better off with all your data and software stored in a data center somewhere on the planet. It’s a beacon of growth that revenue-challenged global tech giants like Oracle and IBM wave in the faces of antsy investors. But now, they’re going to pay a steep price for their cooperation with the NSA.