Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Making America Great Already

One deal at a time. What a shitstorm it's going to be when he's actually in the office. So, skipping over the threats to Boeing and his sale of $40 million in stock. I do wonder how many enemies he wants to make in corporate America, tho. This:

By Tuesday afternoon, Trump had taken a new turn, announcing that a Japanese telecommunications firm, SoftBank, had agreed to invest $50 billion in U.S. start-ups, a move he tweeted that the company would never have done “had we [Trump] not won the election!” 

Thank you, WashPo, for calling that bullshit.

The deal, however, is not new. The money will come from a $100 billion joint investment fund that Son established in October using money from partners, including Saudi Arabia’s state-owned investment fund.

SoftBank has invested in the United States in the past, including paying $22 billion in 2013 for a 80 percent share of Sprint. The firm also led a $1 billion investment round last year in San Francisco-based online lender Social Finance.

And apparently, Sarah Palin is not the only person labeling Trump's brand of capitalism: crony. 

Keith Hennessey, director of the National Economic Council under Bush, warned about the impact of Trump’s approach to business and trade, which he said could do “long-run economic harm to the U.S.”

“When a politician rewards his business friends and punishes his business enemies it’s called crony capitalism,” Hennessey wrote in a blog on his personal website Monday.

“It creates incentives for other business leaders to spend their time and money trying to get similar political access with elected officials,” Hennessey added. “And a firm leader now knows it can initiate a negotiation with the Trump Administration simply by threatening to outsource jobs.”

Greg Mankiw's uses a term that I've considered apropos: central planning. If Obama was a socialist, I believe Trump is embracing his inner communist. 

Beyond using the power of the presidency to intimidate in unpredictable and unfair ways, no individual could efficiently manage the economy, company by company, said Mankiw, who indicated before the election that he did not plan to vote for Trump.

“When a chief exec is making individual calls to individual companies, he’s in some sense acting like a central planner,” Mankiw said. “We have a lot of history under communism that suggests it doesn’t work well in practice, and that’s the direction you’re heading in as the president starts to weigh in on individual business decisions.”

The WashPo was not content with one article calling bushwa on Trump's super powerful deal-making.

Although Trump claimed credit for the investment, Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics, argued that much of the $50 billion may have already been destined for U.S. technology companies. 

I'm sure Masayoshi Son is more than willing to let Trump spin the deal anyway he wants.

Jeff Kagan, an Atlanta-based telecom industry analyst, said Son could be courting Trump to improve the chances of the merger, but he also described Son as an ambitious entrepreneur who was likely looking for further opportunities.

"Maybe he sees there’s a different possibility for a Sprint and T-Mobile partnership. But that’s only one slice of the pie. I don’t think Masayoshi Son is that small of a thinker," said Kagan. "He sees opportunities, based on what we’ve all seen happen in the last few weeks. And he wants to be a player."

Who knows? They might have found time to talk about some investments in Trump Hotels or some such? 

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