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Offline RE

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🏬 Another Retail Chain Bought & Stripped Bare by Sun Capital Goes Bankrupt
« Reply #225 on: January 18, 2019, 02:17:19 AM »
https://wolfstreet.com/2019/01/17/another-retail-chain-owned-stripped-bare-by-sun-capital-goes-bankrupt/

Another Retail Chain Bought & Stripped Bare by Sun Capital Goes Bankrupt
by Wolf Richter • Jan 17, 2019 • 45 Comments   


Number five in two years. Here’s the list.

“This decision is a difficult, but necessary one,” ShopKo said in its announcement of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. It blamed “excess debt and ongoing competitive pressures” and “a challenging retail environment.” It said it would try to sell its pharmacy business in an auction and close 38 stores of the 360 general merchandise stores that it operates in 26 states, after having already closed about 45 stores last year.

In its filing, it reported less than $1 billion in assets and between $1 billion and $10 billion in liabilities. The company is buckling under its debts, has failed to pay certain suppliers, including pharmaceuticals supplier McKesson, and bankruptcy rumors have been flying for a while. It said it lined up debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing of $480 million to get it through the Chapter 11 process.

Sun Capital Partners, a private equity firm that gobbled up retail chains during the leveraged-buyout [LBO] boom before the Financial Crisis, had acquired ShopKo in 2005, after a bidding war – these were the heady days of “Merger Monday” – for $29 a share, or $877 million.

At the time of the buyout, ShopKo announced that a special committee of the board had unanimously approved the acquisition based on Sun Capital’s “financial resources, experience in the retail industry, relationships with key retail vendors and other suppliers, and experience in successfully completing transactions of this type.” At the time, ShopKo operated 358 stores under the ShopKo, Pamida, and ShopKo Express Rx names.

But Sun Capital got its money out, plus some, right away. In an SEC filing of November 2005, ShopKo explained that the buyout deal would be funded mostly by debt that ShopKo itself had to borrow. This debt came in two pieces, both from Wachovia Bank (which collapsed in 2008 and was handed to Wells Fargo):

    A line of credit of $600 million, secured by everything ShopKo had, except the only thing that had any significant value, namely real estate.
    A real estate loan of $600 million, “the proceeds of which will be used to finance a portion of the merger consideration.”

So that’s up to $1.2 billion in debt, shouldered by the acquired company, to fund its own acquisition by a PE firm and perhaps provide some instant profit back to the acquirer. That’s why these deals are called “leveraged buyouts” – because the acquired company gets leveraged to fund its own buyout.

These retailers – and there were many of them – that had undergone this procedure by private equity firms have been collapsing under their debts in recent years and are forming the core of the “brick-and-mortar meltdown,” as I have come to call it. This includes Toys “R” Us.

Five months later, in May 2006, Sun Capital sold ShopKo’s most valuable asset, its real estate, for $815 million to Spirit Finance Corp. ShopKo then leased back those locations for its stores. So ShopKo had to pay rent, and Sun Capital had the $815 million.

The Wall Street Journal noted at the time:

    The move might make waves in corporate real estate, showing retailers and others the possibilities in unloading their real-estate assets. It also shows that private investors are still finding ways to wring money out of retailers’ real estate.

Here are the retailers and restaurants that I have tracked over the past two years that Sun Capital had acquired and that filed for bankruptcy. There may be others that have slipped through my fingers:

Sun Capital portfolio company Marsh Supermarkets. Acquired in 2006, bankruptcy filing in May 2017, now liquidated. The grocery store chain once operated 116 supermarkets and 154 convenience stores. It was acquired by Sun Capital in 2006 in an LBO for $88 million in cash and the assumption of $237 million in debt. Then Sun Capital sold the real estate. And then it sold the stores. A decade of asset-stripping later, Marsh was down to 44 stores and practically no assets, when it filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It has since been liquidated.

The Marsh deal had another common angle: pensions. In bankruptcy court documents, it emerged that Marsh had pension obligations that were underfunded by $76 million that it was unable to pay, now that Sun Capital had stripped it clean. It shuffled the pension shortfall to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., a government agency that uses insurance premiums from covered pension plans to rescue failing pension plans. Retirees that had paid into the Marsh pension plan likely got hit with a big haircut in their payouts, as is usually the case when the PBGC takes over. And the PBGC said that it will itself run out of funds within a decade.

Sun Capital portfolio company Gordmans Stores. Acquired in 2008, bankruptcy filing in March 2017, now liquidated. The department store chain with over 100 locations in 22 states was acquired by Sun Capital in 2008 for an undisclosed amount.

The additional twist is that Sun Capital was able to sell 30% of its stake via an IPO in 2010. Gordman’s got none of the proceeds – everything went to Sun Capital, which is unusual for an IPO. In 2012, Sun Capital sold more shares, slashing its ownership to 50%. In 2013, Sun Capital forced Gordman’s to issue a $70 million special dividend, of which Sun Capital got 50%. Of that dividend, $45 million was borrowed money. In total, Sun Capital obtained $140 million from the proceeds of selling its shares to the public and extracting the dividend. This is in addition to other fees, special dividends, etc., that it might have obtained before the IPO.

Sun Capital portfolio company Limited Stores (not to be confused with The Limited). Acquired majority stake in 2007 and the remainder in 2010. Filed for bankruptcy in January 2017, after which the women’s apparel chain shuttered all its 250 stores and was liquidated.

Sun Capital portfolio company Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., which owned Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes. Acquired in 2005, filed for bankruptcy in October 2016. Closed many of its 124 restaurants and was sold off in pieces.

And this one Sun Capital could unload: The Mattress Firm. Acquired in 2002, at the time with about 300 stores. But in 2007, during the LBO boom, Sun Capital was able to exit via a sale to another PE firm J.W. Childs, which unloaded it in an IPO in 2011. In September 2016, Steinhoff International Holdings, a global retail empire headquartered in South Africa, acquired Mattress Firm, which by then had 3,500 stores, for $2.4 billion. Steinhoff went on to collapse spectacularly in late 2017. Mattress Firm descended into chaos amid lawsuits alleging a massive real estate scams, that pushed it into bankruptcy in October 2018. But Sun Capital had gotten out of that one years earlier. It was one of its many “successful exits.”

What’s the deal with retailers — and retail sales? I explain what big retailers want to keep secret, in my podcast… THE WOLF STREET REPORT 
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Offline RE

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Isn't that what Capitalism is supposed to do?  ???  :icon_scratch:

RE

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/01/18/sears-sale-challenged-creditors-who-say-chairman-stripped-company/2615948002/

Sears bid challenged by creditors who say chairman stripped company to enrich himself
Charisse Jones, USA TODAY Published 1:10 p.m. ET Jan. 18, 2019 | Updated 2:40 p.m. ET Jan. 18, 2019


Eddie Lampert's ESL Investments won the Sears bankruptcy auction. (Photo: Sears Holdings)

Saying that Sears Holdings chairman Eddie Lampert engaged in a years-long "scheme'' to strip the company of its assets, Sears creditors are challenging his bid to buy what's left of it.

Attorneys representing the retailer's unsecured creditors filed a motion Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York seeking to pursue claims against Sears saying, "the creditors' committee has uncovered facts demonstrating that Sears's downfall . . . also was precipitated by years of misconduct by Lampert, ESL and others.''

Lampert's hedge fund, ESL Investments, won an auction for most of Sears remaining assets this week with a $5.2-billion offer. The sale, which still needs final approval by a bankruptcy judge at a hearing slated for Feb. 1, staved off potential liquidation of the company and according to Sears will preserve 45,000 jobs.

But creditors say that the deal is part of a pattern by Lampert, who they say is getting a greatly diminished company at a discounted price, further enriching himself while leaving vendors, workers and others in the lurch.

"Over the course of Lampert’s and ESL’s reign, Sears closed over 3,500 stores, cut approximately 250,000 jobs, and lost untold billions in value,'' the filing says. "In effect, Lampert and ESL managed Sears as if it were a private portfolio company that existed solely to provide the greatest returns on their investment, recklessly disregarding the damage to Sears, its employees, and its creditors."

Lampert has been a controversial figure. He has given billions of dollars to keep Sears afloat and has said that he was "fighting like hell'' to help the once iconic company survive amid a retail landscape disrupted by the rise of online shopping and fast fashion.

But Lampert has also presided over a series of complex financial transactions in which he has been both lender and borrower, or buyer and seller.   

Two of those deals were among the claims mentioned in the court filing. In 2015, 235 of the most valuable Sears store properties were transferred to a new real estate investment trust, Seritage Growth Properties, for $2.7 billion. Lampert was Seritage's biggest shareholder and chairman.  In 2017, Sears paid Seritage $109 million in rent, $43 million in expenses such as property taxes, insurance and utilities, and $35 million in lease termination fees, according to a public filing.

In 2014, Sears Holdings spun off retailer Lands’ End. As of last January, Lampert's ESL Investments owned roughly 67%, according to a filing, a stake worth nearly $430 million as of May 17, 2018.

The creditors said they would like to recover the value of the properties switched over to Seritage and to be relieved of obligations in relation to the Lands' End spin-off.

In a statement, ESL said its loans and other transactions involving Sears were focused on keeping the company alive while helping it to evolve.

"ESL Investments, Inc. has been a constant source of financing for Sears Holdings over the past several years, including through the extension of $2.4 billion in various secured financings to the company,'' the hedge fund said. "All transactions were done in good faith, on fair terms, beneficial to all Sears stakeholders and approved by the Sears Board of Directors . . . We reject any assertion to the contrary and will vigorously contest any effort to assert claims against ESL, its principals or affiliates concerning these transactions.”

Money: It's official: Sears chairman wins bid to buy company that owns Sears and Kmart

Money: Sears store in White Plains, N.Y., watches its destiny decided in courthouse 2 blocks away

Money: Sears boss Eddie Lampert accused of possibly profiting from retailer's decline

Sears CEO Eddie Lampert is looking to sell the distressed retailer's Kenmore appliance brand and real estate. Elizabeth Keatinge has more. Buzz60

Some industry watchers believe Lampert's last-minute bid to buy Sears reflects a commitment to the company.

"I think Eddie Lampert genuinely believes in Sears and wants to see it succeed,'' says Neil Saunders, managing director of retail consultancy GlobalData. "There is an element of face-saving in here, too. It reflects badly on Eddie if Sears goes under. He also has an interest in making it work as he has pumped quite a lot of money into the company.''

Others say the terms of the deal ESL crafted could provide Lampert with a big pay off, including protection from the types of claims Sears' unsecured creditors are currently trying to pursue.

"Some things need to fall in place like the final bid being accepted, and (Lampert) being exempted from lawsuits,'' said Michael Dart, partner in the consumer goods and retail practice at management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.   "But I'm in the camp that when the financial forensics are placed over this, we'll realize Eddie's made quite a bit of money in managing down (toward) the ultimate liquidation that will probably take place.''

The few hundred stores and other assets that Lampert's ESL would own could ultimately be worth more than what it paid, says David Wander, a partner with the law firm Davidoff Hutcher & Citron.

"He may be getting assets that could be liquidated in the future that are worth as much as his bid,'' says Wander who represents two of Sears' vendors. Lampert is "not just giving money for the sake of being a nice guy. It's a shrewd business deal."

But if ESL's offer gets the final green light, the sale may be granting the once-iconic retailer only a brief reprieve, delaying the inevitable, the company's unsecured creditors say.

"Throughout these proceedings, Lampert and ESL have painted themselves as saviors, stating that their bid will save the few jobs they have not already eliminated — but for how long?'' the court filing said.  "They have failed to set forth a business plan that offers any viable go-forward path. Sears simply cannot survive as a going concern."
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Offline RE

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🏬 Lampert's Sears Takeover Effort Runs Into Pension Insurer Objection
« Reply #227 on: February 01, 2019, 12:00:16 AM »
Of course the Pensioners will take the biggest hit here.  ::)

RE

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/lampert-apos-sears-takeover-effort-215107417.html

Lampert's Sears Takeover Effort Runs Into Pension Insurer Objection
[Motley Fool]
Rich Duprey, The Motley Fool
Motley FoolJanuary 31, 2019

ESL Investments CEO Eddie Lampert's attempt to gain control of Sears Holdings' (NASDAQOTH: SHLDQ) remaining assets for pennies on the dollar may have run into its biggest obstacle yet. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the federal government's pension insurer of last resort, filed documents this week with the bankruptcy court opposing Lampert's bid.

The PBGC, which is assuming responsibility for Sears' defined pension benefit plans that affect some 90,000 people, said there's a funding gap of $1.7 billion, and "it appears that the Debtors are proposing an aggregate cure amount ... of $0."

Elderly woman with near-empty jar marked "SAVINGS" sitting in front of her on the table
Image source: Getty Images.

Other Sears creditors are also opposed to Lampert's takeover effort and are seeking to have the bankrupt retailer liquidated to recoup some of the money they are owed. Lampert and his hedge fund ESL Investments have spun his $5.3 billion purchase bid as an attempt to save the iconic retailer, keeping 400 stores open and 50,000 jobs intact.

However, the presence of the federal government's pension guardian could be Lampert's most influential opponent.
A ticking time bomb for years

The pensions of Sears workers have long been the heaviest weight Sears has carried, and benefit accruals for Sears employees have been frozen since 2005, when Lampert acquired the company and merged it with Kmart, whose employees have had accruals in their plan frozen since 1996.

Lampert began reducing the risk the pensions carried for Sears, first by selling off businesses and assets to pay down the liability, and then by transferring to MetLife just over $1 billion in pension liabilities.

Last year, Lampert wrote on the Sears blog:

    In addition to the very difficult retail environment, Sears has also been significantly impacted by its long-term pension obligations. In the last five years, we contributed almost $2 billion, and since 2005 we have contributed over $4.5 billion, to fund our Pension Plans.

He acknowledged that in addition to the cost of the legacy pensions, Sears was also burdened by the retailer's poor operating performance, little of which was helped by Lampert's management actions over the years.

Although employees will retain their basic benefits when the PBGC assumes control of their pension plans, health and welfare benefits, life insurance, vacation pay, severance benefits, and other lump-sum and disability benefits they may have built up or paid into are not covered.
Protecting the retirees

At stake for the PBGC are the deals it entered into with Lampert to preserve some value in the company to pay for the pensions. It sought to "ring fence" various real estate holdings to prevent Lampert from selling them off, and it retained a stake in the Kenmore and DieHard brands.

The sale of Craftsman tools to Stanley Black & Decker had to get prior approval from the PBGC, and the royalty payments Lampert negotiated with the tool maker were directed exclusively toward Sears pension obligations. However, if Lampert wins the auction for the retailer, the PBGC loses its leverage with KCD IP, the company that controls the brands, along with the royalty payments. Lampert's bid ends all future transactions between Sears and the company.

The PBGC is obligated to try and extract as much value as possible from the business to fund the pensions, meaning Lampert may have reached too far. By trying to freeze out the pension insurer as he looks to retain the remaining assets for himself, he has created a formidable opponent to challenge him.

It would be a bit of irony that the pensions Lampert sought to separate from the company to reduce the risk they presented to his plan to raid Sears at the end are the very thing that undermine his attempt to control the business.
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Offline AJ

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Re: Official Death of Retail Thread: Life Without Walmart
« Reply #228 on: February 01, 2019, 05:09:33 AM »
Just a little more predatory capitalism on the way to doom :icon_mrgreen:, what's not to like :icon_scratch:
How the mighty (Sears) has fallen, probably paving the way the FANG companies (stocks) to go too?? Just wondering.
AJ
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Offline RE

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🏬 Government fears Eddie Lampert would wipe out Sears' pension plans
« Reply #229 on: February 01, 2019, 09:40:18 AM »
You can bank on that one.

RE

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/government-fears-eddie-lampert-would-wipe-out-sears-pension-plans/

Government fears Eddie Lampert would wipe out Sears' pension plans


By Kate Gibson

Updated on: February 1, 2019 / 7:32 AM / MoneyWatch

The U.S. government agency that insures worker pensions is worried that a plan by Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert to buy the bankrupt retailer could leave it shouldering more of the company's retirement costs for 90,000 Sears and Kmart employees and retirees.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has weighed in against Lampert's $5.2 billion offer for Sears in papers filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The PBGC's legal objections come as the 126-year-old department store chain tries to rid itself of pension plan obligations while under bankruptcy protection, according to debt experts.

The PBGC could be liable for what it says is a $1.4 billion shortfall in Sears' pension plans. While the agency filed claims against Sears in bankruptcy court over that funding gap, it will ultimately have to pay the difference, said Sarah Foss, a legal analyst at Debtwire, a news and data provider.

More specifically, the PBGC objects to the acquisition offer for Sears by Lampert's hedge fund, ESL Investments, because the agency would lose interests in licensing agreements related to the retailer's Kenmore and DieHard trademarks that the PBGC had previously received. That would result in the PBGC losing royalties, the agency noted in its court filing.
Sears dumping pension costs

The PBGC protects the pension benefits of nearly 37 million Americans in private-sector plans, and currently funds the benefits for about 1.5 million people in failed pension plans, according to the agency. The PBGC get no taxpayer dollars but is instead funded by insurance premiums and recoveries from failed plans.

The agency earlier this month said it was taking steps to assume responsibility for defined benefit pension plans covering about 90,000 Sears and Kmart employees and retirees. The PBGC added that it has for several years worked with Sears to financially shore up its pension plans.

As part of that effort, the agency negotiated a deal with Sears under which the PBGC would take a stake in the company's Kenmore appliance and DieHard battery brands. The agency is now arguing that Lampert acquiring Sears would harm its interests in both brands and the royalty payments that come with them.

"What's unusual here is this complicated transaction where PBGC has a stake in Kenwood and where royalties were flowing to it, this is going to eliminate that stake to them," Foss said.
Only bid in town

Sears filed for bankruptcy protection in October, and the retailer's unsecured creditors have argued that keeping the company around mostly benefits Lampert and ESL.

A committee of unsecured creditors is asking a judge to let it sue Lampert and ESL over Sears' downfall, calling ESL's current bid to save the company "nothing but the final fulfillment of a years-long scheme to deprive Sears and its creditors of assets and its employees of jobs while lining Lampert's and ESL's own pockets."

ESL declined comment. The hedge fund and Lampert have previously defended their plan as a good-faith effort to keep hundreds of stores running and save 45,000 jobs. 

"From ESL's perspective, eliminating the pension liability is part of how they make this a viable entity," Philip Emma, a retail analyst at Debtwire, told CBS MoneyWatch.

The fact that Lampert's proposal is the only one that would keep the storied retailer going, at least for a time, likely weighs in his favor. 

"It might be hard to imagine the bankruptcy judge saying they are going to eliminate Sears' only option to continue as a going concern," Foss said. 

The next court hearing on Lampert's bid is scheduled for Monday.
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Offline Eddie

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Re: 🏬 Government fears Eddie Lampert would wipe out Sears' pension plans
« Reply #230 on: February 01, 2019, 09:57:58 AM »
You can bank on that one.

RE

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/government-fears-eddie-lampert-would-wipe-out-sears-pension-plans/

Government fears Eddie Lampert would wipe out Sears' pension plans


By Kate Gibson

Updated on: February 1, 2019 / 7:32 AM / MoneyWatch

The U.S. government agency that insures worker pensions is worried that a plan by Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert to buy the bankrupt retailer could leave it shouldering more of the company's retirement costs for 90,000 Sears and Kmart employees and retirees.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has weighed in against Lampert's $5.2 billion offer for Sears in papers filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The PBGC's legal objections come as the 126-year-old department store chain tries to rid itself of pension plan obligations while under bankruptcy protection, according to debt experts.

The PBGC could be liable for what it says is a $1.4 billion shortfall in Sears' pension plans. While the agency filed claims against Sears in bankruptcy court over that funding gap, it will ultimately have to pay the difference, said Sarah Foss, a legal analyst at Debtwire, a news and data provider.

More specifically, the PBGC objects to the acquisition offer for Sears by Lampert's hedge fund, ESL Investments, because the agency would lose interests in licensing agreements related to the retailer's Kenmore and DieHard trademarks that the PBGC had previously received. That would result in the PBGC losing royalties, the agency noted in its court filing.
Sears dumping pension costs

The PBGC protects the pension benefits of nearly 37 million Americans in private-sector plans, and currently funds the benefits for about 1.5 million people in failed pension plans, according to the agency. The PBGC get no taxpayer dollars but is instead funded by insurance premiums and recoveries from failed plans.

The agency earlier this month said it was taking steps to assume responsibility for defined benefit pension plans covering about 90,000 Sears and Kmart employees and retirees. The PBGC added that it has for several years worked with Sears to financially shore up its pension plans.

As part of that effort, the agency negotiated a deal with Sears under which the PBGC would take a stake in the company's Kenmore appliance and DieHard battery brands. The agency is now arguing that Lampert acquiring Sears would harm its interests in both brands and the royalty payments that come with them.

"What's unusual here is this complicated transaction where PBGC has a stake in Kenwood and where royalties were flowing to it, this is going to eliminate that stake to them," Foss said.
Only bid in town

Sears filed for bankruptcy protection in October, and the retailer's unsecured creditors have argued that keeping the company around mostly benefits Lampert and ESL.

A committee of unsecured creditors is asking a judge to let it sue Lampert and ESL over Sears' downfall, calling ESL's current bid to save the company "nothing but the final fulfillment of a years-long scheme to deprive Sears and its creditors of assets and its employees of jobs while lining Lampert's and ESL's own pockets."

ESL declined comment. The hedge fund and Lampert have previously defended their plan as a good-faith effort to keep hundreds of stores running and save 45,000 jobs. 

"From ESL's perspective, eliminating the pension liability is part of how they make this a viable entity," Philip Emma, a retail analyst at Debtwire, told CBS MoneyWatch.

The fact that Lampert's proposal is the only one that would keep the storied retailer going, at least for a time, likely weighs in his favor. 

"It might be hard to imagine the bankruptcy judge saying they are going to eliminate Sears' only option to continue as a going concern," Foss said. 

The next court hearing on Lampert's bid is scheduled for Monday.

That's the whole purpose of the bankruptcy, to fuck the retired employees. That's been planned all along. That's how LBO's work.Sears has so many, they'll have to settle, but the employees won't get everything they were promised. No way.
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Offline RE

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Re: 🏬 Government fears Eddie Lampert would wipe out Sears' pension plans
« Reply #231 on: February 01, 2019, 10:09:45 AM »
That's the whole purpose of the bankruptcy, to fuck the retired employees. That's been planned all along. That's how LBO's work.Sears has so many, they'll have to settle, but the employees won't get everything they were promised. No way.

Definitely not, and that is how the Rich steal from the Poor.

Privatize the Profits, Socialize the Losses.

RE
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Offline AJ

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Re: 🏬 Government fears Eddie Lampert would wipe out Sears' pension plans
« Reply #232 on: February 01, 2019, 04:38:44 PM »
That's the whole purpose of the bankruptcy, to fuck the retired employees. That's been planned all along. That's how LBO's work.Sears has so many, they'll have to settle, but the employees won't get everything they were promised. No way.

Definitely not, and that is how the Rich steal from the Poor.

Privatize the Profits, Socialize the Losses.

RE
Just sounds like good old Amerikan capitalism to me. Give me a double dose ;D
Someone should take these SOBs out back and have them dig their graves (save the crowds with pitchforks the trouble).
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Re: 🏬 Government fears Eddie Lampert would wipe out Sears' pension plans
« Reply #233 on: February 02, 2019, 03:27:47 AM »
That's the whole purpose of the bankruptcy, to fuck the retired employees. That's been planned all along. That's how LBO's work.Sears has so many, they'll have to settle, but the employees won't get everything they were promised. No way.

Definitely not, and that is how the Rich steal from the Poor.

Privatize the Profits, Socialize the Losses.

RE

Just sounds like good old Amerikan capitalism to me. Give me a double dose ;D
Someone should take these SOBs out back and have them dig their graves (save the crowds with pitchforks the trouble).
AJ

We still have plenty of lampposts and many yards of sturdy nylon rope.
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A record 7 million Americans are 3 months behind on their car payments
« Reply #234 on: February 14, 2019, 02:52:53 AM »

A record 7 million Americans are 90 days or more behind on their auto loan payments, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported Tuesday, even more than during the wake of the financial crisis.

Economists warn that this is a red flag. Despite the strong economy and low unemployment rate, many Americans are struggling to pay their bills.

“The substantial and growing number of distressed borrowers suggests that not all Americans have benefited from the strong labor market,” economists at the New York Fed wrote in a blog post.

A car loan is typically the first payment people make because a vehicle is critical to getting to work, and someone can live in a car if all else fails. When car loan delinquencies rise, it is usually a sign of significant duress among low-income and working-class Americans.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/02/12/record-million-americans-are-months-behind-their-car-payments-red-flag-economy/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0f98617c3852
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Trillion-dollar-valued Amazon pays $0 in income taxes in 2018
« Reply #235 on: February 15, 2019, 09:45:03 AM »

Trillion-dollar-valued Amazon pays $0 in income taxes for 2018, gets multi-million refund
14 Feb, 2019
Trillion-dollar-company Amazon skated through 2018’s tax filings without paying a cent for the second year in a row. The e-commerce behemoth, which made $11 billion last year, will pay no taxes at all, thanks to 2017’s tax reform.

Rather than pay the standard 21 percent corporate income tax rate, Amazon is actually claiming a tax rebate of $129 million, which works out to a logic-defying rate of -1 percent. Aside from the nebulous “tax credits,” which the company does not have to spell out in its public filings, Amazon is also claiming a tax break for executive stock options, according to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy – a longstanding loophole that permits profitable corporations to dodge federal and state income taxes on almost half their profits.

While President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax reform legislation lowered corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent, it was sold as an incentive for companies to keep their money in the US, instead of stashing it overseas where the IRS couldn’t touch it. Now that Amazon and Netflix have both made headlines for using the new regulations to avoid paying anything at all, it remains to be seen whether the legislation’s failure to close corporate loopholes will leave the US holding the bag for fiscal year 2018 as the country’s national debt inches past $22 trillion – a record high.


https://www.rt.com/business/451417-amazon-pays-negative-tax-loopholes/
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Offline Eddie

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Re: Trillion-dollar-valued Amazon pays $0 in income taxes in 2018
« Reply #236 on: February 15, 2019, 10:12:14 AM »

Trillion-dollar-valued Amazon pays $0 in income taxes for 2018, gets multi-million refund
14 Feb, 2019
Trillion-dollar-company Amazon skated through 2018’s tax filings without paying a cent for the second year in a row. The e-commerce behemoth, which made $11 billion last year, will pay no taxes at all, thanks to 2017’s tax reform.

Rather than pay the standard 21 percent corporate income tax rate, Amazon is actually claiming a tax rebate of $129 million, which works out to a logic-defying rate of -1 percent. Aside from the nebulous “tax credits,” which the company does not have to spell out in its public filings, Amazon is also claiming a tax break for executive stock options, according to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy – a longstanding loophole that permits profitable corporations to dodge federal and state income taxes on almost half their profits.

While President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax reform legislation lowered corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent, it was sold as an incentive for companies to keep their money in the US, instead of stashing it overseas where the IRS couldn’t touch it. Now that Amazon and Netflix have both made headlines for using the new regulations to avoid paying anything at all, it remains to be seen whether the legislation’s failure to close corporate loopholes will leave the US holding the bag for fiscal year 2018 as the country’s national debt inches past $22 trillion – a record high.


https://www.rt.com/business/451417-amazon-pays-negative-tax-loopholes/

And I paid 150K. See how it really works? I'm so mad I could spit.

I'm as mad as the late  Eddie Chiles, but for the exact opposite reason.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline azozeo

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Re: Trillion-dollar-valued Amazon pays $0 in income taxes in 2018
« Reply #237 on: February 15, 2019, 10:22:45 AM »

Trillion-dollar-valued Amazon pays $0 in income taxes for 2018, gets multi-million refund
14 Feb, 2019
Trillion-dollar-company Amazon skated through 2018’s tax filings without paying a cent for the second year in a row. The e-commerce behemoth, which made $11 billion last year, will pay no taxes at all, thanks to 2017’s tax reform.

Rather than pay the standard 21 percent corporate income tax rate, Amazon is actually claiming a tax rebate of $129 million, which works out to a logic-defying rate of -1 percent. Aside from the nebulous “tax credits,” which the company does not have to spell out in its public filings, Amazon is also claiming a tax break for executive stock options, according to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy – a longstanding loophole that permits profitable corporations to dodge federal and state income taxes on almost half their profits.

While President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax reform legislation lowered corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent, it was sold as an incentive for companies to keep their money in the US, instead of stashing it overseas where the IRS couldn’t touch it. Now that Amazon and Netflix have both made headlines for using the new regulations to avoid paying anything at all, it remains to be seen whether the legislation’s failure to close corporate loopholes will leave the US holding the bag for fiscal year 2018 as the country’s national debt inches past $22 trillion – a record high.


https://www.rt.com/business/451417-amazon-pays-negative-tax-loopholes/

And I paid 150K. See how it really works? I'm so mad I could spit.

I'm as mad as the late  Eddie Chiles, but for the exact opposite reason.


Don't feed the beast  :evil4:
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

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Re: Trillion-dollar-valued Amazon pays $0 in income taxes in 2018
« Reply #238 on: February 15, 2019, 10:34:30 AM »

Trillion-dollar-valued Amazon pays $0 in income taxes for 2018, gets multi-million refund
14 Feb, 2019
Trillion-dollar-company Amazon skated through 2018’s tax filings without paying a cent for the second year in a row. The e-commerce behemoth, which made $11 billion last year, will pay no taxes at all, thanks to 2017’s tax reform.

Rather than pay the standard 21 percent corporate income tax rate, Amazon is actually claiming a tax rebate of $129 million, which works out to a logic-defying rate of -1 percent. Aside from the nebulous “tax credits,” which the company does not have to spell out in its public filings, Amazon is also claiming a tax break for executive stock options, according to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy – a longstanding loophole that permits profitable corporations to dodge federal and state income taxes on almost half their profits.

While President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax reform legislation lowered corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent, it was sold as an incentive for companies to keep their money in the US, instead of stashing it overseas where the IRS couldn’t touch it. Now that Amazon and Netflix have both made headlines for using the new regulations to avoid paying anything at all, it remains to be seen whether the legislation’s failure to close corporate loopholes will leave the US holding the bag for fiscal year 2018 as the country’s national debt inches past $22 trillion – a record high.


https://www.rt.com/business/451417-amazon-pays-negative-tax-loopholes/

And I paid 150K. See how it really works? I'm so mad I could spit.

I'm as mad as the late  Eddie Chiles, but for the exact opposite reason.






The Best Advice for Saving as Much as You Can

There’s one question I hear as a personal finance writer more than any other. It’s not how to game the stock market, or become a billionaire—it’s simply how to make a budget work while still saving enough to retire comfortably.

And of course, it’s simple: Change your habits so you can put money aside for the things that matter to you. But that’s also really, really hard to do.




https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-best-advice-for-saving-as-much-as-you-can
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline RE

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🏬 Payless ShoeSource closing all 2,100 U.S. stores, starting liquidation sales
« Reply #239 on: February 16, 2019, 12:07:56 AM »
Another one Bites the Dust.

RE

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/02/15/payless-shoesource-all-u-s-stores-liquidating-and-closing/2885949002/

Payless ShoeSource closing all 2,100 U.S. stores, starting liquidation sales Sunday
Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY Published 6:10 p.m. ET Feb. 15, 2019 | Updated 2:25 a.m. ET Feb. 16, 2019


The discount shoe retailer Payless ShoeSource is set to close all of its stores when its files for bankruptcy later this month. Veuer's Mercer Morrison has the story. Buzz60
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Payless ShoeSource confirmed Friday that it will close its 2,100 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and start liquidation sales Sunday. The company is also shuttering its e-commerce operations.

The closings mark the biggest by a single chain this year and nearly doubles the number of retail stores set to close in 2019.

"We expect all stores to remain open until at least the end of March and the majority will remain open until May," the company said in a statement to USA TODAY. "This process does not affect the company’s franchise operations or its Latin American stores, which remain open for business as usual.”

Payless.com is no longer accepting online orders but its store locator was still working early Saturday.

The Topeka, Kansas-based discount shoe retailer had previously filed for bankruptcy protection in 2017 and closed 673 stores.

Charlotte Russe bankruptcy: 94 stores are closing. Is your store on the list?

Gymboree liquidation: Last day to use Gymboree and Crazy 8 gift cards is Feb. 16
Payless ShoeSource is closing all U.S. stores.

Payless ShoeSource is closing all U.S. stores. (Photo11: J.C. Reindl, Detroit Free Press)

In a September news release, Payless said it was "the largest specialty footwear retailer in the Western Hemisphere" with more than 3,500 stores in 40 countries worldwide and nearly 18,000 employees.

Days before Payless confirmed stores would be shuttered, Coresight Research on Wednesday released an outlook of 2019 store closures that said there was "no light at the end of the tunnel."

Prior to the Payless announcement, 2,187 store closings had been announced in the first six weeks of the year, according to the global market research firm's report. This represented a 23 percent increase over the same time period last year.

Those closings include 749 Gymboree stores, 251 Shopko stores and 94 Charlotte Russe locations.

For 2018, Coresight Research tracked 5,524 closings, which included all Toys R Us stores, and hundreds of Mattress Firm stores, Kmart and Sears locations, and Brookstone's remaining mall stores. 

The record year for closings was 2017, with 8,139 shuttered stores, Coresight reported. This included the 2017 Payless closings, the entire HHGregg electronics and appliance chain and hundreds of Sears and Kmart stores.

Shopko bankruptcy: More than 250 stores amid bankruptcy filing: See the full list

Are more store closings coming: Firm forecasts 'No light at the end of the tunnel'
Save As Many As You Can

 

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