The Dark Side Of A Record $5 Trillion In Mergers: Hundreds Of Thousands Of Imminent Layoffs
Yesterday afternoon, Dealogic announced the for the first time in history, global announced M&A volume in 2015 would surpass $5 trillion. This record eclipses by 9% the previous all time high of $4.6 trillion set during the previous market bubble year of 2007.
The report adds that there were 10 $50 billion M&A transactions announced in 2015 worth a combined $798.9bn. That's five deals more than the previous record high activity set in 1998, 1999, and 2014. US targeted M&A ($2.5tr) accounts for half of 2015 volume and seven of the top 10 transactions.
Breaking down by total by sector, Healthcare ($723.7bn) and Technology ($713.1bn) were the leading sectors. The biggest deals announced in 2015 were Pfizer and Allergan's pending $160bn merger, followed by Anheuser-Busch InBev's $117.4bn bid for SABMiller, two of only eight $100bn+ transactions announced on record. ...
Many have debated what has unleashed this unprecedented merger frenzy, even if the answer is simple: record low costs of debt have been used by management teams not only as a source of funding for record buybacks (pushing the acquiror's stock as a merger "currency" to all time highs), but also to fund ever greater portions of the merger consideration. The result are M&A EV/EBITDA multiples in the high teens, 20s, and even 30s (or higher) as hundreds of billions of investment grade debt have been issued to fund "financial engineering", be it buybacks or M&A, just not prefunding future revenue growth via spending on CapEx. ... Read more
Why Are We So Blind?
One look at the enormous 27 buildings, 104 acres embassy the U.S. government has built in Baghdad and, if it isn't clear to you already, THIS makes it's utterly clear that we've been lied to about what the whole invasion is all about. 2 BILLION a year to run the darn thing!! It couldn't be more obvious those that orchestrated this invasion had designs to stay for a very long time from the very beginning.CNN | Farmer uncovers 11,000-year-old mammoth (10/03/15) [0:58]
Motherboard | The Mission to Resurrect the Woolly Mammoth (04/08/15) [22:02]
Right now, in the 21st century, South Korean scientists are actually working to resurrect the prehistoric woolly mammoth using cloning technology and the flesh of perfectly preserved specimen once buried in Northern Siberia. The hope is that if they can find an active cell from the meaty leg of a 40,000 year old frozen mammoth, it could hold the keys to bringing back the extinct species.
At the same time, shady tusk hunting Siberians looking for mammoth ivory support the Korean cloning project, by discovering frozen mammoths in the quickly melting permafrost of the Russian Far North. This bizarre supply chain inspired us to travel to Seoul, Yakutsk, and Moscow, to learn about humanity's quest to both profit from, and clone, the legendary woolly mammoth.
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Tuesday, December 29 [13:49]
*DN | At End of Hottest Year Ever, Massive U.S. Storm Kills At Least 43 With More Extreme Weather to Come (12/28/15) [11:27]*DR | Rev. Barry Lynn: "God And Government" (Reboadcast) (12/29/15) [1hr]
DN | Grief & Outrage as Chicago Police Shoot Dead 2 More Unarmed African Americans (12/28/15) [17:25 ]
DN | Mapping Police Violence: New Study Shows Cops Have Killed At Least 1,152 in 2015 (12/28/15) [8:22]
DN | Haskell Wexler Dead at 93: Legendary Cinematographer, Activist Captured the Struggles of Our Times (12/28/15) [ 8:53]
Rev. Barry Lynn has been a central player in the major church-state battles for decades. In his new book he revisits the issues that have defined his career like prayer in public school and reproductive rights.TRNN | Fmr. Senior Airman Cian Westmoreland discusses: From Drone Technician to Whistleblower (12/28/15) [11:05]
*TYT | DISASTEROUS Methane Leak Poisons California (12/28/15) [10:05]
TYT | Prosecutor Throws Tamir Rice Case. Cop Walks. (12/28/15) [11:25]
TYT | Conservatives Attack Paul Ryan's "Muslim Beard" (12/28/15) [7:41]
RT | Situation Uncertain: US aid money to flow into Iraq after Ramadi liberated (12/29/15) [2:41]
ThomHartmann | How Bernie Sanders could be America's next FDR, Part 1 (12/29/15) [12:42], Part 2 [12:37]
Professor Harvey Kaye, The Fight For The Four Freedoms: What Made FDR And The Greatest Generation Truly Great/University of Wisconsin at Green Bay joins Thom. Seventy-Five years ago next week - FDR gave one of his most important public addresses - the so-called Four Freedoms speech. What lessons does that speech hold for us today - in 2015?
Honey, I Shrunk The Middle Class: Less Than One Third Of Households Qualify
If it takes more than $126,000 to fund a qualitatively defined middle class lifestyle, what sense does it even make to call this "middle"?
The Pew Research Center's recent report The American Middle Class Is Losing Ground: No longer the majority and falling behind financially made a media splash, as it reported that less than 50% of adults are members of the Great American Middle Class. ... Read more
11 Dead In Texas Storms That Spawned Tornadoes
Days of tumultuous weather have led to 43 deaths overall across Texas, Illinois, Missouri and the Southeast.
At least 11 people died and dozens were injured in strong tornadoes that swept through the Dallas area and caused substantial damage this weekend, while 13 people died in flooding in the Midwest.
It was the latest of a succession of powerful weather events across the country, from heavy snow in New Mexico, west Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle to flooding in parts of the Plains and Midwest. Days of tumultuous weather have led to 43 deaths overall -- those in Texas, plus five in Illinois, eight in Missouri and 19 in the Southeast. ... Read more
A Nervous George Soros Lashes Out At Donald Trump: He Wants You To Be Afraid
It appears The Establishment has decided to bring in the big guns to dislodge The GOP's nightmare scenario as Donald Trump goes from strength to strength in the polls. Writing in an op-ed for The Guardian, billionaire puppet-master George Soros urges Americans "to resist the siren song of the likes of Donald Trump," adding that "the terrorists and demagogues want us to be scared. We mustn’t give in." ... Read moreClick picture to zoom in
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Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Monday, December 28 [13:42]
DR | New Research On Teens, Toddlers and Mobile Devices (Rebroadcast) (12/28/15) [1hr]
TRNN | Fmr. Chief of Staff to Colin Powell Larry Wilkerson says: Is America Becoming a Garrison State? (12/26/15) [7:31]
TRNN | Scholar Sam Mitrani says the police were created to restrain the working class and the poor (older, 01/19/15) [15:24]
TYT | Muslims Shield Christians From Al-Shabaab (12/27/15) [4:36]
TYT | Mock Funerals Are Now A Thing (12/27/15) [6:23]
RoF | Puerto Rican Economy Gets Screwed By Big Banks; The Same Thing Is Happening In U.S. (12/18/15) [10:26]
ThomHartmann | On Science & Green News (12/28/15) [6:41]
‘The Big Short,’ Housing Bubbles and Retold Lies
“The Big Short” is based on the Michael Lewis book of the same name, one of the few real best-sellers to emerge from the financial crisis. I saw an early screening, and I think it does a terrific job of making Wall Street skulduggery entertaining, of exploiting the inherent black humor of how it went down.
... I could quibble over a few points: The group of people who recognized that we were experiencing the mother of all housing bubbles, and that this posed big dangers to the real economy, was bigger than the film might lead you to believe. It even included a few (cough) mainstream economists. But it is true that many influential, seemingly authoritative players, from Alan Greenspan on down, insisted not only that there was no bubble but that no bubble was even possible. ...
And the bubble whose existence they denied really was inflated largely via opaque financial schemes that in many cases amounted to outright fraud — and it is an outrage that basically nobody ended up being punished for those sins aside from innocent bystanders, namely the millions of workers who lost their jobs and the millions of families that lost their homes. ... Read more
How Close Are We to 'Dangerous' Planetary Warming?
... The question immediately arises: How much time do we have until we reach the danger zone? How close are we to the 2C warming limit?
It has been widely reported that 2015 will be the first year where temperatures climbed to 1C above the pre-industrial. That might make it seem like we've got quite a ways to go until we breach the 2C limit. But the claim is wrong. We exceeded 1C warming more than a decade ago. The problem is that here, and elsewhere, an inappropriate baseline has been invoked for defining the "pre-industrial." The warming was measured relative to the average over the latter half of the 19th century (1850-1900). In other words, the base year implicitly used to define "pre-industrial" conditions is 1875, the mid-point of that interval. Yet the industrial revolution and the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations associated with it, began more than a century earlier. ...
Scores of eastern U.S. cities to shatter Christmas Eve warm weather records
The warm air surging up the East Coast on Christmas Eve will prove nothing short of historic. Dozens of records will fall, some by very large margins. Temperatures at or above 70 degrees will span from Florida all the way into southern New England covering some 1,200 miles and 20 percent of the Lower 48. In many places in the East, temperatures will run some 30-40 degrees above normal. ...
Most Powerful Octacopter from OFM for Professional Aerial filming [14:10]
Domino's Flying Drone Delivers Pizza [1:07]
Ultra light Autogyro / Gyrocopter [4:41]
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Thursday, December 24 [12:46]
DN | Military Injustice: As Bowe Bergdahl Court-Martialed, Navy SEALs Tied to Torture, Killing Walk Free (12/24/15) [11:21]*TRNN | Historian, author, and educator Anthony Browder summarizes the African origins of Christmas (12/24/15) [11:43]
DN | Top Military Lawyer: Army Bowed to Republican Political Pressure in Court-Martialing Bowe Bergdahl (12/24/15) [16:11]
TRNN | James S. Henry say: Five Big Banks Plead Guilty to Rigging Currency Markets and No One Goes to Jail (older 2015) [12:44]
*TRNN | Sharon Kelly says: Will the Decline of Coal Solve the Climate Crisis? (12/24/15) [6:05]
*TYT | POLL: Bernie Sanders Would DESTROY Trump In General Election (12/23/15) [6:18]
TYT | Congress Sneaks CISA Into Omnibus Bill. NSA Gets Everything. (12/23/15) [7:01]
TYT | Tips To Save Money: Live In A Van At Work (Google) (12/25/15) [7:48]
TYT | Killing From A Distance: One Former Drone Operator's Disturbing Experiences (12/25/15) [3:04]
RT | CrossTalk: Why Not Public Bank? (E854) (12/26/15) [25:44]
Interesting StuffJURASSIC PARK - Evolution of a Raptor Suit (2012) [4:35]
The Big Short: "Every American Should See This Movie & Be F##king Pissed Off"
The choice of Adam McKay as director turned out to be brilliant. The question was how do you make a movie about the housing market, mortgage backed securities, collateralized debt obligations, collateralized debt swaps, and synthetic CDOs interesting for the average person. He succeeded beyond all expectations.
Interweaving pop culture icons, music, symbols of materialism, and unforgettable characters, McKay has created a masterpiece about the greed, stupidity, hubris, and arrogance of Wall Street bankers gone wild. He captures the idiocy and complete capture of the rating agencies (S&P, Moodys). He reveals the ineptitude and dysfunction of the SEC, where the goal of these regulators was to get a high paying job with banks they were supposed to regulate. He skewers the faux financial journalists at the Wall Street Journal who didn't want to rock the boat with the truth about the greatest fraud ever committed. ... Read more*CorbettReport | "The Big Short" by Michael Lewis, On Why The Bank Bailout Was A Mistake (12/11/15) [2:44]
The real story of the crash began in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn't shine and the SEC doesn't dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower--and middle--class Americans who can't pay their debts. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren't talking.
Michael Lewis creates a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his #1 bestseller Liar's Poker. Out of a handful of unlikely--really unlikely--heroes, Lewis fashions a story as compelling and unusual as any of his earlier bestsellers, proving yet again that he is the finest and funniest chronicler of our time. The #1 New York Times bestseller: "It is the work of our greatest financial journalist, at the top of his game. And it's essential reading." -- Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair
The Big Short - "Screwed" (2015) (trailer) [2:04]
'The Big Short' Roundtable: "You're Rooting For These Guys. They're Like Us. They're Outsiders" (12/02/15)
Author Michael Lewis discusses The Big Short and the future of finance (older) [1:13:05]
The Big Short by Michael Lewis (audiobook unabridged) [9:28:24]
Fox Business Network Won't Put The Undercard Debate Out Of Its Misery
For as long as there's been a 17-person field for the GOP nomination, mankind has longed to winnow that field -- first to a number that could plausibly fit on a stage, and now, to a number that could plausibly fit in a van.
Well, there's some good news on that front. Fox Business Network has announced that its next debate, scheduled to take place in Charleston, South Carolina, on Jan. 14, will be governed by exacting new criteria that may limit the number of onstage candidates to as few as six. ... Read more
Sanders Wants Trump To Know He Also Went To The Bathroom.
The Plutocrats Are Winning. Don't Let Them!
In the fall of 2001, in the aftermath of 9/11, as families grieved and the nation mourned, Washington swarmed with locusts of the human kind: wartime opportunists, lobbyists, lawyers, ex-members of Congress, bagmen for big donors: all of them determined to grab what they could for their corporate clients and rich donors while no one was looking.
Across the land, the faces of Americans of every stripe were stained with tears. Here in New York, we still were attending memorial services for our firemen and police. But in the nation's capital, within sight of a smoldering Pentagon that had been struck by one of the hijacked planes, the predator class was hard at work pursuing private plunder at public expense, gold-diggers in the ashes of tragedy exploiting our fear, sorrow, and loss. ... Read more
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Wednesday, December 23 [14:30]
*DR | A Conversation With Faith Leaders On Moral Leadership In Today's Political Climate (12/23/15) [1hr]
Religious leaders have grown increasingly alarmed by anti-Muslim rhetoric in the wake of terrorist attacks both here and abroad. Members of different faiths on moral leadership in today's political climate.TRNN | James Henry says: Are Apple CEO's Arguments for Lower Corporate Tax Rates Just Total Economic Crap? (12/23/15) [9:57]
TRNN | OpenSecret.org's Will Tucker and former financial regulator Bill Black respond: What Influence Does Wall Street Have Over Candidates Clinton and Sanders? (12/23/15) [17:32]
TYT | Trump on Clinton: She Got Schlonged By Obama (12/22/15) [6:18]
TYT | Norway Teaches Male Migrants How To Treat Women (12/22/15) [7:23]
RT | CrossTalk: Syrian Conundrum (12/23/15) [24:22]
ThomHartmann | Trump Predicts Crash of 2016 (12/23/15) [5:58]
ThomHartmann | Is the Largest Earthquake Related To Fracking? (12/23/15) [6:11]
Tyson Slocum, Public Citizen's Energy Program joins Thom. For tonight's Green Report ..... We go to British Columbia - the site of history's largest earthquake caused by hydraulic fracturing - more commonly known as "fracking." Ken Paulson - the CEO of British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission wrote in a statement that "this seismic event was caused by hydraulic fracturing."
We Spend $775 Billion on Global Fossil Fuel Subsidies
COP21 is over. Now, the world's leaders have to figure out how to both reduce their carbon emissions and make a smooth transition to renewable energies. If you live in the U.S., you're probably going to hear Republicans complain that this will be expensive, difficult and downright un-American. But wait, you say, hasn't the cost of solar power significantly declined over the past few years?
Indeed it has. How responsible of you for noticing. Deutsche Bank has forecast that solar-generated electricity will be as cheap or even cheaper than conventional electricity in 47 US states by 2016. And the U.S. solar industry is booming. In 2014, the sector grew 21.8 percent, or 10 times faster than job growth for the entire U.S. economy. ... Read more
Stock Market "Fragility" Indicator Highest Since Lehman, BofAML Warns
In 2016 BofAML's global equity derivatives desk expects volatility to maintain its gradual upward trend, however, to continue to be punctuated with violent but short-lived shocks owing to poor liquidity, extreme positioning and a market still heavily manipulated by (and dependent on) the central bank put. Despite below-normal levels of volatility across asset classes, we are in uncharted waters in terms of a lack of stability:
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GregHunter | Gerald Celente-2016 Predictions, Gold, Silver War and Collapse (12/06/15) [30:40]
Seymour Hersh Bombshell: US Military Shared Intelligence With Assad In Defiance Of Obama, CIA
In a shocking new report, Seymour Hersh reveals what he says was a covert operation run by the Joint Chiefs of Staff who sought to undermine the Obama administration and the CIA's goal of overthrowing the Assad regime in Syria. "If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic." ... Read more
What Really Went Wrong With The US Military's Syria "Train And Equip" Program
The program was announced to quite a bit of fanfare - and quite a bit of ridicule due to the burgeoning debate over what counts as a "moderate" fighter - back in May and the idea was to field a group of fighters 5,400 strong by the end of the calendar year. In all, the effort was set to cost US taxpayers some $500 million.
Well, things quickly went awry and before you knew it, the vast majority of the fighters who participated in the program had either defected, been killed or kidnapped, or simply wandered off into the desert never to be heard from again. In September, US Central Command Gen. Lloyd Austin told Congress that only "four or five" of the troops the US "trained and equipped" were still fighting. "Let's not kid ourselves, that's a joke. This is just a total failure," Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said.
Now, we're beginning to get a bit of color on what exactly went wrong. According to a new piece by McClatchy, disagreements between the fighters and their trainers along with lackluster pay and a kidnapping by al-Nusra just a week into the group's deployment doomed the project from the outset. Upon graduation, the first 54 fighters traveled from Turkey and Jordan back into Syria and ... promptly went on vacation. ... Read more
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Tuesday, December 22 [13:19]
*DN | Seymour Hersh's Latest Bombshell: U.S. Military Undermined Obama on Syria with Tacit Help to Assad (12/22/15) [17:23],
DN | Part 2 [12:22]
DN | Is the DNC Afraid of Democracy? Clinton WH Counselor Says Party a "Dead Carcass" for Stifling Debate (12/21/15) [5:53]
DN | Bernie Sanders on Challenging Wall Street: "CEOs May Like Hillary -- They Ain't Going to Like Me" (12/21/15) [5:32]
DN | Bernie Blackout? As DNC Accused of Targeting Sanders, Corporate Media Ignores Historic Campaign (12/21/15) [11:12]
DN | As Sanders Chides Clinton on Regime Change, Is Democratic Front-Runner Touting a GOP Foreign Policy? (12/21/15) [12:29]
The Late Show with Stephen ColbertStephen Cobert | Samantha Power Explains The Whole World (11/18/15) [7:42]
*DR | Economic And Geopolitical Implications Of The Global Oil Surplus (12/22/15) [1hr]
DR | The Best Movies Of 2015 (12/22/15) [1hr]
TRNN | Carlos Delclos explains: Podemos Breaks Two-Party System in Spain (12/22/15) [12:05]
TYT | The Real Drug Problem In America (12/21/15) [2:28]
*TYT | The Green Party's Jill Stein Tells Cenk Uygur Why the Democratic Party Will Torpedo Bernie Sanders (12/21/15) [3:40]
TYT | The Green Party's Jill Stein: Let's Be Honest About the Obama Legacy (12/21/15) [3:38]
RT | Keiser Report: Why Not Basic Income? (E582) (12/22/15) [25:39]
ThomHartmann | Which Side Are You On? Third Way - Hillary vs. FDR - Bernie (12/22/15) [10:34]
*ThomHartmann | Trump Predicts the Bubble Will Burst... Just Like Thom (12/22/15) [5:55]