With the relationship between AT&T (and Time Warner) and the Trump administration on the rocks, as the DOJ is now suing to break up the merger which just happens to include Trump’s media nemesis CNN, it appears that AT&T is offering an olive branch to the president, as well as a little backdoor bribe to improve sentiment, and moments ago announced that once tax reform – i.e., Trump’s signature act to date – is signed into law, AT&T will not only invest an additional $1 billion in CapEx in the US in 2018, but also pay a “special bonus” of $1,000 to its more than 200,000 U.S. employees, “all union-represented, non-management and front-line managers.” And, to push Trump to sign the bill into law in the next hours instead of waiting for January, AT&T said that “if the President signs the bill before Christmas, employees will receive the bonus over the holidays.”
In a surprisingly polite address to the president, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said that “Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,”and added that “this tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees.” AT&T was also quick to note that “since 2012, AT&T has invested more in the United States than any other public company. Every $1 billion in capital invested in the telecom industry creates about 7,000 jobs for American workers, research shows.”
The timing of the announcement is not surprising for another reason: earlier this week we reported that AT&T and Time Warner failed to settle acquisition talks with the DOJ. As a result, AT&T will be forced to challenge the DOJ verdict in court, a step it would much rather avoid since a court ruling is unlikely to come before May 2018. Notably, both the companies have resettled the closing date for the deal at Apr 20, 2018. A trial to decide the matter is set to begin on Mar 19, 2018 and run for about 15 days, according to the filing. AT&T’s growth in 2018 will largely depend on the court ruling on the Time Warner merger deal.
If the court ruling goes against AT&T, three options will be available: either scrapping the deal, divesting its DIRECTV division, or acquiring Time Warner without the Turner Broadcasting assets including CNN.
Now if only the DOJ will notice our kind gesture and nice words addressed at Trump and Congress, and please drop the merger lawsuit, all would be great.
Soros Newest Investor Of Tesla Bonds
Tesla looks to have a new bond holder and it’s none other than George Soros. Whatever this mean, Soros has also taken a stake in Crypto-Currencies .
Zerohedge Reports: Amid Elon Musk’s darkest hour in late March – as his stocks and bonds tumbled in price – it seems there was at least one other billionaire willing to buy the ‘blood on the street’.
According to the latest 13Fs, George Soros’ investment firm took a $35 million stake in Tesla’s convertible bonds during the first three months of the year.
As a reminder, convertibles are hybrid securities, either bonds or preferred stock, that can be exchanged for a predetermined number of common shares. That effectively lets an investor participate in stock-price changes, but with the yield and greater security of a fixed-income instrument.
The March 2019 Converts bounced handsomely off those lows – tracking the stock’s divergent bounce – but in recent days has fallen back towards the lows, catching down to the straight bonds record low price.
“Racial Bias Education Day” To Close Down Starbucks Nationwide
Starbucks is going to the illogical extreme by taking an entire day to put their employees through what they call “Racial Bias Education Day”. Coming after a viral videos showed two men being arrested in a Starbucks in Philadelphia. Starbucks almost instantly gave into calls to do ‘something’ but will this really fix anything in a culture where ‘racism’ is more of a political talking point than an actual substantive conversation or debate.
CNBC Reports: Starbucks said Tuesday it will be closing all of its company-owned restaurants in the U.S. during the afternoon of May 29 to conduct a racial-bias education program.
“I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it,” Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks, said in a statement Tuesday. “While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution. Closing our stores for racial bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities.”
Soros Now Investing In Crypto-Currencies
After a historic drop in cryptocurrency prices in the first quarter, one which deflated much of the euphoria that surrounded the sector in late 2017 and the start of this year, the space is about to get exciting again because none other than 87-year-old billionaire George Soros is reportedly preparing to trade cryptocurrencies as prices plunge.
According to Bloomberg, Adam Fisher -who oversees macro investing at New York-based Soros Fund Management – has received internal approval to trade virtual coins in the last few months, “though he has yet to make a wager.”
The question, of course, is whether Bloomberg’s leak is accurate, and if indeed Soros is only now getting started in the space or if he has quietly loaded up already.
What is ironic, is that just three months ago when speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Soros said digital coins cannot function as actual currencies because of their volatility, “but he didn’t predict the hard tumble that some observers had forecast at the time.”
“As long as you have dictatorships on the rise you will have a different ending, because the rulers in those countries will turn to Bitcoin to build a nest egg abroad,” Soros, 87, said on Jan. 25.
With Bitcoin tumbling below $7000 recently…