The new boom in mergers: A boom for whom?

The word of the day is "Boom!" Yes, boom times are upon us again.
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
The new boom in mergers: A boom for whom?
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The word of the day is “Boom!” Yes, boom times are upon us again.

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“The stars came into alignment,” marveled one financial manager. “Corporate confidence returns,” applauded a recent headline. “We’re finally dusting off the cobwebs,” rejoiced a business analyst, pointing out that “banks are willing to take risks.”

Well, it’s about time that bankers and CEOs began turning loose of some of the trillions of dollars they’ve been hoarding. Since the crash of 2008, grassroots America has been starved of investment in job-creating enterprises. So any sign of that long-dormant capital finally beginning to move would be splendid news indeed – except for this nagging question: Where’s the money going?

HINT: Not to you. The big money is not being invested in job growth, grassroots enterprise, new products, or anything else that would improve your family’s economic prospects. Rather, this “boom” is truly-explosive – a job-destroying, financial flim-flam known grandly as: “The Corporate Merger.” It amounts to nothing more than one giant corporation taking over another, or even a corporation taking over itself.

“The mega-merger is back,” exclaimed the New York Times. I’ll say – already this year, $11 billion was spent to merge US Air into American Airlines. Warren Buffet and a Brazilian buyout group threw $23 billion into the purchase of ketchup peddler H.J. Heinz. And Michael Dell amassed $24 billion to buy his namesake computer outfit, which he already was in charge of and owned the biggest chunk of.

This buyout boom is a boon to the financial hucksters and top executives who profit from the deals; but merger mania cuts jobs, shrinks competition, raises consumer prices, concentrates wealth in fewer hands, and diverts capital from productive enterprises. What a deal for America!

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“Confidence on Upswing, Mergers Make Comeback,” The New York Times, February 15, 2013.

“A Job-Hacking Fed Policy,” Austin American Statesman, February 24, 2013.

“Buyouts a boon to investors,” Austin American Statesman, February 18, 2013.

“From ketchup to computers, companies are buying each other again. Is a flurry of LBOs next?” www.washingtonpost.com, February 15, 2013.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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