Sears Endgame And Lampert’s May Diverge (Reuters)
(Reuters Breakingviews) – The last chapter for Sears looks to be at hand. The troubled U.S. retailer warned it could be headed for bankruptcy if it can’t reverse a brutal decline in annual sales and rising losses. Chief Executive Eddie Lampert’s long quest to turn Sears around seems destined to fail. The fate of the hedge-fund boss’s investments over the years may be different. Once famed for a mail-order catalog hawking everything from curtains to washing machines and even, back in the day, opium, Sears is struggling mightily. As of Wednesday morning, its shares have lost some 90 percent of their worth over five years and the company’s market value is now under $1 billion.
The World’s Largest Hedge Fund Just Published A 61-Page Paper On Populism, And Said The Movement Is At Its Highest Level Since The Eve Of WWII (Business Insider)
Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, published a 61-page research paper on populism, which it considers the most important issue in the world today. “Populism has surged in recent years and is currently at its highest level since the late 1930s,” founder and chairman Ray Dalio and his co-authors wrote in the note. The authors say that they consider today’s strain of the ideology to be “much less extreme” than it was before the start of World War II in 1939, but at the World Economic Forum in Davos this past January, Dalio said that populism’s tendency to turn into extremism scares him.
GE Links Bonuses To Cost-Cutting Targets After Talks With Trian (Reuters)
General Electric Co (GE.N) said it expected to cut costs and boost operating profit in its industrial unit and linked the bonuses of its senior management to meeting these goals, as it bows to pressure from Nelson Peltz‘s Trian Fund Management. GE, considered a bellwether for the U.S. economy, has been streamlining its operations over several quarters to become a simpler industrial business instead of an unwieldy mix of banking and manufacturing. The company said on Wednesday it expected industrial structural costs of $23.9 billion in 2017 and $22.9 billion in 2018. GE had reported costs of $24.9 billion in 2016.