Icahn Subpoenaed Over Biofuel Policy, RINS Tumble

This just might spoil what has so far been a strong year for Carl Icahn. Bloomberg is reporting that the FBI has issued subpoenas for information on Carl Icahn’s possible lobbying to change biofuel policy while serving as an informal adviser to President Donald Trump, according to regulatory filings.
Icahn, who briefly served as an adviser to the president and who was once suspected of being a possible pick for Treasury, announced in August that he was no longer serving as an adviser to the president regarding regulatory reform. In his curiously worded letter, he specified that he ‘never had a formal position’ in the White House.
The Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York is ‘seeking production of information’ pertaining to Icahn’s activities regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard, according to a Form 10-Q that Icahn Enterprises LP filed on Friday with the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The investigators also want information on Icahn’s role as an adviser to the president, the document says.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 8, 2017.

How You Become a Crony

Trump Bump
BALTIMORE – Who’s the biggest winner so far? ‘Government Sachs!’ Fortune magazine reports that the winningest person since Trump’s election is Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Goldman’s stock price is back to where it was just before the last crash in 2008. And Blankfein is back in high cotton, too; his holdings in the firm have gained $140 million in the last four weeks.
Donald Trump pledged to take the elite down a notch. So far, they’re going in the opposite direction. Worldwide, they’re up about $4.4 trillion, as their stocks have soared in the ‘Trump Bump.’
Many of America’s best investors – including Carl Icahn and Ray Dalio – think this is just the beginning. And with some of the nation’s most successful moneymen at his side, including a former Goldman guy in the Treasury, many people are betting that Trump will bring a sustained boom.
We’ve been looking at crony capitalism. Our hypothesis is that it is funded by the feds’ fake money and enabled by their regulations. So far, we’ve looked at ex-Goldman banker Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s pick for secretary of the Treasury.
While he was making a fortune at Goldman, a major Main Street company, Sears was turned into a Wall Street victim. Its stock is down quite a bit. And it is expected to declare bankruptcy in a few months. Wilbur Ross, Trump’s new man for the Department of Commerce, used federal regulation of imports to make a billion dollars in the steel industry.

This post was published at Acting-Man on December 22, 2016.

The Business Of Corporate America Is No Longer Business – -It’s Money Shuffling

One of the great ironies of business today is that the richest and most powerful companies in the world are more involved than ever before in the capital markets at a time when they do not actually need any capital. Take Apple, which has around $200bn sitting in the bank, yet has borrowed billions of dollars in recent years to buy back shares in order to bolster its stock price, which has lagged recently.
Why borrow? Because it is cheaper than repatriating cash and paying US taxes, of course. The financial engineering helped boost the California company’s share price for a while. But it did not stop activist investor Carl Icahn – who had manically advocated borrowing and buybacks – from dumping the stock the minute revenue growth took a turn for the worse in late April.
Apple is not alone in eschewing real engineering for the financial kind. Top-tier US businesses have never enjoyed greater financial resources. They have $2tn in cash on their balance sheets – enough money combined to make them the tenth largest economy in the world. Yet they are also taking on record amounts of debt to buy back their own stock, creating a corporate debt bubble that has already begun to burst (witness Exxon’s recent downgrade).

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on May 17, 2016.

Donald Trump Responds To Romney’s ‘Roundhouse’ – Live Feed

Following the unprecedented Romney roundhouse kick to Trump’s character, The Donald is about to rebuff “the loser.” As John McCain backs Romney’s rant, it appears yesterday’s Koch Borthers, Icahn, Murdoch mega-donor call for a truce has been broken as Trump prepares to return fire against “failed candidate Romney” and his establishment cronies.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/03/2016.