Posts Tagged ‘finance’

Ceo4aday is in Las Vegas this week where the housing bubble and the global recession have clearly impacted a city that is famous for hosting an industry long believed to be recession proof. Las Vegas enjoyed a boom from through 2007 but has seen its’ fortunes diminished as the recession has taken its toll.

The icons of the gaming industry, including the Wynn Corporation, which operates both the Encore and the Wynn resorts, the Las Vegas Sands, whose premier properties include the Palazzo and the Venetian, as well as  MGM which include its’ namesake as well as the Bellagio and Mirage among its’ properties have seen their stock prices collapse from their historical highs in excess of 90%. They are not far from from becoming penny stocks.

Las Vegas though is more than just the entertainment and gaming capital of the world, it has also become a premier destination for business conferences and conventions, an industry that is currently under fire from no other than Barack Obama. The President who appears to lack an  understanding of the most basic of business practices, fails to recognize the importance in the business process of meeting with business peers to promote strategic alliances, inspire innovation and provide information on the latest trends in a given industry. Business conferences and conventions provide an environment for executives to step out of the confines of their office and allow them to think outside the box while they become more informed on issues that are relevant to their particular industry.

The conduct of business concerns the successful development of relationships. Business conferences promote the development od relationships and are integral to to conducting business. Barack Obama and a number of the Democrats in Congress have created an environment in which the conduct of attending a business conference or convention is considered unacceptable behavior and should the conference take place in Las Vegas then it is clearly a gross abuse of fiduciary responsibility. Obama and his disdain for business, is having a dramatic affect on the hospitality industry, as executives unwilling to subject themselves to the contempt of an administration intent upon transforming the behavior of business professionals, to conform to a leftist bureaucratic ideal in which business is a collective pursuit to support the working class.

This has meant great pain for Las Vegas. However, in the midst of this current crisis a new Billion dollar resort, the M Resort and Casino opened on March1st south of the Las Vegas strip near the Southern Highlands Golf Club. The new facility hosts an exciting gaming floor, a number of excellent dining alternatives and an elegant hotel and conference facility. The M has been drawing great crowds and provides a lift to a Las Vegas economy that remains committed to providing world class facilities for those who desire to indulge and remember a nation that was built on a committment to prosperity by innovators and entrepreneurs as opposed to Obamacrats.

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China ignited a global rally in the stock market today as the Chinese government made it clear to the rest of the world that they intend to continue to grow their economy at an 8% rate this year. China is committed to  massive spending on infrastructure, which is a major  component of their economic stimulus plan. China’s leadership recognizes that while other economies around the globe struggle with the current economic crisis they will push aggressively toward meeting a strong growth target and gain an advantage over the sagging economies in the west.

China, a communist nation recognizes the benefits of capitalism to a degree that many western economies fail to appreciate. Our own nation of late has been drifting toward a socialist agenda to the exclusion of traditional free enterprise principles. Our own leadership appears to be huddling in the White House seeking additional adjectives to describe the economic crisis and catastrophe they inherited from the Bush administration.

It is time for the Obama administration to recognize that promoting a class war and appropriating  the power of the Presidency to undermine a conservative radio Presidency is not Presidential. The inexperience of Barack Obama and his on the job training is a luxury we can ill afford. He may be a plausible communicator however, as an executive he has made an array miscues that were he any one else the press and the public would have turned on him by now.

Perhaps, he can learn from China and recognise that winning in a competitive global environment requires a President and an administration that are committed to winning on the economic battlefield. The again that assumes that this President wants to win as opposed to sacrificing America’s standing as the premier example of free enterprise in the world.

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President Barack Obama now owns the current economic crisis. His wealth transference policies as outlined by his administration’s budget and the stimulus package he endorsed with its failure to provide capital stimulus, are a deliberate effort to alter the traditional basis for capital creation in America.

The stock market has weighed in on the new Administration’s policies and have judged them to be reckless and irresponsible. To foment a class war at a time when we are in the midst of a crisis of confidence across the broad spectrum of our economy is foolish and ultimately will be judged as negligent. The Obama administration and the Pelosi led Democratic Congress, are intent upon punishing the private sector to the ultimate detriment of the American standard of living.

The new administration is committed to expanding the public sector at the expense of the private sector. Given that President Obama has little, if any experience, working in the private sector and that his experience is solely public sector based we should not be suprised by the direction he is committed to moving this nation toward. The redistribution of wealth or as defined by Obamanomics as a fair and balanced tax system means higher taxes.

Obama and his administration have done real damage to the economy over the past several weeks. Today the President went in front of the cameras with Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Great Britain and was clearly uncomfortable when commenting on the economy. He lacks a confident delivery when he is unable to access a teleprompter and we  would argue that his ability to speak intelligently about the mechanics of the economy are limited. His inability to deliver a confident message only serves to weaken the markets further.

We are saddened for America that we have evolved to a  time in our history when the best we can put forth to lead us through this economic crisis is an inexperienced, untested politician who believes that government should usurp the role of the private sector and individual responsibility in order to provide for the collective good. This is a President at war with the very system that enabled him to attend the  best schools in the nation and allowed him a platform, from where once eagles soared, as they coveted life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. God Bless America.

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American investors in the stock market deserve a break this week. After falling 20% in the first two months of the year it is time for the market to begin a rally. Investors are battle weary and worn down by an economic tsunami that has generated an onslaught of negative economic performance in wave after wave of disappointment.

The relief, that we believed would come from the advent of the new administration and the natural lift we expected from a new team in the White House,  failed to materialize and they actually heightened the anxiety that already existed in the markets, making a bad market even worse.

Amid calls for the President to step out and begin to instill confidence in our economy he seems to have fallen silent. An action that is certainly better than the litany of crisis and catastrophe that he reiterated day after day as he talked the crisis up and the economy down to gain additional support for the excessive spending programs he has proposed.

Barack Obama is obviously an incredibly astute and focused individual. He identified and secured the loftiest of opportunities. He has succeeded in getting elected to arguably  the most coveted position in the world and he accomplished it at a pace that few in history can match. The challenge, that confronts we the governed, is that Barack Obama never operated a business or worked in a business environment and as such comes to his understanding of economic matters through academic as opposed to practical experience.

He has learned the buzz words which any leader understands are necessary to speak confidently about a broad spectrum of issues. Obama was never construed to be a business candidate, though numerous well heeled business elitists supported his candidacy and subsequent election. However, given that he has a broad social agenda and an economy at peril it would seem prudent to gain a better understanding of business and job creation in order to create a longer term revenue stream to accommodate his ambitious spending agenda.

Obama, occasionally talks the talk of business but he has never walked the walk. He does in fact project the traditional liberal disdain toward business that those who have never had to meet a payroll or are members of the academic elite often do.

The President appears to be an excellent communicator and a quick study. His has mastered the teleprompter as well as any veteran broadcaster. Perhaps the President should put those communication skills to the test by starting an entrepreneurial express tour.  Ceo4aday believes this man who promises so much change and transparency should reach out to business by meeting with not just the Fortune 50 elite but a broader range of small and mid cap businesses across a varied group of industries to get a real sense of what generates job creation.

Spend a few hours in a conference room Mister President as a management team wrestles with attaining their budget. Sit through a Board meeting and listen to the issues that confront businesses and Boards every day. Step out Mister President and meet the Americans that devote every day to assuring that a revenue stream exists for Washington to appropriate. Learn and communicate about successes in our economy. Deliver a positive message to the American public and watch day by day as America moves forward into the dawn of emerging growth.

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The year is 2011, the American economy has fallen violently and rapidly into a period of hyper inflation as an over taxed, over spent and over leveraged America has seen the dollar devalue on the world currency markets. Unemployment has declined to 12% officially as the Bureau of Labor Equalization and Normalization has defined unemployment as those individuals not having worked for the past nine months. Millions of individuals unemployed prior to that period are now defined as permanently displaced and are not counted as active unemployed.

The Energy Rationalization and Climate Safety Council was created by President Barack Obama, to enforce the green laws passed by Congress in 2009,  following a series of legislative acts that emboldened an untested President Obama. The President enacted  an aggressive collectivist agenda that nationalized the nation’s banking system, auto industry and subjected all fortune 1000 companies to policies enacted and administered by the National Council of Business Oversight and Executive Standardization.

A series of strikes and riots that began when a federal energy carbon use tax increased the price of gasoline by $1.50 a gallon and required an additional surtax of 20% per gallon on all eight cylinder vehicles, caused the President to institute the Public Federal Protection Act of 2010 and suspend Congressional elections, thereby assuring that Democrats retain control of Congress.

The Federal Trade Communication under the direction of the Presidents Council for Fair and Equal Communication has suspended the right to broadcast any communication which may be perceived as ” detrimental to the common good by promoting dissent or dissatisfaction with the governmental authority.” The air waves are filled with progress reports from the battle fronts in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Where 250,000 American troops are engaged in a daily pitched battle with dissonant Afghan and Pakistani forces while another 100,000 American troops are massed on the Iraq Iran border.

America has funded the war by printing currency and legislating the Emergency Tax Authority Act of 2010 which increased marginal income tax rates on all wage earners above $100,000. per year to 49% . The new $10,000. bill is adorned with the likeness of President Barack Obama and the statement “Safeguarding A Changing America” . Legislation is before Congress to extend the term of the President through 2016 or such time beyond as the Presidents Council For The People’s Governance should determine is reasonable.

God Bless America.Ceo4aday.

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As someone who has spent his life producing, I am struggling, as I have long struggled with a political philosophy that elects to punish those who produce to reward those who do not.  I recognize that I am a minority in that thought given the election of Barack Obama. Clearly the majority of the electorate turned their back on the basic principles of the free enterprise system and the benefits that our nation has derived in its’ support of that system.

Barack Obama promises and spoke again in a radio address today, that he on behalf of the American people will deliver transformational change. This change that he speaks of is really a reversion to the collectivism that was promoted by the left during the 20th century. Obama is a class warrior that learned his trade while working as a community organizer and moving through the ranks of the Chicago political machine.

The basic premise behind class war is and always has been about creating envy among those who have less for those who have more. The continual battering of Wall Street executives and Financial CEO’s including shining a spotlight on perceived excesses such as private planes and corporate entertainment are tools that Obama and his Congressional supporters are utilizing to create an increasingly negative perspective about corporations and American business leaders.

Obama is proposing a redistribution of wealth at a time when most working Americans have suffered an historical dilution of their own wealthacross the gamut of home values and stock holdings. They are now faced with the prospect of increased taxes by a President who is committed to an expansive government that will limit our freedoms, limit our choices and bankrupt the spirit of American Free Enterprise by destroying the top of the economic pyramid to support the foundation.

Ceo4aday has always believed that in America a person can aspire to the heights of their chosen field of interest and by applying the required effort can attain that aspirational goal. The policies of Barack Obama will serve to lower those aspirations as they disincent the attainment of the highest ranks by punishing producers for attaining those ranks with oppressive taxation.

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The truth be known, I miss George W. Bush and an administration which although they,administered policies in conjunction with a Democrat controlled Congress that contributed heavily to the current economic crisis,  I never doubted there commitment to what I have come to understand, to be the American way of life. When President Bush stood at the podium you knew he believed in it and would do what he thought best to protect it.

In this new era of President Barack Obama, I feel adrift in a sea of such radical proportion that I am wondering if I will ever know America in the way I understood it through the 60’s, when despite the threat of nuclear devastation, a push of a button away,the assassinations of two Kennedy’s and a King and cities burning as a people marched for their civil rights ,that I would have an opportunity to participate in the ever evolving American Dream.

Nor, did I doubt my ability to pursue the dream during the 70’s as America’s experiment in Southeast Asia came to an ugly end and a President, cocooned within his own paranoia was brought down by a botched burglary of an office belonging to a party that would lose an election in a landslide.While disco music resonated  in clubs across the nation, I still believed there was a clear path to pursuing that American Dream despite the cautious rhetoric echoed by a peanut farmer as the decade was brought to an end with a whimper.

The 80’s ushered in an actor who emerged as a symbol for freedom and free enterprise across the globe. Pursuit of the dream was in high gear as Americans watched a wall in Berlin fall and a new world of opportunity evolved for millions who tasted freedom for the fist time. It seemed if one stayed focused and worked hard the dream was in reach.

In the 90’s despite a desert storm and a President embroiled in personal diversions and distractions an era of unprecedented growth and technology dawned that proved again there were no limitations to pursuing the American Dream.

A new millennium dawned and a threat from the desert struck and shook America but Americans remained resilient and growth continued as increased prosperity beckoned. The dream was in reach. Now the dream is threatened from within by policies that will serve to heighten class war under the guise of fairness. Government as perceived by Barack Obama the great equalizer.

I am sure that Barack Obama is committed to the American way of life. However, his perception of what that means and my own perception I suspect are considerably different. Since the election of President Obama, the stock market has fallen an additional 20% as he has spread his message and thrust his policies upon an adoring media and a public who idolizes him. Home values continue to erode wiping out any remaining equity for millions of homeowners and Obama continues on his path of destruction where ideology trumps reality.

The American way of life is changing much as America has changed. Our culture has transformed over the last several decades . The American Dream is being redefined and transformed .We are a nation that during the 2008 Presidential  election, rejected traditional capitalist principles for an Ideologue, because we were angry and failed to listen to what Barack Obama meant when he so eloquently emoted from teleprompters in majestic settings across this land. God Bless America.

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At a time when the world we inhabit seems on the precipice of imploding and we are bombarded by a plethora of negative economic news it is important to focus on that which you and your team members can impact within the parameters of  your respective business. At times like this there is always the tendency for the CEO to assemble the team and stress the need to get back to basics.  The reality is in a well run business the organization is always focused on the basics.

Optimizing productivity and contribution through cost containment programs, re engineering, customer rationalization and sku optimization are all relevant and purposeful tactics at a time when consumption and demand for goods and services are declining. However, more often than not, the actions that companies take are late in the economic cycle and though they may provide  cover during a time of market disruption, they are often detrimental to the longer term benefit of the enterprise.

 The role of the CEO throughout this process is to keep the organization focused by staying true to  strategic objectives and providing the capital structure of the enterprise is sound, accelerate sales and marketing initiatives to gain market share and prepare the company for growth as the economic cycle turns up. Too often CEO’s in order to appease Board’s that they are taking action fail to act wholly on what is right for the business as opposed to placating the Board.

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The President’s enthusiasm for the redistribution of wealth, which is heavily supported by the left wing of the Democratic party is a basic tenet of the administration’s policy. In his desire to placate the special interests that supported his election, President Obama continues to fire salvos in the class war that the extreme left wing of his party is fomenting.

The President continues to alienate the financial markets with poor policy. Barack Obama is bereft of any practical business experience and is insulated by a  select group of business admirers and advisers who upon attaining the most elite level of the business hierarchy have embraced liberal orthodoxy at the expense of common sense.

The President has indicated that his goal is to reduce the federal deficit by half at the end of his first term by increasing taxes on Corporations and the  upper brackets of middle class America. The President continues to shine a bright light on his lack of experience by adopting or endorsing policies that are harmful to American business. He appears to fail to understand the relationship between tax increases and economic growth.

Obama swept into the Presidency, on a wave of adoration by a nation that  individually, may recognize the benefits of individual effort and free enterprise, but collectively, has lost its way. We have  suffered through a select group of financial charlatans who ran out of runway as they led the economy through a dizzying flight of fancy and have served to fuel a populist rhetoric that would reign in a corporate America that has lost a nation’s trust.

We are quickly approaching a societal crossroads that may forever transform the political and economic institutions that provide the foundation America is built upon. We must not fall prey to punishing our institutions because of our desire for retribution. We must seek solutions to the current economic crisis that stimulate investment, create jobs and provide a pathway for America to return to the vitality and dynamism that has provided a compass for the world’s economic dreams.

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In this installment of the series, A Journey To Acquire, we will explore the first meeting with the target company that we are attempting to acquire in conjunction with a private equity firm partner. Previously we have written about initial elements of the process including, partner selection, composing a target list and making initial contact with a target company.

Our initial meeting with the target company, will be to gain a perspective on the Chief Executive Officer and his sense for the potential viability for a transaction based on his knowledge of and experience with the Board of Directors that would have to approve any transaction. After several calls and e-mails we were able to confirm our initial meeting.

I spent a restless evening, the night prior to the meeting, pondering the possibilities should we have a receptive meeting with the prospective acquisition’s CEO. In the morning I awoke early and prepared for the meeting. I had to pick up an associate from the private equity partner that I have elected to work with, that was flying in to join me for our meeting. His flight arrived on time and we proceeded to the industrial community where the company is headquartered.

The company is a manufacturing company with 2 facilities located within a mile of each other. We arrived at the company headquarters and drove around the primary manufacturing facility which comprises a city block before parking and entering the offices for our meeting.

 The target company meets our criteria for having a revenue base of $200 to $500 million. The company also has an acceptable Ebitda and is in a category that provides additional roll up opportunities with other complimentary companies in the category. We will spend the next few hours meeting with CEO and touring the manufacturing facilities. Following that we will make an assessment based on what we have seen and heard as to whether it makes sense for us to continue to pursue the target company.

In our next installment we will share what we gained from this initial meeting and what our next steps in the process will be.

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