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From: Douglas Grandt answerthecall@me.

com
Subject:Sears is small potatoes compared to ExxonMobil ... beware a BIG SPLASH
Date:November 3, 2018 at 8:34 PM
To:Brian Hughes (Senate ENR-R) Brian_Hughes@energy.senate.gov, Melissa Enriquez (Senate ENR-R)
Melissa_Enriquez@energy.senate.gov, Suzanne Cunningham (Senate ENR-R) Suzanne_Cunningham@energy.senate.gov,
Mary Louise Wagner (Senate ENR Ctee-D) MaryLouise_Wagner@energy.senate.gov, Scott McKee (Senate ENR-D)
Scott_McKee@energy.senate.gov, Megan Thompson (Sen. Cantwell) Megan_Thompson@Cantwell.senate.gov
Cc: U. S. Senator Bernie Sanders senator@sanders.senate.gov, Katie Thomas (Sen.Sanders) katie_thomas@sanders.senate.gov

Dear Chairman Lisa and Ranking Member Maria,

What will you do when this happens to Exxon?
I have been warning you about this for years.
I know what you will do … you will wear it, dirty!

Change the reference from Sears to ExxonMobil.
Change the numbers by an order of magnitude ...
The scenario and circumstances may be different.
The motives are similar: greed, share price, wealth.

Call Oil & Gas CEOs to testify before the Senate.
Make them explain how they will act in the public
and national interest while exercising fiduciary duty,
which is a contradiction and with conflicting interests.

The alternative is to allow laissez-faire, and your failure
to defend and protect the American public and economy.

Unrelentingly,
Doug Grandt
Putney, VT

How Sears wasted $6 billion that could have kept it out of
bankruptcy
By Chris Isidore, CNN Business

Updated 12:48 PM ET, Tue October 30, 2018

New York (CNN Business) Would $6 billion in cash have kept Sears out of bankruptcy?

It sure wouldn't have hurt. Sears' ability to stay in business is in doubt after the company
filed for bankruptcy protection this month.

Yet Sears spent $6 billion buying back its own shares since 2005 in a futile effort to help
support its stock price. The stock plunged more than 99% in value, from a high of $143.91
in 2007 to less than $1 a share a couple of weeks before its bankruptcy filing. In bankruptcy,
the shares are essentially worthless.

"If they had put $6 billion into upgrading stores and website development, they could be in a
"If they had put $6 billion into upgrading stores and website development, they could be in a
very different position right now," said William Lazonick, a retired University of
Massachusetts economics professor and an expert in share repurchases. "They could be in
a much better position to compete in the changing world of retail."

Sears could have used the money to reduce its debt
burden and provide the working capital needed to
keep the company out of bankruptcy.

The company had more than $5 billion debt on the
books at the time of the bankruptcy filing. Ahead of
the filing, Sears chairman and primary shareholder
Sears stood still during the retail
revolution. Here's what other Eddie Lampert had proposed a plan to sell assets
brands can do differently and renegotiate debt down to $1.2 billion, which he
argued was all Sears could afford.

Sears bought back about 21.7 million shares of its stock in 2007, when the company was
still profitable. It paid $2.9 billion for those shares. But its stock started to decline as the
sales and profits fell and the company's problems became more apparent to investors. By
the end of the year, Sears' stock price had fallen more than 40% from its peak.

But Lampert and Sears doubled down on share repurchases, buying an additional 22.9
million shares for $1.5 billion, over the next three years as the company's problems
mounted. It repurchased a final 2.8 million shares for $183 million in 2011, as the company
started losing money. It never returned to profitability, and its stock price never recovered.

The company declined to comment about its share
repurchase record.

Stock buybacks are hugely popular -- albeit
controversial -- tools that companies use to prop up
their share prices. By having fewer shares
outstanding, earnings per share (a key measure
Decades of bad decisions
doomed Sears watched by investors) can rise even if the overall
profits don't increase.

Sears was hardly the only company purchasing shares over the past decade. Amazon
(AMZN) bought shares, primarily to keep the number of shares outstanding level as it issued
stock in the company as a form of employee compensation. General Electric (GE), another
iconic company facing problems today, repurchased $24 billion in shares in 2016 and 2017
alone.
Critics say stock buybacks are a way for executives who depend upon stock and options as
a major form of their compensation to boost their pay. But it's rarely a good idea said
Lazonick.

"They're just a waste of money. They're only going to give a temporary price bump," he said.
"For a company as troubled as Sears to be doing repurchases, it's predictable it's in the
state it is now.”

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/30/business/sears-share-repurchase/index.html

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