January 14, 2016

Collapse in the price of oil heavenly news for the Red Devils' supporters

Posted in Irish Independent · 54 comments ·

The one thing I like about Manchester United fans is their obsessively narrow focus. The world may be ending but they will still be able to see it from a Manchester United perspective. The other day I witnessed a great example of this. I was talking to a friend, who has the United weakness. She is fascinated by the world around her but tends to see an Old Trafford angle in even the most remote events. We were talking about the global economy, the crisis in China, the fall in the price of oil and the instability of the Gulf region given the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia.


I was rabbiting on about Shia and Sunni, conflicting American interests in the region and the implications for Syria when she stopped me suddenly, as if she had just split the atom, and asked excitedly,


Yeah, yeah ok, the Yanks are out of their depth, the Iranians are up for a scrap but, the question is David, what does all this mean for City?


Ever the Red, the United fan in her had seen the Stretford End angle on the Middle East crisis: if City are financed by oil-rich Arabs, what happens to Ageuro, Kompany, Toure and co if the Arabs run out of brass?


This got me thinking about the finances of the Premiership, the economics of English football and in particular the business model of the two big Manchester teams.


It is clear that Man United have a much more robust model, much greater fan base and are a much more secure club, financially. City’s model is based on Arab money (and maybe now Chinese) but the Arab money is significant and it is related ultimately to the price of oil. Just look at the collapse in the price of oil since Sheik Mansoor bought the club in 2008 when it was over $140 a barrel. Oil then collapsed but it recovered quickly and the oil price has been over $100 a barrel for most of the time there’s been Arab ownership of City. This allowed City to outspend their rivals.


Screenshot (13)

Over the past five years, City has spent a net £740 million (€985) on players. This compares with Chelsea who forked out £670 (€890) million and United, a distant third, who splashed out a net £450 (€ 600) million on players. This has bought some success to City but not nearly enough.


When you compare City’s business model to United’s, the precarious nature of City’s finances becomes apparent.


Let’s look at United.


The first aspect to understand is that the Glazers have been good for United. They have increased the value of the club from £790m to roughly £2bn. You can see from the chart exactly how United makes money. There are three ways the club makes cash: commercial, merchandise and ticket sales.


Figure 2

 Under the broad heading of “commercial“, according to the Man Utd website, the revenue is generated by three sub headings. The first is massive sponsorship whereby United made £154.8 million for the year ended 30 June 2015. These sponsors include Abengoa, Adidas, Aeroflot, Aperol, Aon, Bulova, Concha y Toro, DHL, Epson, General Motors (Chevrolet), Kansai, Nissin, Singha, Toshiba and Yanmar.


Figure 3

 To put that in context, that’s a 30.5% compound annual growth rate in United’s sponsorship revenue from fiscal year 2013 through fiscal year 2015. This is when the team is playing badly!


The other major area is of course shirts. Amazingly, Manchester United sell more shirts in Dublin than in Manchester! Dublin ranks second after London in global Man Utd paraphernalia sales. In total, the club made £31.6 million from merchandising last year.


Figure 4

 It also makes a chunk from mobile and content revenue: £10.4 million in 2015. The next big area is broadcasting via centrally-negotiated domestic and international television and radio rights to the Premier League, the Champions League and other competitions. So this is all directly leveraged to performance in terms of qualifying for competitions. (And of course the same rules apply to City.) It’s worth noting that Man United didn’t qualify for any European competition in 2014/15 and only qualified for the Europa league this season. But even so, the wholly-owned global television channel, MUTV, broadcasts in 90 countries.


Finally, there is the more traditional form of revenue: the amount the faithful pay for the Theatre of Dreams. Old Trafford seats 75,669 and is the largest football club stadium in the UK. United have averaged over 99pc capacity for Premier League matches in each of the last 17 years! Match-day revenue was £90.6m last year. It’s hard to disentangle bluff and claims about United’s global reach but if we take likes on its Facebook pages, we see that United has 67 million likes versus City’s 20 million.


When it comes to shirts, United sells 20 times more shirts worldwide than City. And when we drill a bit deeper in City’s finances, we see a worrying picture of shaky financial foundations.


Despite 2014/15 being the seventh consecutive year of increased revenues, City only made a small £10.7m profit. And, this was the first time since the acquisition of the club by the Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment in 2008 that the club has made any profit. In previous years, City’s accounts show that Sheikh Mansour has put almost £1bn into City since his 2008 takeover, including £190m in 2013. Since he bought the club, his total losses are in the region of £560m. All this has been paid directly out of Sheikh Mansour’s back pocket and, ultimately, the depth of this back pocket is determined by the price of oil.


Such losses are extraordinary. But things may be looking up.


Last year, Man City generated £351.8m – breaking the £350m threshold for the first time in its history. The club has experienced overall revenue growth, with commercial revenue up by 4pc to £173m and broadcast revenue up by 2pc to £135.4m. However, match-day revenue decreased by 9pc to £43.3m. The Etihad stadium has a capacity of 55,097, the third largest in the Premier League, and it is rarely full; the problem for City is the wage bill of its players. They are some of the highest-paid players in the world, with average wages of £100,000 a week! City has net assets valued at more than £676m and continues – due to the oil money and Islamic aversion to borrowing – to operate with zero financial debt. But it can only maintain these losses as long as the Arabs plough money into the club. Will they be prepared to do this if oil falls as low as $20 a barrel or even $10 a barrel? I doubt it.


Thus, when seen from a Manchester United perspective, the crisis in the Middle East, global deflation, the Chinese slump and the collapse in the price of oil, can only be a good thing.


What was that about clouds and silver linings again?


  1. Shane F


    Your new years resolution must have been to write upbeat articles this year !

    Dont want to pour cold water but what about the general markets view?

    Dow plunges 365 points on fears of oil plunge and China

    Geo-political fallout possibility especially in Saudi Arabia. Baltic dry index fallen off a cliff, etc

    • Don’t hold your breath!!

      • michaelcoughlan

        “These losses have little to do with the price of oil”


        You couldn’t have picked a better analogy David than this to compare to a hedge fund. The super star players are paid salaries so big that the middle east oil fields have to be looted to pay them just like hedge fund managers.

        Imagine if you could recruit the ape you were talking to and convince her that getting her to start shooting all the locals in the middle east to shut them up complaining that the oil which should be used for their benefit is being used for hers and her team and get her to start killing all around her out there? Sure we could get the queen to give her a medal if she mowed down enough of them.

        As for the players they play the same part as the hedge fund managers do in financial circles oh and guess what? Since they too are paid so much they don’t give a fuck whether the Club fails or succeeds just like ultimately many of these hedge fund managers don’t give a fuck whether the banks they work for do or don’t either so long as their salaries are paid up until the last minute before the whole thing collapses like Lehmans.

        Wake the fuck up!

    • Shane

      I told you all that shit would happen years/months ago, I’m moving to the next thing not focussing on the last thing! That’s what the mainstream media is there for.


      • David, I have been mulling over your statement that implies you are not mainstream in your analysis.
        I recall the US green shoots recovery of the last 4 years, the constant averal that the US has or is a recovered economy, the statement that the Fed raising rates proves the success of QE policy and etc.

        This is mainstream thinking pure and simple. When presented with alternate information you steadfastly ignore to evaluate or discuss it. This is head in the sand thinking.

        I respectfully submit that protest as you might you are locked in to your past training and employment in regards to the success of the US and world experiment with the central bank conjured money system we all are stuck with. Definitely mainstream.

  2. Looks like a bad business model does City. Throwing good money after bad seldom works. Your first loss is usually the best loss. Trying to sell the team will generate the final loss. These losses have little to do with the price of oil.

  3. LKSteve

    Thanks David, I have no interest in soccer but this article is very easy reading. I appreciate the perspective.
    Munster Rugby, having had a great run during the boom years of the Celtic tiger is now on its knees. They need money & lots of it to buy players, hire competent coaching talent & get back to winning games and selling out Thomond park – for which they are currently shopping around the naming rights.
    I read last week that UBER have opened a centre of excellence in Limerick city centre – 100 jobs created. Someone at the Munster branch needs to go cap in hand to UBER and propose ‘UBER stadium’ they need the cash.

  4. Sideshow Bob

    “In previous years, City’s accounts show that Sheikh Mansour has put almost £1bn into City since his 2008 takeover, including £190m in 2013. Since he bought the club, his total losses are in the region of £560m.´´

    Sounds like Ango-Irish Bank in its pomp!

  5. StephenKenny

    They’ve always been a classic example of spending Capital (City) versus spending Income (Utd). Much of Utd’s turnover is from classically ‘income’ sources – selling shirts, tickets, etc, whereas City have so often relied on capital infusions from someone or other.

    This is a beautiful parallel to most economies in the last 20/30 years. Some focus on creating income generating activities (e.g. Germany) whereas others have used financial skills to repackage future capital as income, and spend that instead.

    Just as with City (Ireland, US, UK etc), they look the same until the capital runs out when everything stops, whereas for Utd (Germany), shirt sales may fall, and fewer people may turn up at Old Trafford, but the business of generating income goes on, albeit on a smaller scale.

    Spending capital is spending savings, either today’s or tomorrow’s, whereas spending income is ‘running a real business’ i.e. relatively ‘future proof’.

  6. coldblow

    There are so many clubs I hate and I can’t even remember why I hate some of them. Villa ruined my night the other day by winning (albeit against Palace) but I’m not sure why I hate them, I just do. Another is Brighton. But my likes and dislikes are usually linked to Utd and the late Newcastle equalizer on Tuesday was a chink of light in the dark clouds. I hate Liverpool almost as much as Utd. Too often I dislike both teams in a match and cross my fingers for a nil-all draw.

    One club I always hated, for reasons that should be obvious, was Chelsea. Yet because they stopped Utd winning in recent years I have grown to like and respect them. It hasn’t been so hard to get to like City and Arsenal as my dislike had been only a vague, diffuse resentment without any specific grievance.

    I am not unfair. I will eventually forgive (if not forget) if a club has done sufficient penance. So I was very pleased that Luton ended their years in the Conference wilderness, but now they are back in the League I dislike them.

    But Utd are something else again. When they played us in the 2004 Cup Final for the first time in the history of the Cup our allocation was reduced so Utd could get more, although we could have filled Wembley.

    If you are driving on a Saturday afternoon and want to know how the match is going the Irish stations are useless. You’ll get the Premier latest scores every ten minutes, sometimes followed by the Championship, but then it jumps to the Scottish Prem? Scotland?! Leagues 1 and 2 don’t exist. You have to switch on Radio 4 on long wave and pray that there swells of interference don’t erase the score.

    But Utd. Ever five minutes. And then RTE will go on and one about them afterwards.

    They got to my son before he reached the age of reason but he has since wiped his hands of them. Someone back in the day (it might have been me) bought him a stupid kit of a model of Old Trafford and a book of photos from inside the stadium. Several showed ecstatic Utd fans, plump men and women in their 30s and 40s, bouncing about with gormless grins like telly tubbies. This would be going too far even for American crowds.

    Like Kevin Keegan, I’d just *love* to see them spend twenty years in League 2 (along with Liverpool) and just see what happens to their ‘fanatical’ support.

    Mind you, if they are playing in Europe I’m right behind them. There is a hierarchy of values. I even said the other day that I’d back West H*m. That was rash. Let’s hope it is never put to the test.

    • coldblow

      When I was in the sixth form at school I watched Chartlon Athletic (a local club, but not mine) play Preston one evening. Bobby Charlton was in charge of Preston. There was large crowd in the Valley. (If you stood at the top of the vast bank of terracing opposite the small stand it looked like Subbuteo. They used to pull in 70,000 in the fifties. Ten years later the gate had dropped to 3 or 4k.)

      It was the last match of the season and Charlton won 3-1 to get promotion. There was the usual pitch invasion but their true philosophy, grim but honest, was expressed by an old geezer leaving the ground, who I heard moaning to his mate, ‘Bloody fair weather supporters.’

      • michaelcoughlan

        Fair weather supporters.

        Yes. Munster Rugby is experiencing the same two facedeness now with the slump. The scum are booing from the terraces aggressively verbally abusing players and coaches etc. Most of these fucking scum never even held or carried so much as a hit bag etc. in their lives.

        I remember one time when I was training with the Irish Rugby Team (Didn’t make it) a story told by Jack Clarke who played on the wing and in the centre for Ireland.

        Ireland played Australia in the 1991 world cup and near the end a player called Hamilton scored a try near the very end of the match in Lansdowne road to put Ireland in front. Australia came back in the 1 or 2 minutes left to score in the corner and win. The last tackle was made by Jack but he failed to prevent Australia from scoring. Jack had to get a flight later that night and on the way to the airport the Howareya driving the joemaxi fucked Jack Clarke out of it from on high not knowing that Jack was the fare. At the end Jack smiling (knowing what supporters are really like) revealed his identity to which the scum bag howareya responded by asking jack for his autograph!

        • joebrolly

          For what died the sons of Roisin

          100 years after 1916 and you spend you time raving bout english soccer financed by rich imperialists

    • Hoggie

      That’s a lot of hate Coldblow
      Isn’t the Millwall mantra, “No one likes us, we don’t care”?
      I was at Highbury for a couple of Millwall visits in the late eighties and they certainly had passionate supporters (and quiet a few lunatics, there was a constant stream of lads being hauled off by the cops from the Millwall section of the Clock End. Up to then I thought the West Ham supporters were nutters but they looked like school boys in comparison to Millwall.)

      • coldblow

        Hoggie, take it with a pinch of salt. I didn’t actually say I’d like to see them end up in the Conference. But looking at the Premier League there are plenty of clubs I want to lose, including Norwich, Spurs, Watford and Bournemouth. For some obscure reason I quite like WBA and Swansea nowadays and it no longer bothers me if Palace win. (I went to Selhurst Park a couple of times in my teenage years and they’d have a draw before kick-off: 16th prize a Crystal Palace biro!)

        Some of it (but not all) is to do with high-profile supporters, such as Stephen Fry and Elton John, but this wouldn’t be the case in hating Stevenage or Rotherham. Sometimes it’s new clubs into the League who have little support, so that would account for Morecambe and Dagenham. On the other hand I like Crewe, Wimbledon, Crawley and all five teams at the top of League 2.

        I don’t share the media enthusiasm for ‘giant killing’ when the victims are lower league clubs but I’m happy to see the likes of, er, United humbled. I suppose what really drives me is how you hear the same repetitive news about the top few teams, which is missing the point. One of the best games I saw last year on the telly was the play-off between Wycombe and Southend. Southend were dead and buried and it was amusing to watch their supporters running back up Wembley Way to watch the last couple of minutes. I don’t follow any of the sports news except the results and Richie Sadlier’s column and I don’t care about Ireland unless someone like David Forde or Andy Keogh is playing. Who else remembers the scorer of Ireland’s late goal in the 6-1 defeat to Germany?

        I don’t really like the World Cup either. Do you remember when RTE showed a bore-fest between Brazil and Portugal when it should have been Italy and Australia (which was more important and was according to reports (I never got to see any of it) a thriller)? Giles and the rest said as much: ‘You’re showing the wrong match, Bill!’ ‘But… but… it’s Brazil!’

        When it comes to face painting, wearing the team shirt (I blame the Dutch), vuvuzelas, jabulanis, goal-line technology, Mexican waves, matches at altitude or trying to play football in the the middle of the jungle count me out. As I said here years ago, it should be a little bit nippy, overcast with a damp breeze, and with a few seagulls on the pitch. In a proper stadium with grey galvanized roofs where you can stand up.

        I was only at Highbury twice, once to see a second replay of a third round cup game against Orient and other against Arsenal themselves (O’Leary stopped every single ball into the box). In Fever Pitch (my copy was in Swedish, otherwise I wouldn’t have read it) Hornby says that the No-one Likes Us motto should really be Arsenal’s. He has a point, but it surpised me when I learnt it goes back a full century. I did like his story about his friend who was a Luton Town fan who seemed to know everybody in the crowd. However, I think he should have followed Reading if they were his local club – he relates a story about a game between them and Arsenal where he was talking to some friendly home supporters with their flask and sandwiches and he knew he could never associate with this kind of thing.

        I wouldn’t choose Millwall now, for obvious reasons, but the fateful decision was taken decades ago. My son wants to go over and watch a game but I am in two minds. I have never been to the new stadium and I really liked the old one. It was often funny but some of their following (not that many perhaps) were highly unpleasant. One scene that sticks in the memory from a home game: there was something going on high up on the terrace behind us (a fight presumably) and the whole crowd turned to see it. For a few seconds the match stopped while the players and ref also took it in, open-mouthed.

        • coldblow

          Seriously though something happens at the odd match which is very hard to describe. It’s like a bit of the curtain representing the agreed normal or everyday interpretation of things gets torn for a time. I am borrowing Kundera’s metaphor here. It isn’t cerebral – anything but. It can happen at schoolboy matches or even five a sides you are playing in yourself. It can even happen at big matches in spite of all the hype. Even internationals. You hear the experts discussing the game and the panel at half and full-time and it does explain a lot, but then again there’s a lot it doesn’t, if you know what I mean. That’s why you need to hear about what is going on, not just the same few facts that get churned around and around.

    • “Several showed ecstatic Utd fans, plump men and women in their 30s and 40s, bouncing about with gormless grins like telly tubbies.”

      Yes, that really is both hilarious and pathetic at the same time.

      Grown up ‘adults’ – must have very sad lives.

  7. Irish PI

    Bugger what it means to millionares kicking a lump of leather around a field and their billionare supporters.What does it mean for Paddy and Mary Average? Does it mean cheaper fuel at the pumps ,and that finally the Dail of fukwitts might with dropping prices actually consider buying in a national reserve and figuring out where to store it on the island for times of need?

  8. Sport and music – trivial, ultimately meaningless activities – more suited for children.

    I’ll watch the odd soccer match (especially high quality like Barcelona, or giantkilling in the otherwise irrelevant Mickey Mouse cup) but you wouldn’t find me in a stadium with a herd of commercially milked lemmmings. Likewise I wouldn’t go near a concert. Noise and smelly crowds, forget that.

    Funny thing is I was brilliant at soccer – made plenty of money out of it – but always felt a bit uneasy about that – how can you be good at something but not really like it half the time? Of course you can, there’s no law of the universe that says you can’t.

    Regarding Man City, the sheikhs are not going to pull out any time soon, if at all. Not everything is connected directly to the price of oil. They are in it for the long term with forward planning – there’s lots of prestige attached to what they are doing and intangible value – as you know David, economic decisions are not all based on rationalities and prices etc.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Forgive my ignorance Adam. Did you play for one of the Irish sides?

      • Nope I left here when I was 17 after playing at the top level in schoolboy football in Dublin, was top scorer in the Isle of Man 2nd Dvision at 18 and played for the Isle of Man U21 team, then went to Hungary and played 3rd Division in Hungary, that was interesting, very good technically and good coaches – the Hungarians had no heart though for getting stuck in.

        Then came back to Ireland when I was 25 briefly, was supposed to go to Shamrock Rovers, couldn’t be arsed as I knew I was leaving Ireland again – went to Dominica in the Caribbean and got called up to the national team but my passport application got refused due to dodgy business dealings (although they didn’t kick me out of the country!), came second in the Premier League in Dominica (amateur), then got poached to go and play professional in Antigua – won the Premier League there, got good pay for about 3 seasons, then was 35 so wanted to give up (was fed up with it!) but when I came back to Ireland to study in 2010 I was persuaded to play for Cherry Orchard over 35s, scored 30 goals for them in my last season, finally gave up, praise the Lord, was thoroughly fed up by then.

        Going back to Antigua the week after next and the over 35 national team want me to go and play with them, it’s informal, don’t need a passport etc. but again, I don’t want to do it!

        Sometimes I’d enjoy it for 15 mins, but then I would want to walk off when I got bored! Mind you this was an internal thing, I would still be making an effort on the field and concetrating (and I never actually did walk off).

        I think it’s to do with being confined in one place (conceptually, not physically) – like you are on the field for 90 mins and that’s where your supposed to stay – I don’t like that. Another reason I won’t go to concerts, sporting events – and most ESPECIALLY – Irish weddings – stuck there all day with no escape! It’s just my personality.

        But back to the football – yeah a journeyman if ever there was one! But very talented, I’d score from anywhere, last match I played in Antigua I scored the winner straight from a corner! Towards the end dealing with team mates was hard too, not a lot of bright sparks usually in the starting 11. I’m not a team player, I’m an individualist but I used to score and creat a lot of goals so it did help the team, they overlooked my individualistic tendencies – I used to argue a lot with the coaches when I didn’t agree with what they said – the rest of the lads would be saying under their breath ‘shut up Adam’!.

    • Lance

      Your description of sport as a meaningless activity makes some sense after reading your description of your football ‘career’ . However, could you enlighten us as to your inclusion of music in this, did you come 18th in the Eurovision for Portugal? Or have you been part of a very successful ‘wedding band’?

      • Never said it was a career, perish the thought. Just made a bit of cash out of it.

        Most music is a pain in the hole, noisy shite. Minimal to zero interest in music.

        • Sideshow Bob


          I am sure Bono says the same thing!

          • Okay if you want some good music, here it is…

            Bono, the arch mountebank, the ultimate charlatan, never came close to anything as original as this…


          • Embraced we’ll plunge into The Eternal Heat of God Apollo.

          • Yes they are Greek, and they are my friends.

            If you want to hear all the songs on the album, just follow this link:


            It’s modern music but it’s so good, it’s almost classical, like many Greek people I have met.

            Heading to Athens soon to see Iannis – my friend and the singer, been a few years since I have seen him but when we do meet again it will be as if just five minutes have passed, as always.

          • Sideshow Bob

            Not my cup of tea exactly Adam but thanks for sharing.

            Bono gets an occassional mention in WWN

          • Sideshow Bob, I’m glad you brought the arch hypocrite up, I just want to say two things in that regard:

            1. How classy was Bowie insofar as he instructed that he should be privately cremated as quickly as possible – so the sanctimonious and insufferable Bono would not be able to pontificate and self-promote / self aggrandize at the funeral.

            And 2. Related to that – if I happen to be killed by an ISIS attack on my frequent travels – please let it be known that I don’t want Bono anywhere near the place I perish. I mean he can do what he wants, he’s a free man, but I would prefer if he doesn’t piss on my particular grave.

            It’s here in writing guys, so don’t be afraid to put it out there if it so happens that I win the one in a million lottery of being ‘done’ by ISIS – the enemy du jour – cheers guys.

        • “Our civilization is menaced with suicide

          Of technological misuse, the planet is going to die

          Organic evolution has been weaved throughout the spin of time

          By playing with our fears, its patterns will decline”


          Now that is poetry, it’s way more biting and relevant than Seamus Heaney or the midget parasite in the big house in the park – well that’s what you get from Greek people – and Iannis is not a native English speaker obviously.

          The ‘can’t be arsers’ in this country have a lot of catching up to do – peasants.

          Anyone know an Irish person than can speak Greek to the standard that Iannis speaks English?

          Thought not, in the Caribbean we call it ‘niggeritis’ – the Irish version I have christened – ‘can’t be arseditis’ – yes – way more severe than the Caribbean version and a disgrace – ignorant lazy peasants – I have little time for people that are not willing to work hard.

          Of course, it’s all (or partly, by now) colonialism’s fault – I agree with that, but that being said every man can pull his own weight in his own lifetime despite the horrible legacy of history.

          Good night and enjoy Into The Abyss.

  9. Sideshow Bob

    David Conn has written some very good stuff on football finances in the Guardian.

    The following is an example of financial jiggery-pokery going on at City:

    “City reduced their wage bill by £28m, mostly due to 125 staff being moved into the accounts of a parent company, City Football Group, which also services Mansour’s New York City, Melbourne City and his minority stake in Yokohama Marinos.´´


    For more:


  10. Back in the olden bays Matt Busby coached a multi champion United.
    Disaster struck when a plane crash killed most of the first team players
    A marvel of research and development was revealed when those called up from the farm team were immediately championship players.
    Thus did the seventeen year old Bobby Charlton appear. The rest is history….

    United’s business plan then was to develop local talent and coach the juniors. Their research and development paid off in performance and profit, in good times and bad.



  11. You’d have to wonder about these ISIS sorts.

    It takes 5 of them to kill 2 civilians and they all die?

    And from the footage it looks like they set themselves up outside a strip mall setting bombs outside a deserted Starbucks or whatever, not a soul around.

    Very odd.

  12. michaelcoughlan

    Eve of Destruction market style;


    Eve of destruction door gunner style;


    Geeeeeeeeeeeeeetttttttttttttt Ssssssssoooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmeeeeeeee!

    The lyrics from the song include “your young enough to kill but not for votin” got me thinking David. Why don’t you get Peter Sutherland to tell Michael O Leary to send home the poles and to ring whoever in the department of foreign affairs and tell him that he will take as many syrians as he can between the ages of 16 and 18. This of course is because the min wage for this category is 6.41/hr and not the usual 9.15/hr. O’Leary will “increase his productivity” no end. Arbeit macht frei and all that.


  13. Commentary by National Inflation Association

    Over the last 24 months, a median of $24.9 billion of U.S. high yield corporate debt was issued on a monthly basis. Very disturbingly, America’s monthly high yield corporate debt issuance has been below this median for the last seven consecutive months! In fact, in December 2015, the issuance of high yield corporate debt declined to a shockingly low $3.5 billion – down 67.3% on a year-over-year basis from $10.7 billion in December 2014!

    In recent years, many U.S. publicly traded corporations have borrowed money at artificially low rates, for the sole purpose of buying back their own stock – thereby manipulating their own share prices higher while creating phony/fake earnings per share (EPS) growth. Most CEOs and other executives of publicly traded corporations receive compensation that is tied to performance. Management performance is most often measured by either share price returns or EPS growth, the very two things that buybacks drive higher. This has allowed corporate executives to benefit greatly from buybacks – who use them to legally line their own pockets, to the detriment of shareholders!

    When the market cap of U.S. stocks as a % of GDP is well above its historical median, it is the absolute worst time for corporations to implement share buybacks. At overvalued share prices, companies should focus on strengthening their balance sheet – and would be better off selling new shares to investors in a private placement to increase their cash position, at a time when it requires the least dilution. When the bubble bursts and stocks crash to extremely undervalued share prices – companies with enough cash to implement buybacks then – will greatly benefit shareholders by increasing shareholder value.

    If you doubt the major impact that buybacks have had on fueling the stock market’s rise to the current extremely overvalued, unsustainable levels – let’s compare the performance of the normal S&P 500 Index to the S&P 500 Buyback Index – comprised of the top 100 stocks with the highest buyback ratios in the S&P 500. During the 2 1/2 year period of January 2013 through June 2015, as a record $827.5 billion in U.S. high yield corporate debt was issued – S&P 500 companies spent a record $1.3 trillion on share repurchases. While the normal S&P 500 Index achieved a gain of 44.4% in just 30 months – the S&P 500 Buyback Index well outperformed by making an unbelievably HUGE rally of 68.6%!

    Over the last seven months with U.S. high yield corporate debt issuance levels plunging – the S&P 500 Buyback Index has begun to significantly underperform by falling 14.28%, while the normal S&P 500 Index has only declined by 8.19%!

    The last time that the S&P 500 Buyback Index underperformed the S&P 500 Index – was just prior to the 2008/2009 financial crisis, when the S&P 500 lost over half of its nominal value! Click here to check out NIA’s shocking must see charts of everything discussed above!

    • I think I posted this Harvard Business Review article before on the subject of stock buybacks, but it’s a good one so here goes again:

      “Profits Without Prosperity”


      • michaelcoughlan

        “Profits Without Prosperity”

        Yes and warfare is a prime example of this attitude in extremis because not only is it profits without prosperity it is in fact profits from wholesale destruction and plunder.

        Or as I say to my mates your progress in the organisation is based on a perversion;

        The more you fuck the thing up the HIGHER you get promoted!

        Nazi ideology etc.

  14. Dave from Denver…

    U.S. Economic Collapse Becoming More Evident

    January 15, 2016 Financial Markets, U.S. Economyeconomic collapse, negative interest rates, NY Fed business index, stock market bubble, stock market collapse

    It’s days like today that will keep the muppets invested as we keep going down. – Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform in reference to Thursday’s stock market moon-shot

    Well, I was wrong. I was predicting that the Census Bureau would engineer a miraculously positive retail sales report for December. As it turns out, the CB is admitting to a .1% drop in retail sales for the month. The question begs, then, just how bad were the real numbers? They also are purporting that November retail sales rose .4% instead of the .2% originally reported. Unfortunately for the Government, all of the privately produced retail sales metrics during November showed large declines in retail sales during the month. No, Virginia, the impressive percentage gains in online sales do no offset the decline in brick/mortar sales – online sales activity is about 7% of total retail sales. The Consumer is tapped out which means the U.S. economy is tapped out. But we should blame China, right?

    In addition, the NY Fed general business conditions index registered a stunning collapse toUntitled1 -19.5 (vs. -4 expected). This is the lowest reading on this index since the Great Financial Crisis Collapse in 2008/2009. This graph shows both the Philly Fed and NY Fed economic activity index readings. Does this at all look like the economy that Obama told us the other night is doing fine?

    (Source: Bloomberg News)

    NY Fed President Bill Dudley was out today announcing that negative interest rates would be considered if the economy continues to slide. Negative interest rates are another form of QE. QE is a politically/socially correct term for money printing. “Money printing” is the code for “BAIL OUT THE BANK AGAIN.”

    The price of oil is collapsing. I predicted in the fall of 2014 that the price of oil would hit the $20’s. The price of oil is collapsing because collapsing economic activity globally, especially in the United States, is causing a collapse in demand. For get “Dr. Copper.” The real barometer of economic health is oil. Copper is used in a lot of manufacturing applications, but oil/energy is used to mine and refine copper and to manufacture and deliver copper-based products. Oil is the root indicator of economic activity. Oil is the real “Dr. Copper.” Everything else is a derivative of oil. Think about that for a moment…

    http://investmentresearchdynamics.com/u-s-economic- collapse-becoming-more-evident/


  15. We could start by regulators actually doing the job they are supposed to. We do not need more oversite and control, the laws existing need to be enforced.
    Central bank ponzi money is the prime culprit.
    Close central banks and jail the executives who violate the laws.
    Currently all that happens is a corporate fine that is meer

    • Meerly a cost of business..
      On the other hand one can make a case that the collapse is deliberately engineered to create the chaos required for people to accept one world authoritarian rule

  16. AlfieMoone

    ““This is true happiness: to have no ambition and to work like a horse as if you had every ambition. To live far from men, not to need them and yet to love them. To have the stars above, the land to your left and the sea to your right and to realize of a sudden that in your heart, life has accomplished its final miracle: it has become a fairy tale.”

    ? Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek

    @alfiemoone : “my life is soap-opera,online photoshop’d Soap Opera…please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of stealthy gait”

    “allow me to introduce Martin Paul Kenny Daglish Moone” “you gotta leave your mark on this place! you gotta let future generations know that Marty Moone walked these halls!” “oh!, I’m gonna blow this place wide open!….” “that’s it, buddy..just the right combination of destruction and caution” “stay strong buddy” “what are you looking at?” “just my imaginary friend..” “the Church is no place for imaginary friends!” “dancing in the disco, bumper to bumper..wait a minute!…where’s me jumper?” “you don’t still have that imaginary friend do ya?” “it’s not the size of a man’s balls that’s important, buddy, it’s the direction they’re swinging in..”

    .cc Dublin Arsenal Facebook page
    .cc GayGooners

    @AndrewGMooney “Arsenal vs Chelsea this Sat or Sunday at 4pm. I hope you’ll go as “The Gooner Gospel Of Gunner Footie Faith-Healing” is still a crucial part of your shamanic healing pathway/initiation. Another song title!-I’ll have a new LP by dawn at this rate…then I’ll erase the tapes as usual…perfectionism is a plague…I’m coming down to Bristol today/ tomorrow to finish the insurance accident form /report so let’s meet for a coffee -give you Arsenal/Oyster ticket/card. Will pay your coach /food /beer bill too…Your joy raised me to The Most High -that’s a Kabbala thing: Bowie’s'Station To Station’ is, ahem! “The Gnostic Odyssey Of Id,Ego & SuperEgo”: People thought it was a disco album in the 70s -oh, how I laughed at the reviews! “Get Happy -make it snappy…” ..just want to reassure you that a nocturnal lifestyle isn’t the same as insomnia, so you sleep during the day and wear sunglasses after dark? Welcome to the world of philosophy, I told you we were the Marines Of The Mind! I’m awake, thinking about Bowie, about to listen to ‘Blackstar’-for the 100th time. Bowie saved my life when I was a “Lost Soul:12 Years Old” : another new song title, LOL! Whilst I’m concerned for you, I have faith that this current turbulence will lead you to a more nourishing and rewarding place in all areas of life: love -music-money! Hope you’re getting to grips with your new DJ decks. Music can be both healing and destructive: a path of light or dark or both. ‘In The Light ”Led Zeppelin: Both Bowie and Page made a Faustian ‘deal with the Devil’then changed their minds and hearts. So did I… “in the light -you will find the road…” Choose the Light -be a LightStar -like your Jouissance Jedi Daddy who is, was, always will be the ultimate DarkStar -the black hole on the event horizon of human consciousness who destroyed Fame -all that 2012 stuff? – just delayed to 2021.Be strong, move on -leave the past behind. “Get Happy Or Die Trying” :another song title! Cheers 50/Fiddy. …gotta go -lyrical flow -on with the show -we’re all Cracked Actors as Bowie and Shakespeare correctly knew and showed…

    .cc PM to @AndrewAlfieMooney “the red vinyl edition of “Lucifer Rising” sold out instantly but you can still get the CD version? Boleskine House burnt to the ground? Wasn’t me, mt8, probably David Cameron high as a kite after fcukin another pig’s head, had to do something to calm down from his pseudo HellFireClub lulz, LOL!…Or was it YOU!….WTF is ‘The Herbivore-Free Diet’?…it’s starting again, isn’t it? Time for us all to get back on meds, …only jestin…you gonna be at Paisley Park on Thurs?..I’m deffo going…no, I don’t read books anymore, what for?…no, i’m not going to be at the GPO on April 24th when you make The Proclamation Of The 2nd Irish Disaporan Republic. Republic Day? You’ll get yourself offed if you carry on with that Plastic Paddy crap, leave ‘em to it, they’re Germany’s bitch once again, can’t imagine why you still care….us Peaky Paddy Blinders had enough of those clowns…”remember, remember…21st November 1974.Birmingham. Belfast.Boston…so much to answer for..” as for Trollisey….LOL!…he is absolutely and totally screwed now. Davide Showie certainly gave him the final middle finger…oh, such lulz…will you ever publish all those mad emails from BowieNet days/daze?…you might as well, absolutely nobody other than Brian Eno would believe it…posthumous?…yes, we know, it will all be posthumous…but….you’re taking the biggest risk ever, Andy…still, as that priest said long ago and far away..”Jayzus, Mooney will be bigger than Elvis!”…not sure why you think you can escape…you signed in blood at the x-roads, etc…anyway…6:20am..time to walk the dog in the dark, he won’t wait till it’s light, he’ll start howling..a little white Westie….hard to fathom how he became the portal to Otherworlds, but there we go…pure positive energy…white light/white heat…oh, and finally, fcuk Economics, it’s not the New Rock’n'Roll. Remember Nietzsche “Without Music Life would be a Mistake”. See you in Minneapolis?..take care, your B10 blood-brother-in-arms: “BrummieBoy”

    @adamabyss : “panem et circenses” Juvenal

    15/1/2016 “Late Late Show-Ryan’s guests include Eastenders’ Kat and Alfie Moon”

    “Into The Abyss – The Feathered Snake”: Ouroboros/ Quetzalcóatl

    ““The bearded white gods came from the sea, they taught us everything. And when the last Feathered Serpent has left us in his long boat sailing towards East, all our people was in mourning. So Quetzalcoatl promised that he will come back.” Kukulcan/Cuchulainn/Votan/Wotan

    .bc “other interested parties

    “Published on 22 Jul 2015: “Lila”, taken from the album “Circe” by Georg & Orri along with Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson & Kjartan Holm.

    “A cinematic delight that uses archival footage to showcase the appeal as well as the unease of more than a century of circus and carnival acts.

    Jay Weissberg – “The Show Of Shows” review. “Variety”:

    “Distinctive Icelandic helmer Benedikt Erlingsson (“Of Horses and Men”) delivers a cinematic delight with “The Show of Shows,” an expertly curated non-dialogue montage of archival footage showcasing all the appeals and quirks of more than a century of circus and vaudeville acts on celluloid. Edited by David Alexander Corno with a terrific understanding of theme and rhythm, helped immeasurably by Sigur Ros’ specially composed score, “Show” acknowledges the darker side of such spectacles while recognizing the collegiality and talent of performers, along with the excitement of spectators. Though commissioned by BBC Storyville, this big-top docu belongs on the big screen.”

    “The Golden Age of Circus: The Show of Shows”

    ‘The story of itinerant circus performers, cabaret acts, freak shows, and vaudeville and fairground attractions from the 19th and 20th centuries, using rare footage and home movies.’

    Full description Storyville Programme website Credits
    First shown: 9pm 17 Jan 2016
    Available for 29 days on BBC iPlayer

    Circe – Lila


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