You guys: It might be time for an Eddie Lampert intervention. He’s spent a dozen years trying to fixSears, and Sunday marks the fourth anniversary of his taking over as CEO of the ailing retailer. Suffice it to say, that hasn’t helped. Yet Crazy Eddie continues to throw money at the problem.
Hedge-fund manager Edward Lampert has pumped an additional $1 billion into his yearslong effort to revive Sears, but the CEO’s latest financing likely is just another short-term fix for the struggling retailer….
Mr. Lampert doesn’t have unlimited funds to continue to pour into his efforts to save Sears. As of December 2015, ESL and affiliates had about $2.8 billion assets, according to a regulatory filing.
That’s in addition to Sears raising another $900M through the sale of Craftsman tools, and closing another 150 stores, two other strategies that are not exactly sustainable.
The Craftsman sale is “another piece of the puzzle of trying to cobble together enough liquidity to navigate ’17,” said Noel Hebert, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “But the more you sell to fund losses, the less there is to sell.”
Things are getting so bad that people are comparing Lampert to Bill Ackman. These are not the sort of threats to one’s dwindling fortune that merely moving to the world’s most alligator-infested tax haven will solve. More drastic action is needed to get Eddie out of this stock.
Happily for Lampert, there’s an undrained swamp by the Potomac that’s practically filling up with people just like him. People who also keep copies of Atlas Shrugged by their bedsides. People he roomed with in college and formerly employed. People with the power to step in and break his Sears addiction. People like Steve Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary-designate. It’s practically a humanitarian mission at this point. Steve, please: Save your old buddy from himself. Give him whichever of the three “high-level staff positions” in the Trump administration that The Mooch doesn’t take. Something, anything, before Lampert is reduced to being a mere millionaire.
CEO Lampert Pumps Additional $1 Billion Into His Sears Bet [WSJ]
Sears to Sell Craftsman, Shut 150 Stores as Lampert Raises Cash [Bloomberg]
Eddie Lampert Just Took A Play From Bill Ackman’s Playbook [Forbes]