The Daily Parker

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The death gurgles of Sears

Long-time readers know how much I hate what Eddie Lampert has done to Sears (recent example here). Now, apparently, even he thinks the company is done for:

Edward Lampert's proposed debt reduction plan for Sears Holdings is noteworthy for what it doesn't include: any commitment of new funds from the hedge fund mogul/CEO himself for the floundering retailer he has controlled since 2005.

That may be why the plan landed with such a thud on Wall Street. Sears stock tumbled 7 percent after Sears disclosed Lampert's proposal Monday, retraced some ground to close off 2 percent, and then fell another 5 percent early Tuesday. At $1.17 per share late yesterday, Sears was down about 99 percent over the past decade.

Investors have come to expect Lampert to underwrite continuing losses at Sears, which has lost a total of $6.8 billion since 2013. Lampert and affiliates advanced Sears more than $2 billion in the past few years.

Lately, however, Lampert seems to have lost his appetite for Sears IOUs. Now he's more interested in Sears' assets, floating a $400 million offer for the Kenmore appliance brand in August. Even that proposal was nonbinding and contingent on Lampert finding a third party to finance the buyout. In other words, the billionaire isn't willing to risk his own money on Kenmore.

You know the old story: you broke it, you bought it. In this case those things happen cyclically. I think we're finally reaching the end, though.

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