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(1,439 posts)
Wed Dec 7, 2016, 05:38 AM Dec 2016

The Real Art Behind Trump-SoftBank $50 Billion Deal [View all]

The president-elect’s tweets notwithstanding, the plan was likely to happen no matter who won the election

Job creation in Donald Trump’s America goes like this: A Japanese company animated by visions of a robot apocalypse, looking to invest billions it got from the Saudi Arabian government, decides to bet big on the U.S. Mr. Trump then takes credit—though the plan likely would have unfolded even without the input of the president-elect.

Emerging from a meeting Tuesday with Japan’s richest person, SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, the president-elect tweeted that the company will invest $50 billion in the U.S. to create 50,000 jobs.

“Masa said he would never do this had we (Trump) not won the election,” he tweet-added.

But those billions were likely to end up in the U.S. no matter who won. SoftBank announced the $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund nearly a month before the election, when most pundits expected Mr. Trump to lose. Given its size, the fund was likely to put most of its money in the U.S., still home to the world’s most-promising technology companies. Last quarter, 60% of the money raised by companies backed by venture capital was in the North America, according to a report by KPMG and CB Insights.

The $50 billion might also include leverage.

Things could change with a Trump administration. Though Mr. Trump declared on the campaign trail that he was against a deal between AT&T and Time Warner , Mr. Son might at least explore rekindling a T-Mobile-Sprint romance.

One caveat, though: Sprint and T-Mobile have 80,000 employees between them. Job cuts resulting from a merger would likely cancel out part of the job creation SoftBank is supposed to bring. That’s the real art of the deal.

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