The banks are all on the government dole, so there’s plenty of anger over things like bonuses, private jets, luxury junkets, trips to Davos, office renovations and anything that smacks of taxpayer-funded luxury. All the frustration is totally fair. But let’s be clear: Finding companies that aren’t in some way benefiting from the government is getting increasingly rare.
All across tech, for example, companies are benefiting from an R&D tax credit. Check out a middling chip stock company like Linear Tech (LLTC). It’s tax rate fell from about 30% to 22% thanks to the tax credit. Even an industrial, like Boeing (BA), it got $170 million through the scheme.
Other companies get government help in different ways. Stanley Furniture says it got $11.5 million this year in anti-dumping credits, which they supposedly needed in order to withstand the assault of more affordable furniture from China. LA-Z Boy (LZB) gets the same crediys.
And then there are subsidies out the wazoo, and these are all over the world. Japanese chip-maker Kyocera (KYO) was helped big-time by its solar business, which is one of those most subsidized industries in the world.
These are just a few random examples we’ve seen, but they can be found in earnigns reports left and right. A company or sector of the economy that’s not heavily influenced by the visible hand of government is a rare bird indeed.