Las Vegas Sands Corporation
The Las Vegas Sands Corporation started in 1989 as “Las Vegas Sands Incorporated” with the purchase of the Sands hotel and casino by entrepreneur Sheldon Adelson and his partners. In 1995 Sheldon Adelson bought out his partners in The Interface Group (TIG), the group that made the initial purchase of the Sands, and began planning the Venetian. In 1996 the Sands was imploded and in 1999 the Venetian was opened. Five years later, in December of 2004, Adelson took the Las Vegas Sands Inc. group public and it has since been the Las Vegas Sands Corporation (LVSC).
Financial history The initial offering on December 14th, 2004 consisted of 23,809,524 shares at a price of $29 per share. From Bloomberg Business week, also shown in Appendix 1, we can see that since the first full month that LVSC has been traded on the NYSE its average record monthly high stock value was $103. 05 and its average monthly record low stock trade value was $10. 17. Within the last five years, the LVSC has suffered through the world’s economic downturn just like any other company.
In Appenix 2 we can see that the early part of 2009 was the worst, in terms of
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Business and politics are very closely intertwined and I believe that Adelson’s actions within the political arena can also be seen as strategic business decisions that have both negatively and positively impacted the LVSC directly. I will explain a couple of these connections in the following paragraphs. Adelson was a key financial supporter of a group called “Freedom Watch,” whose purpose was to “protect America’s interests at home and abroad, foster economic prosperity, and strengthen families. ” This group consisted of major Republican party representatives and funded pro-Iraq war movements within the American political system.
Though Adelson’s support of the war and the Republican Party stemmed mostly from his Pro-Israel sentiments, there are many other trickle down repercussions of his financial backing of this organization. Freedom Watch was criticized as a “White house PR machine” in which funds were used to fuel pro-war sentiment and support those in congress that were beginning to receive backlash from the American public on issues concerning the White Houses “failed war policy. ” The initial $6 million ad campaign sponsored by Freedom Watch was evidence enough for reporters to support this accusation.
This campaign targeted Republican Party members who publicly rejected the white-houses position on military spending and involvement in the war on Iraq. The amount of the GDP that was, and continues to be spent (some 895 billion in 2010), on the war and military funding abroad directly affects the American economic position and the ability for its citizens to feed money back into the system. There are questions surrounding whether the American government could or should be spending this budget on programs to further stimulate the economy.
Is there a direct correlation between the LVSC almost 95% decrease in stock price to the non-stimulated American economy? Could Adelson have been making contributions towards efforts that negatively affected the LVSC in this instance? Perhaps Adelson’s passion for pro-Israel sentiment inadvertently got in the way of positively impacting his corporation in this instance. On the other hand, there are more obvious republican party financial influences that are a clear benefit for the LVSC by Mr. Adelson.
During the span of the LVSC existence, Adelson has contributed over $11 million dollars towards political candidates. Between 1984 and 2007 approximately 800,000 went directly to republican candidates. In the last 5 years, Adelson’s more notable contributions have been in support of Newt Gingrich, a republican presidential candidate for the 2012 election. Recently Adelson and his wife donated $10 million dollars towards “Winning Our Future,” a super PAC (political action committee) that supports Gingrich’s campaign. There is no other candidate that is so largely dependant on a single individual campaign contributor.
This of course would not have been possible if the Supreme Court had not passed “Citizens United” last year which basically reshaped the “political landscape by stripping away restrictions on contributions and how outside groups can spend their money. ” In this case, Citizens United vs. FEC was massively publically supported by the republican parties and politicians. Democratic representatives say that it gives way too much influential power to one individual. The following snippet is from an associate press article and best sums up my point.
“When any candidate is beholden to a single donor for so much money, Wertheimer said, “it opens the door to corruption and influence peddling. ” Wertheimer said the infusion of cash would raise questions about any decision Gingrich would make that touches on gambling, for example. And similar questions could be raised about Gingrich’s Mideast policies. “” Whether issues of legality, corruption, business strategy, or personal passion are in play, no one can really know. But one can argue that the LVSC can directly benefit from Adelson’s historic political views, standpoints, and contributions within the American bureaucratic arena.