LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The windfall gains from the tax cuts passed by the U.S. Congress in December have brought back “animal spirits” that encourage risk-taking throughout corporate America, according to some of the participants at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in California on Monday.
“Tax reform in the United States has led to, frankly, a number of companies flush with cash and looking for their opportunity to use their balance sheets to affect significant change in their market places as exhibited by two of the big mergers in telecom and energy announced” in the last 24 hours, Robert Smith, founder and CEO of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, said at a panel discussion.
Late Sunday, T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp said they had agreed to a $26 billion all-stock merger and believed they could win over skeptical U.S. regulators because the merger would create thousands of jobs and help the United States beat China in creating the 5G next generation mobile phone network.
Also on Monday, Marathon Petroleum Corp agreed to buy rival Andeavor for more than $23 billion in the largest-ever tie-up between U.S. oil refiners, giving the combined company a nationwide presence and increased access to growing export markets.
Michael Corbat, the chief executive officer of Citigroup Inc, was also positive about the economic outlook and said the Trump tax cuts have yet to filter through to many businesses.
“The benefits of tax reform aren’t yet fully into our economy. Not yet fully appreciated in terms of the intermediate impact they can have,” he said.