Abstract. We examine the possibility that Ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) represent the extreme end of the black hole X-ray binary (XRB) population. Based on their X-ray properties, we suggest that ULXs are persistently in a high/hard spectral state and we propose a new disk–jet model that can accomodate both a high accretion rate and a hard X-ray spectrum. Our model predicts that the modified disk emission can be substantially softer than that predicted by a standard disk as a result of jet cooling and this may explain the unusually soft components that are sometimes present in the spectra of bright ULXs. We also show that relativistic beaming of jet emission can indeed account for the high X-ray luminosities of ULXs, but strong beaming produces hard X-ray spectra that are inconsistent with observations. We predict the beamed synchrotron radio emission should have a flat spectrum with a flux density < ∼ 0.01 mJy
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