It's a sad sign of the times that House Speaker Paul Ryan fired the U.S. House of Representatives chaplain at Easter this year, for saying the following:
"May all members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle, "May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans."
Right after the dirty deed, Paul Ryan announced his own resignation. Damn that's cold even by Republican standards. The alt-Christian base was ecstatic. The United States is a pale fiction of its former self, having abdicated even the pretense of morality.
A farcical prayer to be sure. You see, in order to continue beyond 2008, it was unfortunately necessary that the fatally gored Globalized economic model morph into a massive zero sum criminal enterprise. Be that via money laundering through global real estate, raiding Social Security and Obamacare to pay for tax cuts, inter-generational fiscal plundering, printing money to inflate risk assets, stock buybacks with borrowed money, negative interest rates - there was no idea too corrupt for this inherently corrupt society to consider. Bernie Madoff was a man before his time.
"Ice cream, chocolate, all free today"
Rewind to December 2017:
Wall Street Just Sold Another Fantasy
"The S&P 500’s profit margins are now near all-time highs. Even if they remain elevated, a questionable assumption, earnings can grow only as fast as sales...And sales grow along with the economy...Nobody is projecting GDP growth of 11% in 2018"
This is aggregate corporate revenues, found by multiplying the sales per share by the S&P divisor. Corporate revenues were flat for the first eight years of this pseudo-recovery, and now are rising thanks to Ponzi oil reflation:
"It’s highly uncertain, however, that profits can even manage to climb in step with GDP. That’s because they’re already highly elevated thanks to those super-rich margins"
Fast forward to last week:
Fund Managers Cut Stock Allocations To Two Year Low
"(Institutional) Investors see earnings peaking, with just 20 percent expecting profits to improve over the next year, an 18-month low"
Corporate debt % of GDP
April 27th, 2018
Q1 GDP Release:
"Real consumer spending slowed in the first quarter, reflecting a downturn in new motor vehicles. In addition, a downturn in spending on clothing and footwear and a deceleration in spending on food and beverages"
Wages and salaries in the first quarter were adjusted up by $10.0 billion (annualized rate)...This adjustment reflects one-time bonuses paid by businesses reported publicly in response to the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA)"
"It is pretty amazing when you look at it, an earnings season that's having an equal and opposite reaction to results"
A surface look at earnings doesn't show much weakness...Net profit margins are tracking at 11.1 percent, which would be the highest level since the third quarter of 2008."