In an earlier post I showed a chart that revealed the fact that the stock market has only been more overvalued three times in history – 1929, 2000, and 2007. The chart below reveals that the stock market is at record highs when earnings growth is virtually nil. The tremendous surge in earnings after the 2008/2009 crash was due to government sanctioned accounting fraud, free Bennie Bucks for the banks, and accounting entries by the banks relieving their loan loss reserves. Do you notice the profit plunges after the 2000 and 2007 overvaluation periods?
We’ve currently got an extremely overvalued stock market. We have record corporate earnings. We have no earnings growth. We have labor participation rates at 35 year lows. We have declining real household income. We have 47 million people on food stamps. We are about to get an Obamacare rectal exam in five days. We have rising mortgage rates and a declining housing market. We still have annual deficits of $900 billion. Do you now understand why Bernanke didn’t taper last week?
The powers that be are extremely nervous. They know shit is fucked up and bullshit. They see the sheep getting antsy. Their lies and propaganda are wearing thin. They MUST give the appearance of normalcy or the entire house of cards falls down. How much longer can they keep the wolves at bay? Days? Weeks? Months? Years?
For some perspective on the all-important earnings environment, today’s chart illustrates ‘as reported’ S&P 500 earnings growth (i.e. 12-month rate of change) since 1940. There are a couple of points of interest. For one, earnings growth has tended to peak in the 20 to 40% range and trough somewhere in the -10 to -20% range. At least that was the case up until this millennium. Since the dot-com crash (i.e. the 2001 – 2002 timeframe), earnings growth volatility has increased dramatically. In fact, the post-financial crisis spike to 793% is not even shown on today’s chart so as to allow the rest of the data to remain visible (i.e. not flattened out). It is worth noting that this historic post-financial crisis earnings growth spike is due in large part to the fact that earnings came in so low as a result of the financial crisis. Currently, earnings growth has just moved into positive territory but remains well below average.