CAT confirmed the flow through from its depressed retail sales picture when it announced that not only did revenue tumble by 23% to $11 billion, but it missed already deeply cut estimates of $11.4 billion, leading to a 111% collapse in operating profit which from $1.1 billion turned into a $114 million loss in the quarter. To be sure, the company tried to pull an Alcoa and stuff massive restructuring charges in the quarter amounting to $689, boosting non-GAAP EPS by $0.89 to $0.74, however one can simply ignore this latest accounting fudge attempt.
You can add DeVry students to the list of those who will very shortly be sending the Education Department a mountain of discharge requests because the FTC has now accused the school of deceiving prospective students about the employment success of graduates. “In a suit filed in a California federal court, the FTC is asking a judge to provide monetary remedies to allegedly deceived students, including refunds and restitution," WSJ reports.
Even the staunchest cynics will be stunned by the latest development out of the Shanghai government where starting next month, venture capital firms which invested in high-tech startups since the beginning of 2015 can apply for government compensation if their investment loses money.
"So why do speculators make claims that run counter to reality? Analysts said it is because either the short-sellers haven't done their homework or that they are intentionally trying to create panic to snap profits."
The public idea of collapse comes predominantly from Hollywood, and not from personal experience. For the masses (and some preppers, unfortunately), a collapse is an “event” that happens visibly and usually swiftly. You wake up one morning and behold; the television and phones don’t work anymore and zombies are at your doorstep! Yes, it’s childish and cartoonish, but anything less than a Walking Dead/Mad Max scenario and many people act as if all other threats are benign. This is the driving reason why many Americans are absolutely oblivious to the economic instability that is rampant and blatant within our system the past few months. Well, the problem is that social and economic collapse is not a singular event, it is a PROCESS.
Detailed analysis of economic data is a dying art. The past seven year bull-market has largely justified the logic of such an approach, but the frenzied panic of the last month raises the question of whether investors will know how to adapt if the framework changes again. Recent market ructions offer the first evidence that central banks may be near the limit of their ability, or their willingness, to keep pumping up asset prices.
We may not yet have final confirmation that a recession is imminent, but so far nothing suggests that the danger has receded.
Last week, we noted that Italy is rushing to defuse a €200 billion time bomb in the country’s banking sector as investors fret over banks’ exposure to souring loans. On Wednesday we learn that Italy has indeed managed to strike a deal with Brussels to help alleviate banks’ NPL burden but the agreement falls well short of the type of comprehensive "solution" the market was hoping to see.
The financial engineering that has been made possible by zero percent interest rates is no longer available to paper over weak corporate results in the U.S. Our economy is addicted to QE and zero rates, and without those supports, we will spiral back into recession. This is the reality that the mainstream tried mightily to ignore the past several years. But the chickens are coming home to roost, and they have a great many eggs to lay. In the end, stimulus does not create actual growth, but merely the illusion of it.
Some things to ignore; some things not to ignore. The inevitable will occur. Supply and demand will cross. The question is will Wall Street notice? Some of the analysts caught the cross in early 2014 but most didn’t.
One glance at The Baltic Dry Index's collapse is all that most need to see the painful state of the global shipping industry. However, as gCaptain reports, reality is even worse as the boom in so-called "zombie ships" suggests there is no recovery in sight for the beleaguered containership charter market, which is facing its biggest crisis since the 2008 financial crash.
Ben Bernanke is no longer the Fed's chairman, but this article is even more relevant today then it was when I wrote it
Americans across the country have been priced out of the U.S. housing market since the “recovery” began due to a combination of factors; stagnant wages, private equity purchases and money laundering foreigners. As such, many potential first time buyers have been sidelined despite the availability of meager 3% downpayment loans from the FHA as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fortunately for the U.S. ponzi scheme economy, the U.S. government has a solution. Lower mortgage insurance premiums.
As of June 2008 no Wall Street banking house was predicting a recession, yet by then the Great Recession - the worst economic downturn since the 1930s - was already six months old, as per the NBER’s subsequent official reckoning. Wall Street never predicts a recession. And that’s basically why the stock market goes up for 5-7 years on a slow escalator, and then plunges down an elevator shaft during several quarters of violent after-the-fact retraction when an economic and profits downturn has already arrived.