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FaceBook Crashing After Hours After Guiding Sharply Lower Q4 Revenue Growth





Update: the reason FB stock is now crashing is because moments ago, the CFO stunned the investing community when he announced that FaceBook costs next year will go up by 55-75% without giving guidance on 2015 revenue. He also announced that WhatsApp, FB's $19 billion acqusition, was "accretive" to the tune of a $232 million loss in the past 6 months. Stock now down over 10%.

Facebook reported that its Monthly Active Users for the US and Canada - the segment that generates roughly half of all FB sales - rose to a record 206 million. Putting that number in context: in the same two countries, there are currently about 155 million people employed. In other words, there are about 1.3 Facebook users for every single employed person in the US and Canada.

 
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This Time 'Is' Different - For The First Time In 25-Years The Wall Street Gamblers Are Home Alone





The last time the stock market reached a fevered peak and began to wobble unexpectedly was August 2007. Markets were most definitely not in the classic “price discovery” business. Instead, the stock market had discovered the “goldilocks economy." But what is profoundly different this time is that the Fed is out of dry powder. Its can’t slash the discount rate as Bernanke did in August 2007 or continuously reduce it federal funds target on a trip from 6% all the way down to zero. Nor can it resort to massive balance sheet expansion. That card has been played and a replay would only spook the market even more. So this time is different.  The gamblers are scampering around the casino fixing to buy the dip as soon as white smoke wafts from the Eccles Building.  But none is coming. For the first time in 25- years, the Wall Street gamblers are home alone.

 
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JPM Results Plagued By Recurring "Non-Recurring" Legal Charges, Stagnant Trading Revenues, Record Low NIM





Another quarter down and JPM's earnings are more of the same. We don't recall if JPM's legal charges in the past few years are now $20, $30, $40 billion or more, but as of this morning they are X + $1 billion. In the company's ongoing mockery of the term "one-time, non-recurring", JPM added $1.062 billion in recurring, multiple-time pretax legal expenses, a $0.26 EPS impact to Pro Forma EPS, EPS which also declined courtesy of JPM's repurchase of $1.5 billion in shares in the quarter thus reducing the number of "S".  So what were the bottom line numbers: EPS $1.36, a miss to estimate of $1.39;Revenue (non-GAAP revenue that is): $25.16 billion, better than the $24.43 billion; that said GAAP net revenue was $24.246 billion; Non-interest expense rose tom $15.8 billion, well above the $14.52 billion expected, and more than the $15.43 billion Q/Q

 
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It's Official: Hewlett-Packard To Split In Two, Fire Another 5,000; Goldman Notches Second Spin-Off Success After PayPal





While the WSJ already broke the news yesterday that Hewlett Packard would split in two companies, and as such today's "shocking" announcement will hardly have the impact of the just as "surprising" split of PayPal which came on the last day of September, what is probably most notable - in addition to the news that HPQ will fire another 5,000 workers, bringing the total to 55,000 - is that just as in the case of PayPal, so for Hewlett-Packard, the financial advisor, i.e., the company which pitched the spin off to executives, was none other than Goldman. One wonders where else Goldman is advising on "spin offs" to take advantage of the bubbly stock market valuations. As a reminder, HPQ is only doing this deal and accessing the public markets now because several years ago it tried to do exactly the same thing in a private transaction with a strategic or financial buyer, and found no bids. Luckily, now we have central bank froth and pervasive risk euphoria to help management bail out at the highest possible stock price.

 
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The Goldman Tapes And Why The Delusion Of Macro-Prudential Regulation Means The Next Crash Is Nigh





There is nothing like the release of secret tape recordings to clarify an inconclusive debate. Actually, what the tapes really show is that the Fed’s latest policy contraption - macro-prudential regulation through a financial stability committee - is just a useless exercise in CYA. Macro-pru is an impossible delusion that should not be taken seriously be sensible adults. It is not, as Janet Yellen insists, a supplementary tool to contain and remediate the unintended consequence - that is, excessive financial speculation - of the Fed’s primary drive to achieve full employment and fill the GDP bathtub to the very brim of its potential. Instead,  rampant speculation, excessive leverage, phony liquidity and massive financial instability are the only real result of current Fed policy.

 
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How Financial Bubbles Fester And Burst - Even As The Fed Says Not To Worry





The starting point in comprehending the dynamics of modern "markets' is to recognize that once they gain a head of steam, financial bubbles tend to envelope virtually every nook and cranny of the economy, creating terrible distortions and destructive excesses as they rumble forward. In this instance, Wolf Richter explains how Silicon Valley has once again (like 1999-2000) been transformed into a rollicking capital “burn rate” machine that has spawned a whole economy based on striving for bigger losses, not better profits. Even the leading venture capitalists now recognize that the insanity of the dotcom era has re-emerged. One of these days, even the monetary politburo may notice. But by then it will be too late. Again.

 
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Behold The Magic Of Accounting In First Half Earnings





Now that we can compile the first half data using the first two quarter data for both 2013 and 2014, we can conclusively state that if it weren't for the accounting magic behind non-GAAP, which includes such addbacks as tens of billions in litigation costs for the TBTBF utilities, pardon banks, pension addbacks, and not to mention hundreds of billions in restructuring addbacks resulting from the mass termination of hundreds of thousands of workers who miraculously fail to trickle through to the BLS' own "survey" data, things would hardly be as rosy as portrayed by the sellside. In fact, EPS growth in the first half was either 6.5%... or 0.2%. Depending on whether or not one believes in accounting magic.

 
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The G-20's Solution To Systemically Unstable, "Too Big To Fail" Banks: More Debt





Another day, another brilliant scheme from the think-tank that is the G-20: prevent systemic collapse from TBTF banks loaded up with record amounts of debt by forcing them to... issue more debt.

 
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Guest Post: If Not Trusting This Market Makes Me An Idiot, Then Call Me Crazy!





I was left slack-jawed as I listened to an interview on financial media between the host and guest. I have always enjoyed as well as respected the host even though many times I may totally disagree. However, as for the guest being interviewed, not only did I disagree: I lost quite a bit of respect for. During the interview the questions were posed as to why people (investors et al) harbor these feelings of angst as to whether or not they should get in, get out, etc,, etc. The guest then went on to use data points, math, trend references, and any other metric available within a snake oil sales bag as to prove his point: Where people not believing in this market rally along with those who’ve not participated are, (and I quote) “Idiots.” I have only one answer to that statement: What you’ve just demonstrated is exactly why people with more than half a brain aren’t buying your message: You are insulting their/our intelligence.

 
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As "Housing Recovery" Fizzles A New Scheme Emerges: Boost FICO Scores By Changing The Definition





Now that the the fourth dead cat bounce in US housing since the Lehman crisis is rapidly fading, and laundered Chinese "hot money" transfers into US luxury real estate no longer provides a firm base to the ultra-luxury segment, the US government is scrambling to find ways to boost that all important - and missing - aspect of any US recovery: the housing market. This is further amplified by the recent admission by the Fed that it is in fact encouraging asset bubbles, not only in stocks but certainly in all assets, such as houses. Well, the government may have just stumbled on the solution to kick the can yet again and force yet another credit-driven housing bubble, a solution so simple we are shocked some bureaucrat didn't think of it earlier: changing the definition of the all important FICO score, the most important number at the base of every mortgage application.

 
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Tesla's Non-GAAP Quarter In Three Gigacharts (Added Free Option: GAAP Charts)





Yes, yes, we know: soon everyone will be driving a Tesla, and, perhaps, sooner Tesla will build its much-hyped, and so critical for its business model Gigafactory (although shouldn't it be non-GIGA to go with non-GAAP... about which it had this to say: "In June, we broke ground just outside Reno, Nevada on a site that could potentially be the location for the Gigafactory. Consistent with our strategy to identify and break ground on multiple sites, we continue to evaluate other locations in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas."). In the meantime, and just as the biggest wealth effect-creating (for the 0.1%) stock market of all time appears to be ending, here is Tesla's quarter, and last few years, in three gigacharts.

 
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Yellen Capital Humiliated After First Facebook And Now Twitter Surge Higher: TWTR's Quarter In Charts





Moments ago TWTR reported Q2 earnings which beat EPS expectations of a 1 cent loss, posting non-GAAP EPS of $0.02 (let's ignore that the GAAP EPS was actually -$0.24 and that GAAP Net Loss was $144.6 million, much worse than the $42.2 million a year ago, all driven by stock-based compensation expense, because clearly retaining employees is never a factor when calculating earnings). And yet, the stock has exploded by 30% after hours on what appears to be a super squeeze after hours, as the company also reported revenue of $312 million up from $139.3 million a year ago and some $54MM in EBITDA, up 461% Y/Y. This is just a little awkward for the Federal Reserve which some 2 weeks ago was warning about a bubble in social networking stocks, just before first Facebook and now Twitter have exploded higher on what can best be described as yet another massive short squeeze of those who decided to not fight the Fed on this one.

 
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Here's What Wall Street Bulls Were Saying In December 2007





The attached Barron’s article appeared in December 2007 as an outlook for the year ahead, and Wall Street strategists were waxing bullish. Notwithstanding the advanced state of disarray in the housing and mortgage markets, soaring global oil prices and a domestic economic expansion cycle that was faltering and getting long in the tooth, Wall Street strategists were still hitting the “buy” key. In fact, the Great Recession had already started but they didn’t have a clue: "Against this troubling backdrop, it’s no wonder investors are worried that the bull market might end in 2008. But Wall Street’s top equity strategists are quick to dismiss such fears."

 

 
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Earnings Recovery? Europe Would Love Some Of That





As the following just released chart from Goldman shows that while non-GAAP EPS in the US have stabilized (and Japan is clearly the upside suprise even as its economy is once again teetering on the edge of recession), and Asia ex Japan is slowly rolling over once more, it is Europe that is the big shocker: as of July, European 2014 EPS forecasts are now the lowest they have been for the entire year, and are down 8% from where they were at the beginning of the year!

 
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