The cheerleaders in the mainstream media studiously avoid the real and difficult questions, instead by and large focusing on presenting data that promotes the official narrative. As an example the fact that the Standard and Poors 500 companies are on track to report a 5th consecutive quarterly decline in earnings and a 6th consecutive quarterly decline in revenues, aka sales is instead replaced with the usual lower the earnings bar until a penny beat on the number is achieved and focusing on the beat to expectations data. While factually correct ignores the bigger picture and is most charitably described as being economical with the truth. A piece on the Blog Wall Street on Parade looked at the New York Times and its searchable database of articles to determine that a real lack of material existed on the subject of consecutive quarterly earnings declines. I like Senator Elizabeth Warren and have great respect for her but when she publicly states “Here’s the thing: America isn’t going broke. The stock market is breaking records. Corporate profits are at all-time highs.” Again factually correct but it ignores the bigger picture in that debt funded share buybacks have maintained the illusion of record profits on a per share basis by dramatically reducing the number of shares the profits get distributed to, another example of being economical with the truth. On a historical basis 3 consecutive quarters of falling profits has triggered a bear market or 20%+ decline 82% of the time in the last 80-years as per the Wall Street on Parade piece. Moving to FactSet Research and we find that with 95% of the S&P Companies having reported 2nd quarter earnings the decline is running 3.2% on a year ago basis. They go on to note that the last time the index recorded five consecutive quarters of year-over-year declines in earnings was the period Q3 2008 through Q3 2009.” The depths of the financial crisis, one would think something like this would be newsworthy but apparently not.