Through the magic of various accounting gimmicks another consecutive quarterly decline in profits during the 1st quarter was turned into a small gain as the Bureau of Economic Analysis or BEA, reported on May 27 that profits actually increased by 8.1 billion to 1.39 trillion in total. Not mentioned in the news was that BEA reported profits include the 12 Regional Federal Reserve Banks actually private enterprise despite the name. Said banks saw a record 24.9 billion in profits during the first quarter following an 11% increase from a year ago. In the interest of an Apples to Apples comparison the annualized gain was just 16.5 billion to a record 117.9 billion for the quarter more than enough to cover the 8.1 billion increase in total profits the BEA reported. Moving to the Standard and Poors 500 Profits and according to Factset research they fell 6.7% in the first quarter to mark a 4th consecutive decline. Slightly better than the expected 8.8% earnings decline. Revenues fell for a 5th consecutive quarter down 1.5% ahead of the 1% decline expected. Revenues are more of less synonymous with sales, and these figures are after the magic of modern accounting that has put lipstick on the Pig to the point that the SEC or Securities and Exchange Commission has noticed and begun complaining about the “ahem” inappropriate color.
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