Shhh! Don’t Tell the New York Times that S&P Earnings Have Declined for 5 Quarters
Pam Martens and Russ Martens report in Wall Street on Parade:
On July 25, during the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, Senator Elizabeth Warren made the following comments during her speech:
Here’s the thing: America isn’t going broke. The stock market is breaking records. Corporate profits are at all-time highs.
We noted at the time that Senator Warren is one of the smartest members of Congress; a former Harvard law professor who taught commercial contracts and bankruptcy law; a member of the Senate Banking Committee and its Economic Policy Subcommittee.
If Senator Warren was not aware that quarterly earnings on a year-over-year basis as measured by the largest companies in America – the Standard and Poor’s 500 – were on track to log in their fifth consecutive quarterly decline in earnings, how could the average American possibly know this?
Equally important, if the stock market was setting new highs based on a prevailing misconception among investors that corporate earnings were still climbing, shouldn’t responsible media be setting the record straight? Or is it the job of corporate media to keep investors ignorant of the economic realities in the U.S. because it might hurt their own publicly traded stock prices?
We decided to see if Senator Warren could have possibly been misled by the so-called “paper of record,” the New York Times. The Times has a nifty search tool that allows one to set a customized time period for searches. We set our time period to search between January 2, 2015 through August 25, 2016. We searched under profit recession. Next we tried corporate earnings. Then we tried S&P earnings. And, finally, we searched under Standard and Poor’s earnings.
We could find no article at the New York Times, much less a headline, that gave any clue to its readers that S&P 500 earnings have been in decline for the past five quarters.
We did find a very misleading headline that appeared in the New York Times’ print edition on the second page of the Business Section on July 21, 2016. The headline reads: . . .