And now for a glimpse of America’s investment world:
We’ve, thus, [reached the] market’s end time I said we would soon reach if stocks continued to rise above such basic fundamentals [sic] during the COVID era as sales and revenue. At first corporations and their investors agreed upon tricked-up earnings from fancy accounting to lay in their fantasy flight plans. [Gold star for vagueness here, but now it gets good.] Then they inflated earnings for YEARS by stock buybacks because earnings are quoted “per share,” and buybacks reduce the number of outstanding shares. Finally, the sudden stripping away of corporate taxes in the Trump era made earnings that were again looking weak suddenly look great again, but that wasn’t because business was improving; it was just because the bottom line exploded due to fewer taxes being taken out. So, throughout the past decade earnings were not rising because business (the economy) was thriving but because they were distributed over fewer and fewer shares and calculated by fancier and fancier means.
No one cared. No one cares still.
All that mattered was that the headline numbers kept getting better for years. So, the market soared far above the economy. [Trump loved it. Political leadership nowhere to be found.] Eventually, the Robinhood and Reddit crowd said, “Let’s tear all the tethers loose. Real economics haven’t meant diddly squat to this market for a long time now anyway, so let’s not even pretend to care about earnings, let alone sales and revenue or where the COVIDcrash is taking the world economically. Let’s bet this thing to the moon, regardless of the economic reality we are in.”
And hats off to the Robinhood and Reddit crowd who played by the rules established by Wall Street and our vigilant watchdogs in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) taking care that the United States investment world just could never come to resemble a Bahamanian casino.
Oh, I forgot. While you’re admiring the SEC, don’t forget how the Commerce Department and the State Department looked out for the interests of the American worker when corporate America did grievous damage to our industrial base. And how the Department of Homeland Security safeguarded our borders and sent all those millions of illegals back across the Mexican border. And how the anti-trust warriors in the Department of Justice went after our crippling domestic monopolies like leopard seals after a baby penguin (overheated rhetoric alert!). And how the FBI crucified the AntiFa and Blacks Liberating Merchandise filth burning, looting, and shooting their way across America last year. Plenty of interstate activity THERE, pilgrims! And how the Congress is just merciless when it comes to things like worthless spending projects and nation-killing debt. And how our Ginzu-knife Supreme Court jumped in on electoral theft that’s the envy of Zimbabwe.
God bless the American political class. Doing their utmost to stave off chaos, destruction, and the end of a truly grand experiment in self government.
 “DON’T-STOP GAME STOCKS: Bankrupt Companies As Trillion-Dollar Chips in the Wall Street Casino.” By David Haggith, ZeroHedge, 2/6/21.
Edit: “tricked-up earnings from fancy accounting” refers to earnings from “non-GAAP accounting measures.”