Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lehman and Goldman Report "Good" Earnings...

The earnings game on Wall Street continues.  Despite drops of over 50% in profits and over 35% in revenues, the brokers earnings were "good" because they beast analyst estimates (including my own estimates which I made up out of thin air a week ago.)  While it is true that the brokerage firms shares have all declined precipitously in the past year, have we really hit a bottom?  And do last quarter's earnings really matter.  After all, Bear Stearns was set to report very decent earnings yesterday before it went bankrupt in two days, so I don't know how much stock I put in these numbers.  
Aside from the Fed's easy money/ignore inflation policy of the past few months that is certain to help the brokers with the cost of carrying their huge fixed income positions, it is hard to imagine things returning to the go-go days of the mid-2000's.  We were in a credit bubble, that has got to be clear to everyone by now.  And housing has yet to bottom as evidenced by yet another decline in housing starts reported this morning.  The Fed is widely expected to ease again today by 100 basis points.  Will it be enough? Or is the market going to sell off again as it has following every other attempt by the Fed to save the financial universe?

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