More Wishful Thinking

Retails sales were the bad boy yesterday as the March numbers came in surprisingly weak.

Economists had been looking for an increase. Hmm, let me see, we’ve had job losses of over 500k per month for the past 6 months or so, and economists expected retails sales to pick up? Who is supposed to be doing the buying?

Maybe it was that wishful thinking again, that the economy is about to turn the corner later on this year. Well, I would not hold my breath or make any bets on that to happen.

Goldman Sachs was in the news again by reporting shockingly strong results. As I said last Friday, whatever banks report does not give me the warm fuzzies. Apparently, I am not the only one:

One analyst chalked up the performance to funds Goldman received from American International Group Inc. after the insurance giant was bailed out by the government.

Goldman is “one of the major beneficiaries of our tax payer dollars, and the great irony is in an alternate universe, the quarter in which Goldman’s reported earnings were twice Street expectations would have been the quarter in which it declared bankruptcy,” said Dan Greenhaus, an equity analyst at Miller Tabak & Co.

That said, Greenhaus noted the outcome is what the government was looking for when it gave AIG the original $85 billion in rescue funds. “They wanted that money to filter through the global banking system and help get capital to financial institutions that were in need,” the analyst commented.

[My emphasis]

There you have it. It’s a very fine line between record profits and no longer being a viable enterprise.

I am relieved to see that taxpayer money contributed to Goldman’s survival and shockingly strong results, which can only mean enhanced bonuses for those lucky enough to be at the helm at this time. Looks like cronyism is alive and well.

About Ulli Niemann

Ulli Niemann is the publisher of "The ETF Bully" and is a Registered Investment Advisor. Learn more
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