Another week, another round of earnings "beats." Banks, anticipating poor trading revenues, doubled down on their already fraudulent balance sheets that bolster earnings through loan loss reductions by inventing a new accounting gimmick, DVA. This stands for debt valuation adjustment. You may remember that in March of 2009 banks stopped marking to market the value of their horrible loans and this began the bull run of the last 2 years? Well, now they kind of are marking their own debt down to market, the difference being they get to claim that markdown as profit. Huh? This accounted for nearly a third of JPM's earnings and the stock was crushed. Ditto WFC. But it's this type of accounting that is pushing earnings season into beats and why 75% of companies are coming in ahead of analysts' estimates. Enjoy the run while Europe comes up with their big plan. S&P, Nasdaq still down for the year.
The government still owns a 77% stake in AIG and they had to dump these shares at $29. How much lower will the next round go as suckers stop lining up?
In case you blinked, GM is now well below its IPO price, Ford fell under $14, and LNKD is now more than 33% below its first-day high of $122. Groupon is rushing to market and looking to raise $750 million dollars, but of course, will raise much more than that with this offering. I'm sure I'm not the only one concerned about the fact that the last round of venture capital went mostly to paying off its previous rounds of VC. Paul Kedrosky was ahead of this curve 2 months ago, asserting Groupon will eventually be a great short (watch his comments here http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-18/kedrosky-sees-groupon-as-a-short-selling-opportunity-video.html).