move along vagrants

Long National Nightmare Over As Rich People Back To Being Richer Than Ever!

This is you, in a breadline.Why the long face? Have you not heard? According to CNN.com…

The Fortune 500 are thriving as a group. Unlike the U.S. economy, they’ve shown quicksilver agility, rapidly shifting their product mix and producing more goods at little new cost.

Did you catch that? They’re not just thriving as individuals, they’re thriving as an entire group! The Fortune 500’s swashbuckling captains of enterprise and industry managed to rake more cash than they did in 2006, before minorities forced banks to lend them money and OBAMA and his COMMUNIST POLICIES ruined the economy for everyone. USA! USA! USA! Before we go any further, let’s pause to thank Occupy for their big Mayday fail, without which we would not be free to bask in the sunshine of AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM and SOMETHING HAVING TO DO WITH FREEDOM.

The Fortune 500 generated a total of $824.5 billion in earnings last year, up 16.4% over 2010. That beats the previous record of $785 billion, set in 2006 during a roaring economy. The 2011 profits are outsized based on two key historical metrics. They represent 7% of total sales, vs. an average of 5.14% over the 58-year history of the Fortune 500. Companies are also garnering exceptional returns on their capital. The 500 achieved a return-on-equity of 14.3%, far above the historical norm of 12%.

What is their secret, you might be wondering. What marvelous things do these corporations know that you don’t, and how do they take these things that they know, and and then monetize them ever so efficiently? Adamsmithsayswhat?

High prices at the pump translated into great results for energy companies like Exxon Mobil, which topped the Fortune 500 with $453 billion in revenues. Your friends on Wall Street may be complaining about smaller bonuses, but financial services are experiencing a comeback of sorts. For 2011, the sector posted $150 billion in earnings, up 19% over 2010. The financial sector also saw a revival in the fortunes of the big commercial banks. Meanwhile, technology wasn’t quite the profit machine that it’s been in past years. Sector earnings rose by just $5 billion, although tech remains the largest profit-maker at $156 billion, narrowly edging the resurgent financials.

Yes, indeed, my Wall Street friends have been moaning ever so loudly about how they will have to MAKE DO with such teensy little compensation packages, now that you mention it. Also, mad props to the banks for getting past their hurt feelings, amiright—those poor little banks were scared to DEATH but they picked themselves up by the bootstraps and yadda yadda yadda. We can all benefit from their example. But don’t call it a comeback!

These big numbers can’t last. The gravitational pull of the business cycle will eventually end the profit bonanza, in part because many companies carried out brutal layoffs during the recession and will now be forced to hire more workers to maintain their growth. So let’s enjoy it as a heroic but fleeting moment, not a durable new age.

Tl;dr: capitalism won! Yay, we WIN! Take that, Osama!

About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

View all articles by Kris E. Benson
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132 comments

      1. Barb

        What does a Euro dime even look like? How can we tell that the rich didn't just hand us a half penny?

    1. Steverino247

      Clear Channel owns the radio, so Rudy Vallee won't be heard singing that song any time soon.

    2. Callyson

      "Mo money, mo problems."

      This may be an urban legend, but I read that someone actually said that to a homeless guy once. Christ…

        1. sullivanst

          I thought it was being replied to, not fisted up, that perpetuated your mistakes.

  1. SorosBot

    Now when are they going to actually, you know, create some fucking jobs with those profits?

    1. MrFizzy

      They have – in China, India, Vietnam, Mexico, etc. etc. There was, however, a pretty good article in the Wash Post about how some 'experts' think that's going to change because the operating expenses overseas are going up to the point where the economics might make it worthwhile for someone in 'Merca to get hired to actually manufacture something.

      1. James Michael Curley

        How much does it cost to ship a 450 pound LG refrigerator/freezer to East Nowhere, IA when oil is $100 a barrel?

        1. MrFizzy

          Yep, that was part of the point – when that kind of stuff reaches a tipping point, then the kind folks in Bumfuck, Nebraska will be cranking out refrigerators again. Of course, that'll be registered as a victory for the conservatives, who have worked so very hard to ensure the success of this country.

          1. flamingpdog

            It won't hurt the equation that the people making refrigerators in Bumcrack, NE will be making them for half the paycheck that they used to be get in the days before the jerbs went overseas.

          2. Fukui-sanYesRadio

            and watch them get squished like bugs if they try to unionize

            right to work, or something

  2. actor212

    The gravitational pull of the business cycle will eventually end the profit bonanza, in part because many companies carried out brutal layoffs during the recession and will now be forced to hire more workers to maintain their growth.

    If Banksters Could Really Talk:

    I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure.

    1. weejee

      The gravitational pull of the business cycle

      Produced the horse apple that fell and hit Newton in the head. This kinda gravity truly sucks.

      1. actor212

        Don't you just love the inhumanity of tht statement: people don't need jobs, people don't need money, corporations need units.

        1. bagofmice

          Well in an abstract sense, people need to produce value to these other human bots, in proportion to the value recognized. This is how you create organizations with a tiered responsibility measure. Of course if you believe in creative destruction we need to compensate to the costs of creative destruction, and how it can descend into a downward spiral.

    2. BaldarTFlagass

      I know what you're thinking, 'cause right now I'm thinking the same thing. Actually, I've been thinking it ever since I got here: Why oh why didn't I take the BLUE pill?

    3. sullivanst

      That's the real "oh boo fucking hoo" line.

      "We've screwed the masses so hard so long, we're actually gonna have to throw them a frickin' bone for once to keep them alive so we can keep sucking their blood."

  3. FNMA

    Man, those fucking people wanting jobs and shit will just ruin it for the ungodly wealthy.
    Have they no shame?

    1. elviouslyqueer

      Better yet, these poor oligarchs are being forced to hire more people. The very idea!

  4. mavenmaven

    And when the Fortune 500 candidate wins, that small group of people will REALLY do well, and own the military!

  5. EatsBabyDingos

    Can we return to the monarchy and crown King Exxon Mobil? Or is He the son fo Gawd?

  6. Goonemeritus

    I’m so looking forward to the inevitable trickle down effects of this good news. I for one am confident that the dream of shoe ownership will soon be a reality, God Bless America.

      1. MoeDeLawn

        Real estate tip: when you go to list it after the recession ends, call the holes "windows"

        1. GuyClinch

          Actually, I rent the box, too. It was a foreclosure and I rent it from USABankOfCitiAmericaHSBC. But I'll mention your tip next time their goons come harass me and take my can of vienna sausages away.

          1. flamingpdog

            Oh, great, now even sausages aren't made in American anymore! Or are you just not being patriotastic here, boxboy?

  7. EtchySketchy

    Sad to hear the Mega-Good times will slow down for the Job Creators when they have to start giving people *gasp* jobs.

  8. GuyClinch

    Can't hang out and comment much because I have a new quota to pack 300 cases of diabetes testers by lunch since they laid off most everybody else. Sure I keep pricking myself, but it's great to be so fucking productive ha ha and tonight I have my shift at the Freedom Tray factory HA it's really great all this dignity from work! Arbeit macht frei! as my boss says all the time!

    1. actor212

      You should run a side business and offer to sell those "pre-tested" diabetes testers to rich diabetics who don't give a shit but want their doctors off their backs. Also, for insurance claims.

  9. CapnFatback

    ♪ And we're goin' to Serf City, 'cause it's 99 to 1
    You know we're goin' to Serf City, where the masses have none
    Ya, we're goin' to Serf City, 'cause it's 99 to 1
    You know we're goin' to Surf City, where the masses have none, now
    99 Serfs for every CEO ♫

      1. CapnFatback

        Thanks, but I get no olive, as I wrote the wrong "serf" in the penultimate line. :(

        Here's a verse on Mitt, though:

        ♫ We got a GOP nominee and we call it a Mitty
        (Serf City, here we come)
        You know he's not very lively; his philosophy is shitty
        (Serf City, here we come)
        Well, he can't sing too well; he won't tell the truth
        But, boy, can he strap a dog crate to the roof! ♪

  10. GeneralLerong

    Oh, those poor mega-corps, "forced" to hire more of those revolting workers that they just had the brutal, sadistic fun of laying off. Life is so-o-o-o unfair.

    "Gravitational pull of the business cycle" is solid, packed-down horseshit as well. As if the mythical "business cycle" has a reality comparable to gravity. Zombie economics from greedy, brain-dead zombies…

    So, what we need are stakes and torches, amirite? Or maybe some big, fat federal prison sentences and some big, fat tax increases.

  11. GhostBuggy

    This, on top of that delightful Stuart Varney on Fox telling us this morning how relatively low gas prices we've seen recently are due to a poor economy, and therefore Obama is terrible. Which is funny, you see, because that very same Obama is to blame for high gas prices.

    1. sullivanst

      Yes, just like he was also to blame for that all-time peak (both absolute value and inflation-adjusted) in July of 2008, and the crash that brought prices all the way below $2 on inauguration day.

      Today I'm not feeling so stabby. Today I'm feeling more clubby.

  12. chicken_thief

    Just imagine what the jerb creators could do for us if it weren't for that Kenyan Socialist Pretender-in-Chief holding back the invisible hand of the free market!!!

    1. freakishlywrong

      Indeed, all that jawb-killing regulating and jawb-killing health care government takeover and all those jawb-killing taxes on the creators.

    1. sullivanst

      I'm sure Mitt's also somehow responsible for the uptick in the French and German stock exchanges when the Socialist won the French election.

  13. KennyFuckingPowers

    DOW Jones has doubled since 2008. Was at an all time high last week.
    Fuckin' Obama is ruinin' the country.

    1. sullivanst

      That was a post-Bear Stearns high, not an all-time high. The all-time high at closing was 14,164 in 2007.

      It's always instructive looking back at the financial indicators over the 2006-2008 period and remembering that the economy was showing signs of recession before Bear Stearns collapsed – and remembering that the financial crisis was caused by the housing bubble starting to burst, not the other way round.

      1. MissTaken

        Exactly, just look at what was happening to the quants in August 2007. Simple long/short, arbitrage strats couldn't keep up with the black swan traders that were making big moves knowing something ugly was about to happen. The smart people (not the ones who just say they're smart but really just have their heads up their asses) were already shorting mortgage-backs knowing the bubble was popping.

        The economy was tanking at least a year before most people knew it. Bear and Lehman just made the reality clear to everyone else.

  14. freakishlywrong

    Reminds me of the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Give me five bees for a quarter, you'd say.

  15. Mittens Howell, III

    "The Fortune 500 generated a total of $824.5 billion in earnings last year, up 16.4% over 2010."–that's good right? Think of all the tax revenue coming in that will help everyone!

    Also: The Unicorns! The Unicorn Cavalry is coming to save us all!

    1. BerkeleyBear

      Earnings = What bonuses are based on

      Taxes = What gets paid if and when there's money after all the bonuses are paid and "investment credits" are taken. In other words, pink unicorns for all.

  16. sbj1964

    the GOP has embraced the 1% arms wide.They are the Party of the Rich.For the Rich,and By the Rich.Leaving the rest of us scraps off they're plates.Trickle down economics 101.

  17. Urban_Achiever

    Well thank GOODNESS… I was really concerned about ExxonMobil there! Now I can sleep well at night (in my cardboard box)

  18. Radiotherapy

    See guys, metrics and Toyota LEAN and management theory du joir DO work. Up fists for everybody!

  19. Mumbly_Joe

    many companies carried out brutal layoffs during the recession and will now be forced to hire more workers to maintain their growth. So let’s enjoy it as a heroic but fleeting moment, not a durable new age.

    Never fear, worry, laid-off worker! A hero has come along to financialize your joblessness into record profits!!

  20. el_donaldo

    The gravitational pull of the business cycle will eventually end the profit bonanza, in part because many companies carried out brutal layoffs during the recession and will now be forced to hire more workers to maintain their growth. So let’s enjoy it as a heroic but fleeting moment, not a durable new age.

    So you remember that short story by Ursula Le Guin about the perfect village and the idiot in the cellar? Somehow I get the feeling that we're all the idiot in the cellar.

    1. Doktor StrangeZoom

      One of the frustrations of using "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" in a classroom setting is having to convince some students that it is most emphatically NOT an anti-communist fable. Of course, using it in a classroom today, I could pair it with a discussion of Foxconn and where our electronic crap comes from.

  21. BerkeleyBear

    companies carried out brutal layoffs during the recession and will now be forced to hire more workers to maintain their growth. So let’s enjoy it as a heroic but fleeting moment, not a durable new age.

    Because there's nothing I enjoy more than knowing my 401(k)'s almost full recovery to pre 2007 levels (not adjusted for inflation) was fueled by people, including myself, suffering job dislocations and looking forward to shitty futures as wage slaves.

  22. EtchySketchy

    Odd picture. All those people looking the other way as a carload of Rich Fucks runs them over.

    That'd never happen in real life.

  23. BTWBFDIMHO

    "Companies are also garnering exceptional returns on their capital. The 500 achieved a return-on-equity of 14.3%, far above the historical norm of 12%".

    See, corporate profits under Obama higher than the historical average. That extra 2.3% is a lot of money and should be confiscated thru taxes to fund more community colleges, job training programs, more unemployment insurance. Tax the Job Creationists!

  24. Jerri

    …producing more goods at little new cost

    I'm sorry, who exactly is producing more goods at little new cost?

    1. BTWBFDIMHO

      Most goods are cheaper at real prices, because more productivity cuts costs.
      But most services are way more expensive, like education and health care, as well as paid sex for the secret service and our men in uniform.

      1. Jerri

        So, the thing I was getting at was that the fancy gents in charge of the money didn't produce shit but I am sure regular folk working for them did, and I am sure they did it at reduced wages/using leaner (i.e. short and overworked) crews.

  25. Doktor StrangeZoom

    Boy, just think how much better things would be if Obama would just stop PUNISHING the rich?

  26. ttommyunger

    Same fucking players running Wall Street and the Banks now who got us into this mess in '08. Not only are they not being prosecuted, they haven't even been fucking fired. What is wrong with this picture? I'm talkin' to you, Blankfein and Dimon, and many others.

  27. poorgradstudent

    It is refreshing, though, that Republicans are pretty much giving up the illusion that they give a fuck about anyone that isn't rich.

    There's no excuse for the teabagers, however.

Comments are closed.