Bloomberg: Corporate U.S. Healthiest In Decades Under Obama With Lower Debt
Steve Wynn, founder of the Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) casino empire, once called President Barack Obama’s administration “the greatest wet blanket to business and progress and job creation in my lifetime.” Barry Sternlicht, chief executive officer of Starwood Property Trust Inc. (STWD), said Obamacare was driving down wage growth and “affecting spending and the desire to buy houses and everything else.” Corporate and economic statistics almost six years into his administration paint a different picture. Companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 (SPX) Index are the healthiest in decades, with the lowest net debt to earnings ratio in at least 24 years, $3.59 trillion in cash and marketable securities, and record earnings per share. They are headed this year toward the fastest average monthly job creation since 1999, manufacturing is recovering and the U.S. has returned as an engine for global growth. The recovery, which stands in contrast to weak growth in Europe and Asia, has underpinned an almost threefold gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since March 2009.
Steve Benen (@stevebenen) September 26, 2014
“The U.S. is leading the way — we’re the only major economy with accelerating growth,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist in West Chester, Pennsylvania, for Moody’s Analytics Inc. and a registered Democrat who has advised both the Obama administration and Senator John McCain, a Republican. “Obama deserves some credit for that, but he probably won’t get it.” Barring any major disruptions, the economy is setting up for Obama to leave office on a high note, said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian and professor at Rice University in Houston. “History will eventually show that Obama inherited the Great Recession and resuscitated the economy,” Brinkley said in an interview. One example is General Motors Co. (GM), which last week regained its investment-grade debt rating from Standard & Poor’s only five years after the government-backed bankruptcy. Obama’s $49.5 billion bailout of the automaker in exchange for taxpayers owning 61 percent of the company kept it from being liquidated, an outcome that could have crippled parts suppliers and economies throughout most of 50 states, not just the Midwest. In the broader economy, consumers are buying again and homebuilding is increasing. The unemployment rate has declined to 6.1 percent, the lowest since 2008. The economy expanded at a 4.6 percent annualized rate in April through June. Obama’s 2010 health-care program will hold down consumer prices for years to come as millions of Americans obtain coverage, BNP Paribas SA and Credit Suisse Group AG said. The “Medicare cost miracle” resulted at least in part from Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Nobel-Prize winning economist Paul Krugman wrote in a Sept. 1 New York times article.
Steve Benen: Economic Growth Improves To Eight-Year High
The preliminary figures on second-quarter GDP looked good; the revised tally looked better; and the final report looks even better still. The U.S. economy grew at a 4.6% annual pace in the second quarter, matching the best performance since the recession ended in mid-2009. The increase in real gross domestic product was revised up from 4.2%, mainly because of higher exports and business investment, the Commerce Department said Friday. Americans also spent more on health care, but the gain was offset by lower spending on other services. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted GDP would be revised up to a seasonally adjusted 4.7%. Consumer spending, the main source of economic activity, was unchanged at 2.5% growth. The biggest gains came in business investment, a good sign for the economy in the months ahead. To provide some additional context, 4.6% growth is tied for the best quarter since the start of the Great Recession.
Economy Growing Faster: Now You Tell Us! bit.ly/1DD879F—
Washington Monthly (@washmonthly) September 26, 2014
U.S. consumer sentiment ends at 14-month high in September: reut.rs/1sxPmle—
Reuters U.S. News (@ReutersUS) September 26, 2014
How fast did the economy grow in Q2? Initial reading: GDP +4.0% 2nd reading: GDP +4.2%, GDI +4.7% 3rd reading: GDP +4.6%, GDI +5.2%—
Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) September 26, 2014
Real final sales (better measure of underlying growth) grew 3.2% in Q2, vs -1% in Q1. Prev 2.8%.—
Ben Casselman (@bencasselman) September 26, 2014
Household net worth up $1.4 trillion in second quarter on.mktw.net/1miGcWK—
(@MarketWatch) September 18, 2014
(@MarketWatch) September 17, 2014
U.S. second-quarter GDP growth revised up to 4.6% from 4.2% on.mktw.net/YiJChj—
(@MarketWatch) September 26, 2014
US economy grew at 4.6% rate between April & June (revised from 4.0%), fastest pace in more than 2 years—
BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) September 26, 2014