|With first-quarter earnings largely in the books (over 79% of S&P 500 corporations have reported), today's chart provides some long-term perspective on the current earnings environment by focusing on 12-month, as reported S&P 500 earnings. Today's chart illustrates how earnings declined over 92% from its Q3 2007 peak to Q1 2009 low which brought inflation-adjusted earnings to near Great Depression lows. Since its Q1 2009 low, S&P 500 earnings have surged to all-time record highs. To further illustrate the significance of the current corporate earnings recovery, consider that the run-up in real earnings from Great Depression lows to credit bubble peak took over 74 years. The run-up from financial crisis lows to today has been similar in magnitude (actually slightly more) but was accomplished in a mere five years.Notes:
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Quote of the Day"It is a socialist idea that making profits is a vice. I consider that the real vice is making losses." - Winston Churchill
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