It ain’t over it seems. Apple (AAPL) aside, the big news after hours was American Express (AXP). The earnings are awful, the business is in the dumps and now AMEX wants to withdraw any 2008 forecast. Bloomberg reported:
Profit in the company’s U.S. card business dropped 96 percent to $21 million from $580 million a year earlier as provisions for losses more than doubled to $1.5 billion from $640 million. uncollectible debt in the unit rose to 5.3 percent of loans from 2.9 percent a year earlier.
After hours, my old friend Capital One (COF) was knocked for a loop on the news as well. The credit card industry has proven itself to be no better that two-bit loan sharks. They rape customers with exorbitant fees, ruin your life if you cannot pay and now lie to protect themselves. I am totally disgusted with the way they have handled themselves.
For the longest time, I have wondered how stupid these companies think we are. Hiding bad debt in securitized and off-balance sheet positions and telling us that their charge-off rates were normal. They think we will buy anything… To be honest, I am totally bewildered as to how these companies keep on slinging the crap and getting away with it.
But not tonight. Maybe now the news is going to finally show all those perma-bull newspaper men ( you know who you are) how wrong they have been and how they could have helped so many if they would have opened their eyes and stopped being so full of themselves.
Back in April, I wrote about the “False Sense of Security” and asked:
With all of the downgrades along with the fact that we are seeing a historic rise in defaults, what is it that I am not seeing?
Now I get it. It is not good…and don’t tell me that AMEX didn’t have any idea how bad things were. Really a crock! I am sure tomorrow will bring in the same faces on CNBC to tell us that there is no recession and that there is plenty of liquidity. Maybe they will bring in Brian Westbury to tell us that the economy is doing fine and there is no recession. This guy is unbelievable!
Just keep on evaporating the net worth of America and do it with a smile.. Oh yeah, can you tell…I am pissed!
(BTW – good news is that we have no positions in any mentioned or any of these cow-chips)