The real story on corporate profits, cont'd
It's strictly domestic profits (i.e., it doesn't include overseas profits from multinationals), and although it doesn't say so, I assume it shows pretax profits, so it's not driven by differences in how companies play games with the tax code. And what it shows is a pretty similar trajectory for both financial and nonfinancial profits: they're both up sharply, and they're both just slightly below their 2006 peaks. There's no breakdown in the chart between big and small nonfinancial companies, but there's also no special reason to think the numbers are wildly different.
The numbers Fox was using to show the decline of domestic, non-financial, corporate profits went all the way back to the '40s, and the peaks he pointed out were in the '40s, '50s and '60s. So though it might be true that the country is now more dependent on profits from financialized and internationalized firms, those firms are not necessarily recovering from the recession any quicker than more traditional firms.
The long-running trend of financialization and internationalization is, in that telling, interesting, but not a viable explanation for business's tense relationship with the Obama administration. For a stab at that, see the end of this post.
| November 24, 2010; 2:46 PM ET
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