America’s false profits: “According to the NIPA numbers, only in the first quarter of this year did the profits of non-financial firms exceed the record of 1997: $605 billion against $595 billion. For all the talk about the miraculous “new economy” of the late 1990s, the truth is that American firms’ profitability was dismal, presumably because any company that did not squander squillions of dollars on technology and shifting out of businesses that actually made money was shunned by investors.”