Yet another set of odd and misleading coverage on Housing Starts.

BUILDING PERMITS: Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 563,000. This is 8.7% (±3.0%) above (revised) May rate, but is 52.0% (±3.6%) below the June 2008.

HOUSING STARTS: Privately-owned housing starts in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 582,000. This is 3.6% (±11.3%)* above the revised May estimate but is 46.0% (±4.3%) below the June 2008.

What can we tell from this data?

Nothing about monthly change in Starts (data points less than the margin of error are not statistically significant); We can say that permits were up month to month, although how much of that is seasonal is hard to decipher.

The year-over-year data is much clearer: New Starts down 46%, Permits down 52%.

Not exactly green shoot materials here — but given the enormous inventory overhang, less new building is better. And since year-over-year compares the same month, seasonality is not a factor.

Incidentally, much of the media reportage on this was simply innumerate — the numerical equivalent of illiteracy. Not just a little wrong, but totally, embarrassingly incorrect.

WSJ: “Housing starts increased 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted 582,000 annual rate compared to the prior month, the Commerce Department said Friday.”

Bloomberg: Housing starts in the U.S. unexpectedly rose in June as construction of single-family dwellings jumped by the most since 2004, signaling the market is stabilizing. The 3.6 percent increase brought starts to an annual rate of 582,000.

Marketwatch: Housing starts rose 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 582,000, the highest figure November.

Reuters:   New housing starts and permits jumped more than expected in June, propelled by a rise in single-family homes, a government report showed on Friday. Housing starts climbed 3.6 percent to seasonally adjusted annual rate of 582,000 units, from May’s upwardly revised 562,000 units, the Commerce Department said.

No, that is not what they said at all –  plus 3.6% with a margin of error of 11.3% = YOU DON”T KNOW.

I know, this is a pet peeve of mine — but still, it makes you wonder if these people can count to 21 unless they are naked.


Note the number of monthly improvements which did not prevent big annual drops over the past 3 years:


graph courtesy of Barron’s Econoday


Census and HUD, JULY 17, 2009

Category: Data Analysis, Real Estate

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

82 Responses to “Housing Starts Fall 46%”

  1. leftback says:

    You really have to love the way MSM reports these points with massive error bars as SURGES.


  2. Stuart says:

    More and more the media’s role in this credit bubble and post bubble contraction IS the story. Rather I should say the grossly inaccurate and misleading reporting and whether it is simply sloppy journalism, sheer unadulterated laziness or a built in pump bias within major outlets such as negative data is always unexpected or headline examples such as these housing starts are manufactured en masse.

    Message to the MSM, just report the damn facts will you. I’ll make money on my own in a bull market or a bear market, leave that to me, just quit pumping BS in my direction to hamper efforts.

    I suggest a story on its own is the media’s culpability in the looting of the public by vested financial interests… but then again, who’d report it? The MSM?

  3. Onlooker from Troy says:

    Ah yes, financial reporting at it’s best. Do we teach critical thinking anywhere in this country? Surely not at journalism school, or in finance classes.

    Maybe we need a bunch of philosophy students to school these folks on it. UFB

  4. Onlooker from Troy says:

    And the homebuilders, who have a real interest in understanding the housing market, continue to get head faked by the dynamics at play. And they continue to add to the inventory while the glut in the market gets worse, with no end in sight. They deserve everything they’ll get down the road when the market accelerates to the downside again. I do feel for the folks who are along for the ride (the working stiffs) who get pulled along on the roller coaster and get whip lashed yet again.

  5. leftback says:

    I’m inclined to agree – someone could write a book about the media battle during this bear market, between most of the MSM and the blogs. What’s happening isn’t sloppy journalism, it’s absolute propaganda of the highest order of which Stalin, the Nazis and Saddam would be proud. Dennis Kneale is just another version of Baghdad Bob.

    Here’s a story that might be a bit more worrying to the Masters of the Universe. Manhattan CRE is struggling.

  6. Onlooker from Troy says:


    “but then again, who’d report it? The MSM?”

    No, the blogosphere, of course. And the MSM will continue to destroy their credibility as the truth comes to light. And folks will continue to increasingly turn to blogs for the correct interpretation of the facts. They’re captured by the moneyed interests.

    But you knew that. And I agree with your entire post. Good rant.

  7. Onlooker from Troy says:

    Indeed LB. I think they’re scared to death and trying to talk everything up as if that will fix all the problems. We’re undoubtedly seeing the same dynamics that were at play during the early ’30s. I’m sure the parallels are spooky. I know the ones I’ve seen sure are.

  8. ben22 says:

    off topic but I see Bill Miller is very exposed to CIT as well. Same old suspects this year, it’s just now starting to show up again.

    And yes, I heard three times this morning plus on a radio show on the way into work how great the housing numbers were. lol.

  9. Onlooker from Troy says:

    I believe the bear market rally in the housing market is on. It will draw some unsuspecting knife catchers in before accelerating downward again. And the MSM are willing accomplices, again. Along with our govt. Lovely.

  10. I-Man says:

    What is it about these cats that they dont report the YOY data and instead try to buff out a shine on MOM data that only serves to mislead the people seeking to learn the truth?

    Is it just blatant idiocy, or blatant dishonesty?

    I guess we all need to come to our own conclusions. You all know what mine are.

  11. leftback says:


    You will be able to tell your clients you beat Bill Miller AGAIN in December.

    Onlooker: You are dead on.
    Realtors are beginning to whip up buyers with a potent mix of fear (of omission) and greed once more.

    There is MAJOR knife catching this spring in NYC and Connecticut, b/c :

    1) “the market always comes back”,
    2) “it’s different here”,
    3) folks don’t want to be “priced out forever” by the
    4) “Wall Street bonus money” and
    5) “it’s all old money here, not like in California”.

    LB had his ear talked off on this subject recently.
    Meanwhile the fundies of the local economy are decaying daily….

  12. leftback says:

    “Is it just blatant idiocy, or blatant dishonesty?”

    I actually think the departure from the truth by the media is – in part – driven by fear. Most people’s debt levels are terrifying. Imagine that you make $100-150K/yr and have a $1M mortgage that will be underwater in 12 months, if it isn’t already. Then add some debt, family expenses and maybe a partner who spends money like water.

    Welcome to MSM in NYC, DC and LA.

  13. Lil Leg Humper says:

    Construction of new U.S. homes rose in June to the highest level in seven months, a sign builders are starting to regain confidence as they emerge from the housing bust.

    the ass – ociated press is the biggest Non financial world MSM offender of spewing sheer propaganda – and ap reaches A LOT more people than the four outlets cited in this post – their crap is reprinted in every single newspper in the usa.

    the ass – ociated propaganda started spewing sheer propaganda right around 2000 – wonder why ….

  14. cvienne says:

    The very fact that the MSM should have to work so hard to paint a rosy picture and pretend this is all business is usual should make a person very skeptical that this is, in fact, business as usual…

    Last week I was at my favorite local sushi restaurant (prime spot right on the lake in town center)…As long as I can remember, the place is packed to the rafters and there is a wait (unless you’re a single and want to eat at the bar, which usually involves a wait as well)…

    The owner of the restaurant knows me by face (because of my frequent patronage), but never knew my name…She’s usually running around like a chicken with her head cut off trying to service all the chaos…

    In any case, last week I was in there and the place was half full…At some point, she comes up to me and basically starts a conversation, being all nice, asking me my name, what I did for a living, etc.

    It struck me that they’re “feeling it” right now…Business is down, and that’s when you become a cheerleader, and VERY interested in keeping what you have left…

    Speaking of “what’s left”…already the restaurant next door has gone out of business (and this is PRIME REAL ESTATE)…That was a few months ago and NOTHING is coming in to replace it…There are two other restaurants there as well (one of them Clyde’s of Georgetown)…They’re barely holding on…

    Anyway – my point is, the sign of when times are GOOD is when nobody gives a rats ass about you (because everyone is too busy being arrogant)…When they’re desparate, they want to bend over backwards to help you…

  15. leftback says:

    LOL. We are still in nobody gives a rats ass territory in NYC, but then we’re more comfortable with that here…
    (What was weird after 9/11 was the outpouring of loooove from USA toward NYC. Thank goodness that’s over.)

  16. Thor says:

    Let’s all remember that is wasn’t but 6 months ago when everyone was blaming the MSM for making things worse and instilling fear into the populace with all their talk of Depression and Panic. Even BO was strongly criticized for being to “grim”. The issue is partly ratings, and partly responding to criticism. You can possibly make an argument that the media is simply much friendlier to BO than they were to GB (which is true) – but Fox is new friend to the administration or congress and they’ve been as much on board the green shoots train as everyone else.


    BR: It sure wasn’t everyone . . .

  17. Imelda Blahnik says:

    >”it makes you wonder if these people can count to 21 unless they are naked”

    HAW! that’s hilarious. I will have to borrow that one.

  18. Thor says:

    LB – ” I actually think the departure from the truth by the media is – in part – driven by fear”

    I agree with you here.

    Might this be a case of seeing what you want to see? You think the media is propagandizing good new and green shoots so you notice those stories more?

    I won’t argue that the MSM is trying to paint a rosy picture today, but it’s certainly isn’t universal. Outside of the blogs I get a lot of new from NPR, Businessweek, Marketwatch, Google Finance, etc. (I have never watched CNBC) as I’m sure many of you do. There is definitely a bias toward the good numbers, but I do see and hear stories that paint a much more negative picture. I also pay close attention to the choice of words I hear on NPR financial reporting – focusing in on things like “Analysts think this might possibly be a sign that we are nearing the bottom of the housing crisis” I don’t know about any of you, but when I hear or read something like that I read it to mean “we have no idea whether this is the bottom” . . . . .

  19. cvienne says:

    OT –

    But does anyone have on their charts some kind of bizzaro print on the SPX in the after hours yesterday?

    it would probably have about a 5PM time stamp on it…

  20. [...] Getting the housing starts statistics correct.  (Big Picture) [...]

  21. Onlooker from Troy says:


    SPY showed an erroneous end of day price yesterday, at 93.11 vs. the SPX that ended at about 940.

    So SPY is showing bad data today for the price change.

    Is that what you’re referring to?

  22. Onlooker from Troy says:

    I said erroneous, but I’m not sure that’s correct. Is it possible that it traded at that level with the SPX not having done so? Weird stuff.

  23. I-Man says:

    I saw it too… and even asked about it on the employment thread.

    I had a last trade of 93.11… (I think it was a 94.11 actually and that was the mistake)

    What was more interesting was the last trade volume: 50K Shares on a downtick.

  24. MRegan says:


    Newmont Mining runs a gold mine near Cajamarca, Peru called Yanacocha. There has long been an initiative to supply the local jewelers with gold in order to promote Cajamarca as a center of jewelry production.

    Sra. Emperatiz Campos might be a starting point. Or-
    El comité organizador está conformado por: Ilaria Ciabatti, de Ideas Aplicadas SA; Raúl Benavides, Compañía de Minas Buenaventura SAA; Madeleine Burns de MINCETUR; Luis Céspedes Ortíz de la Cámara de Comercio y Producción de Cajamarca; Salvador Gutiérrez de Procesadora Sudamericana SRL; Juan Luis Kruger de Gold Fields La Cima SA; Carlos Santa Cruz de Minera Yanacocha; José Torres Della Pina del Patronato de la Plata y por Luis Felipe Velasco del Cite Koriwasi.

    There are people in Cajamarca who can probably work with you. If you need Kruggerrands…

  25. ben22 says:


    I saw that and I-man brought that up as well after the close yesterday.

  26. crazyjerrygarcialover says:

    All excellent points Mr. Ritholtz. Keep up the good work.

    Not for nothing, but in addition to what you have written here, it is pure foolishness for housing starts and permits to be increasing at all (if, in fact, as you question they did) given the ENORMOUS inventory already in existence and the over-leveraged state of the consumer. JMO.

  27. cvienne says:

    OK then…I just want to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating…

    It’s messed some of my charting software up so I hope it gets corrected over the weekend…

    I have other charts I can use that don’t reflect the print…

  28. efrltd says:

    Another statistical fallacy is apparent here too, the housing starts to the much lower base. Many would think a years growth of 3.6% would restore the housing starts number to its former level. Using last years housing starts todays reported gains are only 1.9 %. That’s a couple years of growth to recover, even if it were to continue.

    This kind of arithmetic is widespread now in the media–stocks, employment, sales, housing. Find a small increase, some green shoot, divide it by the smallest base in decades and get a percentage increase. Announce it loudly. Hoping someone thinks that’s a big step back to recovering the decline in the last year.

    Not so. The base has collapsed so the two percentages aren’t comparable. Lots of ‘statisticalization’ going on right now. This is just one sort–seasonal adjustments out of synch another. Beware of numbers always, particularly today.

  29. advsys says:

    I know that others have already alluded to this but A rise in home starts is not a good thing if you have a large supply of an alternative. Ie. used homes.

    There is nothing good about this number if you have a large supply of homes that still need to be sold. A large supply of distressed properties that need to be turned over to new more financially stable owners!

    This looks good now perhaps but will just come back to bite us all in the u know what if there is any more blips in economic growth. If unemployment continues to rise etc.

  30. crazyjerrygarcialover says:

    ben22 Says:
    July 17th, 2009 at 10:37 am

    off topic but I see Bill Miller is very exposed to CIT as well. Same old suspects this year, it’s just now starting to show up again.

    And yes, I heard three times this morning plus on a radio show on the way into work how great the housing numbers were. lol.

    Doesn’t Mr. Miller run the Legg Mason Value (?!?, LOL) Trust?

  31. gordo365 says:

    SRS followers – short term chart looks interesting – is time for a bite?


  32. Onlooker from Troy says:


    I’ve given up on trying to figure out what REITs are going to do, or more to the point, on what time line. So I’d personally stay away from SRS, since the short term is so unclear and you don’t want to hold that thing.

  33. DeDude says:

    What I see is that seasonally adjusted numbers are stabilizing at about 500K. That is good for construction workers (whoever is left). However, it is bad for those planning to sell a house or wanting to see stabilization (or improvement) in house pricing. They don’t want to see additional units added to the current overblown inventories.

  34. manhattanguy says:

    MSM plays to the sheeples. We are not one of those. We are better than that.

    Yesterday’s call on $FAZ turned out good. I regret selling my UCO too early though. I knew Oil won’t die down until next week.

    Still waiting to open a short GOOG and Oil (DUG).

  35. emmanuel117 says:


    will be a good investment idea for the next few years.

  36. leftback says:

    Even as prices are falling on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Harlem, they are finishing large buildings full of new apartments. Not sure who is going to live in them. But smaller developers in Billyburg just stopped work.

  37. carping demon says:

    Or 22.

  38. manhattanguy says:

    I am glad prices are falling in the city, so I will be ready to buy something in UES/UWS next year for half the price.

  39. leftback says:

    “I am glad prices are falling in the city”

    True, although a meltdown would not be without societal consequences, of course. A recent walk along 5th Avenue suggests that some of the old timers are bringing back the much-loved barbed wire festooned with razors look as an adornment for those sought-after rooftop gardens.

  40. dljm says:

    Isn’t the phrase “not statistically significant” ? I.e., one can’t say for certain a stat is “insignificant,” only that as judged by the science of statistics, it is “not significant.”


    BR: That is a grammatical quirk of mine to get that wrong constantly . . . I’ll fix above.

  41. ben22 says:

    @wunsacon re: 10:57

    try here:

  42. leftback says:

    Bearish talk from former Fed Governor Lawrence Meyer – on the jobless recovery:

  43. The Curmudgeon says:

    Reporting statistical noise as an increase? I thought the new administration banned torture. Apparently doesn’t apply to statistics.

    Repeat after me…this is all a (con)fidence game. The only way to con folks into buying junk they don’t need is to get folks to feel confident again. In this economy, which is utterly dependent on keeping the sheeple in bondage to their passions, euphoria-inducing confidence is all that matters. That’s why the illusions created by monetary mischief are so important, and why the DJIA, a basically useless stock market index, but one that carries the headlines every evening, is manipulated beyond the pale.

    Excuse me while I go buy some Diamonds just before the 3:00 pm pump.

  44. I-Man says:

    Oh its wonderful isnt it? The Ra Ra crowd is in full tilt…

    Just in time to be led off the cliff.

  45. leftback says:

    I-Man: Better times are probably close at hand.

    Anyone know anything about the failed bond auction in China?
    LB doesn’t believe much in the way of economic data from that country… or this.

  46. ben22 says:


    you might not even be asking as the time stamp here can’t be right but see the link I posed above at 1:27

  47. I-Man says:

    I know right, Left?

    I tried really really hard to internalize what CV was alluding to last night with the “Come down off the ledge” theme…

    And I cant.

    I suppose I could, emotionally speaking if I wanted to assume that this short isnt going to work out…

    But everytime I step back and look at the SPX chart in every time frame imaginable, the only thing I can come up with is that this moment, approx, 940 on SPX, is a fantastic time to go short.

    You got a ceiling at 960, and alot of room below. If we’re wrong, we’re wrong, and we get long. Seems pretty cut and dry to me.

    Only thing I would change is that I had the ability to get short right here, right now…

  48. leftback says:

    England are pounding Australia at cricket, which is distracting LB to some degree from the antics of Mr Market.

    No ledges here, I-Man. I have given myself plenty of room on this trip to the Short Side. There is very strong and long-standing resistance in this zone around 950, and we are about to see options expiration. As the wise posters here have often opined, it’s all about playing the percentages, and the technicals, seasonality etc are all aligned. Plus, if it doesn’t work out we can enjoy being ridiculed by the Mistress of the Stick, which is entertaining, after all.

    Among other things, we are encouraged that more and more people are commenting on GS the Vampire Squid. Once again, what you read as a rant on TBP or ZH today, we will hear about in MSM tomorrow.

  49. I-Man says:

    Any good soccer matches on this weekend LB?

    Side note:

    If we are wrong, we will get long, and our SSO profits will be worth every ounce of ridicule. Hell, if we are wrong and we get long, screw SSO, I’m going UPRO.

  50. cvienne says:


    “But everytime I step back and look at the SPX chart in every time frame imaginable, the only thing I can come up with is that this moment, approx, 940 on SPX, is a fantastic time to go short.”

    The only thing stopping me from doing exactly that is that something tells me that there will be a weekend move to crater the dollar…

    So we wake up Monday morning, dollar is tanking (yet completing a 5 wave)…Bonds sell off down to support…Equities rally (maybe a DOUBLE TOP, maybe just a bit further to confuse everyone)…Then the whole thing reverses when lo and behold the dollar finally bottoms out and begins a rally…

    So if that happens, you’d get another shot at 940 that wouldn’t be so nerve racking…

  51. Onlooker from Troy says:

    “Once again, what you read as a rant on TBP or ZH today, we will hear about in MSM tomorrow.”

    Or six months from now. :)

    Although the cycle has been shortening lately, hasn’t it?

  52. I-Man says:

    CV you’re my boy and I always appreciate your feedback. Even if its not something I want to hear. This goes for karen too.

    If I didnt appreciate it, rest assured I wouldnt waste meditation time attempting to internalize it.

    Just in case that wasnt clear before.

  53. leftback says:

    @Cvienne: We are tempted to have one of LB’s famous Burger Bets that the $ will NOT crater over the weekend.

    The Euro has steadfastly refused to go beyond 1.4150 – even during the relentless pumping and squeezing.
    Much as we dislike being on the other side of the trade from CV and Karen, we are sticking with this call.

  54. Onlooker from Troy says:

    Another good blog article from the good Dr. that touches on the knife catchers:

    quote: “Yet the mentality of the current buyer has tinges of the same delusion of the buyer which bought into the bubble. “I know I may over pay a bit, but in 5 to 7 years prices will go up and we’ll have sizable equity.” You sure about that? ”

  55. karen says:

    fwiw, my view of the dollar is rather neutral to bullish now.. anyway, i’m short oil as of today in the 64s even though i said i’d steer clear of that for awhile. short term of course. long google on a lark; but sold my nvda for over 20%.. seemingly overbot to me.. would like to sso pullback as well for another healthy up leg : )

  56. cvienne says:


    I would love to see the dollar stay supported as well…Believe me, I’m not wishing for it to get sold off…

    In any case, I’m really only talking about a few days timeframe here…So I have two scenarios in my head…

    1. Dollar holds this level, bears give up trying to crater it…DOLLAR RISES
    2. Dollar gets washed out quickly (completes 5 wave), then quickly rebounds…then DOLLAR RISES…

  57. karen says:

    wunsacon, did you see what Kid Dynamite posted? Eihorn trading in gld for physical?

    Getting in Front of It – GLD
    One group of people that’s even more fanatical than the Goldman Sachs conspiracy theorists are the Goldbugs. As I read David Einhorn’s (Greenlight Capital) quarterly letter last night, one thing jumped out at me:

    “We made a couple of modest changes to our macro hedges. First, after extensive investigation, we switched our entire GLD exchange traded fund position into physical gold. At a minimum this will provide some savings as the costs of storing gold are less than the fees on GLD.”

    As for your question, the best prices i’ve ever seen were at my bullion came from however. i would try tulving, next time.

  58. leftback says:

    @I-Man and ben22:

    I left you an episode of Johnny Retail and Brian the Broker over on the withholding thread…. G’night all…

  59. karen says:

    I must have entered the twilight zone. that wunsacon post keeps appearing at the bottom of the thread with a time stamp in the future…now there is one from VennData as well..

  60. I-Man says:

    @ Mistress:

    I think they got perma-dumped at the bottom due to the posting of OT comments too early in the thread.

  61. Onlooker from Troy says:

    Yeah, karen. Pretty weird. Those posts were here quite a bit earlier in the day but somehow got those time stamps on them so they stay at the bottom. Twilight zone!

  62. leftback says:

    LB was perma-dumped once. Painful business. Spent an entire week talking it over with Jack. Daniels, that is.
    I-Man, have we taken your mind off the squeeze yet? Are your.. assets feeling more secure now?

  63. Andy T says:

    Yen trying hold critical support around 106 again….Euro doesn’t look like it wants to break out … really wish those markets would make a decision about what they want to do…it’s becoming tedious….

  64. karen says:

    Thank you very much for the explanation; I’m having a most disquieting day as it is..

  65. I-Man says:

    @ LB:
    What? You couldnt stay away could ya?
    I got perma dumped too once… me and BR had an email fight over it too. I capitulated to BR’s awesomeness and we have moved on.

    Yeah, I’m feeling more secure… will feel alot more secure below 930.

    I actually got some friends short today with SDS. Stop at 50. For those that wouldnt put hard stops in, I said bail if SPX over 960 and get long some SSO. Nothing fancy.

  66. I-Man says:

    @ AT:

    My “system” intuitive as it is…

    Triggered a buy on FXY yesterday at 106. I’m actually meeting with a dude tomorrow to go over opening my first futures account. The yen, silver, and SPX minis were my primary reasons for doing so. Guess I’m finally taking the plunge over to the futes side.

  67. Onlooker from Troy says:

    Maybe well crawl along hovering around the SPX 200 EMA like back in June, creating doji after doji for awhile. That would be fun!

  68. Andy T says:

    I-Man…good. Just remember “less is more” with futures. One mini SP feels like being long or short $50K worth of the index, so give the leverage all the respect it deserves…

  69. leftback says:

    “Guess I’m finally taking the plunge over to the futes side.”

    I-Man and AT can trade the futes with the ‘putes. Looks like 940 was THE NUMBER after all that.

    LB kept some dry powder in case of a f*ck you headfake on Monday morning.
    Euro down and $ up towards the end of the session. LB likes that action. See you next week, chaps, and Karen.

  70. VennData says:

    “…In a client note, Goldman analyst David C. Bailey …downgraded IBM Corp. to “Neutral” from “Buy.”

    So much for Goldman Sachs being the all-knowing vampire squid… since IBM, a week later is up 13%. That’s a week, another “great” analyst call.

  71. I-Man says:

    @ AT:

    Its the leverage that has kept me away from them up to now… luckily, someone I trust is opening this account for me, and has promised not to let me do anything stupid. :)

  72. ben22 says:


    I just read that exchange on the other thread, lol, good stuff.


    I like that dollar bull view, I have cash ready to go more long the dollar with. The last dip down in the dollar should bring about the rally cry more than ever from all the inflationists. On that note, if you don’t get it Rosenberg had some interesting comments on the dollar in this mornings paper that might be worth the read in relation to monetary policy and the Fed. I’m enjoying his stuff being free, doubt it will last long.

  73. gnomic says:

    I think most of these talking heads could only count to 20 1/2 at best.

  74. [...] starts with 11.3% margin of error Jump to Comments Are housing starts up or down: BUILDING PERMITS: Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in June were at a [...]

  75. [...] From the BigPicture (click link): Housing Starts Fall 46% [...]

  76. [...] MSM who insist each month on reporting that 3% (+/- 11%) is a positive integer. We disposed of that silliness on [...]

  77. [...] is the data: (the quotes were taken from a post at The Big Picture) BUILDING PERMITS: Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in June were at a [...]

  78. [...] me that I’m right about the lack of robustness in the U.S. economy.3 And he pointed to a telling post from Barry Ritholtz,4 in which Ritholtz picks apart some of the sunny headlines around last week’s report on [...]