One of our favorite bugaboos is finally getting its due: The horrifically misleading Birth Death adjustment.

It is finally being recognized in the mainstream as the massive data distorter that it is. The latest BLS analysis and data revision shows that during 2008, the Birth Death adjustment caused NFP payrolls to be  significantly under reported.

NYT’s Floyd Norris:

“It now appears that during the first half of 2008, when the recession was getting under way, job losses averaged 146,000 per month. That is nearly three times the average of 49,000 jobs shown in the initial estimates.

How did the government get it so wrong?

The official job numbers are based on a monthly survey of employers, augmented by something called the “birth-death model,” which factors in jobs assumed to have been created by employers who are too new to have been included in the survey, and subtracts jobs from employers assumed to have failed and therefore not responded to the latest survey.” (emphasis added)

Triple the job losses than reported, and right at a crucial part of the economic cycle! Is it any wonder policy response from central bankers and pols was so off? At the most crucial time, they failed to see the oncoming headlights, because they were lost in a fog of data so massaged as to have it completely and totally misrepresent reality.

About time this nionsense was recognized for the bullshit it is. We need to have BLS needs to toss out the 2003 modification to the B/D. We should get back to actually counting, rather than imagining, jobs.

As noted in Bailout Nation, this fundamental reliance on garbage data led to one of the world’s greatest economic catastrophes of all time.

Reality matters.

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click for larger graphic

norris-700x415

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Previously:
NFP: Birth/Death Adjustments (December 6th, 2007)

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2007/12/nfp-birthdeath-adjustments/

Overstated Job Growth, Understated Inflation (January 4th, 2008)

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/01/overstated-job-growth-understated-inflation/

Source:
The Jobs News Gets Worse
FLOYD NORRIS
NYT, October 3, 2009

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/weekinreview/04norris.html

Historical Net Birth/Death Adjustments

http://www.bls.gov/ces/cesbdhst.htm

CES Net Birth/Death Model
Current Employment Statistics – CES (National)

http://www.bls.gov/web/cesbd.htm

Category: Employment, Really, really bad calls

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.

54 Responses to “Birth Death Adjustment Coming Under Fire”

  1. scepticus says:

    From the NYT: “That [-5.8%] percentage exceeds every decline since the end of WWII, when military production largely halted”

    Kinda scary. Suggests that perhaps industrial production has had its day as a driver for, well, everything. Of so then, shit, what now?

  2. philipat says:

    Given that it is just a fudge factor ostensibly attempting to estimate what it states to be, wouldn’t it be better just NOT to include it with arider that the “Birth/Death numbers can influence the data series but have not been included? We can all live with an incidental timing difference in favour of a better early warning signal?

    Except, perhaps the politians.

  3. philipat says:

    The dirty little secret of “Globalisation”, is that its been great for record Corporate margins by moving jobs to China. Globalisation’s natural outcome is a steady rise of living standards in the developing world and a steady lowering of living standards in the developed world until it all balnces out. Its inevitable and unavoidable. And is already happening.

    Of course, American socialism is not global socialism (Which would support that outcome) in that Democratic policy response is protectionism!!

  4. “About time this nonsense was recognized for the bullshit it is. We need to have BLS needs to toss out the 2003 modification to the B/D. We should get back to actually counting, rather than imagining, jobs.

    As noted in Bailout Nation, this fundamental reliance on garbage data led to one of the world’s greatest economic catastrophes of all time.

    Reality matters.”–BR, above (btw, no doubt.)

    –in all Spheres. Maybe, now, we can start wondering why it’s OK for the FedRes to pull ‘Dollars’ from Thin Air – by the Trillions.

  5. Greg0658 says:

    BR @ top “We should get back to actually counting, rather than imagining, jobs”

    I’m just about sure the banks super-computerized infrastructure does (or could/should). That would be very valuable right. But we don’t share value, people pay for it. Government included. Get your own info. So what does that realization bring. Maybe banks should be DISallowed to trade in markets .. ie insider information paid for by all of us.

  6. GetALife says:

    let’s not get too dramatic here saying “triple the losses” – had the estimate been 10K job losses and there were really 100K would you say 10 times?!?
    100K given the base of # of jobs is a relatively small error…yes, I know how it can add up over time but let’s not exaggerate the magnitude here

    ~~~

    BR: Had they been 10k?

    But they weren’t, and that’s the point (had my grandmother had wheels instead of feet she would have been a bus!).

    Claiming job losses of ~50k jobs per month at the start of a recession, when it was ~150k is a serious modeling failure.

    Your claim that this is not significant reveals a lack of mathematical acumen that strongly suggest you steer clear of any careers that require accuracy or numerical precision.

  7. scepticus says:

    Mark, equally interesting IMO to wonder why taking money from thin air is not OK, or rather, why the arrangements in place the last few decades are preferable (or different) to creating money from nowhere.

  8. scepticus,

    I’m not quite clear what your point is, though, the old adage: “Two Wrongs don’t make a Right.”, mat be from a bygone era, but it has yet to be proved defunctive.
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/defunct

  9. scepticus says:

    I completely get the fury over lies, damned lies etc, but the reality is that what is more important than what the numbers are today, + or – whatever, or differentiated to whetever order, is what the driver for future jobs is. I think much of the fear among the public and TPTB, is that there is no good answer to what the driver is, hence the desperate obfuscation.

    So people are obsessing about whether the data is right or not to the nth degree, studiously poring over data to avoid discussing what the implications are regardless of adjustments. Clearly TPTB don’t want to have that discussion yet, but neither it seems do voters for the most part, because nobody is going to like the answers.

    @mark, my point is why start worrying about funny money now when it’s been around centuries? Banks create money and so do governments, the latter as far back as the romans.

  10. BG says:

    Yep. One of the largest enablers to the situation we find ourselves in today is compromised data that distorts the true facts.

    I have always viewed the word “data” as meaning raw data. It is whatever it is period. In my mind, it is no longer considered “data” if someone has already massaged it for some reason or another.

    The “data” should always remain as raw data; because the more it is massaged to take in more and more exceptions to the model, it gets further and further away from what the raw data was initially conveying.

    As pointed out in this post, a supposedly informed investor is not really informed at all, if the “data” he is basing his decisions on has been changed in ways the investor is unaware of. As a result, the “data” becomes useless; however, damage is done because everyone making decisions based on that “data” is making faulty decisions on defective data. This is a scary thought considering where we are financially and economically, not only in this Country but around the world.

  11. Rich_Lather says:

    Every person getting a paycheck is also paying into Social Security. Why can’t the government just look at the number of people paying into the SS system?

  12. PrahaPartizan says:

    I think that having a Birth/Death Model to try to capture the potential growth in jobs in under-reported small businesses is good, but the model hasn’t been developed fully enough to be used in the BLS reporting yet. Clearly, the BLS was pushed to incorporate it when the economy started to pick up after the dot-com bust, but the model appears to have been deficient in estimating performance in an declining economy. That doesn’t sound like a very robust economic model to me. After we had gone through maybe three or four total cycles the BLS might have been correct in incorporating the B/DM in its reporting, but it certainly got ahead of itself this past decade with not much real data to guide it about the new globalized economy. When does the BLS reissue all of the data for job growth over the last decade or does that get quashed as well because it will show the total bankruptcy of the policies implemented in 2001. That would have political repercussions.

  13. to BG’s point: “..One of the largest enablers to the situation we find ourselves in today is compromised data that distorts the true facts..”

    Mauldin’s recent letter:
    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/10/another-finger-of-instability/#comments
    in the ThinkTank, seems fitting.
    ~~
    Rich_Lather,

    see Greg0658′s comment, above, @ 09:26, and, additionally, wonder why, when there’s so much ‘free’ info, on the Topic, available, this http://clusty.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus&query=professional+weather+forecasts exists.
    ~~
    scepticus,

    if more of us felt that way, we’d, still, be building Pyramids for this dude — http://clusty.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus&query=Pharaoh

  14. constantnormal says:

    One would think that — given the way that the B/D adjustment is calculated — the errors should be fairly consistent, and one should be able to take the initial BLS guesstimate, and having tracked past errors, back out the “predicted error” and arrive at a better “guesstimate”. A simple modeling of percent error, placed into a simple curve-fitting plot, and used to project the current error, than backing it out, would seem to be a dirt-simple way of arriving at a MUCH closer number with very little effort. I’m sure that more sophisticated methods could get closer, but this is so easy, one wonders why market research firms don’t do this and product their own “improved” numbers.

    If the error were a statistical thing, then this approach wouldn’t be able to offer much in the way of improvement, but this is a predictable bias and should be able to be removed pretty easily.

  15. franklin411 says:

    You won’t see any changes to how unemployment is calculated until unemployment recovers. Why?

    1. Changing metrics midstream leads to confusion. I was in the last high school class to take the “old” SAT before they changed the metric in the mid 1990s, inflating the newer scores. That makes it hard to compare results: If person A compared their 1994 score of 1100 to person B’s 1998 score of 1100, they could easily be misled. An 1100 in 1994 is a higher score than an 1100 in 1998.

    2. There are all kinds of assumptions inherent in any statistical methodology. Take the question of the unemployment rate during the Great Depression. Conservatives like to quote statistics under a methodology that assumed that government workers were really “unemployed” because they claim working for the government isn’t a “real” job. Liberals like to quote statistics under a methodology that includes government workers because we claim that you’re either employed or you’re not. Under the conservative methodology, the New Deal reduced unemployment significantly, but not enough. Under the liberal methodology, the New Deal reduced unemployment by a massive amount.

    3. Most importantly, you know as well as I do that if the administration were to even touch the methodology, the right wing crackpot factory would be jumping all over it claiming that it was an “Obama conspiracy to hide the truth.” It wouldn’t matter if the methodology was changed in a way that made unemployment look better or worse. Facts are irrelevant to the right wing nutjobs. All they care about is destroying this country so they can rebuild the Southern segregationist paradise they enjoyed from the 1600s to 1964.

  16. scepticus says:

    Pyramids?

    c’mon mark. You must know what the below is going to be a picture of even before you click on it.

    http://www.thecityreview.com/gehbeek2.jpg

  17. dead hobo says:

    I visited a large, popular regional shopping mall yesterday. At first, I was confused. The parking lot was full and I had to park further out than usual of late. The mall was full of people and so was the food court. Clearly, something was wrong with this picture as it was exactly the opposite of what I usually see. It was especially perplexing in that the local economy where the mall is located has above average unemployment.

    The I noticed almost nobody was carrying shopping bags. Of those who were, the vast majority had been to Penny’s, which seemed to have a giant sale going on. The mall had a free show of some kind going on and I suspect that drew in some of the extra people.

    Then, even more depressing, I noticed that a significant percentage of the people there were, to put it politely, ‘dirty’. While few dress up anymore, these people looked like they intentionally dressed down. Bum dirty, but not homeless dirty. Lack of self esteem dirty. This is new. I don’t know what to make of it yet.

  18. cvienne says:

    @f411

    ” An 1100 in 1994 is a higher score than an 1100 in 1998.”

    See now THAT is something that I can agree with.

    My assertation along those lines has been, for example, someone who is in college today learning some odd subject like history, is probably learning the equivalent of what I learned in 5th grade…

    You see, that’s one of the reasons I chose fitness as a career. We deal in absolutes.

    It takes roughly 3,500 calories of zone 2 “aerobic” activity to burn a pound of body fat…

    1 gram of carbs = 4 calories
    1 gram of protein = 4 calories
    1 gram of fat = 9 calories

    None of that stuff ever changes…

    The reason most Americans are fat slobs is because there is nothing around, fitness wise, that can conveniently move the goalposts for them.

    It’s not a democracy. Your individual effort is rewarded, or not. If you don’t like the way things are going, you can’t just sit back and VOTE yourself benefits from the national Treasury.

  19. cvienne says:

    @hobo

    People with shopping bags = “shoplifters”

  20. cvienne says:

    @hobo

    A former girlfriend of mine was a retail store manager. She’s managed a lot of different “mall stores” (Nordstrom, Bebe, Origins, etc.)…

    She always said the hardest thing to do was to find employees who weren’t in cahoots with their friends (whereby, their “friends” came into the store while they were working, and shoplifted under the “non-watchful” eye)…

    That, and your typical Saturday, where clothes were purchased, worn to “the club”, on Saturday night, then returned for a refund the next day…

  21. Onlooker from Troy says:

    Assuming that the Fed economists and folks at Treasury, et al, aren’t just politically motivated to soften the bad news and actually get to the truth, regardless of how bad it is. Assuming that, it’s beyond belief that there is such a dearth of critical thinkers that would see that ridiculous input for what it is and get rid of it long ago.

    Assuming…

  22. dead hobo says:

    1 more thing: I recently visited a Marshalls and saw it stuffed wall to wall with new merchandise. More than usual after a restocking. Way more. Previously, that store was comparatively empty.

    I’m wondering if the anticipated inventory cycle restocking is going straight to the off price stores and not the main channel?

  23. Onlooker from Troy says:

    I just have to believe that there are some lower level staff that have been saying this for years with nothing but empty words from their leadership in return. They’re being vindicated finally, no doubt. Though they should have gotten the MSM onto the story long ago; but maybe they tried. The majority of our population haven’t been very interested in the ugly truth for some time; satisfied with soothing pablum.

  24. jc says:

    Rich_lather T
    Trimtabs tracks IRS tax receipts daily and that provides them with more accurate employment data than BLS.Trimtabs is accurate, timely and inexpensive to produce.BLS is complicated, delayed, subsequently revised several times and expensive to produce. However for all of these reasons BLS is more easily manipulated by the sitting administration so thats the headlines number we get. As Jim Rodgers has said repeatedly “you can’t trust the government”!

  25. jc says:

    Now that we know BLS provides inaccurate and misleading information doesn’t it make you more curious about what the Fed wants to conceal from us by fighting the Bloomberg FOIL suit – plus resisting congressional requsts for info? Must be pretty scary, no?

  26. cvienne says:

    @onlooker

    Re: softening the bad news

    My POV is that Obama came into office so paralyzingly afraid of the “D” word (depression), that he raided the Treasury out to the year 2040 and beyond just so as not to have his name associated with it…

    From what I gather, we are ALREADY in a depression… Yet where are the soup lines? where are the hobos on boxcars?… Look around, there are none… There weren’t any in Japan either for the past 20 years either…

    My point is that we can experience a “technical depression” by playing FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE with budgets, and work out our debt situation over the next decade or so… Most Americans are already doing that… The only one spending money is Obama himself… Which is making it more likely that somewhere down the line there actually WILL be soup lines and homelessness…

    As long as it’s not on his watch, right? He can just skip away like all the rest… Greenspan, Rubin, and all the iBank CEO’s…

  27. Onlooker from Troy says:

    From the article:

    “The sharpness of the decline in employment this time could indicate that employers will have to step up hiring more rapidly when the economy does rebound in order to meet rising demands from customers.”

    Yeah, keep telling yourself that. Nothing like a little more self deception added on to the mountain of denial.

  28. jc says:

    I wonder if the “jobs not lost” number that the admin takes credit for can be isolated in the BLS stats? I think it’s another B/D whimsy.

  29. Paul Jones says:

    Not a “down turn”, this is permanent social change.

  30. dead hobo:
    Are they stocking up for Christmas now? Figuring, I guess, that they’ll get their best prices(or damn close) now?

  31. cvienne says:

    @Paul Jones

    Correct!

    If you look at the graph, associated with the 2003 number was a downturn which lasted 30 months followed by a recovery lasting 18 months…

    I think that was all BS…

    There WAS NO recovery in 2003 (other than the housing bubble – which was artificially erected by keeping interest rates at 1% – and the “so called” fiscal Republicans in Congress spending like Democrat sailors)…

    If normal economics had been allowed to play out, you might be seeing that 30 month number, first tacking on 18 months, then tacking on the 21 where we’re at now (with no intermittent recovery)…

    The fact that there was any boom at all during the 90′s was led by the internet (which didn’t produce much in a REAL sense, just overhyped profit expectations, and the job numbers that carried with it)… All fueled by Greenspans poor stewardship, and an equity market bubble (as we are experiencing in this bear market rally)…

  32. Onlooker from Troy says:

    dead hobo

    It would seem that the local shopping mall is being used as an ersatz park. Throw in some free entertainment and you get a pretty good crowd, but not one “shopping til they drop”, which is refreshing, actually.

  33. cvienne says:

    “How did the government get it so wrong?”

    Government???? getting something wrong????

    Get right out of town!

  34. bsneath says:

    dead hobo

    Perhaps air conditioning (or heat) when one cannot afford it or power is turned off?

  35. infracanis says:

    To BG and MEH

    Definitely, the ability to make accurate decisions is totally annihilated once the data is smeared. Thats the nature of the beast. The interweb allows one to better triangulate what is really happening better than parsing through whatever the MSM is saying at the moment. I only payenough attention to what the talking heads are saying to find out how their disinfo would be helping someone else.

  36. farmera1 says:

    Every time I read about the BIRTH-DEATH model, my mind goes back to Vietnam and how body counts of the enemy were generated, err assumed in polite company, made up in reality.

    From the article:
    “The official job numbers are based on a monthly survey of employers, augmented by something called the “birth-death model,” which factors in jobs assumed to have been created by employers who are too new to have been included in the survey, and subtracts jobs from employers assumed to have failed and therefore not responded to the latest survey.”

    THis tactic reminds me of how body counts of the enemy were generated (or made up) in Vietnam. B52s dropped so many tons of bombs on so many square miles and we must have killed so many Viet Cong, so the body count is xxxx. Strange but true. Assumed data is very bad, REALITY MATTERs. You know where basing our decisions on phony body counts led the country.

    Try to solve a problem with phony data. Doesn’t work. Gov numbers for inflation, unemployment etc are all phony numbers. Artificially low inflation (inflation without the bad stuff) also known as core inflation (I would call it hard core inflation) excluded little things like energy, housing and then you had the ever helpful hedonic adjustments, so that car really didn’t cost more because it is of better quality, right.

    What a country. Probably the two most important data points for the economy, inflation and unemployment are jacked. No wonder we are in trouble.

  37. scepticus,

    pre-click-thru, I was guessing http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Pyramide_du_Louvre.html

    tho, the pic in your link looks, suspiciously, like a photo of NYC..

    just for a hint, I was being more literal, in my original supposition.

    The Dark Ages–The next one thousand years were called the Middle Ages. The Latin term for Middle Ages is “medieval.”
    The beginning of the Middle Ages is often called the “Dark Ages” because the great civilizations of Greece and Rome had fallen–were such because far too few bothered to “Bring Good Things to Light.” (thanks, GE)
    http://www.mrdowling.com/703middleages.html

    your take: ~”But, it has always been such..” has a nasty habit of persistence
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/persistence

  38. scepticus says:

    @cvienne “The fact that there was any boom at all during the 90’s was led by the internet ”

    I think that mixes up cause and effect. The technology boom of the 90s began long before the internet made any appreciable difference to anything, therefore, there must have been an underlying driver for that economic activity, that was real.

    Periods of strong growth and expansion in a market driven economy are always accompanied by bubbles, and end in a massive one. The inevitable shift from real growth to ponzi growth as a long term boom comes to a close is not a reason to denigrate real achievements during the earlier phases.

    The internet is the great achievement of the booomer generation, and a significant one. Whether that leaves them with a positive balance considering some of the less impressive contributions of that generation,is I guess in the eye of the beholder.

  39. cvienne says:

    @MEH

    I propose that we are now at the point of entering into…

    “The Snark Ages” :-)

  40. Bruce in Tn says:

    Saturn has 13000 employees….

  41. Steve Barry says:

    The birth/death model is a good idea if the number would reflect reality…so when the recession started, it should have been negative…instead it was just adding more and more jobs relatively. So that leaves too options:

    1) Fix it so it is allowed to go negative also

    or if that is not possible

    2) Eliminate it

  42. cvienne says:

    @scepticus

    I’ll concede that point to you (vis-a-vis “mixing up” cause and effect)…

    I’ll admit that I’m not using “mined data” to bolster my argument, and instead, doing sort of a “paper napkin” summary from how my mind tries to quantify the effect…

    Nevertheless, my “long range analysis” is as follows…

    The internet attracted investment, which led to job creation based on profit expectations. Much of the “startup capital” came from VC’s (not from the government)… Of course there was OVERINVESTMENT (as is always the case)… Not everyone is going to become a millionaire… It also “enhanced” service sector employment (everything from office supply stores, to pizza delivery, to coffee shops, to accounting services)…

    After the NASDAQ bubble pop (which happened conveniently as Clinton was entering his “lame duck” phase), the economy was sent into a tailspin… Then the Bush “puppet show” started… Bush used the crisis of 9/11 to govern from FEAR (fear of terrorism)… So Americans didn’t think twice about questioning “stimulus packages” like tax cuts… I’d like to know why all the GOP hand wringing about budgets and expenditures took a convenient vacation during that period…

    We all know the result… Interest rates to 1%, housing bubble blown, bubble “pop” (as conveniently as it was done with Clinton) during the “lame duck” phase…

    Enter Obama…

    He has two choices… But before we get to those, let’s recall the effect on “jobs” during the housing bubble… As Clinton had the “windfall” of the internet to make the jobs picture look rosier than it actually was, Bush had the housing “windfall” (construction jobs & financing on one side, extraction of equity and consumer spending on the other side)…

    Obama will have NONE of either of those two… What can I say? So sad, you’re mad…

    So he OUGHT to just get to dealing with reality on this front… Instead, he has surrounded himself with a team of advisors who are not serving him, or his potential legacy well… In the end, it’s Obama’s fault… He has the ultimate decision… He could take responsibility and bear the consequences, OR, if things go bad, he could fire everyone, replace them, and finger THEM with the blame…

    I will not have respect for him as a leader until he MANS UP…

    PS… Sorry that this thought transformed from one idea or another, but as I was typing it, my overview on JOBS (and the effect of the “internet”), morphed into the present macro situation…

  43. olephart says:

    The BLS in its technical guide on the B/D model offers a disclaimer:

    “The primary limitation stems from the fact that the model is, of necessity, based on historical data. If at some future time, there is a substantial departure from historical patterns of employment changes associated with the residual of net business births and deaths, the model’s contribution to error reduction could erode.”

    http://www.bls.gov/ces/cesbdtech.htm

    It would seem like their “contribution to error reduction” has indeed eroded.

  44. whosonfirst says:

    @Franklin 411

    Well you blew all of your credibility in item 3. One party is as bad as the other. If you don’t see that, you have nothing to add in these precincts.

  45. hue says:

    regarding soup lines: the Depression was a process over a decade, not a singular event. soup lines didn’t form in 1930. when Japan started it’s problem, it had much more savings than the US. we’ve been in a stealth Depression since 2001, masked by the Housing ATM. all of those phony jobs in the last boom related to the housing boom such as mortgage brokers (like myself for a few years) all have been wiped out in this downturn.

  46. jc says:

    According to Charles Biderman of trimtabs the B/D adjustment is just one of five flaws in the BLS estimate/revision/revision system

    Well, according to Biderman it’s down to five major shortcomings in the way the BLS compiles its statistics:

    1. Changes in employment in the service sector are not fully captured.
    2. Heavy seasonal adjustments often obscure trends in employment.
    3. Employment growth at smaller companies and growth in self-employment are not fully captured.
    4. The company “birth/death” adjustments are nothing more than educated guesses.
    5. Only 60% of the survey for the latest month is complete.

  47. Transor Z says:

    Where’s the guy who posted a comment last month on BDA and how we were obviously all ignorant and FOS about the BLS/Census methodology?

    To that chap I would like to politely inquire: How my ass taste?

  48. Onlooker from Troy says:

    whosonfirst said to F411: “If you don’t see that, you have nothing to add in these precincts.”

    We established that a long time ago. :)

  49. Jojo says:

    WHAT course of action would the market, government, business and the consumer have taken if they had the correct/more accurate information? That is the real question…

  50. Transor,

    he’s, prob., thinking, if he that’s what he calls it, ~”well, w/ my Gov’t stipend, and Taxpayer funded bennies, as good as other things I’ve choosen swallow.”
    ~~
    and, as jc, above, points out, these guys http://www.trimtabs.com/global/index.htm provide a good service..

    LSS: anyone who’s buying based on, even, GS’, publicly disseminated, ‘Research’, alone, is the Fish, to be shot, in the Barrel.
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/barrel

  51. Onlooker from Troy says:

    hue

    Exactly. There are huge misperceptions and misunderstandings about the timeline of events and the evolution of the GD. At this time in 1930 which quite analogous to now (with much debate, I know) things weren’t at the worst of the GD as so many perceive. It was just getting started. The market had bounced hugely and started back down again, there was much talk of the worst being over and a recovery ensuing, etc. So all those that say it’s not as bad now as the GD because UE isn’t 25% etc. are not worth listening to because they have their facts all skewed; either through ignorant or willfully for their own agenda.

    Most have probably seen this site, but just in case. It’s very instructive to see the parallels.
    News from 1930

  52. PithyDog says:

    To: X- Marks- The- Spot (MEH),

    Under the reign of J. Immelt the jingle currently rings “GE, We brought good things to life”

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2327901/posts

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOrcrWhryk0

    The proof is in my GE stock in the last five years and decreased dividend price. Not to mention my two year old Profile frigidarium (Roman) whose ice maker is struggling to clunker out a cube here and there.
    Hope the links are live.

  53. hue says:

    Onlooker: the other huge misperception is that the 1929 crash caused the Depression. Not! the oncoming Depression caused the crash. Perhaps it won’t play out like it did in 1930, (2009 may not be 1930 because the market didn’t bounce back last year like in 1929) but after the market nosedived last fall, i’m astonished that people think it’s over. i’m repeating myself, but just look at the Nasdaq or the Nikkei and where those two indexes are trading now compare to their tops. i just don’t get it when people compare this year to 1938 or 1970s. the only time the market tanked and bounced back was 1987, but that was stock market crash, not economic crash. Things seem much worse now than 1987 or the 70s. (i’m just barely old enough to remember the 70s.) how can you say that this is the worse recession since the Depression, then compare the market now to the 70s?

  54. [...] The BLS birth/death adjustment is back in the spotlight.  (Big Picture) [...]