Jack Welch’s Gaffe
Cumberland Advisors
October 13, 2012

 

 

“‘If I could write that tweet again, I would have added a few question marks at the end‘ in order to ‘make it clear I was raising a question,’ he wrote. Still, he added, the dip in unemployment is ‘downright implausible.’”  – Bloomberg, reporting on Jack Welch’s now infamous tweet about the employment report.

 

Welch’s original Twitter quote was: “Unbelievable jobs numbers. . . these Chicago guys will do anything. . . can’t debate so change numbers.”

Since his gaffe, Welch has been on the receiving end of ongoing criticism.  Rightfully so, in our view.  Anyone remotely familiar with the Bureau of Labor Statistics and its methods knows how impossible it would be to cook these numbers.

Furthermore, those engaged in the massive task of preparing employment statistics are true professionals and do their work without political partiality.  Each of those 2000 folks may personally have a view on Obama or Romney, but it doesn’t color the monthly employment numbers.

The most disappointing thing about the Jack Welch affair is his continuing belligerent stance.  He introduced the “question mark” addition in an interview with Anderson Cooper of CNN.  I saw it and watched Welch dig himself into an even deeper hole.  He repeated it in a CNN interview with Ali Velshi the next day.

Oh, Jack, why not just admit you made a mistake?

Our friend and regular fishing partner John Silvia has an excellent piece on the Welch gaffe and the BLS activity.  John is quite skilled in this statistical arena.  He has given us permission to link to Wells Fargo’s website so readers can view the details.  See the “Unemployment Rate Debate”.

We thank John and hope readers find his words helpful.  John, in return you will get one of my special Chernobyl Ants in Jackson Hole or in Maine.

BTW, dear readers, if you know Jack Welch, please send him the link.

~~~

David R. Kotok, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, Cumberland Advisors

Category: Think Tank

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.

4 Responses to “Jack Welch’s Gaffe”

  1. VennData says:

    Everything Kotak says sounds fishy…. fishy?

    - Jack Welch

  2. Stuart says:

    Those LIBOR figures look cooked… cooked? Can’t be, anyone remotely familiar with how those institutions and its methods knows how impossible it would be to cook these numbers.

    Those MBS rating figures look cooked… cooked? Can’t be, anyone remotely familiar with how those institutions and its methods knows how impossible it would be to cook these numbers.

    Those COMEX prices look cooked… cooked? Can’t be, anyone remotely familiar with how those institutions and its methods knows how impossible it would be to cook these numbers.

    Those Muni Bond rates…..

  3. peachin says:

    Jack is an enigma – ego, laced with insecurity, many “tall men” as Jack carry this burden. Yes, Jack did something – It was a slight of hand – he learned how to make the books look good at GE in a time that making books look good was an honored praise. In years to come, if he keeps opening his mouth – he’ll finally die a “fool!” A lot of powerful “short men” who retire, cannot “give it up – it’s all “they”… felt they had… smooth out Jack and enjoy retirement – move on and keep your mouth shut about your opinions in the economic world.. it’s different than you remember…. “rest in peace” while you are alive!

  4. GGJr says:

    David,

    “Oh, Jack, why not just admit you made a mistake? ….We thank John and hope readers find his words helpful. ”

    and when the reported in October part time job gains numbers are “unexpectedly” revised lower by XX% and the U3 jobless rate is also is “unexpectedly” raised to 8.X% November your comments will be what?

    Oops – my hats off to JW for seeing through the BLS BS?

    Either the numbers are a fluke, fudged, or worse – and just in time for the election too – amazing – or the vast majority of employers in the country have collectively figured out that it’s better to have a part time workforce under Obamacare and are making adjustments.

    should be interesting to see what is revised and reported next month..