Posts filed under “Philosophy”

“What’s Your NFP Number?” [Don't have one]

This morning, the single most asked question I hear is “So what’s Your NFP Number?”

That’s one of the more interesting side issues about this Maine event/fishing trip/conference. Its overrun with economists and Fed folk, who are the fairly focused on short term data.

Regular readers number I have little interest in making bad predictions about monthly data points that are not all that important. You would think that anyone who tracks the NFP data (such as economists or Fed members) would understand how meaningless any single data point. But its part of their history and monthly routine, and therefor remains disproportionately significant to them. Hence, the silly monthly question.

Phillipa Dunne, the well regarded longtime Employment researcher of the Liscio Report wants to shift the data analysis in a different direction. She believes we should be spending less time thinking about the headline number, and more time time doing a deep dive into the specific details beneath — the Big Data approach. In addition to taking apart the inputs, Dunne wants to break the numbers down by region. She thinks that lots of non-BLS data inputs — Fuel usage, Tax receipts, historical data bases, FOMC data, etc. — are equally important to the analytical process if one wants a 30,000 foot view of the employment sector. The lagged Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data from actual unemployment insurance records — this is the basis of the benchmarked data that goes into the final numbers on a multi-quarter lag — is similarly important and overlooked.

For those of us who find the monthly obsession with the initial NFP data to be silly, this sort of analytical approach is refreshing. Let’s hope it catches on . . .

 

 

Previously:
NFP Day: The Most Over-Analyzed, Over-Emphasized, Least-Understood Data Point (February 4th, 2011)

An Unusually Unusual NFP Payroll Day! (June 3rd, 2011)

THE MOST IMPORTANT EVER NFP blah blah blah (June 7th, 2013)

Category: Data Analysis, Employment, Philosophy

Third Dynasty, 2005 B.C. (before crisis)

Tom Keene says some astonishingly nice things about your humble blogger. Its based in part on our prior discussion of “our god-given right to be wrong in picking stocks,” and what that means for investor psychology as well as portfolio decisions:   click for full article   Much more of this and I will become…Read More

Category: Media, Philosophy

Independent Thought: Earning Your Free Will

Ahhh, sleeping in my own bed — such a delight. After a trip to Denver for an FA Mag conference and then onto to Vancouver for the Agora event, I am back home again. It is just for a week, and then I head off to my annual Maine fishing event. Travel is good for…Read More

Category: Philosophy, Psychology, Travel

90% of Everything is Crap

Source: Mental Floss     As someone who has spent his fair share of time debunking nonsense, I love the elegant way Theodore Sturgeon trashed this anti-SciFi trope in the March 1958 issue of Venture: “I repeat Sturgeon’s Revelation, which was wrung out of me after twenty years of wearying defense of science fiction against…Read More

Category: Philosophy, Quantitative, Rules

The Narrative Fails

Its Friday (and a hot summer Friday at that), and as such, I like to wax philosophical about what I see around me as some of the broader issues today. Cullen Roche of Pragmatic Capital sets the scene for us: “The economy continues to do okay, the stock market is hitting all-time highs every day,…Read More

Category: Cognitive Foibles, Investing, Philosophy, Psychology

Nikola Tesla: Passing Through

Happy Birthday Nikola Tesla!   “Like a wave in the physical world, in the infinite ocean of the medium which pervades all, so in the world of organisms, in life, an impulse started proceeds onward, at times, may be, with the speed of light, at times, again, so slowly that for ages and ages it…Read More

Category: Philosophy, Weekend

Confidence Crisis

Cassandra Does Tokyo is a former hedge fund manager and ex NY Trader, who is now living abroad. ~~~ I am in a reflective mood, navigating, what one might call say, a crisis of confidence. What is the root of this self-doubt? I am, you see, squarely in my middle years, and as I look…Read More

Category: Philosophy, Psychology, Really, really bad calls, Think Tank

QOTD: “Founding Fathers” edition

Happy Independence Day! On the anniversary of the United States birth — before we became a corrupt plutocracy (back then we were a corrupt slave owning nation) — we did have some leaders who were inspirational. Regular readers know that the quote of the day is often filled with terrific gems from some of the…Read More

Category: Philosophy, Weekend

Questions for Investors At 2013′s Halfway Mark

Here we are, on the last day of Q2 2013. It is no exaggeration to say that this has been an unusual and exciting year. I suspect most investors would prefer their markets with a lot less excitement. Perhaps we can begin a movement to bring back boring banking. Regardless, we don’t have to wait…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Investing, Markets, Philosophy

Morgan Housel Is A Permanent Optimist . . .

  Hey, today we are having lunch with the astute Morgan Housel of MF. I have been enjoying his writing for years now — he is my favorite Motley Fool writer. Here is his very simple explanation for why the end-of-worlders have been wrong, and will continue to be wrong, for most of the future…Read More

Category: Cognitive Foibles, Investing, Philosophy