Posts filed under “UnGuru”

Last word: BLS Decennial Census Adjustment

Yesterday, I went into some detail as to why a few people got the NFP data so (disingenuously) wrong. Then Invictus pointed me to this Economic Populist post, titled, Getting It Wrong on the BLS Employment Report. It came out late on Friday, hence why it may have been overlooked.

The long term chart via FRED shows the impact the Census has every 10 years on the civilian population. As you can see in the first chart below, this baseline adjustment to population is about 25% larger than 1989′s, but 35% smaller than 1999′s:

Decennial Change Reflecting BLS incorporating Census Readings


The next chart shows the BLS annual population benchmark to make sure their models reflect the latest estimates of population size, growth and characteristics. Note the monthly change between December and January every year — that is the yearly population adjustments.

These are not month-over-month changes, they reflect the adjustments made for the prior year showing up all at once in the month of January.

Hence, to quote the Economic Populist, “it is statistically invalid to compare December to January monthly changes. You simply cannot compare a change of a month, when one of those month’s includes a year of population adjustments.

Annual Change in BLS Population Measures


Anyone who thinks that 1.2 million people suddenly dropped out of the labor force needs to take a basic statistics course. I wont hold my breath waiting for the usual suspects to admit their errors.


Getting It Wrong on the BLS Employment Report
Robert Oak
Economic Populist Fri, 02/03/2012 – 21:46,

Category: Data Analysis, Employment, Really, really bad calls, UnGuru

SilverOz is an MPA specializing in local economic development and have worked in local economic development for a mid-sized midwestern county for over 10 years.  He has personally worked on/managed projects that have totaled over $500 million in direct investment into the county. ~~~ So today following an otherwise pretty darn good jobs report, we…Read More

Category: Data Analysis, Employment, Really, really bad calls, Think Tank, UnGuru

Meredith Whitney, 2011 Winner, Elaine Garzarelli One-Hit Wonder Award

With this post, we officially move Meredith Whitney into the Unguru camp. You can blame the headline on me; the rest is by David and Janet. -BR ~~~ Janet Tavakoli Gets 5 Stars! December 30, 2011 A year ago, Muniland faced a Rubicon as Meredith Whitney’s words caused a wholesale slaughter in the tax-free and…Read More

Category: Really, really bad calls, Think Tank, UnGuru

NYTimes Takes on “The Big Lie”

I am please to report that calling out the Big Lie has now gone fully mainstream. Recall last month, I had two Big Lie columns in the Washington Post: • What caused the financial crisis? The Big Lie goes viral. • Examining the big lie: How the facts of the economic crisis stack up The…Read More

Category: Bailout Nation, Bailouts, Really, really bad calls, UnGuru


A musical econoparody of the Smith/Bernard song “Winter Wonderland,” about the legacy of Alan Greenspan and today’s GOP.

Amazingly, it is from Dec 2008

Hat tip naked capitalism

Parody Lyrics: MARCY SHAFFER
Music Director: GREG HILFMAN

For the text of the parody lyrics:

For the complete collection of VERSUS political musical parodies, visit us at

Category: Humor, UnGuru, Video

Happy Anniversary, Irrational Exuberance

Today is the 15th anniversary of the infamous “irrational exuberance” speech by former Fed Chief Alan Greenspan (see below). Here is the key excerpt from the speech (note the unintentionally ironic title): The Challenge of Central Banking in a Democratic Society Remarks by Chairman Alan Greenspan At the Annual Dinner and Francis Boyer Lecture of…Read More

Category: Federal Reserve, Investing, Markets, Really, really bad calls, UnGuru

Dissecting the big lie about the economic crisis

> My Sunday Business Washington Post column is out. This morning, we look at part II of the Big Lie (Part I examined the actual factors that led to the crisis) in this part, we look at the data and factors that disprove the elements of the Big Lie. The print version had the full…Read More

Category: Politics, Really, really bad calls, UnGuru

The Big Lie (Previews & Edits)

Whenever I go off on a rant when writing some critical polemic screed, I try not to edit myself. Just get it all out in print, and we can worry about editing down for style and clarity later. That works especially well if you, as a writer, have a some idea of where you want…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Really, really bad calls, UnGuru, UnScience

QOTD: Alan Greenspan on Moral Hazard

The ever ironic former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan on whether government intervention can create moral hazard: “There were unintended consequences to almost every action I was involved in” as Fed chairman, said Mr. Greenspan, who himself cut interest rates to help stave off a bond-market crisis in 1998, and later was accused of helping inflate…Read More

Category: Federal Reserve, Really, really bad calls, UnGuru

Wall Street Strategists Are (Surprise!) Bullish

File this one under Duh! The cover story in Barron’s looks at some of the usual denizen’s of the Street’s biggest shops. They are, as is their wont, bullish and long and not particularly concerned about a recession (Its priced in!) or another leg down in Housing (its cheap!) or the market’s technical signals (we’re…Read More

Category: Investing, UnGuru