No Conspiracy Theory — Just Data

One of the things people do not understand is a basic truth about the BLS, BEA, Commerce Department, and other government data sources. I get constant emails warning me of the dark cabals manipulating the official releases.

While I have been critical over the years of the models and
methodologies employed, I do not believe this is any grand conspiracy.

Sure, the headlines are often misleadingly spun, but the data is all there for whoever wants to peruse it. Indeed, if you strap on your green visor, you can find all of the data releases for Inflation, Unemployment, GDP, New Home Sales, Durable Goods, etc. The non-seasonally adjusted non hedonics, no substitutions data is all right there. You need only bring a critical eye and a dollop of skepticism, and you can usually deduce the real meaning beneath the spin.   

In fact, the Truth is actually much worse than any conspiracy: Its as if the government is saying:

"Conspiracy theory? Ha! We don’t need to bother fabricating anything — we dump ALL of the data to the web each month, and that site gets less traffic than a dog’s blog in Kuala Lumpur.

We just think you couch potatoes are too lazy, too dumb, too easily distracted by other nonsense to really look at the actual data. Heavy lifting? Actual thinking? Working to figure out what is really going on? Don’t make us laugh!"

And you know what? They’d be right.

Even most conspiracy theories are just a lazy approach to the data . . .

Category: Data Analysis, Psychology, Taxes and Policy

GDP=4.9% (also, I have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn)

Category: Consumer Spending, Data Analysis, Economy, Inflation, Psychology

Inflation? What Inflation?

A tale of two headlines:

Inflation Fears Hit Eurozone

          and

Goldman Sees Funds Rate Cut to 3%

Won’t someone please explain this to me?

How is it possible that the regions of the world with strong currencies — like Europe, U.K., Australia, and Canada — are having inflation problems. And yet at the same time, the nation having a record low currency — i.e., the United States and our Dollar — doesn’t seem to either inflationary pressures (At least according to official CPI data). And we seem to have little concern about further currency induced price increases.

Am I the only person who finds this incongruent?

If Goldman Sachs is correct, and the Fed does eventually cut rates to 3% — what might that mean for various dollar priced commodities like Oil & Gold?

Probably very little — if (and this is a big IF) we are in the throes of a recession. But what if the Bulls are right, and this is merely a mild mid cycle correction?

A 3% Fed rate could mean Oil at $150 and Gold at $1200.

>
Excerpts after the jump . . .


>

Sources:

Inflation fears hit eurozone

By Ralph Atkins in Frankfurt and Krishna Guha in Washington
FT, November 27 2007 18:02

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/55ff8ca6-9d10-11dc-af03-0000779fd2ac.html

Goldman Sees Funds Rate Cut to 3%
Greg Ip
WSJ, November 27, 2007, 9:26 am
http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2007/11/27/goldman-sees-funds-rate-cut-to-3/

>

Read More

Category: Commodities, Credit, Derivatives, Economy, Energy, Inflation

Internet Radio Slowly Closing Down

Category: Digital Media, Music

Unusual eBay Warning

Category: Digital Media

Market’s Back-to-Back Streak

Category: Contrary Indicators, Investing, Markets, Trading

Prices Fall, Inventories Rise, NAR Spins

Category: Credit, Data Analysis, Psychology, Real Estate

7 Suggestions for Scott Adams:

Scott Adams, who I have long adored as both a writer and a cartoonist (see this post), has decided to dramatically cut back his blogging (as per this blog post: Going Forward) No, no, no, no, no! I believe this is a mistake. If he wants to cut back blogging for its own sake, that’s…Read More

Category: Books, Digital Media, Psychology, Weblogs

Holiday Book Shopping II

Category: Books, Digital Media

US Leading Global R&D Spending

Category: Corporate Management, R&D, Taxes and Policy