Friday, November 2, 2012

It's A Complete Farce

Statistics are what the powers that be want you to believe them to be, nothing more and nothing less - Kerry Lutz,  founder of the FinancialSurvivalNetwork
With regard to the quote above, Kerry Lutz had me as a segment guest on his FinancialSurvivalNetwork radio broadcast.  The topic was fraudulent Government statistics and you can listen to it here:  LINK

I honestly don't know how Obama gets up in front of crowds today and claims that the economy is getting better and that jobs are being created.  I find it exceedingly hard to believe that he doesn't know the truth about the Bureau of Labor Statistics preposterous calculation of the monthly non-farm payroll report.  I find it even harder to believe that anyone with functioning frontal lobes would believe the absurd "report."  It is a complete farce that CNBC/Fox Business/News/CNN and all other media sources discuss and debate this particular Government economic statistic as if it has any semblance of credibility.

The Government reported this morning that the economy produced 171,000 new jobs in October, well in excess of the average estimate of 125,000 - the latter number a nonsense estimate based on highly manipulated data, the former a fantasy beyond any remote rationalization.  

The primary driver of the employment report today was the nefariously mysterious "birth/death model."  For today's particular report, the birth/death model contributed 90,000 jobs to the Government's statistical stew.  Let's take a look to see exactly what this is and how it is applied.  The metric is supposed to measure employment growth created from new business formations net of business "deaths."  Here's the key definitional sentence from the BLS website:
The sample-based estimates are adjusted each month by a statistical model designed to reduce a primary source of non-sampling error which is the inability of the sample to capture, on a timely basis, employment growth generated by new business formations.
To save you all the brain damage from translating that sentence, here's what it means:   "A primary source of non-sampling error" means that the Government has no possible way of figuring out how many, if any, new businesses were formed during the period of time when the Government worker bees were calling around to try and figure how many people were actually hired and fired in the previous month.  The data gathering for this comes from sampling about 1/3 of all Unemployment Insurance tax accounts.  You can read all about the birth/death model here:  LINK

Essentially, what the Government is doing is using a small universe of businesses that contribute to the unemployment insurance program to determine the extent to which new accounts were opened and closed.  Then it extrapolates out from that based on some unexplained statistical model the number of new jobs, net of jobs lost, that were created by the private sector from new business being formed and closing.  Essentially the Government is "imputing" the number of new jobs that were created from an "imputed" number of new businesses that the Government thinks might have been started during the previous month.  I am begging someone to explain to me how this can be even remotely accurate.

The word "impute" ("imputing") is actually used in the BLS' description of the birth/death model.  Here's the dictionary of the word "imputation" in reference to its use in business:  "to give (a notional value) to goods or services when the real value is unknown."  In short, to make it up when you don't know the truth and you don't have verifiable data.

The Government goes on to explain/claim that "research" indicates that contribution to jobs growth from birthing/dying businesses is "relatively small and stable."  Hmmm.   Not only is this claim completely unsubstantiated, it's makes no sense in the context of reality.  First, here's a chart of the birth/death data on a monthly basis as compiled by Zerohedge:  LINK  Does that look like the picture of stability?  Second, in the context of the standard economic cycle, it would make sense that in a growing economy a lot of new businesses would be formed and in a declining economy a lot of small businesses would die.  We've had 4 years of a stagnant economy, with little nominal growth and negative real growth (after the adjustment for real inflation).  It would be realistic to assume that new business formation during this period would be in decline and business deaths would be accelerating, especially in comparison with new business formation from say, 1995-2005.    During the latter period we had new technology mushrooming and then many finance-related businesses flourishing - both a product of Fed-driven fiat currency asset bubbles.  We've had none of that except for the expansion of the Government in the last four years. 

As John Williams has pointed out many times in the past, the current Government statistical computation models were constructed during a period when we had actual growth in the system.   The models were never adjusted and revised to account for decelerating growth and actual decline, which means that the models are egregiously inaccurate.  This makes sense if you have any background in statistical/econometrics forecasting theories, which I happen to have had the misfortune of being forced to study at the University of Chicago.  Talk about something causing brain damage.

Finally, the birth/death definition page at the BLS website notes that:  "Note that the net birth/death figures are not seasonally adjusted, and are applied to the not seasonally adjusted monthly employment estimates to derive the final CES employment estimates."   To translate, what this says is that the Government conjures up a b.s. estimate for the number of jobs created by new business formation, does not make any "seasonal adjustments" to it, adds it to the unadjusted employment estimate and then runs it thru it's covert "ARIMA time series model" and produces the employment report.  This is the model that John Williams references as being entirely inaccurate.

The way I see it, the Government's monthly employment report - especially when considered in the context of what is going on in the real economy (growing number of people on food stamps, social security disability, long term unemployment insurance and student loans) - is not only completely fictitious, but the fact that everyone discusses the report in a way that gives it some modicum of credence shows that our entire system has diminished into a complete farce.


  1. here is how some of the birth death model jobs enter into the picture.

    Let's say I am a corporate manager and lose my job. Whether the company closes down or I am right sized makes no difference.

    The BD Model assumes in many cases I start say a consulting business and then I hire an assistant. Viola--1 job lost, 2 created.

    In Illinois we have someone running for Congress who said he was a mgt consultant. Out of a family owned business (he married in)which was sold 7-8 years ago he floundered and finally formed his own mgt consultant business--during campaign it was learned over the past 3 years he has had zero revenues--he said he took the time to run for congress.

    So a job or two created-but no income. I wonder how that figures in. But if he wins election, his salary bumps to 174K a year I think--too bad its now illegal to do insider trading.

    1. Yes, that's how it works in theory, but then the BLS takes that theory and extrapolates across a broad range of industries and completely makes up the number that it attributes to the number of hirings a new business does.

  2. Dave:
    Take a look at the January adjustments on Birth-Death. You will find that single month zero's out the rest of the year's net additions.

    The while calculation is a sham, BLS provided data proves this.


  3. Speaking of complete a farce Golden Minerals is looking as sick as. It's now 35% below it's rights issue. What happened ? Did Wells Fargo sell the rights and the shares to shorts and now they have more ammunition to take the company down to $2.00 a share? Or are the big stones just about to appear and we are going to find out that the company has no silver at all or much less than assumed and is in the same state as Apex Silver because the chart is begining to look like that in a really nasty way.

  4. Thanks Dave for parsing out that bullshit. Gawd I get sick of government propaganda and spin.

    The only jobs being created are all part time jobs paying dogshit as every employer in this country with half a brain waits for the election, the fiscal cliff, and the great Obamacare tax.

    Anonymous...I have a list of miners (I got half from Dave) and thankfully Golden Minerals isn't on that list. There are two things I have always refused to invest in. Airline stocks and mining stocks. Now I find myself sifting through mining stocks as I realize the fiat ponzi system nears implosion.

    I plugged Golden Truth today on Frankenstein Government. Fucking Saints. I am in for a long year. Go Broncos.

    1. Losing Payton hurt them. They're not out of the playoff race yet.

      Miners are going to really run on the next big move up in the metals, which should start in the next few weeks.

  5. HSBC Caught in New Drug Money Laundering Scandal

    Earlier this month, The Independent reported that French police had “intercepted one of the dozens of ‘go-fast’ cars which transport cannabis at high speed from Spain to Paris. The seizure–banal in itself–unravelled an extraordinary network of drug-trafficking, money-laundering, fraud and tax evasion which sprawled over the invisible barrier which separates Paris from the city’s poor, multiracial suburbs.”

    The bank embroiled in this latest scandal? Why HSBC, of course!

    According to reporter John Lichfield, “bank notes handed by clients to street drug dealers in the suburbs were ending up, French and Swiss investigators discovered, in the safes of seemingly law-abiding, well-heeled citizens in the French capital.”

    But that’s not the only place where crisp bundles of cash were turning up.

    “A trio of Moroccan brothers, including a prominent fund manager in Geneva, are alleged to have concocted an elaborate scheme to launder money by balancing two illegal flows of cash,” The Independent averred.

    At the center of this multimillion euro money laundering spider’s web were: Meyer El-Maleh, the managing director of the fund management firm GPF SA, and brothers Mardoché El-Maleh, the alleged bagman of the cannabis-for-cash scheme and Nessim El-Maleh, a fund management specialist with the Swiss private banking arm of HSBC, HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) S.A.As financial researcher James S. Henry pointed out in The Price of Offshore Revisited: “The term ‘offshore’ refers not so much to the actual physical location of private assets or liabilities, but to nominal, hyper-portable, multi-jurisdictional, often quite temporary locations of networks of legal and quasi-legal entities and arrangements that manage and control private wealth–always in the interests of those who manage it, supposedly in the interests of its beneficial owners, and often in indifference or outright defiance of the interests and laws of multiple nation states.”

    “A painting or a bank account may be located inside Switzerland’s borders,” Henry wrote, “but the all-important legal structure that owns it–typically that asset would be owned by an anonymous offshore company in one jurisdiction, which is in turn owned by a trust in another jurisdiction, whose trustees are in yet another jurisdiction (and that is one of the simplest offshore structures)–is likely to be fragmented in many pieces around the globe.”

    Given Switzerland’s strict bank secrecy laws, we do not know, and Senate investigators did not disclose, how many billions of dollars were hidden for HSBC’s private banking clients in Geneva, where it originated or whether or not occult wealth shielded from scrutiny was derived from organized criminal activities.

  6. So little is true in this world, a world without honor. Truth is merely a convenience if it fits the intended purpose of the message. If it does not, it is irrelevant.

    When the people come to understand the magnitude of the lies that make up their entire world view... THEN, the CONfidence bubble will burst, and the events that will take polace in that time will be startling.

    Lawn chairs mandatory.

  7. Max Keiser: 'Barack Obama is clueless. Mitt Romney will bankrupt the country'

    A serf in the days of King John, Max Keiser argues, was in many ways better off than some US voters in 2012.

    "Because in the age of Robin Hood," Keiser says, "at least the process of theft was transparent. The barons came to your house. They whacked you over the head then they took all your money." Even if the poor didn't exactly empathise with their oppressors, Keiser adds, they could at least comprehend their methods. "And the serfs," he continues, "did enjoy a modicum of stability. They got something in return for their enslavement. A small plot of land. Shelter. A relationship with the lord of the manor." In the modern age of "financial tyranny" orchestrated by what Keiser refers to as "the banksters" in charge of the major financial institutions in the US and Europe, he believes, "We have reverted to a more pernicious kind of neo-feudalism. The instruments of larceny have changed; that's all."

    "Barack Obama," he maintains, "has been a huge disappointment. He reneged on every one of his campaign promises except one: he did buy his kids a dog.

  8. The Bailout Of Russian “Black Money” In Cyprus

    Timing couldn’t have been worse. Or more opportune. A “secret” report by the German version of the CIA, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), bubbled to the surface, asserting that the pending bailout of Cyprus would use the money of taxpayers in other countries, particularly in Germany, to bail out mostly rich Russians who have over the years deposited their “black money” in Cypriot banks that are now collapsing.

    Not that the bailout of this tiny speck of land with 840,000 people isn’t in enough trouble. Admitted into the Eurozone in 2008, Cyprus veered towards bankruptcy in 2011 but was temporarily bailed out last November by a €2.5 billion loan from Russia. That money didn’t last long. In June, it asked the Troika, the austerity gang from the EU, the ECB, and the IMF, for a full-fledged bailout. So Troika inspectors have been combing through the financial rubble to determine a bailout amount and needed structural reforms.

    On Thursday, Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly was still optimistic. He hoped that negotiations with the Troika would conclude before the November 12 meeting of Eurozone finance ministers. On Friday, he admitted that a number of issues were still unresolved, including privatization of state-owned enterprises and elimination of Cost of Living Adjustments for wages, both of which have hit a wall of resistance. But then, a Troika report that Reuters “obtained in Berlin” considered Cyprus’ latest proposal for structural reforms “insufficient” and urged the government “to cooperate with the Troika.”

    Shocked and appalled, government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou added to the confusion over the weekend by quibbling with the word “insufficient” and by denying that the government knew anything about that report. Alas, just then, the revelation that a bailout would mostly benefit rich Russians who had their “black money” stashed away in Cyprus’ failed banks slapped Germany’s taxpayers, who’d have to foot a large part of the bill, in the face.

    The BND report concluded that this “black money” amounted to €26 billion—about 150% of the country’s GDP. Money that the banks had plowed into Greek sovereign bonds and the housing bubble that came with a nationwide title-deed scandal of phenomenal proportions [ Another Eurozone Country Bites the Dust ]. And now the banks need at least €10 billion to stay afloat.

    The BND report also lambasts Cyprus for creating a fertile ground for money laundering.

    But as these bailouts have shown, including those of Wall Street by the Fed and the Treasury, they not only prop up but propagate deeply corrupt systems.

    1. The Center Cannot Hold: Kleptocracy Delegitimizes the Status Quo

      As a case study, let's look at Greece, a nation that is the leading-edge of Status Quo delegitimization and destabilization. As I noted last week, ( In a Dysfunctional Status Quo, Reform Triggers Collapse), corruption isn't a feature of the Greek Status Quo: it is the Status Quo. Any reformation that eliminated corruption would dismantle the Status Quo and bring down the Elites who have been looting the nation at will.

      Corruption Continues Virtually Unchecked in Greece:

      How can someone who has declared an annual income of €25,000 ($32,400) transfer €52 million abroad? What kind of supplementary income must an individual have who, according to his tax returns, earned €5,588 in 2010, yet still managed to move €19.8 million abroad? And how can it be that a Greek citizen sequesters €9.7 million abroad although he supposedly earned exactly zero euros?
      The "Lagarde List" contains the names of 54,000 Greek citizens who have transferred major assets out of the country. The Greek Establishment is (naturally) doing nothing to investigate these 54,000 people, because the 54,000 are the Greek establishment.

      I have long held that Greece Is a Kleptocracy (June 28, 2011). This chart is the acme of unsustainability.

  9. Jim’s Mailbox

    Dearest Mr. Sinclair,

    First of all “Big Thanks” for all your efforts mentoring, and teachings us sheeple concerning our financial world and how to protect ourselves from the ongoing, elite fabricated, economic and financial disasters headed our way! Our once proud Republic has been taken over by sociopaths with an agenda for what would appear to be a one world currency and Government. Definitely looks like they will have their way with us.

    Your efforts have influenced my thinking profoundly! But perhaps I have learned some of your lessons over the past six years…

    I’m a young guy, 60 yrs old. Nowhere near rich. Worked hard and saved all my working years starting at 11yrs of age. Was taught to be honest, work hard, save at least 10% and you will get ahead. I studied Hazlet in Jr. College economics class. Today it’s not how hard you work or how smart you are but who you know and if you are politically connected… I have replaced three quarters of my fiat based 401K with physical precious metals and a hand full of silver stocks. My house and cars are paid for but my net worth is still under a million. I’m peanuts!

    I was an eagle scout at the age of 13. I earned my citizenship in the Community and Nation awards. I love my country and believed in God, used to believe in the US Constitution, and the Republic…. I pledged my allegiance to the flag and (the Nation governed by Laws) the “Republic” (Not a Democracy where mobs rule! Nor crony capitalism!) for which it stood; for 13 years (counting kindergarten) of my public school years. So yes “Where’s the rage?” Over the last ten years I can tell you my faith in this once proud “Republic” has been ripping my heart out. As an old Eagle Scout my motto is still to “be prepared” and you have mightily assisted in that endeavor.

    In broad daylight, in your face publicly, our elite leaders rape and pillage the wealth of our country and get away with it. The world’s central banks are working overtime to wring all the remaining wealth from the current fiat based system.

  10. End of Unraveling in 2007 versus fourth year of Crisis in 2012

    In 2007, the unemployment rate was 4.6%; 146 million people, or 63% of the working age population, were employed; and 78 million Americans were not in the labor force. Today, after three years of “recovery”, the unemployment rate is 7.9%; 143 million people, or 58.8% of the working age population are employed; and 88 million Americans are not in the labor force.
    Real median household income was $55,039 in 2007. It has fallen by 8.2% to $50,502 today.
    BLS reported inflation has risen by 12% since 2007. True inflation has risen at twice that rate.
    Median net worth in 2007 was $126,400. By 2010 it had fallen to $77,300, a 39% drop in three years. As of today, it may be a few thousand dollars higher as stock prices have risen and home prices have stopped falling.
    In 2007 there were 5.7 million existing homes sold at a median price of $218,900. Today there are 4.3 million existing homes being sold at a median price of $183,900. Over 1 million of these home sales are foreclosures or short sales, as 30% of all the homes with a mortgage in the country owe more than their house is worth.
    Federal government spending in 2007 was $2.73 trillion. Federal government spending today is $3.8 trillion, a 39% increase in five years. GDP in 2007 was $14.2 trillion. Today GDP is $15.8 trillion, an 11% increase in five years. Approximately 25% of the GDP increase is due to increased government spending.
    Government entitlement transfers totaled $1.7 trillion in 2007. Today they total $2.4 trillion, a 41% increase in five years. Interest income paid to senior citizens and savers totaled $1.25 trillion in 2007. Today interest income totals $985 billion, a 21% decrease in five years. Wall Street bankers needed the money to pay themselves bonuses, so Ben Bernanke obliged.
    The annual deficit in 2007 totaled $161 billion. Today, the annual deficit is $1.1 trillion. We add $3 billion per day to the national debt as a gift to unborn generations.
    The national debt in 2007 was $9 trillion. Today the national debt is $16.3 trillion, an 81% increase in five years. The national debt will reach $20 trillion during the next presidential term. Normalization of interest rates to 2007 levels would result in annual interest expense of $1 trillion, or 40% of current government revenues.
    There is nothing normal about our current economic situation.The unfunded liabilities at the Federal, State and local levels of government accumulate to over $200 trillion. Do the facts detailed above lead you to believe we can return to pre-2007 normal in the near future, or ever? Not only has the economic situation of the country deteriorated enormously, the very culprits who created the disaster are more powerful than they were before the global catastrophe caused by their criminal risk taking. The largest Wall Street banks control 74% of all the deposits in the country, up from 66% in 2007, and double the levels from the mid-1990’s. These bastions of capitalism wield all of the power in this country, dictating who wins elections, who writes the laws, and who benefits from the distribution of wealth. Only in a corrupt, crony-capitalist, citadel of kleptocracy could the perpetrators of the greatest theft of national wealth in the history of mankind be rewarded with taxpayer financed bailouts, the ability to borrow an unlimited amount of fiat currency at 0% from a Central Bank they control, write the new banking regulations and be applauded by their corporate mainstream media for becoming even Too Bigger to Fail. This Fourth Turning will ultimately come down to a clash between the people and the Wall Street filth.