Do Economists Even LOOK At the Data They Claim Supports a “Recovery”?

Phoenix Capital Research's picture

For well
over two years now we’ve been told that the US was in recovery and that as most
the biggest risk was a potential
double dip. The reality however was that the US never experienced a real
recovery (unless you work at one of the “chosen” firms on Wall Street). Housing
at best flat-lined (though recent data shows the bounce is over as new home
sales hit a record low last month).



when we use U-6 unemployment data (which includes those who have given up
looking for work and those who want full-time employment but have settled for
part-time) we find that unemployment has actually risen throughout the
“recovery” period.



We also find
food stamp usage has hit a record of over 42 million (roughly 14.5% of the US
population). ZeroHedge does a great job tracking this info:



We also see
corporate profits are nowhere near the “record” levels trumpeted by the
mainstream financial media. Indeed, when we remove financial profits (which are
complete BS) we see that corporate profits have neither recovered to pre-Crisis
levels, nor have they hit record levels:



Thus, we see
that an honest assessment of the US economy today would state that corporate
profits have rebounded (largely due to cutting employees and other cost cutting
measures) but that the real economy (employment, food stamp usage, etc) have
not followed suit.


This is, of
course, something of a simple analysis of the true economic situation in the US
(I’ve only spent a little over two pages on it). However, despite its brevity
in length we have already seen that all claims of economic recovery in the US
are bogus.


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Dugald's picture

For boom read protracted wimper, but rest assured, we will be dragged through the shit right along with you guys, we do live in interesting times.

Arch Duke Ferdinand's picture

""Sure they look at the data. Then they spin the shit. The data doesn't lie. Liars lie.""

""We already have a National Disaster. It lives in D.C.""

OT: April Fools....Wrong Side Up...2 minute short...

poydras's picture

There is an emerging recovery.  Corporate sales, GDP data, and other metrics look promising.  The central issue is the massive government debt necessary to foster the recovery.  This latest reflationary attempt looks to be a failure due to the poor returns (i.e. GDP increase) on debt (i.e. government debt increase).

The Fed owns, as in POMO, most of the govi debt when this is over.  The Fed can tighten after a very significant inflationary period.  Living standards fall 20-60%.  Debt expansion has to end one way or another.

Rogerwilco's picture

"There is an emerging recovery." ... "Living standards fall 20-60%."

"The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them....To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth."

-- Doublethink, from Orwell's "nineteen eighty four"

GoldmanSux's picture

Point of order. 42 million HOUSEHOLDS receiving foodstamps. Therefore a much larger percentage of the population.

mfoste1's picture

PCR quit fucking posting ur bullshit....we get ur fucking point, as it was obvious after the first 57 newsletters(that most of which i might add show the same data)

Tunneler's picture

If you can't make a call, make a rant.

aerial view's picture

Job data is all baloney as many of these jobs are part-time, low wage, without benefits and subject to disapear at will. Additionally, consumer spending has been propped up by record food stamp and unemployment benefits. Welcome to the new normal.

Seer's picture

Broken record... Meaningless... Why?

The premise is based on the impossible to start with!: infinite growth on a finite planet.  What the fuck do numbers mean when we can turn the finite into infinity?

Fundamentals were shot from the get-go.  And all those lambasting anyone for playing "The Game" need to grow up and look in the mirror: if you believe that we can "grow" our way out of this mess by getting <govt/whatever windmill> out of the way, well, do me a favor and stay away from the social engineering controls because, well, because you're just as fucking clueless as those you lambast (yeah, a big fix- the ship is listing because everyone is on the same side of the boat, and the "solution" is to have everyone run to the other side?).

PulauHantu29's picture

No worries here, mate. CEO of Goldman gets another record Bonus this year gratis the Middle Class. So what's to worry about? It's all recovered.....

God Bless America!

or, as Cramer yells, BOOYAAH!

Reese Bobby's picture

Goldman Sachs is indeed deeply evil.

I hope you make out better down under when your real estate bubble goes BOOM.

It might be prudent for you blokes to start learning Chinese now...

And while I can't know the Grace of God I like to think he blesses his Children, not Countries...

Kina's picture

I doubt that it is possible except for the most deluded economist to think that we have any sort of a recovery. They all know the truth but twist it to in the hope that selling optimism will make it so.


As bad as things are now how much Japan's latest disaster kick everybody in the nuts?


China is slowing, oil on the up, MENA simmering away, housing in intensive care, employment going nowhere (25 year low participation rates) all sovereigns are loaded down with even more debt than when this thing started. Everybody still overburdened with debt.


The recovery is fiat being pumped at light speed into a leaking balloon. The big crunch is inevitable, but nobody knows when or what will be push.


All these 'black swan' events are too obvious to be the catalyst. Needs to be a butterfuly wing, like a guy self immolating in Tunisia. A seemingly remote event.

Tunneler's picture

I don't know as anything could rattle the zombies of America, but perhaps in another part of the world...

The series you lay out (don't forget the Death of GOM was less than a year ago) is so profound that in a way maniacal ranting is one of only a few reasonable response.  We are certainly close to the end of a global economic system on par with the collapse of the Soviet Union.  And the shockwaves will be all the greater for the lack of a stable system outside of it (USSR had capitalism to absorb it).  In combination with peak cheap oil, the globe will probably fragment into fiefdoms with no real "revolution of values" ever taking place except on the rare local level.


Howard_Beale's picture

You guys are posting too much. You are even taking Zero Hedge stuff and recycling it to get people to buy your stupid newsletter. Why don't you just STFU as you are quickly becoming more annoying than the Mad Hedge Fund Trader and that is quite a feat.

So knock it off. You are a leach, Graham, and if ZH isn't charging you for posting your drivel, they should. You are obviously trying to capitalize on the newbies at ZH and I truly hope it isn't working. You have yet to show an original thought.

JennifersBody's picture

Howard- 100% correct about that mother f__ing MHFT. His endless recycling of stories is pathetic, lazy and generally a complete rip-off. (Not to mention his b.s. track record. What a clown....

Tunneler's picture

Ranting isn't insight and the excoriating should at least be entertaining if not insightful as well. 

The cynical, flippant one-liners capping off most actual ZH posts are way better.

Reese Bobby's picture

You may be misdirecting your anger Howie?  We all do it...

"Sanity is not statistical."

Stuck on Zero's picture

This is a jobless, low-profit, high-inflation, super-high-debt, low morale, low-confidence, citizen angering, pension ruining, salary-shrinking, tax-increasing, and suicide inducing recovery.  We should all be happy!

Gold Dog's picture

+1 SOZ, nice turn of phrase!

ShouldveLeftHer's picture

Suicide inducing is right. I feel so powerless and helpless. What can a poor man do these days? There isnt even a hope of making it by, let alone making it big :(

Leo Kolivakis's picture

C'mon, stop with the doom & gloom already. The labor report showed impressive gains in the private sector, 470,000 jobs alone in the last two months. If this continues, Fed hawks will be screaming for rate hikes. Watch out, the jobs recovery is finally picking up some steam.

Printfaster's picture

Leo, you have not opened up the hood to find out why there is no more smoke coming from under the hood of the car.  The reason there is no more smoke coming out is that the engine is totally burned out.

The latest figures show that almost all of the hiring gains come from women.

And much of the gains are coming from Obamacare regulations and compliance hiring.  Think about it.  Hiring more women in manufacturing and mining.  Where are the women going?  The front office or the front of the mine face?  My money is on the front office where they fill out more paperwork to satisfy HHS and EPA.

homersimpson's picture

How about you stop with the BS and cheerleading?

James's picture

O.K. Leo - We need 160,000 NEW jobs per month at ALL times, month in, month out to just remain "Full Employment" at say 5% (That is considered full employment).

It is now 36 months since this "downturn" started. 36 x 160,000 = 5,760,000 jobs NOT created just to keep even @ 5% unemployment.

Now we also have to deal with ANOTHER 8,000,000 (million) + unemployed  since said downturn.

My math says approximately..........................I'll give you generously 1,760,000 jobs created since said "Downturn".

That leaves 12,000,000 jobs needed to get back to where we were in '08 and to account for normal hiring.

And i'm to be excited @ 235,000 jobs per month for 2 months? (PLUS they're LYING about that too).

If i'm wrong on these figures someone please tell me, O.K.?

John Law Lives's picture

Would you care to quantify the nature of those new jobs?  What is the average wage?  Do those jobs include health care coverage etc.  Raw job numbers mean little if the average wage and benefits are not keeping up with the surge in the cost of living.

Rogerwilco's picture

ZIRP and deficits at 10% or GDP for three years, yeah, it's a runaway train out here in the real world. My company's sales are off 30% this year and customers are demanding prices we quoted in 2006. If this is a recovery, I'd hate to see what a recession looks like.

Eireann go Brach's picture

Of course they don't, Osama Hussein Barack gets to read whatever is put in front of him on the teleprompter by a bunch of lying scoundrels, and most of America buy it!

lunaticfringe's picture

Sure they look at the data. Then they spin the shit. The data doesn't lie. Liars lie.

Mark Noonan's picture

It must be remembered that most economists are trained as Keynesians - they simply don't have the capacity to understand that record high food stamp usage two years in to a "recovery" demonstrates that there is no such recovery.  In their view, as long as money gets spent, its all good...even if its just wealth-draining food stamp usage.

Zero Govt's picture


"Do Economists Even LOOK At the Data..."

the answer is a big 'NO' if your name is Paul 'bailout' Krugman, Nobel winner for pushing the cause of Suicide Socialism for nations (despite a 100 years of patent failure)

Paul 'historically dumb' Krugman (hobby: debt mountain climber) narrowily beat Timothy 'unsustainable' Geithner (hobby: digging holes, deeper) to the Nobel Prize. Timmay, despite 20 years of deflation in the walking-dead zombie nation of Japan, advised their Govt the reason they hadn't pulled out of recession was because they hadn't stimulated (spent) enough. Brilliant!

America is clearly a breeding ground for economic genius; Krugman hasn't got an economic clue; Gitner admits his own budgets are unsustainable. What did these two morons major in, hairdressing??  

A Nanny Moose's picture

Don't need to major in that. All you need is Turbo Tax. So EZ even a government employee can do it.