MIT "TEPCOes" Its Billion Prices Project

Tyler Durden's picture

If there was one thing TEPCO was consistent in during the entire Fukushima crisis (and will be for a long time), was its ability to simply "disappear" data that was not palatable for general consumption. Well, it only took MIT 6 months to "TEPCO" its Billion Price Project. Launched early in 2011, the MIT BBP was the only place where one could get an objective look at how inflation was trending in the US and across other countries in the world (and as one can imagine, it was "trending" laughably higher than the CPI). Well, as of this morning it appears that each individual country's data has been "disappeared", and conveniently replaced with the "blended average" also known as the "World Inflation Index." For all those who previously had at least one recourse to see just what liberties the BLS was taking with its imaginary CPI data, well, that recourse is now gone.

From MIT:

The world inflation index will replace the country-level indexes we have
been computing for the past 6 months
. Although we understand that the
country-specific inflation indicators have become quite successful in
the financial sector, we are overwhelmed by the amount of time and
resources involved in updating them within the context of this academic
. We must focus on our research, but we will soon be
partnering with another institution that can take over the job of
updating these series on a regular basis. If you want to be notified of
any news, please sign up to our email list (see the sidebar).

If MIT, the world's premier computing data center, is in need of spare CPU cycles due to its "overwhelmment",
we are confident Zero Hedge's 2 million monthly readers will be more
than happy to donate some of their spare cycles... as well as time to
assist in the compilation of this quite important data set.

We just wonder: was the true opportunity cost for MIT (because we are not really children here) one expressed in terms of lost funding... or lost freedoms.

This is what the latest US inflation data looked like before it ended up being pulled.

h/t Sean Corrigan

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TheGreatPonzi's picture

Well, maybe they didn't want to end up like Kennedy... attacking monetary cartels is always dangerous, notably when it's done by "official" institutions with large branding, and not simple "fringe groups" with no media repercussion. 

SilverDOG's picture

Nope, instead we ALL will need to be.

Conrad Murray's picture

Contact these gentleman with your thoughts:

Roberto Rigobon
Professor of Economics
Applied Economics Group
MIT – Sloan School of Management

Alberto Cavallo
Assistant Professor of Economics
Applied Economics Group
MIT – Sloan School of Management


Here is another project; it attempt to crowdsource grocery inflation data:

And a random, good read, "An Analysis of U.S. Fiscal and Generational Imbalances: Who Will Pay and How?":

AR15AU's picture

+1 and Done...

What a fraud...  maybe Shadow Stats can do what MIT is apparently incapable of.


Conrad Murray's picture

I forgot to add this...

Beck did an entire show exposing the Federal Reserve Corporation and all of the TBTFs the other day. One of his best shows ever. For all you emotional faggots that see his name and BAAAWWWWWW, put your HuffPuff induced retardedness aside and watch it...I dare you not to like it:

Johnny Lawrence's picture

I never watch Beck, but this is absolutely amazing.  I wish every American would watch this episode.

Conrad Murray's picture

Yea I probably shouldn't have been so crass in my above comment as it may turn people away. Truly something everyone needs to watch and spread.

jeff montanye's picture

inside job isn't bad either.  imo a multi front pincer movement is in order.  like the nyt taking orders from the cia and bush, so mit from the treserve:  all the thoughts fit to think.

island's picture

While I think what Beck shows about what is going on with the financial and economic side of things is accurate, he is way off is his assigning distain for "progressives."   This is where Beck loses me -- he is basically a fanatic who turns facts into a diatribe that serves his own political agenda.

Progressives (e.g. Bernie Sanders, Michael Hudson, William Black, Chris Hedges, David Korten) have been just as adamant, or more so, about the dangers of bigCorpa, the banksters, and concentrated influence and wealth -- and for far longer than Beck.

In addition, Beck, while touting the benefits of competitive markets, fails to explain that "free markets" always, by their very nature (the drive toward maximizing profits = the drive toward monopoly), lead to less competitive markets.  Thus, I maintain, the primary ecomomic role of government in a Capitalistic economy is to ensure competitive markets (via anti-trust laws (enforced), educating the populus, implementing progressive taxation, etc.)

Kopfjager's picture

"Free markets always, by their very nature lead to less competitive markets. The drive toward maximizing profits = the drive toward monopoly."  Sounds like you took college seriously!  

Yet the only "free market" that exists is the underground market and that has never witnessed a monopoly.  Even better, the underground economy is thriving while the centralized economies are in a recession.  

Banjo's picture

Conrad Murray: My apologies I didn't appreciate the condescending presentation. dumbed down he (Beck) is the school teacher  withblackboard chalk and pointer.

Takes extremist (straw man) position "all bankers are bad", "all of wall st"

Forget it's a wonderful life he should be referencing Bill Still's The Money Masters.

Usual fake Left/Right WWF paradigm being promoted.

Sorry thumbs down.


Bearish News's picture

If it was a political job to get the data pulled, you'd have to wonder what was necessary to make the researchers (who obviously saw value in the service) sacrifice their professional integrity by killing a project they've worked on for years. Maybe they got job offers in the financial sector? Mostly kidding.

I followed BPP regularly. For a while they disappeared the comparison with CPI, then it came back. Now it's all gone. If something happens to John Williams, I will call shenanigans (quietly, to myself).

traderjoe's picture

University economics departments are bought and paid for. All it would take is a corporate consulting gig - or the obvious threat of being in academic Siberia.

CrazyCooter's picture

I got down to around page 10 of the IMF doc (awesome link BTW) and started giggling when noticed the "male" blue line was humping the "female" red line in all four charts ...



JW n FL's picture

Thank You Connrad! Email Sent!

Plus a Trillion Oz.'s of Silver for you!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's picture

Do/will they release their raw data for public analysis?

HelluvaEngineer's picture

Most likely they got a phone call from Lieberman.

gabeh73's picture

First they took away the CPI comparison on the chart because it made the official CPI look silly...sevreal people(me included) complained and they brought it back. However, they shut the blog down soon afterwards so we couldn't post questions or critical discussion about monetary policy on there any longer.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

Oceania has always used the World Inflation Index.

Ignorance is strength.

DonutBoy's picture

Room 101 for you horseman.  My alma mater - how sad.

Well, opportunity knocks.

robobbob's picture


if it weren't so sad

Cursive's picture

@hedgeless horseman

Simply beautiful, HH.  I also recommend "Brazil" if no one has seen it.  From 1986 and with a 1984ish theme, it was Terry Gilliam's brilliant take on Orwell.




Dirt Rat's picture

One version of Brazil can be found in full at google video.

Confucious 222's picture

"Well, maybe they didn't want to end up like Kennedy"


We have another winner, folks!

Tail Dogging The Wag's picture

"Investors need to diversify, they need to own some real estate, they need to own some farmland, they need to own some equities, some cash, and some precious metals..."   Marc Faber —Investment analyst

Got real estate and farmland outside your home country yet?

66Sexy's picture

"Well, maybe they didn't want to end up like Kennedy"

Or Jesus Christ. Mathew 21:12 The only violent act of Christ was overturning the tables of the "money changers". ... Most likely why he was crucified.

What are WE justified in doing?

JoeSexPack's picture

How many palletes of Fed notes were needed to bribe?

Sudden Debt's picture

I can only give you the numer of dumptrucks used... must be because of the metric system...



JoeSexPack's picture

I've often wondered how many pallets of Fed notes we ZH types would need to stop protesting their scam.

That's how they've done it so long, buying off opposition using printed cash.

Shrink-wrapped & left on my driveway each morning.

Antidisestablishmentarianismist's picture

I'll take printed cash.  You can still convert it to gold and silver and ammunition.  Don't know how much longer, though!

pods's picture

Just one.  Wrapping paper for the bullet.


JustPrintMoreDuh's picture

viva corruption slaves, and hail the NWO!

Dr. No's picture

If gathering the data for individual contries was too difficult, that means they are gathering less data.  Additionally, they are gathering easier data.  So what is the blended number suppose to mean?  The blended is comprised of less data as well as chosen data.  Not much use.  Lump it with CPI.

topcallingtroll's picture

Yes, their explanation otherwise makes no sense.

The blended data is comprised of the individual country data.

However i agree with a previous poster that they are now giving out free less accurate global data, and the labor and cpu-intensive detailed data will be subscription only.

knukles's picture

Fuck it.  MIT is another progenitor of the high and mighty global elites, so why were we even thinking that it'd last? 
Back to the old Scrooge McDuck Quantity Theory of Money cartoons, counting the gold in his vault, clearly reminding us that too much money everywhere, every time is an inflationary incendiary pile.
Thus, retreating from hard data to assuming the worst.
The more truth is supressed, the worse it becomes as credibility erodes.

"Progress led by confusion boats.,
Mutiny from stern to bow"


(Freddie Mishkin is an academic product of MIT.)

DonutBoy's picture

No, what made these men tools was in them before they got there.  What MIT does is stamp an imprimatur of credibility on their nonsense.

narnia's picture

simplest explanations here are that (1) there's a major flaw in their model & they don't want to admit it or (2) they were pressured to take it down.  

i think this calls into question the legitimacy of the model.  

maybe the answer is a ZH smartphone barcode ap to capture pricing nationwide from contributors?

topcallingtroll's picture

I think the simplest answer is they realize they have a goldmine, but want to get their subscription base up and running before anybody tries to copy them. Give a.vague false answer as to why it is not currently available.

AldoHux_IV's picture

Maybe Obama thought they were "speculators" and didn't like the fact they were misinforming the public.

Sudden Debt's picture

yes, they didn't follow the script.... how UNpatriotic can one be?



apberusdisvet's picture

It looks like my alma mater has sold out to the disinformation pysops clique.  Shame.  There was a time when I was proud to be a graduate; before the Institute sold out to the NWO meme.

faustian bargain's picture

me too. Really irks me that Bernanke's PhD is from there too.

gabeh73's picture

I went there too and still like the place a lot. However, it has been a tool of the military industrial complex for a long time.


Did you take any economics classes there? blind support of the central banking.


 Political science? brainwashing to look at world through a false left-right paradigm


Irwin Fletcher's picture

Don't forget Lincoln Labs. If you agree to work there, I understand that you're later assigned a project of someone else's choice, and that's the project you work on. You just hope it's the Navigating Sharks with Laser Beams Project, rather than the bunker busting cluster bombs project.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

MIT went down the rathole when they went outside the Institute (for the first time in its history) and made that shitbag Chuck Vest president. You knew the takeover of the Politically Correct CorpGov Borg was complete when some fucking woman was appointed after Vest left.


Bagbalm's picture

Like even the dimmest bulbs can't see reality when they go grocery shopping. Too late to pretty this mess up folks.

Bam_Man's picture

Is your first name "Laurent"?

hedgeless_horseman's picture

In the old days we had price tags on each  can and box in the pantry.  That way, when FIFOing the Campbell's Soup it was easy to see if prices were going up.  These days one must keep one's receipts.

Mae Kadoodie's picture

Individual country data?....annd it's gone!  Please step aside this line is for "blended average" only.