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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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Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:32 | 1196857 TheGreatPonzi
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. 

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:36 | 1196893 SilverDOG
SilverDOG's picture

Nope, instead we ALL will need to be.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:47 | 1196958 Conrad Murray
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?":

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:55 | 1196998 AR15AU
AR15AU's picture

+1 and Done...

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


Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:02 | 1197016 Conrad Murray
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:

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:15 | 1197106 Agent 440
Agent 440's picture

Beck rocks. : )

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 18:06 | 1197697 Johnny Lawrence
Johnny Lawrence's picture

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

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 18:27 | 1197738 Conrad Murray
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.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 22:59 | 1198284 jeff montanye
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.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 20:46 | 1197995 island
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.)

Sat, 04/23/2011 - 03:53 | 1198563 Kopfjager
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.  

Sat, 04/23/2011 - 00:49 | 1198444 Banjo
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.


Fri, 04/22/2011 - 16:12 | 1197345 Bearish News
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).

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 17:13 | 1197556 traderjoe
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.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 16:55 | 1197491 CrazyCooter
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 ...



Fri, 04/22/2011 - 21:25 | 1198077 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

Thank You Connrad! Email Sent!

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

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:00 | 1197010 Dr. Kenneth Noi...
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's picture

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

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:58 | 1197012 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

Most likely they got a phone call from Lieberman.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:12 | 1197102 gabeh73
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.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 17:02 | 1197492 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

Oceania has always used the World Inflation Index.

Ignorance is strength.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 18:30 | 1197740 DonutBoy
DonutBoy's picture

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

Well, opportunity knocks.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 19:39 | 1197877 robobbob
robobbob's picture


if it weren't so sad

Sat, 04/23/2011 - 09:40 | 1198819 Cursive
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.




Sat, 04/23/2011 - 22:33 | 1200228 Dirt Rat
Dirt Rat's picture

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

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 18:54 | 1197788 Confucious 222
Confucious 222's picture

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


We have another winner, folks!

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 22:09 | 1198163 Tail Dogging The Wag
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?

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 14:30 | 1204539 66Sexy
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?

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:31 | 1196868 JoeSexPack
JoeSexPack's picture

How many palletes of Fed notes were needed to bribe?

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:53 | 1196974 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

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



Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:35 | 1197212 JoeSexPack
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.

Sat, 04/23/2011 - 08:15 | 1198732 Antidisestablis...
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!

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:50 | 1197275 pods
pods's picture

Just one.  Wrapping paper for the bullet.


Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:33 | 1196878 JustPrintMoreDuh
JustPrintMoreDuh's picture

viva corruption slaves, and hail the NWO!

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:33 | 1196879 Dr. No
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.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:46 | 1196943 topcallingtroll
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.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:07 | 1197013 knukles
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.)

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 18:31 | 1197746 DonutBoy
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.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:08 | 1197024 narnia
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?

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:07 | 1197060 topcallingtroll
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.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:33 | 1196880 AldoHux_IV
AldoHux_IV's picture

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

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:55 | 1196987 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

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



Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:33 | 1196883 apberusdisvet
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.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:43 | 1196934 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

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

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:18 | 1197126 gabeh73
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


Fri, 04/22/2011 - 16:15 | 1197344 Irwin Fletcher
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.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:27 | 1197181 Buckaroo Banzai
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.


Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:34 | 1196885 Bagbalm
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.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:00 | 1197018 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

Is your first name "Laurent"?

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 16:41 | 1197453 hedgeless_horseman
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.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:34 | 1196895 Mae Kadoodie
Mae Kadoodie's picture

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

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:36 | 1196896 nah
nah's picture

and i want my bullshit supersized

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:36 | 1196897 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

Some student that probably is graduating this year saw a business opportunity, and with the help of lead researchers, is now going to sell the data. 

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:50 | 1196959 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture


The detailed data series will be subscription only.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 18:53 | 1197780 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

another Zuckerberg wannabe...

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:36 | 1196905 Ecoman11
Ecoman11's picture

I reported this many months back when I noticed China was removed from the list. I knew it was only a matter of time before those Professors got their funding cut.

Speak no inflation. See no inflaiton, Hear no inflation.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:43 | 1196933 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

Or...GS found out it was an accurate model for predicting spreads on currency.  Therefore they bought the IP.  The prof negotiated a stripped down version so as to keep up some work.  Meanwhile, GS booting up the HFT FOREX super computers.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 04:57 | 1202713 thames222
thames222's picture

China's not fooling around with anything these days...thoughts on Durden's crowdsharing idea for the MIT algorithm/programs??

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:36 | 1196909 bpj
bpj's picture

Hey, I just  found out that Haagen Dazs has been fucking me with 14oz pints for over a year.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 23:41 | 1198350 Hansel
Hansel's picture

Does that hurt?

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:40 | 1196913 MiguelitoRaton
MiguelitoRaton's picture

ZH should crowdsource it. Provide a form covering certain basics (bread, regular unleaded gas, pound of 3% fat hamburger, etc.) and let people enter that along with country, city and you are off to the races with an almost zero maintenance inflation meter. 

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:48 | 1196960 SpeakerFTD
SpeakerFTD's picture


Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:57 | 1196995 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

I had the same thought.

Volunteers who kept a log.

However as a nonrandom sample (the volunteers and their daily expenses). You would have to stratify it and then reweight it to better reflect the population. Heck, you could have inflation numbers for each of the subgroups, poor mississippi blacks, college educated midwesterners, etc.

The future of the cpi is to make it more individualized and more meaningful, hence a.hundred cpi's

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:05 | 1197032 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

That's a great idea. 

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 16:49 | 1197464 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

We'll probably get sued because we don't own the prices, the vendor does. 

Ever notice how hard it is to get a price for groceries/food online?

That Lundberg Survey lady just needs to send her researchers into the food isle at the gas stations, and she would have another product to sell.


Sat, 04/23/2011 - 03:39 | 1198554 fredquimby
fredquimby's picture you can see all the day to day prices in switzerland. used to be 1swiss franc to the dollar, now 0.8860 but hey, close enogh to get an idea of how cheap it is in the USA no?

As the CHF is strong vs. dollar, the prices here could easily act as another index or comparison in the ZH Real PI (ZHRPI) mentioned above!

Love the ZH barcode app idea that we could zap shop prices and upload our regional price changes going forwrd....

wikiflation......had me spitting cornflakes. classic idea.

Sat, 04/23/2011 - 03:49 | 1198560 fredquimby
fredquimby's picture

P.S @HHorsman - so true about not seeing prices when FIFO food stock swapping. I have now laid a marker pen by the door and shall now re-price all my tins etc as I put them in to store. Great fun for 2015 FIFO swapping out guaranteed!!

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:44 | 1196927 TemporalFlashback
TemporalFlashback's picture

"...but we will soon be partnering with another institution that can take over the job of updating these series on a regular basis."


The San Francisco Fed?

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:42 | 1196931 somethingelse
somethingelse's picture

Tyler: are we really 2 Million monthly readers strong up in ZH now?    impressive if so...the fringe is expanding   =)

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:50 | 1196970 SpeakerFTD
SpeakerFTD's picture

Does this include me pressing F5 every three seconds?

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:57 | 1197007 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Probably each separate log on.

I am about thirty percent of that total.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:21 | 1197134 Crack-up Boom
Crack-up Boom's picture

Hope I don't screw up the count by checking several times a day.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:54 | 1197286 Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden's picture

2 MM uniques

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 16:51 | 1197481 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

You're rich! 

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:45 | 1196936 velobabe
velobabe's picture

Zero Hedge's 2 million monthly readers, bitchez!

tylers in the millionaire club, happy easter bunny weekend guys and gals. you are rapidly coming up in rank and file will prevail.


Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:23 | 1197145 falak pema
falak pema's picture

yes if the USD devaluates as fast as the reader poll roll call inflates...then ZH stays on same spot in terms of gold standard!

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:45 | 1196940 Misean
Misean's picture

It's the inflation folks...Blended substituting blended scotch for single malt.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:45 | 1196944 Ecoman11
Ecoman11's picture

My measure of inflation is when I flip my food products upside down only to find a nice big hole at the bottom of a glass or plastic container—Better yet the same size bag of chips only 1/2 full instead of 3/4 full. That's where inflation is hiding.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:48 | 1196950 AccreditedEYE
AccreditedEYE's picture

When the Gov holds your source of funding by the balls, you listen to the gov. Heaven forbid truth be told anywhere, but especially if they have direct financial control.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:49 | 1196967 Misean
Misean's picture

The Mises Institute wrote about threats to have their funding pulled in the mid-late 90's. They didn't have ANY, so they published the conversations with the educrat thug who threatened them. I would not be at all surprised if that was the case here.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:51 | 1196961 treemagnet
treemagnet's picture

Thought MIT had a bit more backbone than that.  Pussies caved to their puppet masters. 

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:22 | 1197149 gabeh73
gabeh73's picture

Krugman got his PHD there....not a big surprise they do what they are told.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:29 | 1197188 treemagnet
treemagnet's picture

Some smartass should hang a "Krugman Institute of Higher Learning" sign by the mens restroom.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:48 | 1196963 DUNTHAT
DUNTHAT's picture

Do they really think we are that fucking stupid?


Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:54 | 1196984 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

Yes. They do. And, sadly, most are.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:54 | 1196979 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Honestly, I was surprised that they even created the thing.

While I like TEPCOed as a verb, to me the excuse is more along the lines of The Fed stopping M3 because "Gosh darn it, it's just too much work for what we get out of it. Besides, there are other sources."

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:54 | 1196991 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

So they can't even do this with their copius array of supercomputers? Nice. Wonder who the next building project gets named after?

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:57 | 1197009 AR15AU
AR15AU's picture

They are full of shit. A fucking Dell could analyze a billion prices and come up with the delta.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:35 | 1197211 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture


Look at the top post.

This is a huge.moneymaker for MIT and a way for banks to frontrun everything now.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:54 | 1196993 cswjr
cswjr's picture

Saw Robert Martin -- EPA Ombudsman for 10 years, forced out after "speaking truth" on the health and environmental hazards from 9/11 -- speak this morning.  Awfully depressing account about how corrupt our government was, and is.  Pulling the MIT BPP fits right in with the m.o. of these folks.  Mr. Martin promoted individual action; I think a revolution is more what's required.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:58 | 1197003 Ecoman11
Ecoman11's picture

Yes they think we're that stupid.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:57 | 1197006 Global Hunter
Global Hunter's picture

somebody quietly said to somebody important at MIT, "plata o plomo?"

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:03 | 1197023 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

It looks a lot like a Silver Price graph.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:02 | 1197027 anonnn
anonnn's picture

Harvard University Divinity School

MIT Sloan School Of Management

U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics

U.S. Department Of Justice

Who benefits?

What did you expect?

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:06 | 1197049 citta vritti
citta vritti's picture

Kind of like when the Fed deep-sixed M-3, saying it no longer played a role in monetary policy [very true], and so had become too expensive to maintain [lol].

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:14 | 1197096 knukles
knukles's picture

Fed already collects the data series used in the (H-Whateverthefuckitusedtobecalled) FRED.  Cost is not an excuse.  The data became a serious point of contention years ago in discussion of monetary policy.  That's when it disappeared.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:09 | 1197059 Ecoman11
Ecoman11's picture

Watch Professor Roberto Rigobon

If I remember correctly, somewhere in the lecture he states how he needs to sign his life away to obatin inflation data from the feds and also states something about how they would kill him if he discloses the info.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:29 | 1197189 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

From the text at that link (my emphasis):

"By pulling favors with friends at central banks, Rigobon has gathered data on the prices of every conceivable product from dozens of nations over many years..."

...Any questions?

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:26 | 1197150 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

I think firstdivision figured it out. MIT realizes they stumbled on a goldmine.

Hourly updated real time inflation reports.

Country specific
Industry specific
Product specific
Service industry specific
Even inflation numbers for a single mom and pop store could be monitored, or neighborhood.

Slice and dice it anyway you want, with trend analyses and.other value added components.

There explanation is stupid. We all agree. It is a low barrier to entry business and they dont want anyone to figure it out.

One hundred thou per year for all you can eat, or a la carte pricing to monitor a specific industry, or your suppliers!

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:33 | 1197210 catch edge ghost
catch edge ghost's picture

This is all my fault.  A few days ago, immediately after reading a ZH post that mentioned it, I visited the site.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:34 | 1197215 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

A look at MITs financial statements would identify the amount of government grant and contract money.  Those unfamiliar with such things would be stunned.  

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:40 | 1197235 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

MIT is going to make a fortune and people
who pay them can now front run everything.
See my explanation below.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:40 | 1197227 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Now the banks and hedge funds can front run everything!

And MIT is going to make a fortune!

It was first division who figured it out!

Real time price monitoring of everything.
You have to pay to play.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:41 | 1197232 Ecoman11
Ecoman11's picture

And he also mentions that computers are excluded from Core CPI data!!

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:40 | 1197236 Ecoman11
Ecoman11's picture

And he also mentions that computers are excluded from Core CPI data. Computers!!!

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 15:47 | 1197266 CPL
CPL's picture

So is food and gas.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 16:11 | 1197362 American idle
American idle's picture

Latest from TEPCO:

Authorities have decided to berm over the affected reactors with a safe heat absorbing
combination of Ferric Oxide and Powdered Aluminum.
The idea is to use a combination of healthy earth materials so as not to disrupt the local ecological systems.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 19:24 | 1197840 Confucious 222
Confucious 222's picture

"safe heat absorbing
combination of Ferric Oxide and Powdered Aluminum"

I love the idea! Thermite reactions only get to a fraction (4500F) of thermonuclear ones  so igniting piles of spent uranium and plutonium is WAY up there on the eco-friendly agenda.

Should solve the Global Cooling problem and take Europe out of that advancing New Ice Age.

And I was worried we were all going to have to burn piles of coal on the sidewalk to get the job done


Fri, 04/22/2011 - 16:23 | 1197388 bolen
bolen's picture

I hope the MIT "will soon be partnering with another institution that can take over the job of updating these series on a regular basis."

Otherwise, it is no doubt that the government must be involved in stopping their project. I believe this is what is happening.


Fri, 04/22/2011 - 16:29 | 1197410 gwar5
gwar5's picture

"The worst part of living under communism is living a lie." -- Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"When I was 23 years old I was a Marxist. But they wanted me to blantantly lie about my agricultural data to keep them from looking bad and to advance their programs politically. That's when I realized it was all a lie." --Thomas Sowell.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 16:55 | 1197462 Dr. Acula
Dr. Acula's picture

You can get U.S. inflation data here:

Note however that the CPI has no meaning in economic science. The prices of some goods are going up while others are going down. There is no natural way to consolidate an ensemble of changing prices into a single rate.

To avoid this problem, one can instead look at the quantity of tokens of exchange, i.e. the money supply. However, in this case, one must contend with the fact that the demand for cash holdings varies even if the supply of money is kept constant.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 17:18 | 1197570 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

CPI is for the lower class.

Middle class cares about inflation of housing + education + healthcare which all have outpaced inflation of goods.

Upper middle class cares about retirement funds and savings outpacing rate of inflation.

Upper class cares about nothing but making all other classes suffer.


Fri, 04/22/2011 - 17:19 | 1197584 TheGreatPonzi
TheGreatPonzi's picture

Perfectly summed up... 

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 18:38 | 1197757 Catullus
Catullus's picture

They needed to add "credibility of current world regimes" to prevent it from showing too much inflation.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 19:48 | 1197893 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

Change we can believe in!!!!!

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 20:07 | 1197937 Bodmas
Bodmas's picture

This is it. This, finally, is it. After a few years of unease, several months of acute discomfort, a few weeks of near-despair, days of self-questioning, hours of self-doubt, I am finally on board. There are clearly malevolent powers out there that want to hide the truth. We must fight them. We will fight them. We will defeat them.


Fri, 04/22/2011 - 20:24 | 1197960 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

UN disappears 50 million global warming victims.

Weather less scary than originally projected.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 20:29 | 1197965 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

the urge,

the urge,

the urge to vomitate,

the urge to vominate:

and throw up all the food we ate:

V. O. M. I. T.

V. O. M. I. T.




- Ned

{gunks refrain from the mid '70s}

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 20:59 | 1198019 honestann
honestann's picture

This kind of crap happens all the time.

Somebody who wants to become a journalist could and should make his name by following up all these situations where honest and useful information is removed, hidden and jiggered... to learn who exactly put the pressure on them.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 21:04 | 1198029 earnyermoney
earnyermoney's picture

No tolerance from Bernanke for the economic department at his alma mater mocking his policies on a daily basis. Like to analyze his phone records the past 2 weeks.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 21:05 | 1198031 Abraham Snake
Abraham Snake's picture

Censorship makes the most sense. If the model had a flaw, they wouldn't offer a substitute world index. And as a warning system, what value is a world average inflation index anyway? It's about as valuable as a blended world average radioactive fallout index (WARI) which at 1.005 indicates a Fukushima spinach and seafood salad is as safe as an Argentina one. Or how about the value of a blended world average tsunami height index warning system?

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 21:24 | 1198069 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture
MIT "TEPCOes" Its Billion Prices Project


The World is Not! full of enough Lies! NOW! M.I.T.? the United States go too Guys / Gals are imitating Ostridge? Burying those Minds in the Sand will Not! help any of us!


Consider being one clear, analytically honest voice in the World as Opposed to just another fucking group of Parrots! Please?!


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


My email sent off to MIT land!

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 21:30 | 1198088 JimBobOMG
JimBobOMG's picture

World inflation? Is the world expanding?

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 22:42 | 1198255 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

No it's simply running recursive max-min calculus on you. Guess if it's maxing you or mininmizing you. Come on take a wild guess.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 22:39 | 1198198 Mercury
Mercury's picture

If Google has any spine they're all over this.

Come on guys.

Be the partner, make one yourself or hire the talent.

Make it happen.

Sat, 04/23/2011 - 02:12 | 1198439 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

yeah google should have lots and lots of spare computing space considering they're deleting all user uploaded videos from google video effective April 29, 2011.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 22:42 | 1198246 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Soviet America. The finest Information Technolology on the planet.

Idiot tested joker approved.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 23:51 | 1198376 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

Everyone on Twitter or who Blogs! Left or Right is a Home Grown Terrorist PER Home Land Security see link and Official Report(s).


Rigged Market Capitalism & Propaganda within the U.S. by the U.S. PLUS! PLUS!!


Secret Hold On Whistleblower Protection Narrowed Down To Two Senators

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 22:55 | 1198273 Coldfire
Coldfire's picture

The government's mitt is firmly lodged up science welfarist M.I.T.'s rectum.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 23:37 | 1198349 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

Learn to love big brother...or else.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 23:53 | 1198383 -Michelle-
-Michelle-'s picture

Really, MIT?  It can't be that hard.  CamelCamelCamel does it every day with every single item Amazon sells.  They even let you toggle to eliminate the extreme price jumps from the charts.


15 pack of Kraft Macaroni was $18 last year and $21 today. 


Sat, 04/23/2011 - 00:17 | 1198405 IdioTsincracY
IdioTsincracY's picture

Courtesy of the last $100 Million gift to MIT from the koch bros. (albeit for a good cause)...

never let inflation data stand in the way of wealth transfer .... energy, bitchez!!

Sat, 04/23/2011 - 03:04 | 1198537 RagnarDanneskjold
RagnarDanneskjold's picture

MIT can cancel all the country indexes they want, but as an American institution of higher learning financed by U.S. taxpayers via federal aid, they should report the U.S. inflation index. 

Sat, 04/23/2011 - 06:22 | 1198635 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture

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.


I can look at grocery prices, gas price, silver price, gold price, etc.

Sat, 04/23/2011 - 07:04 | 1198659 Instant Karma
Instant Karma's picture

Well, practically speaking, maybe its not so bad Hersey made their candy bars smaller. We Americans eat portion sizes much too big. And, you can find lots of stuff on sale at the grocery store. Bread is often discounted as 2 for 1 (about $1.50 per loaf), etc. The places that inflation really hit home and is unavoidable is gasoline (do we really need to drive gigantic SUVs or pick up trucks for kicks?), health care insurance, college tuition/room/board, and the price of silver.

Sat, 04/23/2011 - 07:41 | 1198700 onthesquare
onthesquare's picture

So the US is biasing upward their CPI, assuming theirs is lower than the global average.

Why then would other countries, whos CPI is higher than the global average, allow this to happen and play into this game.

They will keep their own CPI while the states uses the world average, which has no value at all.

Sat, 04/23/2011 - 07:58 | 1198715 qmhedging
qmhedging's picture

Not singularity yet

Sat, 04/23/2011 - 10:07 | 1198867 Pablo Escobar
Pablo Escobar's picture

Someone at MIT reads zerohedge, it's now offline.


Sat, 04/23/2011 - 11:49 | 1199057 michigan independant
michigan independant's picture

The latency lemmings are catching up even at work. The best lines conveyed was trouble makers and veiled upper management conveyances of what are you working on. Please remember decades have insulated these "educated" souls to a core of indifference at best are now still confused. The point is three generational cycles in and of Acedemics has lets say defended there orthodox demeaner. The facts will not matter, so we have a long way to go in the coming misery index. Many clear minds on ZH already see and know this of and about structual issues over the decades. The truth has steps and then absolutes. They eat there own...

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 04:56 | 1202710 tomster0126
tomster0126's picture

Fuk this little MIT punk and his "team," that knowledge belongs to the public.  Tyler, how can we hire some Indians to model this work, can't we outsource an algorithm of our own?

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