Hiding in econometric obscurity, in an area of research so boring no economist would dare tread, did the government knowingly encourage the adoption of a dubious economic theory that would likely bias inflation downward? If so, it was a good bet.
Overall, CPI’s are used to index payments on over $10 trillion in liabilities. Any underestimation of CPI benefits the federal government at the expense of the taxpayer and amounts to a backdoor default on its financial obligations. Please understand this could be deliberate or the result of dubious econometric methods. Using a bad model is like using a random number generator as a compass. To get an idea of the sums of money involved, for every 1% of CPI underestimation the federal government saves $8.4 billion on social security payments alone. The lack of transparency regarding quality adjustments (and their perceived complexity) provides a perfect smoke-screen for covert debt management through CPI under-reporting.
Today we see actions by many groups calling or demanding wage increases; especially when it comes to the minimum wage. Yet, isn’t the real underlying issue more in line with what was once an “entry-level” position filled by teenagers has now turned into the only positions available for the now “entry-level, unskilled, first time employed, degree bearing” 26 year old’s and older?
At the end of the day, it is overwhelming clear that the headline jobs number is thoroughly and dangerously misleading because there has been a systematic and relentless deterioration in the quality and value added of the jobs mix beneath the headline. It has no value whatsoever as an index of labor market conditions, labor market slack or even implied GDP growth. The truth is, in an open global economy the quantity of labor utilized by the US economy is a function of its price - not the level of interest rates or the S&P 500. Currently, wage rates on the margin are too high, but the Fed’s ZIRP and money printing campaigns only compound the problem. They permit the government to fund with ultra low-cost bonds and notes a massive transfer payment system that keeps potential productive labor out of the economy, and thereby props up bloated wages rates; and it enables households to carry more debt than would be feasible with honest interest rates and competitively priced wage rates, thereby further inhibiting the labor market adjustments that would be required to actually achieve full employment and sustainable growth.
When it comes to inflation data, there are two parallel sources: the BLS, and ShadowStats' John Williams, who continues to plough through the underlying "data" using pre-pre-pre-revision protocols, and every month reveals a parallel universe in which something shocking is revealed: the truth. Here is his take on the October "weaker but really stronger than expected" jobs numbers. Here is what really happened.
The All-Important Seasonal Adjustment That Everyone Will Ignore: Previewing Today's Non-Farm Payrolls ReportSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/07/2014 09:04 -0400
- US Change in Nonfarm Payrolls (Oct) M/M Exp. 235K (Low 140K, High 314K), Prev. 248K, Jul 180K.
- US Unemployment Rate (Oct) M/M Exp. 5.9% (Low 5.8%, High 6.1%), Prev. 5.9% European
- This will be the first employment report since the Fed announced the conclusion of QE3
- Stronger data of late has increased expectations of a solid October report
- Seasonal factors could also be supportive
- Focus could again may turn to the wage component of the jobs report as the Fed looks to exit easy policy
The Keynesian notions of “potential GDP” and “aggregate demand” have no basis in the real world. They are revealed doctrine. They are the religion of the state’s economic policy apparatus. Its bad enough that this destructive economic religion leads to the farcical forecasting games evident in the EC’s chronic updates and slow-walks of the GDP numbers down. The evil, however, is that the Keynesian apparatchiks will not desist in their destructive money printing and borrowing until they have suffocated free market capitalism entirely, and have monetized so much public debt that the financial system simply implodes.
Confused how your cost of living increase is always orders of magnitude above the "inflation" reported by the BLS' Consumer Price Index? Then prepare for your daily dose of Keynesian epiphany, with this step by step guide from the BLS of how to use the Hedonic Quality Adjustment to turn a 400% price increase into a 7.1% decline.
Unbeknownst to many, America is gripped in a saline shortage that is "Potentially related to the flu season." A shortage, which according to the ISM is now in its 10th month. That must have been some flu season. Then again, counting back from October, the first month when there was a saline shortage was in January of this year, when incidentally there wasn't much if any major flu outbreak as most people were staying home and away from the infamous Polar Vortex. Yet one key event did take place just around January of 2014. The WHO reminds us what: "On 26 December 2013, a 2-year-old boy in the remote Guinean village of Meliandou fell ill with a mysterious illness characterized by fever, black stools, and vomiting."
Based on the ridiculous, seasonally-adjusted data released day after day by the various US "Departments of Truth", also known as the BLS, the Census, the Dept of Commerce, UMichigan, ADP, the Conference Board and so on, the US economy is so strong and consumer confidence is so resurgent, America is on the verge of a second golden age. Sadly, for Obama, and last night's epic rout for Democrats, it was all a lie - a lie perpetuated by a manipulated S&P500 which hit daily record highs on unprecedented central bank liquidity injections which have now terminally disconnected the "markets" from the economy, and the welfare of the vast majority of the common "folk" - and said "folk" saw right through it.
The idea that Hillary Clinton, or any of these politicians (like Bush, Romney and Obama) can create jobs is lunacy. It’s scary to realize just how demented our political leaders truly are. Hillary’s wrong on the idea that government creates jobs – the government destroys jobs. Here are seven reasons why...
When it comes to the future of the US, the biggest question mark by far is anything relating to the Millennial generation, those Americans born between 1980 and 2000, which happens to be one of the biggest generations in US history. Here are the most relevant charts seeking to answer some of the outstanding questions.
Alongside the CPI data released earlier which showed the smallest possible broad price increase, when considering that previously the BLS reported flat nominal hourly wages in September, it implied that real wages declined once again. Sure enough, in a separate report today, the BLS announced that real average hourly earnings (in constant 1982-1984 dollars) declined once again, this time from $10.34 to $10.32, a -0.2% drop from past month. This also means that since March, there has been just one month in which real hourly wages have increased, and that was mostly due to the outright deflationary print the BLS reported last month.
Put another way, those individuals responsible for running the largest companies in the US, who know more about their companies’ growth prospects and the economy have used the Fed’s policies to cash out.
Remember when banks said to ignore "one-time, non-recurring" legal fees because they are going away? Well, JPM yesterday showed they aren't. But it was Bank of America today which was slammed with the latest whopping $5.3 billion pretax litigation charge, which pushed its EPS once again into the red. But wait, there's great news: the loss of $0.01 is really a $0.42 non-GAAP adjusted profit if one "adds back" the $0.43 in litigation charges.