The big news that has somehow shocked the media is that the BLS was caught fudging the jobs numbers going into the 2012 election. How on earth is this news? Anyone with a working frontal cortex is aware that CPI, the unemployment numbers, GDP and virtually everything else reported by the Federal Government is massaged to the point of being fraudulent.
As a result of yesterday's report that Census was caught manipulating the September 2012 jobs report, the BLS provided the following response via CNBC:
"the incident has been reported to the Commerce Dept Inspector General Office for investigation. We no further (sic) comment."
In other words, one part of the government - the Commerce Department - will investigate another part of the government - the BLS. We can only assume the NSA will certify the findings of the Commerce Department? Rinse. Repeat.
On Friday October 5, 2012, the BLS released what was arguably the most important report of Obama's first term: the final jobs number, and unemployment rate before the November 2012 presidential election. As so many predicted, it "plunged" from 8.1% to 7.8% allowing the president to conduct countless teleprompted speeches praising the success of his economic recovery. It also served as the basis for the infamous Jack Welch tweet: "Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers" and prompted the pro-Obama media to quickly brand all those who questioned it as conspiracy theorists... Well, as it turns out over a year later, the conspiracy theorists were once again, spot on: the Bureau Of Lies And Subterfuge manipulated the most important jobs report in Obama's career.
How is inflation of 2% acceptable? Why is this base assumption never challenged? At this rate, in 10 years you’ve lost roughly 20% of your purchasing power. And during the average worker’s lifetime, they will see a 40-60% decrease in purchasing power.
What are the odds that the long-term trend towards lower participation is going to turn around soon? I would say, "Not high".
Following the quantity breakdown of jobs in the month which saw the third biggest jump in people not in the labor force in history and a loss of over 600,000 full-time workers (don't ask how this is possible - not even the BLS knows), next we look at the quality of October jobs. Or lack thereof. Because the top job-gaining sectors were also the worst of all: Leisure and Hospitality; Retail; and Temp Help, namely minimum wage hotel workers and retailers, amounted to roughly half of all job gains.
So much for the surge in 691,000 full-time jobs in September. One short month later, indicating just what a farce the BLS's sampling process is, while the algo frenzy-inducing establishment survey showed a gain of 204,000 workers, the household survey had some other ideas. True, the headline household survey number rose by an almost identical 213,000 workers, however it is when trying to foot that number into the actual components, when one gets a headache. Because according to the same survey, a whopping 623,000 full-time workers (supposedly government) lost their jobs in October, nearly offsetting the entire 691,000 gain the month before which it turns out was purely for Obamacare (now hopelessly damaged) optics.
- JP Morgan 75K
- Goldman Sachs 100K
- UBS 100K
- Bank of America 110K
- HSBC 120K
- Barclays 125K
- Citigroup 130K
- Deutsche Bank 130K
Each month the BLS tells us, buried in an oft-ignored table, what percentage of businesses surveyed returned a response in time for the first payroll print. Despite payrolls remaining an intensively revised number (part of the reason we usually advocate fading an overreaction in the market), this data collection rate has climbed steadily over the years. The attached chart shows the first-print data collection rate for October going back to 1981. Collections have risen from about 40% to above 70% over this period.
While today's big event is the October Non-farm payrolls print, which consensus has at 120K and unemployment rising from 7.2% to 7.3%, there was a spate of events overnight worth noting, starting with Chinese exports and imports both rising more than expected (5.6% and 7.6% vs expectations of 1.9% and 7.4% respectively), leading to an October trade surplus of $31.1 billion double the $15.2 billion reported in August. This led to a brief jump in Asian regional market which however was promptly faded. Germany also reported a greater trade surplus than expected at €20.4bn vs €15.4 bn expected, which begs the question just where are all these excess exports going to? Perhaps France, whose trade deficit rose from €5.1 billion to €5.8 billion, more than the €4.8 billion expected. Of note also was the French downgrade from AA+ to AA by S&P, citing weak economic prospects, with fiscal constraints throughout 2014. The agency added that the country has limited room to maneuver and sees an inability to significantly cut government spending. The downgrade, however, was largely a buy the EURUSD dip event as rating agencies' opinions fade into irrelevance.
For the 4th week in a row, initial jobless claims came in worse than expected. According to the BLS there are no special adjustments for "glitches" or shutdowns or any other caveats and in fact California (at the center of the software glitch that impacted everything) saw the biggest 'drop' in claims: 13,033 as fewer layoffs in service, wholesales trade, and retail trade industries supported the data. If this is indeed a clean number, it is still the highest level of jobless claims in over 3 months. It seems, post-FOMC, that the market needs moar bad prints to spark some more momentum and a mere 10k miss is just not enough to warrant another BFTATH ramp (for now).
As we mentioned earlier, if there was one thing that would guarantee an 1800 print in the Stalingrad and Propaganda 500 index today, it was a 0 or negative ADP print. Well, it wasn't that bad. But it was close: with a paltry 130K private jobs created in October, this was a monthly plunge in private (i.e. non-government) payrolls, well below expectations, and substantially lower than the September 166K print which also was revised lower to 145K. It was also the 4th consecutive monthly decline starting with a 190K print in June, and it's all downhill from there. Finally, this was the 7th ADP miss in the past 8 months. We can't wait as the spinmasters do all they can to explain how private payrolls were affected by a government shutdown.
The overnight fireworks out of China's interbank market, which saw a surge in repo and Shibor rates (O/N +78 to 5.23%, 1 Week +64.6 to 5.59%) once more following the lack of a follow through reverse repo as described previously, and once again exposed the rogue gallery of sellside "analysts" as clueless penguins all of whom predicted a quick resumption of Chinese interbank normalcy, did absolutely nothing to make the San Diego's weatherman's forecast of the overnight Fed-driven futures any more difficult: "stocks will be... up. back to you." And so they were, despite as DB puts it, "yesterday saw another round of slightly softer US data that helped drive the S&P 500 and Dow Jones to fresh highs" and "the release of weaker than expected Japanese IP numbers hasn’t dampened sentiment in Japanese equities" or for that matter megacorp Japan Tobacco firing 20% of its workforce - thanks Abenomics. Ah, remember when data mattered? Nevermind - long live and prosper in the New Normal. Heading into US trading, today the markets will be transfixed by the FOMC announcement at 2 pm, which will likely say nothing at all (although there is a chance for a surprise - more shortly), and to a lesser extent the ADP Private Payrolls number, which as many have suggested, that if it prints at 0 or goes negative, 1800 on the S&P is assured as early as today.
This artificial prosperity plan for Wall Street has the added benefit of allowing the captured politicians in Washington D.C. to continue their $1 trillion per year deficit spending with no consequences for their squandering of future generations’ wealth. Bernanke and Yellen will never taper, because they can’t. The Fed balance sheet will continue to grow by at least $1 trillion per year until they crash the financial system again. Except this time, there will be no money printing solution. We are all trapped like rats in this monetary experiment being conducted by evil mad scientists. No one will get out alive. Welcome to the new normal. Now eat your cheese.