Bureau of Labor Statistics
A triptych of greece, cement and resolutions.
While this will hardly come as a surprise to any of our regular readers, occasional visitors may be confused to learn that according to a discovery by the Carolina Journal, North Carolina "Gov. Bev Perdue’s press office has received access to confidential employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics hours if not days before its scheduled release, quite likely in violation of federal law." Once again the rabbit hole, which these days is pretty much everywhere, emerges: "Documents and correspondence obtained by Carolina Journal show that the Division of Employment Security, formerly known as the Employment Security Commission, sent a draft of the press release each month to Perdue’s press office. The governor’s spokesmen typically rewrote the text and added a positive spin, even if the data did not support Perdue’s talking points." And while one may say this is a perfectly innocuous leak of otherwise embargoed data, others may highlight the following facts: "While the operation may sound like a harmless effort to add political spin to the release of jobs data, sharing confidential BLS estimates while they are protected by an embargo violates a federal law barring the early release of employment data. This is no small matter: A conviction for breaching the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 carries a fine of up to $250,000, up to five years in prison, or both." Of course, when it comes to breaking the law, both members of the US banking class, as well as America's politicians, are perfectly immune from any repercussions. But at least the next time the market does its usual pre-NFP acrobats, the only question will be: which particular US politicians i) traded in advance of the embargo lift, and ii) leaked the information to ten of their closest friends, who did the same, who did the same, etc.
Today's announcement by the BLS that it decided to flat out estimate nearly a third of all initial jobless claims (courtesy of several large outliers) due to a "clerical holiday" which resulted in a major beat to estimates, caught many offguard by just how tendentious and manipulative the US Department of Truth can be. This is nothing. To visualize just how ridiculous the perpetual upward bias is at the Labor Bureau, we present a chart demonstrating the weekly jobless claim revisions by the BLS: in a nutshell, 90%+ of the time the bureau has revised prior claims upward, meaning it consistently strives to create an optimistic picture at the moment, only to have it revised it to its true, uglier state a week later when nobody cares. The implication is that fraudulent (and we sure hope this is inadvertent, although a 90% error rate definitely would invite a criminal investigation into just who and how stands to benefit from such an manipulative upward bias) data reporting is responsible for a persistent upward bias in data, and that fundamentals have been disconnected from the "government's reality" for years, confirming that the recent pathological breakdown in the market's relationship with fundamentals is not a new development. For example: today stocks would be flat to down if the BLS were to report the initial claims as they really are. Instead, here we are, almost 1% higher on nothing but soon to be revised lies. In other news, the China-US data distribution Joint Venture/Vassal State development is progressing better than expected.