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The Latest Contribution To US GDP: Promises... No Really

Tyler Durden's picture


Sadly, we are not making this up: as part of the BEA's latest revision to the way it calculates GDP, the government will no longer count the amount of pension funding that is actually allocated to retirement accounts (counted as wages in the GDP calculation): i.e., an actual cash outlay. Instead, what the Bureau of Economic Analysis will count are corporate promises of how much companies will (may? might?) pay... eventually. The bigger the lie and the promise, the higher the GDP. And presto.

Elliott Management's Paul Singer explains this pathetic adjustment as follows:

We have commented in the past on government statistical fakery and fudges, in the inflation numbers, in employment and long-term budgeting. But recent changes to the national GDP accounts by the Bureau of Economic Analysis may “take the cake.” As part of the revisions, they change the way pension payments are counting in GDP. Previous to the change, when a company paid money into a pension plan, the money was counted as wages in the GDP calculation. After the change, what companies have promised to pay in the future, not what they are actually paying, will be added to GDP. This is fantastic. The bigger the unpayable promise made to unsuspecting retirees (promises that are not fully funded), the more GDP supposedly goes up!

Said otherwise, if US companies promise "infinity", GDP will grow by a comparable amount. At least in a thought experiment... Right?

. . .

What else is there to say?


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Mon, 05/06/2013 - 14:54 | 3534956 Lost Wages
Lost Wages's picture

I guess it's finally time to buy stocks, because even though upcoming GDP numbers will be even more fake than usual, the Momo twirps of the world will still buy up the stock market based on the awesome new numbers.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:02 | 3534986 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

What would a cornered rat not do?

Resistance is futile!

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:09 | 3535012 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



The FASB now allows banks to just make up asset values, so why can't regular businesses just make up payrolls?


Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:12 | 3535032 flacon
flacon's picture

Holy shit. This is getting fucking rediculous. But that's because the status-quo is fucking rediculous. When oh when do we get to see reality?! My brain hurts! Zimbabwe here we come! Prosperity for all! Billionaires for all! Fuck shit fuck!


You know, there was a former Soviet defector who siad that the government of the USSR claimed that eventually the ocean would turn to lemonade. Fucking shit-loads of investors believed it. I went to the ocean the other day and it was just salt.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:12 | 3535043 XitSam
XitSam's picture

"So how did you become a trillionaire?"

"Gradually, then all at once."

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:13 | 3535046 flacon
flacon's picture

Very nice!

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:20 | 3535070 xtop23
xtop23's picture

+1 funny.

Love the Picard pic.

"Number 1, shields up! Brace for maximum stupidity!"

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:24 | 3535090 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Full Faith and Credit..

It’s a good thing.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:56 | 3535209 Element
Element's picture

Well, we now know for sure where all those Arthur Andersen accountants ended up working.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:18 | 3535283 Popo
Popo's picture

I have a one man LLC  (I work for myself).   


I have just promised myself a 1 trillion dollar retirement package.


Who should I contact at the Federal level to let them know about America's now higher GDP?

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:26 | 3535303 redpill
redpill's picture

First tell them your pension program needs a $1T bailout, they may pay you on the spot.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:45 | 3535352 Joe Davola
Joe Davola's picture

When the gov prints the dollars to fund the PBGC takeover of these pension plans, will that count as monetary inflation?  Or will it be categorized with the $85bil/month as just the cost of getting re-elected.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 19:09 | 3535816 Pegasus Muse
Pegasus Muse's picture

What else is there to say?  

"Economics is fraudquackery practiced by paid shills, charlatans, unabashed con men, and Bankster Mafia wannabes.” –Lee Adler

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 20:02 | 3535939 El Viejo
El Viejo's picture

Some people pay to visit La La Land others live there permanently.

Tue, 05/07/2013 - 04:08 | 3536773 resurger
resurger's picture

discount all promises to PV and add it to the GDP! This is the biggest fraudlent shit i have read today 

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 20:09 | 3535969 Whoa Dammit
Whoa Dammit's picture

As an encore, the BEA will have its Jerry's Kids employees don ruby slippers and chant a stunning rendition of " There's no GDP like Homey's GDP" whilst clicking their heels together 3 times. If that doesn't get the economy going nothing will. /s  

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:54 | 3535389 Go Tribe
Go Tribe's picture

Yes, and thank you for saving America!

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 18:39 | 3535722 Homernomics
Homernomics's picture

Don't forget to contact the IRS with that news.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:20 | 3535066 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

These are the dying days of our banana republic. In the near future, Obama will probably start wearing some blingy, fake military uniform.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:30 | 3535114 t0mmyBerg
t0mmyBerg's picture

Now that is funny.  I cannot wait to see that in this world.  For those who have already awakened from the matrix however, he already does.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:51 | 3535192 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

LOL!  +1984

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:32 | 3535321 XitSam
XitSam's picture

Like this one?

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:50 | 3535577 12ToothAssassin
Mon, 05/06/2013 - 18:09 | 3535624 IrritableBowels
IrritableBowels's picture

Paging WB7...

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:10 | 3535037 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Every time a unicorn shits skittles, a banker gets its wings!

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:33 | 3535325 XitSam
XitSam's picture

Every time a unicorn shits skittles, a banker gets bat wings!

Jamie and Lloyd have multiple wing pairs.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:11 | 3535038 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

It would be better if the unicorns were on ice.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:22 | 3535076 xtop23
xtop23's picture

Or on your bbq. Certainly going to be cheaper than beef at this rate. Nt'l avg. $5.49 a/lb thus far. 

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:55 | 3535397 Go Tribe
Go Tribe's picture

It's crazy not to buy quarters or halves these days, Who can afford supermarket prices?

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:32 | 3535127 Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day's picture


Do you know of a FASB rule which makes all my income turn into debt so i don't have to pay any taxes, or should i look for rumplestilsken (since we are in the lala land of star trek and unicorns)

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:08 | 3535446 Anonymouse
Anonymouse's picture

Magic always comes at a price, dearie.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:40 | 3535161 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

When does unicorn hunting season begin??  I just zeroed my scope on a new Ruger American Rifle 7mm-08

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:59 | 3535598 KickIce
KickIce's picture

As individuals, we should all do our patriotic duty and incorpotate and promise to pay ourselves x million and thus adding to GDP.  While I'm at it I'm going to revalue my 2001 truck to say 100k and take out a loan against it.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 18:14 | 3535640 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

So this is how they will show positive GDP in the face of a collapsing labor force..


No job's required to show productivity................

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:36 | 3535144 Long_Xau
Long_Xau's picture

Well then they get what they want. They don't care who the fool that buys is and how he rationalizes it.

Time to stop betting on other people's stupidity. The best you can achieve would be to become the king of stupid.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:51 | 3535193 Martin Silenus
Martin Silenus's picture

Assimilation, bitchez!

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 14:54 | 3534957 max2205
max2205's picture


Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:00 | 3534985 Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day's picture

What else is their to say?

"beam me up scotty, there's no intelligent life down here"

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:51 | 3535581 12ToothAssassin
12ToothAssassin's picture

Scotty never beamed anyone up or down.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:49 | 3535190 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

Can we add the $123.8 trillion in US unfunded liabilities for Medicare and Social Security (promises) to the US GDP then?

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 19:47 | 3535899 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Yes, apparently.  This is bat-shit nuts.  I suspect the timing of this is due to the fact they know we're headed for another leg down in the economy (so as never to officially acknowlege another recession again- as I have speculated would be the case for a long time now).

I realize two things:  1. When this thing blows, it's gonna blow big.  2. It's going to take YEARS for it to happen.  There will be millions starving in the streets and roving gangs driving around the suburbs in Mad Max cars before anyone acknowleges things may not be going quite as well as the numbers would indicate.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:00 | 3534967 yogibear
yogibear's picture

It doesn't matter anymore. It's anything to produce the next rally.

Increasing the GDP allows more debt. Won't have a negative GDP and look like a recession.

In the time the trading houses need to step up the ante and go order prostitutes for the SEC from the porn their viewing. A gift for all that illegal trading and activity the SEC let pass. 

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:02 | 3534996 Snoopy the Economist
Snoopy the Economist's picture

Try depression - not recession.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 14:58 | 3534973 flexforthecamera
flexforthecamera's picture

gdp soap opera

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:01 | 3534984 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

so flash forward. 2 years from now the true Unemployment rate is 20% but the reported one is 6.7% because of dropoffs etc. actual gdp is -5% but reported gdp is 2.5% because of promises. the market is still breaking new highs....are we still going to be talking about "when tshtf"?

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:04 | 3535004 Snoopy the Economist
Snoopy the Economist's picture

UE is already ~ 23%. It's only going up from here.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:05 | 3535014 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

at what point has the shit splattered all over the fan?

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:27 | 3535100 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

I kind of think the shit has already hit the fan, but TPTB have been working overtime with the Febreze. It's getting whacky, like something bad happened behind the scenes, and they don't know how to react so they're just winging it.

We've reached the perfume on a turd stage.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:30 | 3535110 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

It's 300 million little fans getting hit one at a time.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 19:20 | 3535836 Let The Wurlitz...
Let The Wurlitzer Play's picture

Hey McMolotov,

Did the feds raid your garage today ???


Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:33 | 3535134 seek
seek's picture

You'll never be able to see SHTF looking at government-issued data sets. Probably the only valid number in the current mainstream number is the labor participation rate, which says we collapsed in 2008 and have never recovered. This is a slow-boiling frog scenario, rather than a wake up and it's over scenario.

I think there's a few key milestones that are meaningful, though. All revolve around sustainability and debt-funding feedback loops.

For example, US Tax receipts are $2.4B. We already know we have a deficit that's 1T due to spending $3.5T. From a SHTF perspective -- the last official transfer payment number was $2.1B. So we're nearly at the point that the US is using 100% of taxes to support the personal incomes of some segment of the population. That's obviously a bad feedback loop -- you have to either print, tax, or cut transfer payments, all big negatives.

You could look at taxes v. debt service costs, but once you do, you know why interest rates will be "ZIRP 4 EVA." That's another pretty obvious feedback loop that forces interest to be close to zero because the government goes into hyperinflationary print mode with even a small interest rate increase on debt.

Ultimately, we know they print. So pick your benchmark for SHTF on printing, the dollar's purchasing power, and the standard of living. Until we have an actual dollar collapse you won't have a day where the SHTF is obvious. You just wake up every day to a world that's slightly worse off than the day before, repeated thousands of days on end.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:44 | 3535351 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

When they run out of people to tax, should be appearing by next year.

Maybe sooner as the Ocare panic sets in around September.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:19 | 3535039 SemperFord
SemperFord's picture

Not just UE but Under Employment!

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:34 | 3535139 Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day's picture

and gold will probably be 500 again and i will sell my house , cars, watches, etc etc to convert to the barbaric relic

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:51 | 3535385 kito
kito's picture

@GROUNDHOG-------oh no dont sell the real estate broker said homes are going up 20% a year!!!! we will all be rich again.......home equity lines of credit galore!!!!!!......more family disney cruises!!!......endless buffets!!!!! 2 year car leases!!!!!!!...................................ohhhhhh THANK YOU GREAT AND BENEVOLENT GOVERNMENT FOR SAVING US FROM HARDSHIP AND REALITY!!!!!...................AMERICA IS REBORN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:15 | 3535271 Long_Xau
Long_Xau's picture

The government, having control over the statistics agencies, and being dependent on the FED's QE (don't forget it is now officially targeting "mild" price inflation and low unemployment numbers), has a very strong incentive to fudge the inflation number to always stay low and actually keep the unemployment number where it is or higher, and not fudge it too much. Also, if real unemployment somehow fell too low, I bet that rather than undo all the fudging (they don't want to use the same tool too often due to issues of perceived cost, risk of implicitly admitting the fudging, loss of effectiveness, risk of being seen as inconsistent - better fudge only in one direction and never step back, etc.) they would actually work to increase real unemployment. They have plenty of ways, and indeed a lot of experience doing precisely that.

As for GDP, again thinking about the incentives, both the government and the FED would want to show rising GDP numbers, because to show a recession during unprecedented money printing would undermine the foundations of their Keynesian religion.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:02 | 3534993 Sutton
Sutton's picture

Ironically the Dow below 5000 would mean the economy is actually about to grow again.  Up here it just means massive,unending unemployment.  The higher it goes it  heralds the ruin of the Republic.  Weird.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:18 | 3535477 kito
kito's picture

dont count on growth for a very long time........the whole idea of growth in this country has been based on extraction and exploitation of the entire world to keep americas piece of the pie as big as possible......that piece is getting smaller everyday....but the peoples appetite has not adjusted........growth will have to be redefined in sutton.....below 5000 will not mean growth.......

Tue, 05/07/2013 - 11:08 | 3537572 e-recep
e-recep's picture

"Ironically the Dow below 5000 would mean the economy is actually about to grow again"

not necessarily. it may stay low for many years to come.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:02 | 3534995 Scro
Scro's picture

Moar paper shuffling.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:02 | 3534998 Let The Wurlitz...
Let The Wurlitzer Play's picture

And we make fun of the Chinese.



Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:42 | 3535343 Long_Xau
Long_Xau's picture

You don't seem to be satisfied with the gold bars that were offered to you, made by China Tungsten??? They look and weigh exactly the same, what the hell more could you possibly want? What's up with you?? The bars are like exactly the same. Weird guy. What a bunch of fussy weirdos you westerners are.


Tue, 05/07/2013 - 04:05 | 3536772 resurger
resurger's picture


Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:03 | 3535003 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

US Governments, from city to federal throw promises around like confetti and have been for many a year.  Why should one more even raise yer eyebrow; after all, our whole economic system is based upon promises to pay.  A FRN in itself is a promise to pay.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:21 | 3535034 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Yes but we haven't counted promises as part of GDP.  This is step across the line to the realm of unbridled bullshit. 

Mark to model at least had some plausible obscurity:  ie. since there is no market for most of the crap one price is as good as another.

However to count payment not made, but deferred as if it were paid, is just a deviation from the obvious fact.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:04 | 3535008 DriveByLurker
DriveByLurker's picture

Let's make this retroactive, and count contributions promised in the past by employers like Enron, Pan-Am, and Studebaker-Packard Motorcar as a one time adjustment to current GDP.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:06 | 3535015 saycheeeese
saycheeeese's picture

the impression of reality.... is reality  since we are told it is reality.  I 'dlove to see a wet shirt contest happening on the north pole  since the reality will tell us that is it a hot place as the 7 miles beach in Cayman.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:06 | 3535021 101 years and c...
101 years and counting's picture

time to legalize prostitution so that blowjobs can be counted as GDP.  maybe its time to start including things like: mowing the grass, cooking dinner for the kids, playing with wife's boobs as GDP as well?

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:10 | 3535031 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Wait....what did you just say?

"...maybe its time to start including things like: mowing the grass, cooking dinner for the kids, playing with wife's boobs as GDP as well?"

Yup, that's what I thought you said. Can't wait to try this out on Mrs. Cog.

"Oh HONEY!!! Wanna inflate some GDP?"

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:19 | 3535068 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Board meeting in bedroom! My pant's graph has a hockey stick working right now!

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 19:54 | 3535912 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

"Oh HONEY!!! Wanna inflate some GDP?"

Is that short for gross domestic penis?

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:16 | 3535052 samsara
samsara's picture

During the last Depression, they used to give them away for free just to have a warm meal in their stomach.

or something like that....

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:24 | 3535301 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

what?!!?!?!?!?  no wounder my dad had a smile when he talked about the depression

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:19 | 3535483 Anonymouse
Anonymouse's picture

GDP in DC would go up by 1000pct, easily

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:11 | 3535023 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"After the change, what companies have promised to pay in the future, not what they are actually paying, will be added to GDP."

I will gladly pay you on Tuesday (of 2045) for a bigger GDP today.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:08 | 3535026 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  .GOV forgot to insert disclaimer.

  * You will get nothing and like it Bitchez.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:10 | 3535033 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

I don't understand. If everything is so fucking great, just pull the QE punch bowl

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:23 | 3535036 Dead Canary
Dead Canary's picture

Remember when our glorious leaders decided to add itunes sales and kinder-garden refrigerator art to GDP.  Well I guess that wasn't enough.

Get ready to see a great improvement in our Debt/GDP ratio this summer. Obama. He's like the Dali Lama, Santa Clause and Papa Stalin all rolled into one. Gee I love that guy!

(Snif, snif)

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:12 | 3535040 Freebird
Freebird's picture


Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:22 | 3535048 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

I had to get a notary to sign off on a little financial windfall so I go to Chase(wife's bank, dropped when we leave sucknetticut). Sit for 30 minutes because three people in front of me were all dealing with EBT issues....card didn't work, lost benes....yada yada yada. This thing will fall and when it does, there are gonna be a lot of hungry zombies. "Aim for the whites of their eyes" as John Brown once said.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:59 | 3535202 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture


Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:34 | 3535527 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

If you weren't aware those EBT people waiting in line can also get SNAP for their pets.

Pet Food Stamp Program Started For Low-Income Families


Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:16 | 3535056 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

Do they categorise that under "intangibles" or "imaginaries" or "inventions" ?

Things get more surreal by the minute. 

A child asks her father, "Daddy can we go to Disneyland this year?". He replies, "Honey we're living in Neverland already".

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:21 | 3535290 knightowl77
knightowl77's picture

"Honey we're living in Neverland already".

"Honey we're living in FantasyLand already". Fixed it  fer ya

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:17 | 3535059 W T F II
W T F II's picture

"Notional" GDP should ABSOLUTLEY be included....Or at least I THINK it should, you know, from a NOTIONAL perspective...!!

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:30 | 3535118 Super Broccoli
Super Broccoli's picture

yeah we should include the forcast of GDP growth in the GDP !!!

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:03 | 3535430 InTheLandOfTheBlind
InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture

Careful, Krugman might steal this idea.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:18 | 3535061 samsara
samsara's picture

Ok, The question we all want to know the answer to...

Can I count a Promise to Pay on my TAX BILL???

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:36 | 3535143 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture


will you have to declare promised payments as current taxable income?

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:19 | 3535067 JJ McApe
JJ McApe's picture

as long as the bullmarket trend is intact there is no reason not to go long (if you have the money though).

but don't be too late if the music stops to play. then it will be worse than 2008/2009 imo

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:22 | 3535078 jeebus
jeebus's picture

Where is the positive GDP adjustment for unpaid internships, because there is a promise of paid work in the future?

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:23 | 3535082 venturen
venturen's picture

I heard they were going to count Monopoly money as real currency to increase the monetary supply

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:24 | 3535085 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

and the winner of the dumb motherfker of the week award goes to...

"Stop attributing all of the stock market’s gains to the Fed’s quantitative easing policies, says Brian Wesbury of First Trust Advisors.

Wesbury, whose forecasts have been good enough to win him a spot in MarketWatch’s poll of top-15 economists, says in a blog it doesn’t make sense to say the S&P 500 is up 161% from its lows because of QE alone.

“This defies logic. How can money boost stocks, but not the economy or inflation? This is a mistake in monetary logic. If money were so easy then the economy, inflation and stocks would be lifted together,” he tells clients.

“Stocks are cheap. They are rising because that’s what cheap things do,” he says

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:32 | 3535121 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

I read up until "Marketwatch".......

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:24 | 3535089 venturen
venturen's picture

Or was it you can now use real currency in your Monopoly game? 

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:26 | 3535093 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

Don't be so stupid Tylers. This is fractional GDP. Not yet used to fractional banking?

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:25 | 3535096 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

     The hell with this crap. I'm going to go brush up on my prepping skills. I recorded all the episodes of "Naked Castaway" last week for life on my island when SHTF...

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:30 | 3535109 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

We are going down to Panama in January to buy a plot. I hope this crackhead on crutches economy lasts that long.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:26 | 3535098 sitenine
sitenine's picture

Yeah, sure, why not? Never mind the fact that, promises WILL be broken. With our glorious 'last man standing' strategy, what else even makes sense anymore? Race to the bottom, bitchezz!

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:28 | 3535106 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Why so glum, Picard?  Starfleet break another promise?  Do what I did:  Go on vacation to the Virgo Cluster, where all parties and events have a Happy Ending, and your headaches will go away.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:16 | 3535471 Anonymouse
Anonymouse's picture

I prefer Risa

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:35 | 3535141 moneybots
moneybots's picture

 fraud is not an actual data point.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:39 | 3535153 sitenine
sitenine's picture

Let me guess, you're not a central banker.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:42 | 3535165 RopeADope
RopeADope's picture

So when a bankrupt company funds its pension obligations with treasury stock at last quarterly price of $60 and employees receive shares at end of bankruptcy at market value of $1 per share how will this effect GDP? Will the Fed promise to buy this stock at 60 from the trustee?

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:44 | 3535174 TrustWho
TrustWho's picture

As Bernanke says: "Reality sucks, we need to read a Fairy Tale to the American children and MAKE them believe they are insane if they are not happy in HAPPY LAND"

Most ZHers, including me, are insane watching this tragedy.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:50 | 3535181 Element
Element's picture
The Latest Contribution To US GDP: Promises... No Really


It's quite an innovative approach really, I do so like the panache, its audacity of grand hopery!

Say what, couldn't they do something similar with Bond yields to get around that simply awful little debt-ceiling thingy-ma-jiggery-pokery ... couldn't they sell some derivatives of that sort of thing or something, hey what?

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:55 | 3535204 Fuku Ben
Fuku Ben's picture

How almost Socratically Ironic some of my posts can be

Which of my new terms applies here?



And I continue to see we are using China as our model for GDP calculation for quite some time now.


Note: The 2006 PDF title "China Source Data Estimating Methods"

Yet, the description inside says "This paper provides an overview of the source data and the estimating methods used by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) to prepare the quarterly estimates of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP)."


Any other new terms apply here?

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:00 | 3535218 Element
Element's picture

Holy crap! ... emphasis on the latter.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:23 | 3535495 forwardho
forwardho's picture

Your list is rather comprehensive.

After revue, all apply.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 23:40 | 3536576 NaN
NaN's picture

The spread between and official stats will widen some more, just in the nick of time to redefine recession as normal.

wherein they assume a 7% discount rate (ha ha ha), and propose to estimate the future value of Hollywood movies so that revenues can be counted as soon as expenditures occur, and more. The special treatment of feature film making which has annual revenues of $30B seems peculiar. By contrast, the change to treat the real estate broker fees as "fixed investment" (!) affects $150B per year. Perhaps there will be lobbying to change tax rules for the movie industry based on the new BEA treatment. 

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:58 | 3535215 PiltdownMan
PiltdownMan's picture

I saw a similar story about a month ago:

It is really shocking ,,, and it came from the UN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:59 | 3535216 Smuckers
Smuckers's picture

I wish I could apply for a loan this way.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:01 | 3535224 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Now you know why the DHS is stockpiling ammunition like it is going out of style. It is not the free shit addicts that are going to be the problem when the promises made can't be delivered on.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 18:30 | 3535691 nasa
nasa's picture

I thought the ammo was to make sure the feudal citizens continued to work to keep those EBT cards full.  Serfdom is what's for dinner...

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:03 | 3535226 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

If jerking off counted toward GDP, Ben and Barry could easily cover the country's GDP shortfall.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:04 | 3535232 Dollar Bill Hiccup
Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

Make it so!

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:08 | 3535233 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

The US economy is just one big lie. People in a few decades will look back at this point in history asking each other "what were those imbeciles thinking?"


This is one of those signs that reminds us the end of the empire can't be too far away.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:06 | 3535242 Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

If things get too good, they stop printing; if things don't improve the sheeple get an angry inflection in their bleats.  They have to show improvement in unemployment and GDP somehow, but just not too much to stop the printing press.  

Oh, like 6.5% unemployment was some arbitrary number.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:08 | 3535245 earnulf
earnulf's picture

1) the imbiciles were not thinking

2) Moe, Larry and Curly are running things

3) anyone for moar slapstick?


Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:10 | 3535257 100pcDredge
100pcDredge's picture

Helm, warp one - enga... never mind.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:26 | 3535306 pauhana
pauhana's picture

Just found an explanation of GDP on the Atlanta Fed's website and laughed so hard I nearly peed myself.  Have a look:


Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:05 | 3535440 rorik
rorik's picture

The juggling federal statistician in that vid is perfect......

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:39 | 3535336 vulcanraven
vulcanraven's picture

If the rules constantly change, what is the point of following them?

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:12 | 3535457 Anonymouse
Anonymouse's picture

Thus, we ensure everyone has broken the law and subject to criminal sanction as/when necessary

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:57 | 3535404 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Secession is an answer.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:58 | 3535407 yrbmegr
yrbmegr's picture

OK, but only if we can tax those promises as income.  Amirite?

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:10 | 3535452 Anonymouse
Anonymouse's picture

Don't worry. This can't be abused because no one can have a retirement income over $205,000. All the safeguards are in place

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:22 | 3535490 JenkinsLane
JenkinsLane's picture

I think ZH should start a "You can't make this shit up" section.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:23 | 3535496 Anonymouse
Anonymouse's picture

So the Social Security Trust Fund will add to GDP, and so the unfunded liabilities will never impact the debt/GDP ratio. problem solved!

Started writing this as a joke, but now that I think about it, it is true.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:33 | 3535522 Anonymouse
Anonymouse's picture

Slightly OT, but I just realized that adding artistic intellectual property to GDP makes Hollywood TBTF. Bail-outs anyone?

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 18:16 | 3535638 Aurora Ex Machina
Aurora Ex Machina's picture

It's in the bag.


Remember children, intellectual property is now infinite till the end of time, even if you didn't make it yourself.



Disneyland is REAL, sheeple!

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:50 | 3535578 kw2012
kw2012's picture


Mon, 05/06/2013 - 18:22 | 3535667 Encroaching Darkness
Encroaching Darkness's picture

Once again, lies, lies, lies, all the way down.

I only hope that they are deluding themselves as much as they THINK they are deluding us.

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 19:03 | 3535805 BullyBearish
BullyBearish's picture

Benny Boy...just fricken Zimbab Me and get it over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 22:25 | 3536402 BraveSirRobin
BraveSirRobin's picture

An earlier poster said he is a 1 man LLC, so he could promise to pay himslef $1 trillion from his pension plan and thereby increase the GDP by $ 1 trillion.

I'm sorry, but why only 1 trillion? Don't you want to become "too big to fail?" Claim, oh, say $72 trillion, then admit you can't pay it, and have Obama give you a big fat bail out. Make sure you have some union members who will benefit, make some campaign contributions to congressmen (out of the pension plan),invest in their favorite charities, hire their children and wives to manage and advise your pension plan, and collateralize your $72T pension plan with big 5 bank assets and CDO's from government controlled entites. Then, collateralze all that and use the proceeds to buy $14,501 trillion (leveraged) of S&P market puts, then sell your $72T pension plan assets all at once, and end up making $984,98,281 trillion. I am sure you will en up as the keynote speaker at Davos next year, and be on the short list for dinners out with Soros and Buffet.

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