Nigeria Just Doubled The Size Of Its Economy With The Stroke Of A Pen

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Simon Black via Sovereign Man blog,

Over the weekend, Nigeria’s government made an accounting adjustment in how it calculates its GDP statistics.

By changing the base-year in GDP calculations from 1990 to 2010, Nigeria increased the reported size of its economy by 89% over the weekend.

So with a stroke of a pen, the West African nation leapfrogged South Africa to become the continent’s largest economy.

And in doing so the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio fell below 20%. The ratio of bad loans in the banking system when compared to the overall size of the economy also dramatically declined in proportion.

The same thing happened in Poland last year when the government there made a grab for private pensions, then counted those new assets against government debt.

It was just another accounting scam. But it dramatically lowered Poland’s debt-to-GDP ratio on paper, even though the government had not actually gotten any ‘richer’.

Just hours ago, the European Central Bank released its 2013 annual report, showing a massive 44% surge in profits.

Diving into the numbers, though, it turns out that most of the ECB’s profits come from funny accounting tricks—revaluing a permanent swap line they have with the Federal Reserve, and moving funds from the “risk provision” column into the profit column.

I’m also reminded of the Federal Reserve’s own admission that they had $50+ billion in ‘unrealized losses’ due to the erosion of their portfolio of US Treasuries.

This is almost as much as their entire capital reserve… meaning that the Fed is practically insolvent by its own admission.

Not to worry, though. The Fed gets to employ its own accounting tricks to make these losses disappear, marking the assets on the balance sheet at their much higher ‘book value’, rather than the much lower ‘market value’.

Of course, the US government does exactly the same thing… often conveniently leaving out huge portions of its total debt such as the non-marketable securities it owes to the Social Security trust funds.

All of this really just goes to show how absurd it is to rely on these numbers conjured by politicians and central bankers.

Sure, the statistics are computed to multiple decimal places and wrapped up in lengthy reports.

But there’s not a shred of truth to any of this false precision.

It’s all about maintaining a false sense of confidence at all costs, no matter what lies they have to fabricate, no matter what fraud they have to commit.


As an aside, here is The FT just today explaining the UK's latest accounting scam...

A radical overhaul of the national accounts this autumn will double the official measure of household savings, presenting Britons as a nation of unexpected prudence and undercutting their widely held reputation for profligacy.


For the first time in 15 years, the Office for National Statistics is preparing to rip up the way it measures Britain’s economy, with the new techniques showing a huge increase in the size of the economy, a higher level of public debt and a much increased savings ratio. There is also a good chance that the statisticians will significantly revise up growth recorded in the economy in 2012 and last year.




Under the new system of accounts, research and development spending will count towards GDP rather than being seen as a cost of production, and building aircraft carriers and other weapons of war will also add to the size of the economy. The ONS said the change would add between 2.5 per cent and 5 per cent to the level of GDP, adding £40bn to £75bn to the total.


One of the largest changes, announced by ONS officials on Monday, arises from how savings are measured. From now on, the official figures will count future pension rights as if they were present income.

So a small fudge here and a small fudge there and hey presto, UK is savings nation and everything is good in the world...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
PlusTic's picture

This is the FED's next trick!

eclectic syncretist's picture

Nigeria is learning from the Masters here in the good ol' US of A.

knukles's picture


Issat Mooch in the pic?
Jus wondrin'

Oh nevermind I wuz confuzin' Kenya n' Nigeria.
They all....

davinci7_gis's picture

Yes, there is a Nigerian ETF (NGE) and no, it is not funded by the proceeds of email scammers.

Alpo for Granny's picture

If I double the size of the can of alpo I eat, my craps are 2x as big, smell the same as this "recalculation", and are worth more.

Rainman's picture

...and, in keeping with the poop theme, it is impossible to grab onto the cleanest end of this GDP turd.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

I tell you and tell you and tell you . . . there is to be no Great Reset dependent on money or value or anything like that.

If numbers on a screen threaten starvation, they will be changed.  Period.

Only oil takes all this down, and it will.  Soon.

SilverRhino's picture

So now we're going to have Nigerian email running 838 scams.   

Ignatius's picture

"This is the FED's next trick!"

They learn at the heel of the US and the FED.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

There is no conspiracy.  The reason such cars do not appear on the road is because they are bogus and don't exist.  The claims are bogus.  The story is bogus.

Oil is oil because it's better than all other options.  That is 100 years of conclusion by every engineer who has lived over those 100 years.  If car companies cared about oil profits, there would be no Leaf or Volt.  There is no conspiracy, other than by Mother Nature, to provide oil as the ultimate form of energy storage for transport.

There is nothing anyone can do about this.

Skateboarder's picture

It's a diesel-electric hybrid, hence the 260mpg (US gallons) combined.

bluskyes's picture

How many grams of coal per km?

Pure Evil's picture

I'm waiting for the Soylent Green version.

It runs on pure people power.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

Look, buddy.  Skateboarder buddy.


You don't need all that battery and electric stuff.  Just build a micro car with a 37 horsepower engine and send it on a 400 mile trip and yeah, you'll probably get 250 miles/gallon BECAUSE THE ENGINE IS TINY AND SO IS THE CAR.

You will not carry the neighborhood kids in that with a grocery stop to pick up another 30 pounds of food.  There won't be anywhere to put it all.

This is not magic.  IT'S A TINY ENGINE.  It's lawnmower territory. 

You don't need all the electric silliness to get those numbers if you have a tiny car with a tiny engine.

If you want to do these comparisons DO THEM PROPERLY.  Show me a 110 Horsepower (Taurus territory) vehicle that can carry 5 people and some stuff in the trunk, using battery power and carry them 450 miles on that one charge of the battery.

You can't.

Don't lay out stuff saying "I can have a car that does 260 mpg because I have a battery".  You didn't achieve that with a battery.  You achieved that with a tiny underpowered deathtrap that will not provide any mass cushion for the kids in the back on impact and won't take them to grandma's house 450 miles away at Thanksgiving without an overnight charge.

Deathrips's picture



I hear you..but you are wrong.

As someone with 15 years in ths independence living movement....I guarantee it.

The subsidies provided to the govt from oil and energy sales are too tasty to release. Those subsidies to the govt have been leveraged along with everything the hilt. You mention a Leaf....and how do they make the energy for that? Say solar..whats the life cycle analysis cost of the oil. Way more than a gas powered car.

Energy Dependence is a planned program for extracting wealth. It sucks but its true.. Try and make your own power and see what happens.



logicalman's picture

Here's an idea.

Stop driving - if you can't, minimize till it hurts

Stop buying shit you don't need.

Eat real food - no packaged stuff.

I cycle all year round, in Candada (this winter was tough!) so no one can call me hypocritical on that score.

Find a hobby you are passionate about and DITCH THE SODDING TELEVISION.

The first two starve the beast.

The rest makes life healthier, cheaper and more fun.

All of the above help improve our home (planet, that is)

Kind of like the opposite of banks and finacialization.

Just a thought.

Bankstein Swissgoldberg's picture



and dont forget that if you buy some stuff like a car you can get it second hand, it s the best recycling.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Perhaps, perhaps not.  We've also heard: The earth is FLAT for thousands of years, there's a God (yet to show up), the earth is the center of the universe, people rode dinosaurs, you can't travel faster than the wind, gold is a barbaric relic, NATO won't go past existing membership (Reagan), Deficits don't matter, QE is good, the internet is a fad... etc, etc.

Some have even said things like:  You can't go wrong with real estate, I promise I won't come inside you... etc, etc.

Jonas Parker's picture

Maybe the Nigerian Government won its own lottery! What's their e-mail address again?

Perfecthedge's picture

My father was an important Prince in Nigeria, unfortunately he left me a fortune and I can't take it out of the country.  I found out that you look like my father and you have the same name.  Can you send me US$ 5.000 as fast as possible? Use Western Union.  I will share the 200 million US$ with you.  Best regards from Nigeria.

They have raised the bar.  Not bad, not bad for a nation of email scammers.  You can only learn.

813kml's picture

Nigeria should take the email scam IPO.  It actually has proven earnings, unlike most of the tech trash nowadays.

cynicalskeptic's picture


The US will be following the Zimbabwe model and expanding its economy at an EXPONENTIAL level soon.

Hyperinflation - guaranteed to boost your economic measures, make your stock markets superstars and eliminate government debt.

Kaiser Sousa's picture

Nigeria  aint got shit on US equity markets ...

witness the point by point v shaped recovery going into the close in all its glory...

Rising Sun's picture

Fuck, this really sucks.  I was ready to immigrate to Nigeria next week!!!


What a fucking shit show!!!!!!!!!!! 

Smiley's picture

They learned a lot from watching a certain Kenyan idiot in action...

Pure Evil's picture

Maybe he's pulled the ultimate scam on all of us.

He's not really from Kenya, he's from Nigeria!

Phone home Mr. President, your 200 million is waiting.

Kreditanstalt's picture

These governments will do ANYTHING necessary to get you and I borrowing and spending (preferably on that 15th pair of Chinese-made shoes, motor homes, quad bikes, poodle grooming or Twinkies, NOT cabbage and ground beef)

cynicalskeptic's picture

well.... anything BUT keeping jobs here in the US..... outsourcing continues unabated supported by BOTH political parties (serving their corporate overlords).

You can't spend what you don't have - dopesn't matter how cheap the Chinese made shit is.

Would have been REAL easy to put a condition on TARP and bail out aid - repatriate ALL jobs sent overseas in the last 3 decades (DP, systems, call centers, accounting  - along wih manufactiring) and claw back ALL executive bonuses paid out in the last decade to copmpanies needing government aid (banning those execs from any management positions ever again), but NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Wall Street and banks are now sending as much of their back office ops overseas as they can - all accounting functions are headed to India and elsewhere.  Manufacturing... well, THAT's dead.    GM and Ford are selling big ass pickups to Mexicans doing what heavy lifting work is left in the US.  The rest of the auto industry.....


Perfecthedge's picture

Remember when GDR (East Germany, before they united) was giving out fake weather reports?  They would report higher temperatures because nobody could afford the energy prizes (towards the end).  It's all in the head. 

This is what these fuckers are doing to the world: economy? recovering like hell, while you see people in need and unemployment going higher.

Racer's picture

Nigeria not the only one!


UK savings ratio set to double under new EU accounting rules

By William Schomberg LONDON, April 7 (Reuters) - The finances of Britain's households are likely to look a lot healthier later this year, but not because wages are about to jump. Instead, it will be due to changes in the way national statistics are compiled. Britain's savings ratio - the amount put away as a percentage of after-tax income - is lower than in many other rich countries, raising concerns about the sustainability of the country's economic recovery from the financial crisis. But under European Union accounting changes being introduced in September, that ratio is set to roughly double, according to officials from Britain's Office for National Statistics. The new methodology will add five percentage points to the ratio - taking it to around 10 percent from the current 5.0 percent. The big rise comes from the recognition of shortfalls in defined benefit pension funds - many of them run by local government authorities - as income for holders of pension plans. Currently, shortfalls in the funds' long-term liabilities are only included as income - and hence affect the ratio - when they are eventually made up to pension plan holders. Under the new rules, the assumption is made that the shortfalls will be made up and therefore they will be counted. Joe Grice, chief economic adviser at the ONS, said the change did not represent a fundamental improvement in the health of household finances. "Clearly, reality hasn't changed. It's the way of recording the reality that will," Grice told an ONS seminar. But some economists said the new-look savings ratio would make Britain's recovery appear more sustainable. "The changes suggest that a significant degree of personal savings has been omitted from calculations hitherto and this should give a healthier and more accurate representation of household finances," said Philip Shaw at Investec. The savings ratio in Britain rose during the financial crisis as people built up their nest eggs to cope with the downturn. But the ratio has fallen in recent months. Critics of the government, including the opposition Labour party, say the fall shows how households are struggling to make ends meet. But some economists say it could be a reflection of confidence among households that the economy is picking up. (Editing by Jeremy Gaunt) (( 207 542 7778)(Reuters Messaging: Keywords: BRITAIN ECONOMY/SAVINGS"

FieldingMellish's picture

"Under the new rules, the assumption is made that the shortfalls will be made up"


Sure they will... sure they will..........

css1971's picture

Numerically they probably will. What they are doing is managing when inflation hits.

Al Huxley's picture

I wonder how they get the word out to the starving poor, so that they'll understand how much better off they've become over the weekend and can benefit from the increased confidence that's entailed.  How is their propaganda distribution system?  What's the Nigerian equivalent of FOX or MSNBC?


Just remember, when deciding how well off you are, DON'T look at your circumstances, ALWAYS wait for the government (or a certified shill organization) to tell you, otherwise you might draw the wrong conclusions.

madtechnician's picture

Hey man , this shit really does work - For years Zimbabwe had the fastest growing economy in the world. It was growing so fast and people became so rich they could afford to wipe their ass on paper money , they actually had to ban people wiping their ass on paper cash because it was blocking up the sewers. Now that is what I call wealth creation.

cynicalskeptic's picture

Coming soon to the US....... 



TheMadNumismatist's picture

The UK pulled another scam last year. Not only did Boy George nationalize the Royal mail pension fund, he booked £28 Billion as income and also raided the Bank of England QE “profits”, about £23 Billion, without taking any provisions for the future (guaranteed?) loses.

So the £50 Billion windfall allowed him to stand in parliament and state he had “reduced the deficit” by some £300,000,000

African or British, they are all scum

SpanishGoop's picture

Reading this about the ECB i am now sure that all EU banks will pass the 2014 stress test with glory.


madtechnician's picture

Please do not worry. The ECB have now installed very large format printers , all is well.

Save_America1st's picture

Monkies see, monkies do.  Wasn't it our own fucked up government who did this last year and revised U.S. GDP back to like 1928 in order to try and make things look better than they really ever were?  The rest of the corrupt scum of this world will follow suit.  However...

You can deny reality...but you can't deny the consequences of denying reality. 

starman's picture

lol forget gold,  currencys will be backed by peoples savings I mean projected savings!  good luck with that one.

cynicalskeptic's picture

No, no, no...... it will have TANGIBLE, physical backing of commodities.   Soylent Green futures.

Smegley Wanxalot's picture

I just doubled the size of my dick with the stroke of a pen ... taped to it to double the girth.



But it was a large pen.  I swear.




I mean frikkin huge.

tuttisaluti's picture

If I put my hamburger on a smaller plate, it looks much bigger but I'm still hungry.

madtechnician's picture

So that's where the Central Banks learned to do QE - it's an enhanced Nigerian 419 scam where instead of the cheque bouncing it actually fucking clears.

Urban Redneck's picture

How cute, Simon thought there was moar "truthiness" in the way the numbers were previously reported...


Money (as long is it a private monopoly controlled by bankers) is unit of account among banksters and a figment of Sheeple's imagination.  Nothing more.

freeasabee1's picture

Nigeria has a history of being honest.  Good to know the ebola suspect  case came back negative.