How To Shut Someone Up The Next Time They Blame The Winter For The Economic Collapse

Tyler Durden's picture

In a note today, Bank of America economists (after looking at weather data) admit their finding "puts us in an awkward spot today." What did it find? Namely that all those who reran that 2014 playbook, Ethan Harris and other Bank of America economists included, and decided to blame the weather for Q1 GDP crashing from over 3% to under 1%, are wrong or simply lying.

Here is BofA:

Is weather the main reason for recent weak economic data? While we would love to blame the weather for all of our bad forecasts, in reality it is hard to pin down  weather effects. A recent paper from the Chicago Fed—“The effect of winter weather on U.S. economic activity”—is the best attempt we have seen in recent years. They look at detailed data on snowfall and temperature by state and for the nation as a whole. The results show that weather effects can have a significant impact on local employment and housing activity, however, when you add it up for the nation it becomes very hard to quantify. Looking back at the very severe winter of 2013-14 they find that bad weather can only explain part of the weakness at the start of the year.


This puts us in an awkward spot today. There is a bit of an urban legend that weather can explain all of the weakness in the first quarter of last year and hence could explain all the weakness today. However, hindsight is always 20-20. In real time, the slowdown last year was a major surprise to economists even though we get data on the weather before we get data on the economy. Moreover, this winter is not nearly as bad as last winter—last year we had three bad months, this year only February was unusually bad (Chart 1). Economic fundamentals point to stronger growth ahead, and that remains our forecast. However, we can’t completely explain the recent weakness and hence there is a risk that growth does not pick up.

So the next time anyone, not just the Fed's Lacker or DB's house comedian Joe LaVorgna, but any other economissed spouts the first thing that comes into their mind to "explain" the economy's unwillingness to grow as per some goalseeked spreadsheet, just show them this chart which shows that three of the four months this winter were warmer than normal, and just put them on mute.

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ejmoosa's picture

Blaming the weather for a seasonally adjusted number that is weak?  Of course that's a dumb idea.

That is what seasonally adjusted means, right?

zuuma's picture


Global Warming.


Cognitive Dissonance's picture

A scapegoat doesn't have to be human.........or even a goat.

It just has to be plausible, however slight that might be.

813kml's picture

In that case, it was God's will.

whotookmyalias's picture

Oliver North's attorney was thought to be a potted plant at one point by a Senate committee.

Stackers's picture

Have to disagree with this one. I experienced it myself. It was not so much the temps as it was the never ending snow and rain.

The northeast was socked by a ton of snow. They almost did not have Boston St. Patty parade due to snow blocking the route

Mid-atlantic got snow they hardly ever see

Texas was wacked by tons of rain and ice storms. Dallas got hit hard a couple of times



Thirst Mutilator's picture

You're doing it WRONG...


Here's how to do it... diva style is a bonus...

NoDebt's picture

Everyone is putting money aside in the first quarter to pay their Obamacare premium/tax in April.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Like Manifest Density, or the Monarchy?

Element's picture



Cog, an old goat for you to listen to when you get some time (or a couple of times even):

Conversations with UG, U.G Krishnamurti and John Wren Lewis

Creepy A. Cracker's picture

I was too cold in January and February to order from Amazon.

813kml's picture

Their drones couldn't handle a few snowflakes.

BandGap's picture


Show Joe L's fucking picture so we can revel in all the unused advertising space he might refer to a his forehead.


saveUSsavers's picture

Joe LaFornicateya and Joe Claptrap Kernen- who's worse?

Oldwood's picture

 If weather was responsible, future data will show an upturn. If we see no upturn or even a worsening of data, we know weather was not relevant.

The problem is not with the predictions or even those gambling on them or selling their book on them, but the fact that the facts, the data that is really measurable in prior periods, is ignored if it doesn't support the theme.

Its global warming, it the economy, it every factor of our lives. They must manipulate us and to do so they must control the message.

None of us knows the future, but we do know the past, which makes it easy to tell the liars from those truth tellers...just look at recent history and use that as our guide.

Grumbleduke's picture

here's the ABC in 1977, talking about climate change (not, what you might expect).


found at:

A Nanny Moose's picture

Yikes. I better go produce some GHG

ANestIOS's picture

when the weather is bad I simply refuse to order anything on Amazon - especially before xmas -

Keltner Channel Surf's picture

I usually just poke them in the eye with a leftover X-mas candy cane, but this seems like a more civil, intellectual approach.

Dr. Engali's picture

I've never seen a storm where people deidn't strip the shelves of the local grocery store bare. And we have this new invention thanks to Al Gore called the internet to keep commerce flowing. Oh yeah, Al Gore brought us global warming too. Thank you Al Gore, we love you.



I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Comte d'herblay's picture

Lemons to lemon-ade department:


Find a baby bird and feed it.

Oldwood's picture

Given America's addiction to spending, I can only assume there was a substantial increase in suicides caused by the depression so many suffered during their forcible withdrawal from spending...not to mention all those who simply starved.

Bell's 2 hearted's picture

"this winter is not nearly as bad as last winter—last year we had three bad months",


yesterday most (of the few who still do) of the chain stores that still report monthly sales reported. I looked at about a half dozen.




Despite very nice weather back half of month and early Easter (last year Easter april 20th) which should have meant good sales for march



Salah's picture

But the weather was a factor and a big one; and judging from Joe Bastardi's ( longterm forcast, it will also be so '15-'16.  

SS cycles 22-24 show clear evidence of an impending solar minimum; the last one ended about 1815.  That's 10 yrs before the Erie Canal opened.  We can only hope it is a mere "minimum" (40-70 yrs); otherwise something much worse.

TeethVillage88s's picture

Just point to their responsibility in fixing the problem, that the problem is very old like a decade old, or that they should be questioning, investigating, looking at different points of view... like a journalist training to be reviewing the whole matter.

khakuda's picture

As Hillary would say, "At this point, does it really matter?"

Weather or not, bad economy news is GREAT news for central bankers who will keep pumping up the tasty global asset bubble so they can get praise from Senators for "getting to work" and so they can get $300,000 speaking engagements and write books.  Doesn't do anything positive for the real economy outside of increasing wealth inequity and  ultimatlely ending up in a collapse but they could care less about that.  It will be someone else's problem.

This country is going to die with this horrible hybrid of centrally planned free market.  Either get back to free markets or become China, but the middle ground is a disaster.

autofixer's picture

Has anyone told the parroting propagandists at CNBC how stupid they are?

semperfi's picture

Lying is the norm.  Honesty today is perceived as weakness, naivetivity, even stupidity.  I hate liars, wish they would all burn to a crisp.

Cortez's picture

Corporations won't hire honest people.  They want people that can follow orders above all else. 

aliki's picture

i can't wait til we get a negative GDP print right after the summer. that will be fucking priceless. can't fucking wait for the first time in federal reserve history we see the term "el nino" in the fed statement.

janet yellen's press conference: "we are closely monitoring the situations and are in close contact with our partners to the south, the federalis, as to what can be done about the warm weather in the context of managing full employment and corporate demand."

Smegley Wanxalot's picture

I for one was going to buy a Bugatti in February, but would only do so if the temperature was above 72° F and there were no snowflakes in the other 49 states, but since that did not happen, fuck the Bugatti and I'll just stick with my 13 year old pick up.

Herdee's picture

They must be subscribing to the weather services that the grain traders use.

Blame it on the weather.Nice day today,isn't it?

all-priced-in's picture

How To Shut Someone Up The Next Time They Blame The Winter For The Economic Collapse?



I prefer the swift kick to the groin method VS pulling out some lame graph.




semperfi's picture

I'd rather give them a knuckle sandwich

10mm's picture

I for one will never ever encounter someone even bringing up the economy.  Now the Bullshit weather, all fuckin day.

Ban KKiller's picture

We beat BofA in one of our foreclosure cases. Judge said no to their motion for summary judgment AND said they don't even have a prima facie case! 

Bank of America is not to be trusted on any level. NONE. If they say anything it is a lie. Yeah, I know, hard to believe. 

Paul451's picture

"..can't completely explain the recent weakness..."


Bawahahaha. A notoriuosly IDIOTIC statement, even for a banker.


Go to Texas and North Dakota and they'll explain it to you. Dumbass.

Urban Redneck's picture

For shits and giggles I'll a different perspective on blaming the weather (and climate change) for economic collapse...

If instead of worldwide sea levels rising several inches over the next century due to global warming, the frost lines fall several inches over the next century due to global cooling...

Much of the plumbing that facilitates high population densities will literally collapse (after bursting).  In addition, the foundations undermining human civilization will literally be undermined.  That economic collapse would occur much faster than the glacial pace at which the ice packs expand towards currently warmer terrain.  It's not quite on par with an alien invasion on the Krugman Orgasm Scale, but I'm sure Goldman Sachs will have no problem milking it for billions when their current scams run dry. 

Cortez's picture

How come when there is a report with positive results we never hear about how "the good weather really boosted the economy"?

bagehot99's picture

Because when good things happen, Barack Obama did it. You're not keeping up with The Narrative™.

Panic Mode's picture

You never can shut the government up. Don't be daft. Government always claims their figures are correct untampered, your interpretation and the sources are insufficient.