• Steve H. Hanke
    05/04/2016 - 08:00
    Authored by Steve H. Hanke of The Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke. A few weeks ago, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) sprang a surprise. It announced that a...

The "Book-Cooking" Index Soars To All Time Highs

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Thu, 10/13/2011 - 23:15 | 1772203 Josh Randall
Josh Randall's picture

Sauteed books B!tchez!

Thu, 10/13/2011 - 23:27 | 1772237 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

In other news, gold is hovering around $1666/oz. Is someone telling us we control everything? don't dare buy? the devil is in control?

Your thoughts!

Thu, 10/13/2011 - 23:30 | 1772245 Arkadaba
Arkadaba's picture

He he - I have no idea which way metals and certain currencies are going. There are just too many variables in the game right now. 

Thu, 10/13/2011 - 23:54 | 1772308 tekhneek
tekhneek's picture

I see two immmediate variables:

Paper and Money.

I'll take Money for $1 trillion Trebek.

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 00:16 | 1772365 Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

The researcher is wrong.

This is nothing other than 'only $-.99' pricing strategy applied to corporate paper sales.

Happy Chrismess.

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 00:32 | 1772405 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Time to analyze the blowjob index?

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 02:50 | 1772603 Cynical Sidney
Cynical Sidney's picture

wang heh, i just can't get behind wang's fraud index; "limitations of Benford's law: it can only be applied to data that are distributed across multiple orders of magnitude." there's your problem right there, for example hardly anyone or anything can go beyond the 100 billion dollar threshold, a fact which diminishes the prevalence of 100,000,000,000. desirdavenir cite ur sources plz

i have my doubts at this moment; but maybe it is true, maybe it's telling us there are more off-balance shells than ever before; i'd have to check with a biostatistician.

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 04:27 | 1772654 Storch
Storch's picture

There arent more numbers that start w 1, they just come earlier when counting something so you are more likely to stop on them when counting. There are more MEASURMENTS in yhis universe that start w 1. That is a scary important distinction that wang needs to be semantically correct about. I can assure you i can prove there are just as many numbers that start w 9 if you never stop counting.

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 06:58 | 1772747 AbelCatalyst
AbelCatalyst's picture

Are you saying this may be more of an inflation indicator? Does it indicate that the numbers in the sample set are increasing over time? That would seem to make sense.... If it actually tracked fraud I think it would have more of a hockey stick look to it - begin moderately then shoot to the moon the past 10 years...

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 09:20 | 1773089 Raymond K Hessel
Raymond K Hessel's picture

This is a statistical law, not real number theory, so you are mixing apples and oranges.


I have never been introduced to Benford's law before this so I would do research into it.  From what I've seen thus far on Wikipedia, it seems plausible.  As with any encylcopedia, that would be a jumping off point for research, not the final read.


If it works, I would guess this is how the SEC uses these anomalies in trading data to find insider trading, porn-surfing permitting.

Sat, 05/19/2012 - 11:22 | 2337017 mediaprizm
mediaprizm's picture

In a perfect world all of us would could spend hours meandering around the local farmers' market, hand-selecting ingredients for a gorgeous meal. Then we'd leisurely make our way back to our well appointed kitchens to prepare said meal, giving no thought to time constraints.Tecfrigo - Mercatus

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 02:22 | 1772577 desirdavenir
desirdavenir's picture

the Benford laws also applies well to prices in a supermarket. This is odd, but true. Also, funnily, it applies also when you convert the prices in another money (e.g., Franc to Euro)... One can find a mathematical justification for it (using a natural measure on numbers which is not a probability distribution), but the fact that this justification is correct is odd...

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 06:22 | 1772703 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture



Well ‘Smear my ears with jam and tie me to an ant hill’ now I have heard everything. Very, very interesting and probably spot on.

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 08:58 | 1772985 11b40
11b40's picture

'xactly...it's just 19.99 turned updide down.  Inflation drove that 9.99 pizza all the way to 19.99

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 00:00 | 1772276 Hearst
Hearst's picture

Couple years ago Gold hovered at $666 for a few.  I wouldn't worry because now it's a larger and more appreciated number.  As for the devil?  Read Matthew 4 starting at verse 8 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+4&version=KJV to understand that the devil is the house and all the world gambles at his tables.  All it took was for the most righteous Man ever to put the devil in his place.  

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 00:14 | 1772360 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture


Fri, 10/14/2011 - 00:33 | 1772408 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture


Fri, 10/14/2011 - 00:20 | 1772375 Strike Back
Fri, 10/14/2011 - 00:29 | 1772396 Hearst
Hearst's picture

Thats awesome!

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 00:31 | 1772401 Strike Back
Strike Back's picture

Yeah, uh, I got it off of reddit.

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 01:01 | 1772485 IQ 101
IQ 101's picture

"If you do not have a sword,sell your robes and get one"

Where did I read that?

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 08:25 | 1772900 i-dog
i-dog's picture

In a book?

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 03:05 | 1772613 The Knights Who...
The Knights Who Say Ni's picture



Fri, 10/14/2011 - 03:05 | 1772614 The Knights Who...
The Knights Who Say Ni's picture



Fri, 10/14/2011 - 03:11 | 1772617 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

So you're saying your reading an instruction manual that's 2000 years old and never worked?

God is evil. Not regular evil. Lawful evil. He lives as lawful evil but dies as chaotic stupid.


Fri, 10/14/2011 - 05:58 | 1772690 Mentaliusanything
Mentaliusanything's picture


Hope the moon stays where its been for a millennia

Hope the tide rises to meet you exactly as planned

Hope the Sun rises just where it has, at the time it has for......  ever

Hope season show you who is in control

Hope the stars that have stood since man could looked up from the ground continue to shine and show us our insignificance.

Hope that you understand that the existence of something very stationary and very powerful is evident in nature.

Be wise and Fear what a man and his mind cannot contain. 

Spoken by someone who was like you... and much like Paul of Tarsus

Apologies to the others but it deserved a recant based of visual undeniable facts.

Now back to Guns Gold Grub and a little Banker Hatin 


Thu, 10/13/2011 - 23:49 | 1772298 Josh Randall
Josh Randall's picture

I wouldn't doubt it - all these Power Brokers are into numerology, symbolism, and intimidation. The biggest gag of all is a Presidential candidate named Cain (as opposed to Abel) with a 666...errr..999 plan whom was a Director of the Fed (the most wicked entity there is) --- if people can't wake the hell up and see that these aren't coincidences, then they derseve what they get.


Fri, 10/14/2011 - 00:27 | 1772394 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

11/11/11 bitches with a full moon passing on the evening of the 10th.

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 00:38 | 1772426 Lord Blankcheck
Lord Blankcheck's picture

Gold is the Anti-Dollar not the Anti-Christ

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 07:20 | 1772782 jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

The amount of cooking going on in the home building industry (especially with Troll Bros) would make Rachel Ray jealous...


Game over!


And Happy Kwanaza BITCHES!!! I am BAAAACK!!

Thu, 10/13/2011 - 23:16 | 1772204 Finance Addict
Finance Addict's picture

Yes, excellent work by Jialang. We noticed it here earlier today on Finance Addict, as well: http://bit.ly/r6VbcB

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 00:14 | 1772361 decon
decon's picture

I'd be willing to bet that some categories of financial data would not conform to Benfords distribution.  An example would be an analysis of item pricing data.  The most common numeral used in pricing is "9".

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 00:54 | 1772472 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

I think you are correct (not that I have any omnipotence about such things). On that note, I would observe it doesn't explain the multi-decade trend.




Fri, 10/14/2011 - 01:29 | 1772535 SelfGov
SelfGov's picture

I bet it would look fudged beyond belief which prices almost always are.

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 01:48 | 1772547 zhandax
zhandax's picture

As I understand it, Benford's distribution predicts how often a number begins with a particular digit.  Although 9 seems most common in pricing, it is also most commonly used in the last digits.

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 02:23 | 1772579 desirdavenir
desirdavenir's picture

Benford's law is on the first digit

Thu, 10/13/2011 - 23:25 | 1772218 CompassionateFascist
CompassionateFascist's picture

The smallish (7 employees, 30 indep contractors) Co. I work with is "solvent"....provided you don't count the $100,000 maxed-out corporate credit card. As to where that money went, don't ask. There hasn't been an audit in many years...just like the Fed/Fort Knox.

Thu, 10/13/2011 - 23:36 | 1772262 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

sounds like a pink sheet about to go on a 50,000% run.

Thu, 10/13/2011 - 23:21 | 1772219 arm50
arm50's picture

Would love to see the distribution of our Govt supplied numbers

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 00:49 | 1772453 knukles
knukles's picture

"Trust US"

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 00:56 | 1772476 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

Just wait til they are all "zero" ... that will do a number on that chart!



Thu, 10/13/2011 - 23:22 | 1772222 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

I'm gonna need a bigger calculator....

Thu, 10/13/2011 - 23:26 | 1772225 Caggge
Caggge's picture

Original movie: Wall Street reams main street with their wangs.

Sequel : The Wang strikes back

Thu, 10/13/2011 - 23:23 | 1772226 maxw3st
maxw3st's picture

Nice to see there is statistical evidence backing something I strongly suspected when reviewing corporate financials. I spent several years as a broker and did a lot of 10Q reading. It ultimately led to my exiting the business as it became obvious it was a rigged game. Rigged against the small investors I was supposed to be serving that is.

Thu, 10/13/2011 - 23:28 | 1772241 Belarus
Belarus's picture

Broker's reading 10Q's? I thought brokers just sold the the lipstick on the pigs?

Thu, 10/13/2011 - 23:24 | 1772231 maxw3st
maxw3st's picture

Any body for checking GOP campaign financing?

Thu, 10/13/2011 - 23:26 | 1772238 CompassionateFascist
CompassionateFascist's picture

Prolly a lot like Democrat campaign finance. Check out Solyndra, you stupid f^^^k.

Thu, 10/13/2011 - 23:29 | 1772242 Caggge
Caggge's picture

For that matter, when Hillary ran up her campaign bills, I think she was bailed out by the DNC. Living within a persons means should start at the top.

Thu, 10/13/2011 - 23:26 | 1772236 Belarus
Belarus's picture

I wonder how badly the Fed's balance sheet has been book cooked? I'm guessing it has been fairly well fried since a couple doofus' we all know well took the chairman's seat. 

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