Chart Of The Day: Garbage Shall Set You Free... From GDP Manipulation

Tyler Durden's picture


It is no secret that just like the Achilles heel of China's goalseeked GDP number is the country's ever declining electric output, so the best coincident indicator of what is really going on behind the scenes with US GDP is railcar loadings of waste and scrap: i.e., garbage. As Bloomberg explains: "One closely watched economic indicator is the rail car loads of waste and scrap materials." Logically: "The more we demand, the more waste is generated by that production." In other words, if one is seeking validation that numbers reported by the BEA are even remotely credible, the best place to turn to is railcar loads of garbage. However, not surprisingly, such validation will not be found in the actual data. As the chart of the day, courtesy of Bloomberg Brief, demonstrates, if garbage is the benchmark, the US economy is now contracting faster than it has at any one point in the past 3 years and is on pace to recreate the economic collapse last seen after the Lehman bankruptcy. Perhaps another reason why central planners have latched on to stock markets and will just not let go.

Some more from Bloomberg:

Two railroad companies made mention of this weakness. Norfolk Southern talked of “reduced shipments of municipal solid waste,” while CSX claimed “aggregate and waste shipments will remain challenged.” Waste Management talked about improving volumes, but said it would remain soft while residential business is still negative.

One wonders just what would happen if at some point reality is once again allowed to peek into and set the "market" prices of assets. Sadly, if the JPM CIO's precedent is any indication, where the endless push on IG9 actually meant keeping spreads for single name intrinsic credits far tighter that where they should have been (the same as what the ES and SPY are doing with all the intrinsic stocks) this will never again be allowed to happen.

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Mon, 08/06/2012 - 09:55 | 2681463 malikai
malikai's picture

Short garbage picking.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 09:57 | 2681467 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

When the FED starts printing more fiat, does that decrease or increase this indicator?

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 09:59 | 2681475 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

Burn that paper to keep warm.  -  Reduce the waste stream.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:03 | 2681489 SilverTree
SilverTree's picture

Oscar the Grouch knows WTF is up.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:24 | 2681557 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

Well....there goes the coffee on the Thinkpad.....glad to know this thing has channels for liquid spill under the keyboard.


Mon, 08/06/2012 - 09:59 | 2681476 This just in
This just in's picture

That's my fault. Forgot to put out the cans for pickup this week.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:02 | 2681482 Deo vindice
Deo vindice's picture

This is a more accurate method of determining than many people think. In our city the council kept fudging the numbers about our 'growth', but the guys who ran the sewage treatment facility kept saying there was no way it was growing, but in fact it was shrinking. Turns out they were right.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:13 | 2681527 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

When people stop eating, they stop shitting.  Funny how that works.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 12:27 | 2681929 Osmium
Osmium's picture

While that is true for most people, everytime the Bernank opens his mouth shit comes out.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 11:31 | 2681784 GubbermintWorker
GubbermintWorker's picture

It's somewhat weather dependent also. Even in a total sanitary system only, the wetter the weather the more the flow.....we're in a drought. BUT, I have access to the number of sewer permits for new housing and ain't pretty. And, there are no new developments on the drawing table either.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:23 | 2681559 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

maybe people are just uh.......maybe.....there's.......SP is rising like a pile of shit that magically grows from nothing...

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:38 | 2681601 SokPOTUS
SokPOTUS's picture I don't know where my next meal is coming from...

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:38 | 2681605 ceilidh_trail
ceilidh_trail's picture

Stamped on rest stop garbage cans on I-95 in Maine,"No barrel picking".

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 12:52 | 2682001 DCFusor
DCFusor's picture

Sitting around watching TV doesn't produce much garbage (other than inside your head), but it does produce economic activity - unless you get cable or netflix for free.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:51 | 2682964 davey
davey's picture

I'm in the business. There is another cause for this. Comingled recycling has removed 35%to 40% of volume from the solid waste system.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:53 | 2682968 davey
davey's picture

I'm in the business. There is another cause for this. Comingled recycling has removed 35%to 40% of volume from the solid waste system.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 09:57 | 2681466 vinu02
vinu02's picture

Unfortunately its election year and garbage train will go down but not stock market.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:02 | 2681472 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

Tyler you have to see this ...;_ylt=Arsq6CE3VW0Tt5t6TMs9Y2iiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTRwbGJvb2Y4BG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIFRvcCBTdG9yaWVzIG1peGVkIGxpc3QEcGtnAzQ1MjFmZmYxLTRlMzQtMzYxYy1hOTNlLWZkNGNjOWEzZjg3NARwb3MDMwRzZWMDTWVkaWFCTGlzdE1peGVkTFBDQVRlbXAEdmVyAzUwZTYyOWEwLWRmYzgtMTFlMS05ZmQ5LThiZTBlY2VjOTBhZQ--;_ylg=X3oDMTFpNzk0NjhtBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25z;_ylv=3

Bernanke said there have been interesting developments in the field of the measurement of economic well-being. He cited the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan's Gross National Happiness index, which incorporates indicators such as level of education and time spent in leisure activities, as an example of an alternative survey.

More conventional economic measurements that bear on the quality of life include income distribution, upward mobility, job security, and buffers households have to protect against financial shocks, he said.

"All of these indicators could be useful in measuring economic progress or setbacks as well as explaining economic decision making or projecting future economic outcomes," he said.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 13:05 | 2682041 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Any time the High Priests speak, my bullshit-o-meter goes off.

"Some things which count, cannot be measured. Not everything that can be measured, counts." -Albert Einstein.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 13:25 | 2682113 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

GNHI is an interesting econometric possibility, but when you're dealing with central banks and central planners with a great many reasons to lie ... it's easy to fudge, even easier than most of the current indicators, and that's not even considering the BLS' magic fingers.

They'll tell us that as inflation (or delfation) picks up, unemployment soars, SNAP use climbs, tax revenues fall, etc. that we're happier than ever because, hey, more leisure time!

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:00 | 2681477 The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz's picture


Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:02 | 2681479 bigdumbnugly
bigdumbnugly's picture

dumpster content more and more turning into home furnishings and dinner.   skews the data.


Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:03 | 2681492 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

One man's garbage is another man's treasure. Dumpsters diving might just become the new national pastime. I can't wait until The Discovery channel makes it a series.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:05 | 2681500 bigdumbnugly
bigdumbnugly's picture

yeah, they kind of missed it with American Pickers.

my expectations were let down.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:26 | 2681565 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

It's the new hedonics.

There is no inflation particularly in beef.....everyone is eating thrown out SPAM from the dumpster.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:45 | 2681622 RobD
RobD's picture

What? Someone is throwing perfectly good spam in the dumpster? That is just wrong! lol

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:07 | 2681510 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

Housing construction puts out a lot of scrap, but that's been down for a while.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:01 | 2681481 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Expect the manic (chart) swings to become even more violent as the merry-go-round accelerates and the centrifugal forces increase exponentially.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:01 | 2681483 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

The "voters" will get exactly what they deserve - same as it ever was.

I will differ to the late great George Carlin on precisely what political "choices" you may think that you have.


Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:03 | 2681491 Deo vindice
Deo vindice's picture

"I will differ to the late great George Carlin on precisely what political "choices" you may think that you have."

'differ' or 'defer'? Big difference.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:08 | 2681518 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

"Defer" - Here, let George help you out;


Mon, 08/06/2012 - 11:39 | 2681807 Deo vindice
Deo vindice's picture

LawsofPhysics - my comment had nothing to do with Mr. Carlin and everything to do with a word you used that said you 'differed' from him. It was a question of clarification. My opinion on Carlin was already formed.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 12:56 | 2682012 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

I hate autocorrect.  Yeah, I made a spelling error and fully admit that, now get the fuck over it.  If you think spelling is going to be one of the major problems for humanity moving forward, then I wish you the best of luck.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 11:27 | 2681769 memyselfiu
memyselfiu's picture

Deo vindice got 3 down arrows for correctly calling out the misuse of a word (unintentional or otherwise) that totally changed the meaning of a sentence- what the fuck is wrong with you people....words matter

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 12:02 | 2681867 cbxer55
cbxer55's picture

I see that on websites all the time. People who appear to be doing well in life, via the things they have. Yet trying to read what they have typed makes you go WTF?

Misspelling, not knowing the difference between then and than, or affect and effect, bad punctuation. Not saying I am an english literature expert, but sheesh, at least I know how to spell, and know the difference between differ and defer. ;-)

Thumbs up fer ya!

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 13:35 | 2682147 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

I'm not a fan of lawsofphysics, but here goes: "differ to" is grammatically garbage-nonsense, i.e. it is so obviously wrong that, in good faith, it cannot be interpreted as anything other than a typo. The correct grammatical construction is "differ from." There are 2 possibilities, one is either acting is bad faith, or one is ignorant of grammar and therefore in no position to be calling out anything.

Life lesson: there's always a bigger pedant.


Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:06 | 2681509 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

how about quoting HL Mencken or Machiavelli  sometime instead of "George Carlin said this..." ad nauseum. Carlin got into the 1% by spouting his shtick to guys like you.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:10 | 2681525 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

"Guys like you"

LMFAO, you don't know shit about what percent I may be in loser.  Thanks for the laugh.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:20 | 2681539 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

dumbass guy like you- where did I mention/care what % you were in-I just said you made him rich by paying to listen to his contrived bullshit. your use of "differ" in your post confirms my suspicion of your intelligence level(that, the carlin reference and use of "LMFAO' like a 13 year old texting teen girl)

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:21 | 2681553 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Let me guess, you probably don't think George earned that lifestyle either.  Troll harder loser. 

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:28 | 2681573 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

no-I think he just kept rolling out a bunch of tired old jokes for his mouth-breathing audiences to guffaw over for $50 a ticket(even  though they were too stupid to realize that THEY were they object of his scorn and derision)

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:26 | 2681568 cossack55
cossack55's picture

I don't have the data handy, but I would suspect that both Mencken (who I like) and Machievelli (loser) were both in the 1%.  I also like Carlin, find humor where ever possible.  Shit, even Biden is good for a few chuckles.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 11:15 | 2681725 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

Mencken was the son of a cigar manufacturer, a solid bourgeois all his life. Machiavelli wrote "The Prince" in hopes of getting a government job. Carlin came from a broken home, working class at best.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 13:11 | 2682057 MillionDollarBoner_
MillionDollarBoner_'s picture are George Carlin?

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:41 | 2681612 What is The Hedge
What is The Hedge's picture

You should be quoting George, as he's correct about education, and you prove his point. The word is ad nauseam. Learn how to spell and you can come back and critique George.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 12:56 | 2682006 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

While I agree that spelling is important (and I hate autocorrect).  Correct spelling will be the least of humanity's problems moving foward.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:03 | 2681487 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

find this article hard to believe with amount of solid waste/shit that spews forth from CNBC talking heads'/MSM Obama water carriers' mouths.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:03 | 2681490 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

so do a dump my barrel of scrap copper now before price meets reality?  or should I wait for Ben to print ? 

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:03 | 2681496 jcamargo
jcamargo's picture

Garbage will pick up on election time.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:17 | 2681542 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

yes a veritable toxic dump tornado is coming our way!

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