Fed's Beige iPad Notes The Usual Regurgitated Fluff About The Economy

Tyler Durden's picture

For those confused, the Fed's Beige Book has been upgraded to the Beige iPad (apparently Ben is not a fan of the black or white version). Regardless, the latest version has just been released spewing forth the usual reflexive platitudes, in which the economy is said to be better because the stock market is higher, and so forth. In other words, the same stuff that completely ignores $110 WTI. Via Bloomberg:

  • Manufacturing expanded at “steady pace across the nation,” with increases in new orders, shipments, or production
  • Several regions had gains in capital spending, activity in nonfinancial services industries was stable or increased
  • Consumer spending reports were generally positive, sales outlook for near future is mostly optimistic
  • Residential real estate market improved “somewhat” in most districts, with increased home sales, construction; commercial real estate markets showed “positive results” in
  •     some regions
  • Banking conditions generally improved, tourism remained strong in some districts
  • Boston, Richmond districts said economy expanded or improved in most sectors
  • “Somewhat faster pace” reported in Philadelphia and Atlanta regions, New York area noted somewhat slower pace of expansion * Expansion moderate in Cleveland, Chicago, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco districts
  • St. Louis bank said pace of growth was “modest,” Minneapolis characterized pace as “firm”

And more such headlines which nobody will actually read, except for the algos which scalp the optimistic tone put there precisely for such a purpose.

Full paperback below.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
JPM Hater001's picture

New Letter to the editor...Feel free to send to your local papers in your name:


Dear Editor-

There are 2 popular phrase amongst Austrian Economics market neophytes:
Extend and Pretend, and Bullish.

Extend and pretend refers to the extraordinary actions taken to perpetuate
this false economic recovery the government has been feeding us and pretend
everything is just fine. Bullish is our comment to bad news and trend data
that will, in todays manipulated market world, result in a market rally up
even though in a normal market it would easily send the market down. Total
manipulations both of them.

The US economic sentiment, built on the three pillars of an improved labor
market, higher corporate earnings, and the return of the housing market, is
based upon misleading data. They tell us employment has dropped again to
8.3% but we haven't had this low of a workforce participation rate since
1983! Sales and profits are up but only because of our current 12%
inflation and stagnant wages- stagflation. After throwing Trillions (with a
T) at the housing market the Case Shiller National Composite fell by 3.8% in
the fourth quarter alone, and is down 33.8% from its 2nd quarter 2006 peak-
housing prices are still falling!

Yet as reported by the news media February 28th, “The Conference Board’s
Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 70.8, up from a revised 61.5 in
January, helped by consumers’ improving assessment of the job market.
Analysts had expected a reading of 63.” So you see, Uncle Bernanke has re-“inflated” your expectations- Extend and pretend.

Bullish! I am going to talk about one example in specific- The Baltic Dry
Index (BDI). The BDI is a number issued daily by the London-based Baltic
Exchange and the index provides "an assessment of the price of moving the
major raw materials by sea." I like this number because government doesn’t
get to mess with it and it's totally data drive. As of February 28th the
BDI has fallen 56% YEAR TO DATE. "Nothing to see here move along" as we
like to say. Clearly a market rally is due (up roughly 5% YTD) and
confidence should rise with such bullish news. Of course no one wants to
comment that European Union and US are sliding into deep recessions.
Although if they did I am sure the markets would skyrocket with euphoria.

Finally, I want to share what I am most worried about- your coming paradigm
shift. Yes, you too will see the world as I do- full of lies and deception
by our corrupt central planners coupled with actually doing something about
it. The only question left is will you get there before or after it's too
late. You really should go on Youtube and watch the "Collapse of
Argentina." I'll give you a hint how bad this was- suicide rates doubled.

michael_engineer's picture

The Baltic Dry Index might be indicating that a contraction is occurring, either due to lowered forward looking expectations, or due to current real weakness.




A few years ago, there were articles about idle railroad cars and ships that made the news.  It might be interesting to know what the current situation is with idled railroad cars and ships, due to the recent news about the Baltic Dry Index.

Can anybody research this, and compare idled ships and cars then and now?  There might be an interesting trend there.

I made the below comments two years ago.  One of the articles said that the container ships sitting idle may increase from 12 to 25 percent.   That 2 year period is now passed.   Can anybody get the current figures to see if there has been a percentage increase? 



12 percent of the worlds container ships are sitting idle where normally they would be in use, and there are projections that 25 percent of the container ships may be sitting idle in two years.

mayhem_korner's picture



So why is no one on the roads these days commuting to "work"?

r101958's picture

Bernanke's performance today was all about taking down commodities and using the short side money to prop up what would have been a 200+ pt drop in equities. Oh wait, that's right, there is no collusion betwixt the Fed and the big banks. My bust!

Tsar Pointless's picture

Siphoning devalued and printed money from the lower/middle classes to the wealthy via inflation will grow an economy for a little while, until one day, suddenly, it doesn't.

It's called "trickle-up economics".

Chaffinch's picture

When you get pulled over by a speed cop, and asked what speed you were driving at, trying saying "modest to moderate" - if that doesn't work, try explaining that you were driving " at a steady pace". ; )

TruthInSunshine's picture

This is a crescendo moment as so many data points are being cooked at one time. We're justifiably skeptical of tortured statistics as reported by the Federal Reserve, BLS and other governmental and non-governmental agencies, but this is a whole different level of cooking the economic data.

I'm sure that it's just my inner skepticism that's controlling my opinion that it may be that many fundamental economic data points that are to the upside (some by relatively large standard deviations), all being released simultaneously, could potentially be printed as part of a concerted political effort of one kind or another...


P.S. - This is OT, but is a riff on a hilarious Bloomberg article about the 'suffering of those in the financial community' this bonus season:

Bonus Watch ’12: Nightmare On Wall Street
CoolBeans's picture

Thanks for posting that story link.


onebir's picture

The iPad version offers more potential for hedonic adjustments, taking 5% off CPI inflation & setting the scene for QE3 (-> 99).

Pairadimes's picture

Shhhh. You will awaken the sheeple.


Boy, will they be pissed when they finally figure out that the PTB have been referring to inflation as 'growth'.

CoolBeans's picture

"....stuff that nobody reads...."

Sadly, a great majority of the sheeple read this tripe and take it as God's Truth.  They believe anything the MSM tells them.  They then go out and vote and these are the people who will re-elect OweBama.

That's why everytime I see one of these liar reports - I get angina.


Yen Cross's picture

I worked through the post TYLER. The Retail " Red Book" looks weak.