Why Did The BLS Leak Initial Claims Data 15 Minutes Early?

Tyler Durden's picture

Today, at 8:21 am, 9 minutes before the official BLS claims release, we received an update from Stone McCarthy which had a rather starting subject line: "Claims Out Early 361,000 -6,000." The email body essentually said what everone would find out was precisely the case subsequently: "Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance fell 6K to a level of 361,000 for the week ending August 4th. The prior week's level was revised to 367K (previously 365K). SMRA's estimate anticipated a level of 365K for last week's claims. The Bloomberg survey's median estimate was 370K, and individual estimates ranged from 359K to 385K..."  We noted this at the time. Subsequently, Bloomberg confirmed all of this: "Jobless claims data were available on Labor Dept. website about 15 minutes before scheduled 8:30am release today, Stone & McCarthy Research Associates economic analyst Terry Sheehan says." Now aside from the fact that SMRA should be commended for chacking the DOL.gov website early and getting a critical advance look at today's most important data point, we have some questions:

  • Who broke the embargo and why?
  • Who else had even earlier advance access to the data?
  • Why did the BLS have this glitch?
  • And most importantly, especially in light of the recent scandal about the BLS leaking data selectively early, just how is the BLS policing itself from such erroneous data releases, and if the answer is non-existant, can the BLS announce whether it has preferential "huddle" agreements with anyone when it comes to leaking data as it did today?

Because we personally know at least one or two algos that would have loved to respond to the data had it hit Bloomberg's flashing red headline feed 15 minutes early.

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diogeneslaertius's picture
  • Who else had even earlier advance access to the data?
HoofHearted's picture

We all know that the BLS had more important stuff to do by 8:30. The Olympics are on after all. Drop that stuff off early and get back in front of the big-screen to watch taekwondo or hammer throw or something.

idea_hamster's picture

FWIW, like Nixon said, "When the [BLS] does it, that means it isn't [a leak]."

Pladizow's picture

BLS = Bowel Leakage Syndrome

malikai's picture

Bullshit Leak Service?

It's not like their data means anything.

BeetleBailey's picture

The Bureau of Lies & Stories

Anyone that believes one iota of their data is dumber than an earthworm

idea_hamster's picture

It's just a con.

Next time, the suckers will pile in at 8:15 and then the "real" number will be "corrected" at 8:30, with the comensurate quota of faces ripped off, chumps dragged off the trading floor feet first, and GS smug chuckle barely audible over the squawking.

midtowng's picture

I can't believe that the government is allowing Wall Street insiders early leaks of critical data. That would be illegal and immoral. [/snark]

youngman's picture

Well we all KNOW you can´t make money at the PROP desks anymore..so now they have to find other ways to WIN....cheating comes to my mind....

GeezerGeek's picture

Cheating worked for Captain Kirk. Maybe there's a lesson to be learned here.

holdbuysell's picture

This is a circus without the tent. What an embarrassment the status quo is becoming.

LongSoupLine's picture

Ringling Bros is suing for degrading the term circus by using in context to the government and market.

govttrader's picture

Since the market didn't really react to this data...who cares!!!


absente reo's picture

Really, do I have to explain?  Oh, okay then.  We care because if it happens once, it can happen again, and next time it happens, it could be a far more significant number.

LongSoupLine's picture



really?  "govttrader" is your name?  Why don't you just go ahead and call yourself troll-trollison?  It's that obvoius.

gmrpeabody's picture


Well played, sir!

doc_in_the_house's picture

spx @ 1404

eur @ 1.23 (was below 1.23 an hour ago.

Just riding my spx futures SHORTS...avg price 1401 and eur shorts avg price 1.24

what can i say the currency market is more rational than the lemmings chase the casino stock market...but it won't remain Irrational for long...

gimme spx sub 1100 and eur sub 1.10 = me cover



Meesohaawnee's picture

gimme sub 1100 spx and its hookers and blow time

HoofHearted's picture

Hello, fellow holder of SDS. When party time comes, I'll see you at the appointed place.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

the urge to diverge?

treasuries on the dump w/ dollar on the pump?

which is the tail?  which is the dog?

stay tooned!

gmrpeabody's picture

stay tooned!

Classic, slewie. Car-tooned?

CCanuck's picture

I want you to cover....your head with a plastic bag.


insanelysane's picture

Senators and Reps are on vacation.  They need the data early so they can front run the market and still make their tee times because as you know, they are exempt from insider trading laws.

Bob's picture

That problem got too much attention, so they had to make a pretense of solving it:


Note that Cantor, whose staff did the final writing, neglected to include spouses and families in the reporting requirement, which, when outed, he explained as another big oops, "honest mistake."

Jlmadyson's picture

Because they are bullshitters that's why.

But, but, but military grade security.

Dr. Engali's picture

Goldman's robots probably got an early jump on the skimming.

doc_in_the_house's picture

as i've said before

rule #1 = the INSIDERS always know before...they just have to pay their "bribing fees" to the DEMON-RATS democrats.

they just have to pay their political donations to odummernomics, stupidnomics, RAPE-O-nomics!

the early bls BS didn't affect me...i'm short as of last week and this week, spx shorts avg price = 1401..its now @ 1404 = yaaaAAAWN.

my eur short avg price = 1.24.....its now @ 1.23.....but, but last week garbage of sac (GS)...SAC of FECAL GARBAGE, GS said eur to 1.30 !!! = i ain't NO MUPPET !!

i covered @ 1.216 BEFORE the GS call came out in ZH (i posted this in RT).....then over the subsequent days I shorted @ 1.237 and 1.242 (posted this in RT)...rode and rode...its now @ 1.23..there you go sac of wasteful garbage !!!!!

CCanuck's picture

Hey Doc, I'm tired of hearing about your short position, again, and again, and again.

Do us a favor, go give yourself a shot of something that will put you to sleep for awhile, like a year or two.

We will all aknowledge your the best anti-muppet if you do!

doc_in_the_house's picture

U go to sleep u muppet

don't worry your money is in safe hands with the Garbage of Sac, GS (Sac of fecal garbage GS)

I will come back when i cover my shorts at a MAJOR PROFIT....and i will gloat.

rsnoble's picture

I'm sure it was algo related. It all comes down to them and their friends making money and everyone else getting fucked. That's all that matters.

rsnoble's picture

And btw stooping this low is just proof to me of how thin it is out there. Can't make money by the rules? Then let's don't follow the rules. I guess you could say somethings never change.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Rule # 1 from the sociopath's handbook.

Be first, be smarter or cheat. And sometimes do all three.


khakuda's picture

Government worker's motto:  Get it out early, go home early and start the weekend on Thursday.

Landrew's picture

You sir are just another Cock brother TROLL! In case you forgot most of our government workers are MILITARY and I take offense!

khakuda's picture

I'm sorry.  I didn't realize the BLS and Dept. of Labor was staffed by military personnel.

spanish inquisition's picture

They always post it early, but you only can see it with the special subscription package. It then is visible to the rest of the market at the appropriate time. Looks like a simple programming error.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Markets don't move, they are moved.

JMT's picture

Job openings are at a 4 year high. Restaurants, bars & stores are packed (at least this area -- greater Boston) on a freaking Tuesday night and hotel occupancy rates are at a record high. Hard to believe that the job market isn't better than anytime in the past 2 years. Also on the radio, I keep hearing about at least 200,000 jobs in this state alone (Mass) that are unfilled because there are no qualified applicants

kito's picture

no qualified applicants? really? no able bodied individuals to be trained at mcdonalds u? or at starbucks barista school where you learn to work the delicate art of a fully automated espresso machine.......push a button and waaalaaa!!!....over-roasted espresso.........????????? shirley you jest..................................

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Thats because there are nothing but fat asses out there with Women's Studies degrees who have never held a job in their life.  They don't even know how to wash dishes.

GeezerGeek's picture

Why get a job when it probably pays less than one can get from the government teat? Especially now, in the summertime. The beaches on Cape Cod are so close in your area and are so enticing...

Thisson's picture

Hmmm, it couldn't have anything to do with the college education bubble, now could it? /sarcasm

JMT's picture

Job openings are at a 4 year high. Restaurants, bars & stores are packed (at least this area -- greater Boston) on a freaking Tuesday night and hotel occupancy rates are at a record high. Hard to believe that the job market isn't better than anytime in the past 2 years. Also on the radio, I keep hearing about at least 200,000 jobs in this state alone (Mass) that are unfilled because there are no qualified applicants

adr's picture

Do you know what there is in Boston, in a higher percentage than almost anywhere else in the nation?

College students getting huge government loans, and overpaid college professors and administrators that reap the benefits of the massive loans.

Running a local economy on borrowed money. How can that not work?

chubbar's picture

I was at a party last week and started up a conversation with a guy who turned out to be a commercial architect. According to him there is a "miniboom" going on in the commercial rehab/buildout industry. Claims there are many cranes to be seen on the Boston downtown area. I haven't been able to verify any of those assertions but I found it interesting nonetheless.


Brother Sebastian's picture

The bastards who manipulate the indexes knew two days ago what the numbers were.