Last night, when China reported a trifecta of better than expected data, coming at just the wrong time when everyone was hoping for even more PBOC easing and government intervention to bolster the rigged (by now nobody doubts there no longer is a Chinese stock market but merely yet another "policy tool") market's upward trajectory.
Ironically, none other than the Chinese economic data aggregator and reporter, the NBS, essentially confirmed the data is fabricated when it said, and we quote:
- CHINA'S GDP 'NOT OVERESTIMATED', NBS SHENG SAYS
Because there is nothing quite like an official denial to confirm what everyone has known for years.
But that was not what caught our attention in the overnight data, and its broad coverage.
What did was the original WSJ summary report on the Chinese data, which contained the following rare admission of just how rigged not only China's stocks are, but its entire economic reporting:
The punchline was flagged by none other than Janet Yellen's old nemesis, WSJ's Pedro da Costa:
This is excerpt that was originally part of the WSJ's report on the Chinese data authored by Chao Deng around midnight Eastern and titled "China Stocks Fall Despite Rosy Growth Data" (a cached version can be found here):
China's growth held at 7% in the second quarter, a level economists had deemed unlikely given signs that Beijing's policies to jump-start the world's second-largest economy hadn't yet taken hold. The median forecast by 14 economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal was for 6.8% growth in the quarter.
"The longer term outlook remains one of structural slowdown as the economy works through a painful process of adjustment and deleveraging," said Andrew Colquhoun, head of Asia-Pacific sovereigns at Fitch Ratings. The ratings firm nevertheless expects a pickup in growth during the second half of the year, after recent monetary and credit-policy easing.
That growth even managed to hit 7% also refreshes debate about the reliability of Chinese statistics.
"The chances that that data is real is very low," said Alicia Garcia Herrero, Natixis's chief economist for the Asia-Pacific region. "Would you publish GDP data that looks south at this point in time? I don't think so."
Such brutal honesty, even if in paraphrase. And yet, did someone make an error allowing this much truthiness to sneak through strict editorial efforts? We ask because when we look at the final draft of the WSJ report now titled "China Stocks Tumble as Investors Doubt Beijing’s Help", and updated at 5:14am, we find....
The entire quote by Natixis' Herrero has been completely scrubbed, as is both the observation that "the chances that the data is real is very low" and the rhetorical question if one would:"publish GDP data that looks south at this point in time? I don't think so."
Apparently, if one is the WSJ, one would also not publish a quote stating just that.
* * *
And while the WSJ scrubbed the article, whether after a tap on the shoulder or not, it forgot to remove comments that quotes explicitly from the article:
... a "quote" that is no longer there.