Sunday, July 12, 2009

Spinning the Markets, July 12 2009

Here's the headline from Bloomberg, prior to the Aisan markets opening:

"Retail Probably Rose, Factory Slump Eased: U.S. Economy Preview"

My initial reaction, "Probably rose? What the ...?"

So, what is this rosey prediction based on? A "median estimate" from Bloomberg's "News survey" .... Whatever that means....

Here are some rather official looking details:

Sales gained 0.4 percent after a 0.5 percent increase in May, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey before the Commerce Department’s report on July 14. The next day, Federal Reserve figures may show industrial output fell 0.6 percent last month after a 1.1 percent drop in May.

Looks like hard numbers, right? I mean those are rather specific seeming statistics, right? The language is so, well, statistical sounding, right?

But it is utter and complete nonsense. There are no actual measures of retail sales behind these numbers.

Bloomberg could have just as easily written, "We did a "news survey" and about half of those we talked to thought that retail sales were going to improve a little bit from the month before. Of course, no one we talked to actually has hard data, so, please understand that these estimates are really guesses, so please read these with some caution."

Nope ... the market manipulation will have no refreshing honesty. Instead, the reporting is presented as if survey respondents actually had some clue as to what they are talking about.

Well, these reports are due this week ... so we will see what actually comes out...

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