Wednesday, November 16, 2005

When the numbers get ugly, stop publishing the numbers

Today's reading is from the Book of the I Federal Reserve 19:11-12. Let us prey.
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the dais before the CHAIRMAN. And, behold, the CHAIRMAN passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the markets, and broke in pieces the rocks before the CHAIRMAN; but the CHAIRMAN was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the CHAIRMAN was not in the earthquake:
And after the earthquake a fire; but the CHAIRMAN was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
And it was so, when the markets heard it, that they wrapped their faces in their jackets, and went out on the trading floor. And the voice said unto them, "What doest thou here, suckers?"*
Very quietly, under the radar, the Federal Reserve slipped a 4-sentence press release into the ether on Thursday, 10 November 2005.

Here's who picked it up:
Scoop, of New Zealand
A newsletter, Free Market News.
And another newsletter, The Daily Reckoning.
And that's the the whole lot. Perhaps the WSJ had already started celebrating Veterans Day.

The Fed baldly states that as of 23 March 2006 they will cease publishing the M3. They are also going to stop publishing: large-denomination time deposits, repurchase agreements (aka repos), and Eurodollars.

Maybe now that M3 has crossed over the $10 trillion mark, it's getting a little harder to argue that inflation is still under control. Today (11/16/05) the government released inflation numbers. Reuters somehow manages to sound upbeat: Prices up but core inflation tepid. But Reuters reports that prices were up 0.2% while Wall Street had forecast 0.0% increase.
[Ed. note: Wall Street's forecasts aren't worth the spit on Wall Street.]
By the way, and Reuters notes this too, that 0.2% gain exists even after food and energy are excluded.

Back to numbers. The actual report, found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has some other gems in it. For instance, the October '05 index 199.2 was 4.7% higher than October '04. You can draw your own conclusions.

[Ed. note: The KJV has a slightly different version, found in I Kings 19:11-12.]

No comments: