Tag Archives: BLS

  • Blog

    Next Stop: Recession!

    We've arrived at the end of the line
    by Chris Martenson

    Friday, February 8, 2019, 3:35 PM


    We've enjoyed years of “recovery” since the Great Financial Crisis by literally papering over our problems with newly-printed money, instead of addressing their root causes.

    But we've now arrived at the awkward part of the story; when all of our prior mistakes finally catch up with us, and the plot heads in a much darker direction.

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  • Daily Digest
    Image by dierken, Flickr Creative Commons

    Daily Digest 10/27 – China’s Dangerous Dollar Addiction, Billionaires Made More Money in 2017 Than Ever

    by DailyDigest

    Saturday, October 27, 2018, 8:05 PM

    • China’s Dangerous Dollar Addiction
    • America's Social Depression Is Accelerating
    • For the Cost of the Tax Bill, the U.S. Could Eliminate Child Poverty. Twice.
    • Over Half Of America Gets More In Welfare Than It Pays In Taxes
    • Black Voters in Georgia Say Something Funny Is Going on With Their Voting Machines
    • Andrew Gillum and the Extent of the Progressive Revolution
    • Suspicious packages spotlight vast postal surveillance system
    • The Establishment Must Undermine Alternative Economists As Crisis Unfolds
    • The World's Fastest-Growing Economy Is Facing a Cash Crunch
    • The biggest of big pictures
    • 'While the Rest of the World Burned,' Billionaires Made More Money in 2017 Than Any Other Year in History
    • A powerful bullish force could soon bolster the stock market
    • These Americans fled the country to escape their giant student debt
    • US shoppers may pay a high price for America's reliance on China's products
    • GM breaks with Trump administration and calls for nationwide electric-car sales program
    • Doubled raw materials use is climate risk
    • Genetic Testing Confirms Nine Tiger Subspecies – One-Third Are Already Extinct
    • Scientists warn of insect pest outbreaks and reduced wheat yields

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  • Insider
    Sergey Uryadnikov/Shutterstock

    The Oil Crunch Begins To Bite

    The repercussions are going to be vicious
    by Chris Martenson

    Tuesday, February 3, 2015, 2:39 AM


    While much of the financial press has been working to cast the drop in oil prices as 'unambiguously good' for US and global economies, the reality is, well, a lot more ambiguous.

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  • Insider
    Ciprian Stremtan/Shutterstock

    The Trouble with Numbers

    Our 'good' data worsens the closer we look
    by Chris Martenson

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 4:06 PM


    According to the ever-strident popular press, the world is in recovery. The stock market says so, the bond market says so, and the politicians and monetary bureaucrats all say so.

    The only trouble is the central banks continue to flood the world with liquidity, something they shouldn't need to be doing if a true recovery were really upon us.

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  • Insider

    Why Demand Will Become Even More Scarce

    Prospects for disinflation in 2014
    by Gregor Macdonald

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 5:14 PM


    Executive Summary

    • Anemic employment & wages growth depresses the odds of near-term interest rate hikes
    • Why energy costs increases are experiencing a lull, keeping inflation lower than many expected
    • The demographic arguments for deflation
    • Why the US is becoming more vulnerable to a repricing of natural gas — vs oil — in the coming decade

    If you have not yet read Part I: When Every Country Wants to Sell, Who Buys?, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

    The most recent US jobs report was once again a disappointment, despite the headline number of 192,000 jobs created. Over the past two years, the economy has reliably created about 150,000 jobs per month. This has been just enough to keep up with population growth, but alas, not enough to put the long-term unemployed back to work. The concerning data in the report came in the details of the jobs created: as usual–and this has been a trend for several years now–mostly in the lower wage sectors. A few wrap-up tweets from Dan Alpert of Westwood Capital summed up the facts rather nicely:

    Other notable observations from recent trends in US jobs reports include the fact that job creation in 2013 was no higher than in 2012. Not exactly an encouraging trend for those who would be looking for inflation risk, or strong growth in 2014.

    But perhaps worst of all has been the number of workers leaving the workforce. Part of this can be explained, of course, by demographic retirements. It’s no secret that the US has an aging population, and there’s a bulge of retiring workers that will admittedly create some gaps in the labor market over the next decade. But the large numbers of workers exiting the workforce is also explained by discouraged workers, and that unemployment benefits for many have started running out.

    What many in the public do not understand, is that workers taking unemployment checks are counted as active seekers of employment. They are added to the composition of the workforce, and when they continue to take unemployment checks but do not find work, they serve to keep the unemployment rate elevated. But when unemployment benefits expire, and workers leave the workforce, the unemployment rate may…

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  • Insider
    © trindade.joao | flickr Creative Commons

    Off the Cuff: Baffling with B(L)S

    When the numbers aren't good, change them
    by Adam Taggart

    Thursday, August 1, 2013, 4:42 PM


    In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles discuss:

    • BLS B.S.
      • Almost a century of GDP numbers revised
    • Fed Fakeout
      • Markets rise on non-news from the Fed
    • The Next Fed Head
      • What the Chairmanship transition likely will bring
    • The Coming Correction
      • Smart ways to position in advance
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  • Blog
    © Sergei Popov | Dreamstime.com

    2012 Year in Review

    Free markets, rule of law, and other urban legends
    by David Collum

    Friday, December 21, 2012, 7:34 PM



    I was just trying to figure it all out.

    ~ Michael Burry, hedge fund manager

    Every December, I write a Year in Review that has now found a home at Chris Martenson’s website PeakProsperity.com.1,2,3 What started as a simple summary intended for a couple dozen people morphed over time into a much more detailed account that accrued over 25,000 clicks last year.4 'Year in Review' is a bit of a misnomer in that it is both a collage of what happened, plus a smattering of issues that are on my radar right now. As to why people care what an organic chemist thinks about investing, economics, monetary policy, and societal moods I can only offer a few thoughts.

    For starters, in 33 years of investing with a decidedly undiversified portfolio, I had only one year in which my total wealth decreased in nominal dollars. For the 13 years beginning 01/01/00—the 13 toughest investing years of the new millennium!—I have been able to compound my personal wealth at an 11% annualized rate. This holds up well against the pros. I am also fairly good at distilling complexity down to simplicity and seem to be a congenital contrarian. I also have been a devout follower of Austrian business cycle theory—i.e., free market economics—since the late 1990s.4

    Each review begins with a highly personalized analysis of my efforts to get through another year of investing followed by a more holistic overview of what is now a 33-year quest for a ramen-soup-free retirement. These details may be instructive for those interested in my approach to investing. The bulk of the review, however, describes thoughts and observations—the year’s events told as a narrative. The links are copious, albeit not comprehensive. Some are flagged with enthusiasm. Everything can be found here.5

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  • Insider

    Where Stock Prices Are Headed Over the Next Year

    The battle between the real economy and asset prices
    by Gregor Macdonald

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 3:12 PM


    Executive Summary

    • Why household balance sheets are worse off than advertised
    • Why the recent rosy BLS jobs numbers actually mean bad news
    • How the Fed is squeezing investor capital out of other traditional asset pools and into the stock market
    • Expect to see the stock market moving higher in 2013; that is, until QE3 fails
    • What to expect if QE3 fails sooner than anticipated

    If you have not yet read Part I: The Future of Gold, Oil & the Dollar, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

    Market historians have recently started to point out that the current advance in the S&P500 is now 40 months old and has made gains of over 115% since the March 2009 lows. In other words, the doubling from the lows in price and the duration of the advance now late in its third year together suggest that a cyclical top is near. Furthermore, despite some noise in U.S. macro data – which has been briefly more hopeful, yet remains well within the phase of stagnation – earnings estimates have been coming down as the world economy continues to shift into lower gear.

    Perhaps for the first time in a while, we can actually say that the Fed's decision to start QE3 was moderately anticipatory, in contrast to its ad-hoc and reactive policymaking over the past five years. It is not merely that the Fed soberly accepted that the economy was not getting better. The stagnant, tractionless macro data over the past year has spoken quite loudly to that fact. Indeed, the U.S. economy is merely treading water, and the Fed's move to QE3 serves as a sharp retort to those who would relentlessly attempt to portray stagnation as recovery.

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  • Blog

    What Data Can We Trust?

    by charleshughsmith

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 5:33 AM


    Modern investing offers the promise that investors who “do their homework” and use data more intelligently than the herd can gain a valuable edge. But what if the underlying data available to the investing public is fundamentally flawed? 

    The federal government agencies that issue headline data and the mainstream media that reprints the data without skeptical analysis would have us believe that these indicators — the unemployment rate and the consumer price index (CPI), for example — accurately reflect economic realities.

    The other indicator that is implicitly or explicitly assumed to reflect the economy’s health is, of course, the stock market, generally represented by the S&P 500 index.

    That the government indicators and the stock market are both suspect is now a given.

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  • Blog

    Inflation Is So Much Worse Than We’re Told

    by Chris Martenson

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 3:00 PM


    Inflation is actually much higher than what the BLS claims it is; something that purchasers of college tuition, pharmaceuticals, or health insurance know all too well.

    To give the BLS some credit, they must try and estimate a single rate of inflation that applies to everyone equally.  But that is a completely impossible task. An octogenarian living in Seattle on a meager pension and taking lots of prescription medications will have a totally different inflation experience than an 18 year old living in their parent’s basement eating Ramen noodles. 

    But even after spotting the BLS some slack, there are some enormous and glaring errors in their methods that render the official inflation measure hopelessly – and dangerously – inaccurate. 

    In this article, I am going to reveal how US inflation numbers are badly understated, how this practice short-changes institutions and fixed-income individuals alike, and why this means fiscal and inflationary train-wrecks are the most probable outcome for the US — and, by extension, the globe.

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