Friday, October 4, 2013

It's The Economy Stupid: I got nothing...

There is no economy this morning.  And given the rhetoric coming out of Washington…


Okay, I’ve gotten used to communicating with y’all on a regular basis.  So it feels kind of odd not to have something to say.    You see, Y’all complete me!  LOL! 


In lieu of actual information, here’s a fluff piece on what economists are doing to fill their time:


“Probably I’ll just sit here and stew over the sheer stupidity of all of this”


No Jobs Report Means Economists Chew on Football Instead of Data

By Victoria Stilwell

     Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist with Gluskin Sheff & Associates Inc., usually spends

the first Friday of the month poring over U.S. labor-market data. Today, he’s planning a different kind of crunching.  “I’m going to see my personal trainer,” Rosenberg said as the government postponed release of the September employment report.

     The absence of jobs data leaves economists and their investor clients without the month’s most important numbers on

which to place bets, ranging from friendly office pools to million-dollar wagers on the health of the world’s largest economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which typically issues the report on the first Friday of each month at 8:30 a.m. in Washington, yesterday said a government shutdown now in its fourth day means the latest data aren’t ready. At FTN Financial in New York, the first U.S. government shutdown since 1996 is depriving the trading floor of a monthly ritual: pizza courtesy of the best forecaster of the jobs report.  “Everyone puts in a dollar and you write your name and your guess and throw it in the pool,” said Chris Low, FTN Financial’s chief economist. “The winner ends up buying pizza for the floor, which inevitably costs about 40 bucks more than you win.”  Low said he’ll still hold a conference call with clients even without the report. Its absence means he and his colleagues have to get more creative.

     “We’re writing about stuff that we wouldn’t normally write about,” he said. “We’re writing a lot of politically themed stories right now, but also we’re paying more attention to reports that normally we wouldn’t.”

     The jobs report is the most prominent among data releases issued by federal government agencies that have been delayed as workers deemed non-essential are furloughed. Lawmakers are wrangling over a deal to fund the federal government.

     The Bureau of Labor Statistics “will not collect data, issue reports or respond to public inquires” during the shutdown, according to its website. The U.S. Commerce Department has suspended the release of economic data provided by its agencies, while crop and livestock reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture have also gone unpublished.

     Without government reports, private data such as the Oct. 2 private payrolls release from the ADP Research Institute and the

Oct. 1 Institute for Supply Management factory index have probably garnered more attention than usual, Low said. Weekly

jobless claims data, which are still being issued by the Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration, have also

helped inform economists’ estimates in the absence of a payrolls report.

     “Part of me is kind of cynical about these things, and I actually think it’s a good thing that this thing isn’t released because it probably gets undue attention from market participants,” said Neil Dutta, head of U.S. economics at Renaissance Macro Research LLC in New York. “We have enough information already on hand to sort of get a good range of where unemployment is.”

     In lieu of a payrolls pool that Dutta and his colleagues organize, “maybe we’ll all go out and have breakfast together before the market opens.”

     “What usually happens is whoever wins the pool buys breakfast, so maybe we’ll all just buy breakfast on our own and

just eat together on the floor,” he said.

     Today’s workload may be a little lighter than normal, freeing up a few more hours to work on reports reviewing the

week past and one ahead, said Kevin Cummins, an economist at UBS Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut.

     “That’s like our busiest day of the month, so it’s kind of nice going into the weekend without a big thing hanging over it

that we’ve got to get through,” he said. “So a lot of the chatter about weekend football games and that sort of stuff, we

can at least participate in some conversation.”

     Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial Corp. in Birmingham, Alabama, wrote in an e-mail that it’s “going to

feel very odd” with no data to pore over and no analysis to write this morning. “Probably I’ll just sit here and stew over

the sheer stupidity of all of this,” he wrote.


John Broussard

Assistant State Treasurer

Chief Investment Officer

State of Louisiana

Department of the Treasury



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