Monday, February 7, 2011

The Dumbest Blog Post of the Year Goes To: Zero Hedge

I am going to make an early award for dumbest blog post of the year for this absolutely moronic piece showcasing the complete inability of the author to comprehend the data he is looking at. The sadder part of all of this, was while I was trying to find out just who the hat tipped individual was who came up with the stupid graph in the first place (a John Poehling according to ZeroHedge), I noticed that many other blogs picked this retarded screed up and ran it as some sort of fact. The only "fact" from this piece is that whoever came up with the "period 13 adjustments" to the non-farm payroll data likely did so in an office in the same building in Virginia where we filmed the moon landing.

Here is the telling quote from the above referenced tripe:

"Yet what could possibly be the biggest tell in the BLS tendentious spin of data comes courtesy of the BLS "period 13" data reporting, which is the full year adjustment the BLS gives at the end of every single year (it can be pulled from BLS data series CEU0000000001). And as John Poehling shows after parsing the data, in 72 years, there have been just 5 positive adjustments. And curiously, of these 5, the two largest ones by a huge margin occurred in the prior 2 years: 2008 and 2009, when year end adjustments (subsequently revised lower in the interim) added a total of 2.2 million jobs for the current administration. In 2010 there was no such luck, as the period 13 revision took out 1,243,000 jobs from the running total."

Let me debunk this as quickly as I can. The "period 13" that the author cites is nothing more than the yearly average of the employment data. Thus, in most years in which we added employment, the "period 13" (hereafter known as the annual average) will be lower than the December number. In years where we began the year with more employees than we ended it (like 08 and 09), the annual average will be higher than the December number. Look at that, simple math (this isn't even statistics, it is 3rd grade reading comprehension and math skills). We can only hope that whoever this "John Poehling" is that ZeroHedge gives credit to for coming up with this crap is not in fact managing anyone's money.

In other words, there is no such thing as a period 13 revision.

Update: It looks like Zero Hedge at least took the responsibility to pull this embarrassingly inaccurate post (sadly, it can still be found elsewhere on the blogosphere).

Update II: You can still find the article in full here. People would rather post things that agree with their worldview than take the time to see if what they are posting has any basis in fact/reality it seems.