February 5, 2010
LYING WITH STATISTICS
In college statistics class the professor gave us a book with aforementioned title. It was impressive seeing how folks can mislead with numbers. It’s something we see everyday especially from the government. Pushing a lot of unemployment (seasonal adjustments) into old data might make future reports better right? But it’s misleading. Putting up an unemployment rate that’s better than expected (especially with high continuing Jobless Claims) is just a function of how many unemployed people are dropping off the rolls (birth/death model). It’s just more manipulative BS.
The markets were wallowing in red most of the day immersed in worries about jobs and troubles in Europe. But, markets reversed course led by a late round of buy programs beginning around 3 PM. Who would launch such an effort? Any number of trading desks, hedge funds and even our own government will stop at nothing nowadays to manipulate everything. You can’t make this stuff up frankly.