The statistical game expands

The Market Ticker suspects shenanigans beyond the usual chicanery:

On January 5th the durables report for November was ‘released’. It showed a 0.2% increase. I didn’t write on it at the time, as it didn’t appear to be particularly consequential. The report, of course, came in the middle of the first-week January market rally. But now, in the dark of night, the number has been revised – to a decrease of 0.7%. The reason is a claimed “statistical error.” This, by the way, should have been obvious from the retail sales report, which I did write on.

Here’s the ugly – the Census’ link to the report is now listed as missing (that is, intentionally removed!) and what’s worse the link they refer you to, the “Historical M3 Releases” does not have the corrected November data – it only has releases through October on it.

That is, November’s report has disappeared.

I demonstrated the fictitious nature of government statistics in the chapter of RGD entitled “No One Knows Anything”. I suppose it’s easier to simply not bother making anything up, though. Since so few people even understand what the numbers are supposed to represent, why not just periodically shout “The Dow is at 12,000 and all is well!”

It would probably be more convincing anyhow.