by Anura Guruge
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I try to watch as many job reports as I can, every Thursday for the ‘weekly unemployed’ and ‘first’ Friday of each month ‘for the household’. Given that I watch CNBC first thing in the morning this is not too hard to do. I was looking forward to today’s jobs number. I know that for a week experts were calling, unanimously, for a 200,000(+) number. I was skeptical, but was willing to go along. Unlike the experts, who now have so much egg on face, I have refused to put ANY credence on the ADP number — which comes out on the Wednesday before the Friday’s job number. I don’t trust ADP. I think they make up that number. Yet, again the experts have had to admit that the ADP number let them astray.
I don’t get these experts. For 20 years or so I was a self-employed expert — on IBM networks, IBM mainframes and enterprise networking. I was out there weekly, if not daily, making prognostications and claims. Of course I never got it all right, BUT I can’t ever remember being wrong to the scale that these experts are, month in, month out.
Just seconds before the 8:30 am jobs number today, CNBC, in their boastful way, predicted that the experts were calling for a 200,000+ number. Then the Hampton Pearson read out the number. 74,000. Though Hampton (who I like for his gravitas) was continuing you could feel the STUNNED silence in the studio. It was just like the day after Obama’s reelection. The CNBC talking heads had yet again been caught with their pants down playing with their privates on air. I just laughed.
I knew, viscerally, that the low number wasn’t bad for the market! Bad number, less tapering. So, I was cool. Yes, the Dow has gone down a bit right now but I am not at all concerned about the trajectory.
I, given that I am no longer a Republican, feel bad for the unemployed. It has to suck. The drop in the participation rate bothers me GREATLY. I should be included in that. I gave up trying to look for work 5 or 6 years ago. But, I was ‘OK’. I had some savings and knew how to play the market to generate income from the savings I had. So we got by. Plus I had the nerve to stay in the market, fully invested, right through the crisis. It was painful, especially since I manually track my performance, by hand, and write it in a log so that I have a record, each night.
Anyhow, this post was mainly about how stupid the so called economic experts can be. To get a key number wrong by a factor of three does take some perverse genius. And there is no shame. It is a joke.
Well, I am laughing too. This is all good. I will ONLY give you two pieces of advice. 1/ Get INTO the market, if you are not already in. 2/ Use the market to generate INCOME.