Friday, May 30, 2008

What Data IS reliable at This Point?

I have a chipmunk problem. The little buggers have been digging tunnels all over the front yard. If I fill in the tunnel opening, those little demons have it cleared out in a matter of hours. Now I have no wish to poison the chippies, so what is an effective chipmunk remedy? Thanks in advance to anyone with an idea.

What Data IS reliable at This Point?
Tanta over at Calculated Risk was allover some suspect reporting and crappy data that was let loose over the past couple of days. I refer you to her excellent analysis for details. The key point I want to hammer home is how amazingly unreliable almost every data point is at this point.

Today the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America reported that a major lender’s change to its methodology for recording delinquencies led to a dramatic increase in reported defaults, to 73,880 in April versus 58,131 in March. The HousingWire article (http://www.housingwire.com/2008/05/30/insured-defaults-surge-thanks-to-reporting-quirk/) article says:

"The jump essentially makes it impossible to know whether defaults actually did increase or decrease relative to April’s statistics; MICA did not release statistics summarizing the impact of the reporting change on overall reported defaults."

Well that's useful, yes? Add this to the bogus inflation stats, LIBOR being fudged, Level III asset games, and fixed unemployment stats and what we have is a mirage of data that is worthless as economic barometer. The GDP numbers are also suspect at this point as government spending may be goosed just to dodge a "technical" recession.

What this means to me is that it is very hard to value anything in this atmosphere. Stocks use P/E ratios as a gauge, but with so much balance sheet tomfoolery who knows about the P or E really. Put it this way; The DOW could be worth 20,000 or 2,000 at this point but there is no real way to tell! If markets hate "uncertainty" then all of the manipulated data and suspect reports must be really vexing.

Got a late start tonight, but I cannot skip out on Friday night entertainment!

Comic Picture
This is one tough kitty!
cat
more cat pictures

Film Recommendation
An all time classic flick, "Three O'Clock High" is a sleeper not many have seen. I highly recommend it. Check out the book report scene. Skip to 3 minute mark and watch till end. Great stuff:


Rock Blogging
I love the woman from the band "Evanescence", her voice is both unique and powerful. The music rocks as well. Take a listen to "My Immortal":


The original "Planet Caravan" from Black Sabbath is a classic:


A little short on time, so that's all folks.

Have a good night.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hahaha next thing your going to Alvin Simon and Theodore singing a tune in your window if you let those little buggers live.

I recommend a Red Ryder BB Gun. Though, you might SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT so wear eye protection.

Quiet, deadly and you can catch back up on your target practice.

G

PS: Then you can grill them on your new gas grill and use some of those herbs from the garden for flavor! LOL!!! Can you smell what the blog is cooking?

watchtower said...

G has a point, it's all fun and games till the lil' rodents gnaw their way into your home and start sh!@#%#@ and chewing into your electrical wires, etc....don't ask me how I know. (my problem was with grey squirrels gnawing the aluminum wires coming into the building, maybe chipmunks are not as much trouble)

Anonymous said...

Agreed that all the figures are fudged. However I think we can agree that they are all fudged so as to bias whatever metric is being measured in the best possible light.

IMHO the E in P/E is likely optimistic, as is Unemployment, inflation, loan losses, loan loss reserves, etc, etc.

watchtower said...

Excerpt from Yahoo's gossip page;

Other apologies making the rounds...
• Bear Sterns chairman Jimmy Cayne apologized to an auditorium of employees for the pain caused by the company's misfortune. The employees' reaction? Dead silence. Can you say "awkward"?

Anonymous said...

The employees' reaction? Dead silence.

It should have been gun shots and I think sooner or latter that's coming.

All the numbers that are coming out of our government are massaged BS. Just like Russia the collapse.

Kevin

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