We need an open investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, the entire ‘fake news’ Russian collusion affair and James Comey’s fake FBI investigation,  and not for the reasons you think. Congress has failed to take responsibility for its bevy of problems; and its unshining example has corrupted all our other national institutions. Partisan bickering and political spin is simply a diversion from the action that American people deserve — and the truth that the American people require.

Illustration by Rachael Bolton.

For the past few decades, Congress has failed to take responsibility for its bevy of problems, and its unshining example tends to corrupt all our other national institutions.

I strongly see the need for a full and open inquiry into Hillary’s illegal server, Clinton’s leaking of top secret documents, the pay-to-play Clinton Foundation, the entire ‘Fake news’ Russian collusion affair and James Comey’s ‘Fake FBI investigation’ with a predetermined outcome. I am not taking a partisan position here. However, I am guessing many people will reason: ‘The Republicans are bashing the Democrats over these inquiries; this guy Feierstein wants an inquiry, so he must be a Republican.’
I don’t blame people for making these assumptions. Our whole country has become infected with this kind of twisted logic. Our entire political debate has caught the virus. Yet, it makes no sense. No sense at all.

Here are two facts and one conclusion:

Fact One: Hillary had an illegal server in the basement of her home that contained ‘Top-Secret Emails.’

Fact Two: Senators Grassley and Graham’s statement regarding FBI’s James Comey’s exoneration of Clinton read: “Conclusion first, fact-gathering second—that’s no way to run an investigation. The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy.”

Conclusion: These allegations are serious enough to deserve an open investigation, period. Partisan bickering and political spin is simply a diversion from the action that American people deserve — and the truth that the American people require.

I say all this because I’m about to call attention to another government department: the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now, I know that Democrats are currently bashing President Trump over everything he does. I know that Trump is bashing back. But, people, the issue at stake is the creation of jobs in America and the way those things are being recorded and reported. The issues I’m about to address were present under George W. Bush and Barack Obama. They haven’t changed under Donald Trump. The depression which struck this country in the wake of financial crisis 1.0 might have peaked under a Democrat, but it was born in a Republican era. If you yourself are so partisan that you want to make fine distinctions about these things, you should go ahead and make them. Me: I see two peas in a pod.

Good. Preamble over. Here’s the issue:

The number of jobs created in America declined by 74,000 to 153,439 in August. A horrible number, far below expectations. The jobless rate rose to 4.4 and hourly earnings missed increasing only 2.5 percent year-over-year. Average hours worked also declined, seeing as weekly wages followed suit.

Yet, central bank manipulated stocks are surging, on the terrible economic news, in anticipation of more global central bank easing. News and economic data are irrelevant in our “rigged” system as market participants eagerly line up like heroin addicts awaiting another federal reserve fix.

But let’s put the partisan spin-factory to one side, and instead have a think about the number of jobs being reported. Businesses are born and businesses die. When a business is occupied with either of those processes, it has better things to do than call up the BLS and discuss hires and fires. The BLS therefore estimates the net impact on the joblessness figures of the birth and death of businesses. You can read its full discussion here, but the key line says:

‘There is an unavoidable lag between an establishment opening for business and its appearing on the sample frame and being available for sampling. Because new firm births generate a portion of employment growth each month, non-sampling methods must be used to estimate this growth.’

A non-sampling method: that’s geek-speak for ‘guess.’ We don’t know how many new jobs are being created or lost by business churn, so we’ve got to guess. And you want to know the BLS’s estimate for the number of such jobs ‘created’ (net of losses) in August? Answer: 103,000 — aka #FakeData.

Photo credit Mitch Feierstein

So, in crude terms, the net jobs growth reported by the BLS is largely in positive territory because of some number that’s simply a guess. A smart guess, probably. One made by intelligent statisticians… but still.

In this economy? With Europe in turmoil, China slowing, the country heading for a fiscal cliff which could thrust us back into recession, plus massive uncertainty over the path of healthcare costs per employee? When Hurricane Harvey will cause gas prices to surge 30 percent and will have other massive ramifications on our economy?

The BLS has never been in this position before, because the economy hasn’t been. And after all, who in their right minds would be hiring new staff given these conditions? Most savvy business people will be watching, waiting… deferring spending and hiring.

The truth is employment in the U.S. might be growing or shrinking. We just plain don’t know. What we do know is that if you add together the unemployed, workers discouraged from seeking work, plus those working part-time when they’d prefer to be working full time… you have an ‘underemployment’ rate of at least 18 percent — while our labor force participation rates are kicking around forty-year-lows at 62.9.
These things are terrible economic news, but they’re terrible on a human scale too.

Let’s consider the graduates looking to repay the more than $1.5 trillion in government-guaranteed student loans. These graduates are America’s future. Those BLS data points represent human lives, human potential. Let’s not forget our “debt ceiling problem” where big government feels the sky’s the limit and Janet Yellen’s out-of-touch, reckless rouge hedge fund, aka Federal Reserve, is inflating grotesque asset bubbles that enable malinvestment. And the outlook is grim.

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Understanding the swamp’s unemployment numbers

To repeat, I’m not making a partisan point here. I’m making a bigger one. The American economy is in deep trouble and headed towards — if not already — in a recession. The reported data we have is unreliable. What we do know is that we have too much debt, too much money-printing, a culture of total irresponsibility on Wall Street and consequently an absence of credibility in the financial and political promises that underpin our economy. All this, plus a political culture which is not addressing these things in a mature and responsible way.

This country’s in a mess. And partisan bickering will never pull us out of it. We all need to change our mindsets. I voted for change in the last election and I believe that today’s D.C. landscape is the most polarized in history. Are things better? Are we going to be offered any real choices? Will the swamp be drained? Will we ever get the answers we demand?

And where can I get a refund?

This piece was originally published on Storia, and reproduced with permission of the author.

Mitch Feierstein

Mitch Feierstein

Mitch Feierstein is a British-American investor, banker and writer. He has worked as a columnist for the Daily Mail and currently works as a columnist for The Independent and the Huffington Post. Feierstein appears regularly as a financial commentator on SKY, BBC, and RT. In 2012 he published his first book, Planet Ponzi, which gives his perspective of the global credit crisis.

Getting to know Mitch Feierstein:

- How do you spend your days?

In addition to acting as an advisor to several family offices I am a Managing Director at Storia Inc. a multi-media platform created to change the paradigm in digital content creation, delivery and consumption. Storia will leverage the generational shift away from traditional media to 'mobile and video first'.

-What in your answer to Q1 is especially important to you and why?

It is important to make an impact that can positively influence change.

The west has lost its way, capitalism and free markets have been bulldozed by the interests of .001% of the USA’s gargantuan Military Industrial Complex. Add in a dash of 'narrative designed to move forward specific political agendas', a controlled media, owned by six mega corporations and a cabal of reckless misguided academic central bankers - you have the perfect recipe for either:

1) The worst global economic depression in history, or

2) Civil war, as the left’s political repression of speech, thought and conduct has become 'nazism of the left,' which will end badly, or

3.) World war.

- What drove you to focus on finance & investment? Was there a particular moment you can remember that led you to this field?

Yes. When I was in college I was fascinated by everything 'Wall Street'. I was drawn in by the action and went to work in World Trade Center, Tower I in the very early 1980’s. OUCH.

- What drives you professionally?

Every day presents a different set of challenges.

-In your opinion what are the three biggest problems facing the developed and developing world?

1) Non-elected out-of-control rouge central bankers acting as risky, highly leveraged speculative hedge funds – picking market winners and losers.

2)Non-elected politicians in Brussels that want to strip EU citizens of sovereignty, liberty and democracy.

3) Extremism by the left: A 'social-justice' movement designed to end conservative thought. It seems like totalitarianism because it is. The left are only tolerant, accepting, inclusive if you agree with their opinions – when you disagree they become intolerant, violent fascists.

-If you hadn’t become an investor what would you have done?

Played golf on the PGA tour.

-If you look at recent history, can you identify a turning-point that explains how we come to face the peculiar challenges of today?

It was the excesses of the 1980’s and 35+ years of failed neo-liberal thought and policies that began with bill Clinton and ended with Obama. In reality, this was plunder, (financial fraud), on a massive scale that saw wealth inequality ratios skyrocket.

It started with Larry Summers and Robert Rubin’s convincing Bill Clinton to scrap Glass-Steagall – this allowed securitisations and use of derivatives as speculative financial instruments or weapons of mass financial destruction that allowed creation of massive credit, leverage and debt.

-What are the lessons we failed to learn during and since the 2008 crisis?

Nothing learned – we have re-inflated the same bubbles only larger – no meaningful deleveraging and risk assets are now even more risky.

- Name one measure we might implement immediately to improve the situation.

Immediately stop the central banks madness.

- If you were a President / Prime Minister what would your first three pieces of policy be?

1) Audit, shudder the Federal Reserve Bank, deflate the bubbles and jail the financial terrorists.

2) Disband and dismantle the deep state and shadow government operatives working on behalf of the military industrial complex en mass.

3) Maintain sovereignty – secure the nation- ensure democracy- end the policy failures and restore growth.

- What was your biggest & / or your most recent mistake?

Biggest mistake: owning a huge position on Lehman options.

Most recent: assuming central banks would act rationally.

- Name the book that changed you.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

- What would you do differently if you were to start all over again?

Nothing, no regrets I move forward!

- Give our readers, members and subscribers a piece of advice that has served you well.

Never invest in anything you don’t fully understand and never, ever believe that 'it is different this time'.

- What is your main anxiety where you and / or your family are concerned?

How the coming global financial collapse unfolds and will DC be stupid enough to allow WWIII.

- What gives you hope for humanity?

As we near our darkest hour, a ray of sunshine will brightly illuminate the process in which we may begin to rebuild our crippled, corrupt and broken financial and political systems from the ground up… The revolution is coming prepare now…
Mitch Feierstein

3 thoughts on “#FakeData: Deciphering the swamp’s unemployment deception

  1. Great article. The author is absolutely correct. There is little we can trust from government anymore.
    The two-party system is a façade. I recently read that U.S. legislators must fundraise about $15,000 per day to stay elected. Money has come to dominate everything else. How many average citizens give to their congressman? The money comes from big corporations, through lobbyists. So, who are politicians most beholden to? Obviously, the entities that provide the money. Elections are won by big money. Both parties are funded the same way. The winner is a Democrat or Republican who is anointed by the Deep State. The Deep State never loses, because it owns both candidates.
    The public does not win until money is removed from politics. Don’t hold your breath.

  2. A Millennials understanding of data here. To have accurate information you need a non political civil service to collect and compile it. You also need cooperative businesses and individuals to accurately provide it. It must be disseminated freely for use by individuals and analysts.

    Data is delivered by messengers who should not be shot. Political attempts to control, manipulate and suppress data are not new. Then there are analysts, such as economists, who don’t agree on what data should be collected, what is meaningful, what gaps exist, and what it all means.

    As a person who worked with government data for regional planning since the 1970s, I can say it isn’t simple to get or use. Two data points don’t make a trend, but that doesn’t keep people from extrapolating the point they want to make. Big Data has benefited the very few. They seem to like that.

    The people are angry because all of the experts have been wrong. Trump spoke a few truths in his campaign, so that got him the election. Bill Clinton’s economic success was a shell game, not unlike Reagan’s. The #NoNewTaxes meme plus the #WeWantMore attitude has meant debt, debt, debt funding. Not only public, but private.

    The debt burden is a tremendous drag on the economy. The issuance of that big easy credit also inflated values, so everything is out of whack. You won’t find this out from any government or corporate emails, but you can read mine. This is the “fake it til you make it” way. Truth has been ignored so long, it is impossible to get back to the sanity of WW-II when war meant sacrifice for everyone.

    We’ve been on a continuous war footing since 1947 (I was born in 1946), but rarely any monetary or quality of life sacrifice for the efforts, other than sons and daughters. (I served USN 1968-72) I know Ike was right in his warning about the military-industrial-congressional complex.

    A few more have emerged, all funded with financialization techniques that give the this particular group, zombie powers to feed off the dead, those who repay debt with debt.

    Economists have it that debt repayment is destruction of money, not renewal of credit worthiness and actual free and clear ownership of the ranch, the actual goal of home ownership. Then you just have to pay taxes, utilities, maintenance and renovation. Most with a mortgage today will never own the home, as little goes to principle. If value appreciates, you might have some money for a down payment on the next attempt. Essentially, people are renting money to pretend they are owners.

    The FBI is very good at finding fraud. They picked up independently on sub-prime housing finance fraud. William K. Black is one to read if you want to understand the “control fraud” gambit. No one really does, because experts agree the problem is the deplorable.

    Politicians are communicators who can listen to many perspectives and, with a networking process, maintain and advance their communities and perpetuate human civilization. They need good and honest information. Some fear that honest information will reveal their own faking, while others have mastered the art of faking.

    In this entertainment focused world, emotional response somehow counts as truth. The TV journalistic “if it bleeds it leads” feeds the emotional stew that hides the reality that we are living far beyond our means. Boiled in our own debt, we are comfortably warm.

  3. “It was the excesses of the 1980’s and 35+ years of failed neo-liberal thought and policies that began with bill Clinton and ended with Obama. In reality, this was plunder, (financial fraud), on a massive scale that saw wealth inequality ratios skyrocket.”

    Began with Bill Clinton!?

    No, began to be implemented in the 1970s, not the 90s.

    The left of the 90s looked at the naked greed displayed during the republican/tory 80s and concluded that the only way they were going to get elected was by pandering to this greed (or ‘aspiration’ as we now have to refer to it).

    So in the end analysis if you only vote for the people you think are going to put the most money in your pocket, and have cast aside any notion of the ‘greater good’ or the social contract, you scoff at anyone who doesn’t display naked self-interest and label them ‘losers’, then you get the leaders and the society you deserve.

    And we have.

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