Sunday, August 9, 2009

The BLS Locked Room

I ran into a Bureau of Labor Statistics economist today, here in San Francisco. I told her my theory that since the BLS provides other data besides labor statistics, e.g. they put out the CPI numbers, that instead of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it should be the Bureau of Statistics and for short we could refer to their work as the BS data.

She took it well, and said she found me interesting.

I also told her about the old days when a money manager I knew hired a reporter to go in and get BLS released data minutes before it was publicly released. The money manager would trade on this market moving data by taking his position when the reporter called him with the numbers, sometimes just seconds before they were released (This was pre-cellphone and the reporter had to run to a payphone).

She told me that reporters who get the numbers these days are literally locked in the "DOL Lockup Room" and can't leave until the numbers are officially released. There's a lot of security these days, she said.

1 comment:

  1. locked huh? cuz they dont need to run to payphone? lol.

    kidding aside, they have better ways to front run the market now, with all the high tech computers and all. they dont need no stinking bls report.