Saturday, January 9, 2010

Blatant Data Error At The Federal Reserve

Tyler Durden reports:
A vigilant reader, who combed through the backup of today's Consumer Credit G.19 statement points out a flagrant and obvious error in the Fed's data. While luckily the data impact is not major (at most $4 billion, which in our day and age is a pithy 50% of Goldman's FICC trading desk bonus), the implication that the Fed does not check its work in something as critical as one of the core data series (or at least it used to be until a few machines took over the market, to whom, as today indicated, a record credit contraction somehow ended up being a positive event) is very, very troubling.

The original, Fed-hosted excel file with the backing data of the actual G.19 statement can be found here. We welcome all readers to compare cells AC 804 through AC 809, which is the data for "Consumer Revolving Credit Owned by Nonfinancial Business, Not Seasonally Adjusted" for the months June through November of 2009, and to compare it with data in cells AC 792 through AC 797, which is comparable data for the months June through November of 2008. These are identical and very much wrong! So, dear Fed auditors, while you obviously are very highly overpaid for your error-proofing work, can you please tell us what the real Consumer Credit number for November is?
Yup, that's right. The Fed is showing the EXACT same numbers for the June through November 2008 period and the June through November 2009 period, right down to the decimal points.

Durden correctly goes on to ask, how can you trust any of the Fed data when this type of obvious error is made? Where are the proofreaders?


  1. What this really proves is that the entire thing is a sham, anyway. The numbers are all a fake (either because they have to be massaged to match a certain message or because they're too difficult to collect or the people are incompetent or they're trying to hide the numbers). What's the point of proofreading a lie? It's not like being a good lie would make it real.

  2. Wenzel,

    I made a similar point about a NYT article on Afghanistan that described a "homemade" bomb attack. I questioned if the reporters could be sure it was made in a home. I said that if NYT reporters can't even figure out the difference between a homemade bomb and one built in a terror shack, how could they report straight on the rest of that conflict? Lazy journalism here, really lazy journalism there... next thing you know, you're peddling lies and propaganda.