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In the cloud, you are the weakest link

Sep 2, 2014
The celebrity pictures hack has everyone a-twitter about the safety of the cloud. But the chances are, you're the problem.
Posted In: icloud, computer security, apple

How too much corn spells trouble far beyond the fields

Aug 26, 2014
Corn production could hit a record high this year and that's an issue.
Posted In: corn, crops, Agriculture

Why we should bring back the Postal Banking system

Aug 18, 2014
Almost every other country has a postal banking system that serves low-income customers. Why don't we?
Posted In: post office, UK, U.S. Postal Service

Why buying Bitcoin is like stepping into the Wild West

Aug 12, 2014
If you're going to invest in virtual currency, you'd better cowboy up.
Posted In: bitcoin, CFPB

Why you shouldn't get all stirred up about today's GDP number

Does that GDP number look good to you? Are you feeling all warm and excited about the state of the economy?

Well, you can stop that right now.

Why? 'Cause that number can't be trusted, as Jeffrey Cleveland, Chief Economist at Payden & Rygel expained to Mark Garrison on the Marketplace Morning Report today:

Mark Garrison: So the morning’s numbers show strong 4 percent growth in the second quarter. Also, the previous quarter wasn’t as bad as originally thought. What’s your key takeaway from this report?

Jeffrey Cleveland: I think you should maybe take an average of the first half of the year, and then you see growth as maybe about 1 percent, 2 percent, somewhere in that range.  I think that’s the real, underlying trend of U.S. growth. I don’t think investors should get too excited by any one particular quarterly number.

Garrison: And when these numbers come out, we try to remind people that this is an estimate right now, this 4 percent growth number, just the first crack really. What’s the danger of reading too much into this?

Cleveland: Yeah, the data is always a tradeoff between the timeliness and the accuracy. About half or a little more than half of the data is subject to heavy revisions, Mark. We don’t have complete data for inventories, for trade, for some of the spending on services that consumers put out there, so this could change by a large degree. If you remember back to Q1, the initial reading that we received was just marginally positive growth rate, and that was subsequently revised away and now we’re down 2 percent for the first quarter.

That's it. The number we got today is an estimate. The people who crunch the GDP number only have about half of the data they need to judge the growth rate of the economy. The number will be revised, and then revised AGAIN! The difference between the first estimate and the final figure could be as much as 2 PERCENT!

Pinch o' salt, people. Pinch o' salt!

 

 

 

 


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Jul 30, 2014

Why dark pools became a bad dream for European banks

Jul 14, 2014
Regulators are going after the private exchange operations of European banks.
Posted In: european, Credit Suisse

Inversion – ain’t nothing but a tax dodge, baby

Jul 8, 2014
Companies buy overseas rivals with one aim in mind: Reduce their tax burdens.
Posted In: corporate inversion, outsourcing, international

Need protection? Consider a collar!

Jul 1, 2014
A collar is a trading strategy that protects your investment, but limits your upside.
Posted In: collar, explainer, whiteboard

Why bank loans are getting riskier

Jun 26, 2014
Banks are relaxing the terms in their loans. And that makes them riskier.
Posted In: covenants, cov-lite loans, OOC

Explaining the stock split: Some financial gymnastics

Jun 24, 2014
In the end, stock splits are all about making shares more appealing to investors.
Posted In: stock split, apple

Editor Picks

What happens when you shout "buy!"

Mar 31, 2014
Michael Lewis' book, "Flash Boys," reveals a great deal, including people's confusion about the stock market

The magic of compounding: An explainer

Feb 27, 2014
Compounding is one of the best tools out there to build wealth.
Posted In: compounding, interest

About this collection

Financial mysteries explained! Watch the latest video explaining capital adequacy requirements in Paddy Hirsch's Whiteboard series. 

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