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If You Listen to Economists… You WILL Go Broke

Economics / Economic Theory Oct 10, 2008 - 02:23 PM GMT

By: Mike_Stathis

Economics Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleBefore I begin, I recommend you bookmark my archive on this site so you can easily find my new posts

In my last piece, I think I made it clear that the vast majority of economists are not only clueless, but very dangerous to your financial health. Make no mistake. At best they are broadcasters not forecasters. They're better equipped working with historians to document events after they've happened. Yet, the media keeps them in the spotlight when reporting what to expect, even after history has shown they always fail to deliver.America's Financial Apocalypse Economists Need to Sit Down and Shut Up

It's quite clear to me the U.S. has been in a recession for several months now. And signs of a depression are evident depending upon how you gauge things. When one looks at the real data and adjusts for the manipulation engineered by government economists, evidence of a protracted recession becomes crystal clear.

Let's take a look at the latest from the Wall Street Journal.

“On average, the 52 economists surveyed now expect gross domestic product to contract in the third and fourth quarters of this year, as well as the first quarter of 2009. This is the first time that survey forecasts for those periods have turned negative. If those predictions bear out, it would mark the first time U.S. GDP—the total value of goods and services produced—has contracted for three consecutive quarters in more than a half century.”

Based on my analysis, the U.S. has had no more than 4 quarters of positive GDP growth over the past 3 years after the data has been adjusted appropriately. Now I really cannot blame the reporter who covered this story. He was doing what most other reporters do – following the status quo by interviewing who the media industry deems as the source of conventional wisdom. Most likely, he doesn't have too much experience under his belt. If he did, he'd be seeking guidance from experts with good track records. It doesn't take a genius to realize that the vast majority of economists are either clueless or government hacks, and sometimes both.

“Economists put the odds of recession in the next 12 months at 89%, up from 60% in last month's survey.”

When I first read that line, I immediately thought it was part of Jay Leno's opening monologue. As difficult as it may be to believe, America 's media monster continues to validate crackpot economists by reporting these ridiculous views. These bozos still can't all agree that we're in a recession even now or that we will be in one over the next twelve months! Attention you morons, we are seeing a global meltdown. Maybe if these economists were forced to get a real job in the real world, they'd see how bad things really are. Maybe if Americans stopped relying on the forms of media that validate the useless, lagging indicator insights of economists, more baby boomers might actually be able to retire someday.

Every person I've spoken with believes we are in a recession and have been for some time now; not only my colleagues, but everyday consumers. When the Fed pumps out trillions of dollars and Washington sends everyone stimulus checks as a way to boost the economic data, how can one say there is no recession? Washington fudges the numbers and borrows money from China to hand out to consumers and banks, but there is no recession? Recessions are not defined by some ridiculous measure of 2 consecutive quarters of GDP growth. They're defined by broader measures such as those used by the NBER. In addition, the government's data on GDP, inflation and employment have no meaning unless they are adjusted for the number-twisting and ridiculous assumptions that have been designed into these calculations.

Washington Manipulation of GDP Data to Hide Recessions

“Among economists surveyed, 54% said they think the next president should launch an economic-stimulus package in January. Economists were divided on where the stimulus should go. Some 13% said it should be used to increase food stamps and unemployment benefits; 9% preferred infrastructure spending; 4% favored taxpayer rebates and 28% said it should be some mix of those options. In August, when asked if the U.S. should consider another stimulus package, 66% of respondents said no. That dropped to 46% in the September survey.”

Why should anyone be concerned with solutions from guys who simply fail to recognize the problems? To me that seems counterproductive. In fact, it's a big joke.

"A month or two ago I wouldn't have said we needed another stimulus," said David Wyss of Standard & Poor's Corp. "I thought we'd be out of this before a stimulus package had any time to take effect. Now that's not likely to be the case."

Of course you didn't think we needed another stimulus Mr. Wyss. That's because you're the Chief Economist of Standard & Poor's – the credit rating agency that rated trillions of dollars of junk bonds as investment-grade.

The facts are clear. Economists are more behind the curve than even the worst media shills on television, namely those seen on CNBC. Either way, if you listen to any of these clowns, you and your money will soon part. Perhaps it already has. If so, consider it an expensive price to pay for a valuable lesson learned.

Remember this devastating economic period. Never forget how lost the economists have been because the next crisis – and there will be another one down the road – we'll see the same song-and-dance, just as we will with the media clowns. And if you rely on economists for guidance, you are going to suffer huge losses just as you will if you rely on the “experts” on television; that, I can assure you.

By Mike Stathis

Copyright © 2008. All Rights Reserved. Mike Stathis.

Mike Stathis is the Managing Principal of Apex Venture Advisors , a business and investment intelligence firm serving the needs of venture firms, corporations and hedge funds on a variety of projects. Mike's work in the private markets includes valuation analysis, deal structuring, and business strategy. In the public markets he has assisted hedge funds with investment strategy, valuation analysis, market forecasting, risk management, and distressed securities analysis. Prior to Apex Advisors, Mike worked at UBS and Bear Stearns, focusing on asset management and merchant banking.

The accuracy of his predictions and insights detailed in the 2006 release of America's Financial Apocalypse and Cashing in on the Real Estate Bubble have positioned him as one of America's most insightful and creative financial minds. These books serve as proof that he remains well ahead of the curve, as he continues to position his clients with a unique competitive advantage. His first book, The Startup Company Bible for Entrepreneurs has become required reading for high-tech entrepreneurs, and is used in several business schools as a required text for completion of the MBA program.

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Books Published
"America's Financial Apocalypse" (Condensed Version)

"Cashing in on the Real Estate Bubble"

"The Startup Company Bible for Entrepreneurs"

Disclaimer: All investment commentaries and recommendations herein have been presented for educational purposes, are generic and not meant to serve as individual investment advice, and should not be taken as such. Readers should consult their registered financial representative to determine the suitability of all investment strategies discussed. Without a consideration of each investor's financial profile. The investment strategies herein do not apply to 401(k), IRA or any other tax-deferred retirement accounts due to the limitations of these investment vehicles.

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