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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Facts and Reality

I'm just waking up from my champagne-induced coma.  Yep, spent the whole day and night yesterday partying over the news that the recession is officially over.

Whew!  What a relief!  You'd think that with growing unemployment, record foreclosures and the accompanying cratering in real estate prices, the growing distrust in our financial system - as reflected in the skyrocketing prices of gold and silver, and record federal deficits, there might still be a recession going on.

No-siree-Bob!  We're all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ready to take on the day.
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Please tell me they're kidding.  Tell me some over-zealous Obamatron threatened nuclear annihilation of the families of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER - the guys and gals that call the start-and-stop of recessions) if they didn't say the recession was over.

If you haven't read the official propaganda explanation, you can read it here.  Your head will spin and you will vomit uncontrollably.  And then laugh hysterically.  At least that's what I did.  I'm pretty sure it was the report and not the champagne that caused the puke.

The first thing that struck me was that it took them five quarters to call this thing dead.  Really?!  450+ days to do the math?  Are these guys using Post-It notes stuck to the company fridge to keep track of this stuff?

Do they really think anyone - and I mean anyone - in America doesn't see this as a political genuflect to the administration?  From the Washington Post (Official Administration Genuflecting Scribes) -
On the day that the Great Recession was officially declared to be part of history, President Obama confronted deepening angst from business leaders and ordinary Americans who have little faith that the recovery is for real.
...

The nation - and the political system - remain haunted by that downturn. Vast majorities of Americans think the nation is still in recession, regardless of what scholars say.
I thought the NBER was actually independent. 

It seems like they're in the same boat as the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).  They're always touted as the "non-partisan" accounting arm of Congress.

Well, yes and no.  Yes, they can't (supposedly) favor any one party, but the Congress has so limited their powers as to make them nothing more than carnival barkers at the side show.

For instance, I'll use ObamaCare as an example.  The White House and Congress submit their budgets and assumptions to the CBO to be verified.  The assumption say that A, B and C will happen and the result will be a savings of a gazillion dollars.

In The Real World, the accountants or CPAs would look into the reasonableness of the assumptions - will A, B and C happen as projected?  If not, they would adjust the savings/cost projections and report it to the Board of Directors.

Not so with the CBO.  They are mandated by Congress to ONLY use the assumptions presented to them, and to NOT question their validity or reasonableness!  They basically can only check the math of the project, not the likelihood of it actually turning out as planned.

In other words, their "seal of approval" is as useless as teats on a bull.

At the very least, NBERs objectivity has to be questioned. 

I'd also like to know how a group of "independent" number crunchers somehow is able to amass over $100 million in assets.  Not a bad trick for a supposed "non-profit" group.
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Totally unrelated, but cool nonetheless:  I was at the coin shop yesterday meeting with security vendors and getting caught up with some government-mandated paperwork.  At about 3 in the afternoon the phone rang.  It had been ringing all day with offers of, "the lowest possible prices to offer credit cards."  Seriously, I got one of these calls once per hour.

Thankfully, I answered the phone this time in my Nice Business Owner voice, and not my You're Really Pissing Me Off voice.

It was a customer.  For real!

She had done an Internet search, found us and wanted to bring by some old silver coins and scrap gold jewelry to see what they were worth.  I told her we were still in the process of building out the shop and if she could excuse the mess, we'd be happy to take a look at what she had.

She and her husband got there just before 5pm, we assessed her stuff and made an offer.  Accepted!

We actually paid her a dollar extra so she could give it back to us to represent our first dollar earned in our new shop - even though we're not even open yet!

Accept The Challenge

If this NBER report doesn't sour you to "official" economic data, I don't know what will.  We've long recommended that you go to multiple sources for your information, and that you question everything.

Well, it looks like data and analysis provided by NBER just got lumped in with Commerce Department, the Labor Department data and economic projections by your, "not quite right" Aunt Sally.

Trust your eyes.  Trust your pocketbook.  Trust your gut.


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Copyright 2010 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com

13 comments:

suek said...

Got your light problems fixed yet?

I kind of got the impression that it wasn't the item on the top of your list...

Let me know if you still can use some info

Chief Instructor said...

Sue, the information you gave me was very helpful. One of my partners picked up some lamps today, in fact. Haven't seen them, but he saw your info. Thanks.

suek said...

One more quibble...

How come somebody can find you on the internet, but there doesn't seem to be any info on your blog so that _we_ can find you???

Andrea said...

Congrats on your first business transaction! I agree with Sue...what if, say, *I* wanted to buy PMs? How could I contact you?

I for one feel so much better that this recession is over...especially this close to Christmas. Now I can shop with wild abandon and not worry about my property values dropping and that my husband may very well lose his job Oct. 1.

Chief Instructor said...

LOL, well, you CAN find my training business by clicking the Bison Risk Management link near the middle of the page.

Chief Instructor said...

Andrea, Once our shop is officially open, I will publish information about the PM business - links and contact information.

We think we may have come up with a way to keep the mail order costs down while still ensuring security and prompt delivery.

We're still working and verifying the numbers, but it's looking pretty good.

Recession over: It was amazing. I was on the road the day after the announcement, and the traffic was backed up for miles and miles. All those previously unemployed workers suddenly found job! It was an Obama Miracle!

Naw, it was a broken down U-Haul trailer on its way out of California...

monkeyfan said...

The recession is over.
0mission accomplished.

Joseph said...

We think we may have come up with a way to keep the mail order costs down while still ensuring security and prompt delivery.
In case your still considering alternatives I would consider looking at how APMEX does things, I've ordered from them before and the shipping charges seem acceptable and the security is as good as you can get using regular shipping providers.

Chief Instructor said...

monkeyfan - yeah, we're all still a bit light-headed over the news...

Joseph - we've been shopping for our PM insurance (as opposed to our general liability insurance) and the carrier we've chosen includes mail order in with our premium.

The APMEX link is interesting. We'll be able to beat the shipping charges by a bit for shipments up to $5000. $11.75 regardless of the value (up to $5k).

So, it looks like we'll beat or meet them up to about a $10k order. We'll figure out something for larger orders.

Joseph said...

When you get set up for online orders definitely let us know as I will be placing an order. I'm looking for 90% ($100 Face Value) Bags.

Thanks.

Chief Instructor said...

Joseph, cool! If the next week goes as planned, I'll be making an announcement on Thurs or Friday with all of the particulars.

Old, big lighted sign came down yesterday, new one goes up today, plus security system in today as well. Cameras on Monday.

Crunch time!

monkeyfan said...

Congratulations!
:^)

Chief Instructor said...

Thanks!