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Shadow Government Statistics: Analysis Behind and Beyond Government Economic Reporting

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posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 01:59 PM
Has anyone here reviewed this website? Does anyone find this guy credible?

John Williams’ Shadow Government Statistics" is an electronic newsletter service that exposes and analyzes flaws in current U.S. government economic data and reporting, as well as in certain private-sector numbers, and provides an assessment of underlying economic and financial conditions, net of financial-market and political hype.

Walter J. "John" Williams was born in 1949. He received an A.B. in Economics, cum laude, from Dartmouth College in 1971, and was awarded a M.B.A. from Dartmouth's Amos Tuck School of Business Administration in 1972, where he was named an Edward Tuck Scholar. During his career as a consulting economist, John has worked with individuals as well as Fortune 500 companies.

Formally known as Walter J. Williams, my friends call me John. For nearly 30 years, I have been a private consulting economist and, out of necessity, had to become a specialist in government economic reporting.

One of my early clients was a large manufacturer of commercial airplanes, who had developed an econometric model for predicting revenue passenger miles. The level of revenue passenger miles was their primary sales forecasting tool, and the model was heavily dependent on the GNP (now GDP) as reported by the Department of Commerce. Suddenly, their model stopped working, and they asked me if I could fix it. I realized the GNP numbers were faulty, corrected them for my client (official reporting was similarly revised a couple of years later) and the model worked again, at least for a while, until GNP methodological changes eventually made the underlying data worthless.

That began a lengthy process of exploring the history and nature of economic reporting and in interviewing key people involved in the process from the early days of government reporting through the present. For a number of years I conducted surveys among business economists as to the quality of government statistics (the vast majority thought it was pretty bad), and my results led to front page stories in the New York Times and Investors Business Daily, considerable coverage in the broadcast media and a joint meeting with representatives of all the government's statistical agencies. Despite minor changes to the system, government reporting has deteriorated sharply in the last decade or so.

posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 03:03 PM
It sounds like for anyone working in economics trust is in short supply these days. I have come across this website in the past and it appeared reasonable in its assessment. The graph on inflation under Alternate Data heading does look more representative of the actual inflation rate for the CPI. I have not subscribed or a regular visitor. For anyone working in this area it is important to check all your sources.

posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 08:58 PM
I am far from an economist, but there have been figures presented that i have had a hard time reconciling with my own observations, however local they may be....
I believe that this manipulation has been taking place as a matter of course for a long time.
It is beginning to look to me like every darn goverment managment person, just cooks the books as best they can to make things look acceptable, even whether they are or not.
The practice of creative accounting is likely widespread in our system of goverment, as the bosses change every four or so years, and the mid upper management just blithely goes on running things...many for inordinate lengths of time.(think Hoover, etc.also deputy ministers as in Canada....)
The longer a beureaucrat is in office, the higher the likelihood of there being irregularities and creative accounting practices, as well as some very, shall we say quiant practices of doing business.
This is just my own rule of thumb, and it seems to work.
In light of the Mortgage scandals, the rip off of vetrans families by insurance companies, and other blatant criminal acts.All committed by the management and policies of large corporations.
Not to mention the federal Reserve which is a private banking scam, i think it would have been very hard indeed to pull off much of this shady thievery if there were far more transparency required of the corporations and goverment in informing the public.
Much of this crap is done in relative obscurity, and there is little investgating individuals can do when confronted with a wall of silence.
Like an FBI of industry, we need a police force which would deal with the corporate structures, and keep them both honest..
We need, not a Homeland Security Office, But a Constitutional Enforcement Office.
We need some way to force the goverment to bring back honesty and transparency ..


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