Worthless Holiday Hype Never Ends

Garbage In = Garbage Out

” Let’s get this out of the way upfront: Retail sales were not up 16% during the holiday weekend. Nor were they up 14% on Nov. 29, Black Friday.

” That we even have to state this tells us a lot about how easy it is to fool people into believing things that are not true. It is also revealing about the state of economics reporting, the effectiveness of fake news and the sheer gullibility of too many journalists…

For at least the past 15 years, the National Retail Federation has been misleading America with a series of reports on holiday shopping. Your humble Grinch takes it upon himself to point out this annual exercise in erroneous claims…

What’s wrong with those numbers? They are based on sentiment surveys, not real spending…Because the advance monthly retail report for November won’t be released until Dec. 13, we have no idea yet how much shoppers spent during the latest holiday weekend. Since the NRF is likely to issue more Panglossian reports between now and the end of the month, keep in mind that the December retail sales data won’t come out until Jan 16.

” But this too is simply a guess. Asking people how much they spent last year (who can remember?) and how much they intend to spend this year (who really knows in advance?) gives you very little insight into their actual spending. Indeed, based on the track record of this methodology, the odds greatly favor this forecast being wrong.

RTFA. Barry Ritholtz earns a living providing accurate information and advice to investors. Retail sales are just one area of his expertise. But, crappola from business associations offered up as accurate when they are nothing more than foofaraw preamble for a sales pitch ain’t worth the electrons printing them on the screen of your computing device. Big or small, the hustle remains nothing more than a pitch for your wallet.

2 thoughts on “Worthless Holiday Hype Never Ends

  1. Christian Nation Inc. says:

    “Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez collapsed onto the concrete floor of his Border Patrol holding cell early one morning in May. He lay still, next to a toilet in his sweatshirt and jeans for four hours before his cellmate woke up and found him dead.” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/05/us/border-migrant-death-carlos-vasquez.html
    “Mr. Hernandez Vasquez, a 16-year-old from Guatemala, had arrived in the United States six days earlier. At a federal processing center in McAllen, Texas, a nurse practitioner determined he had a 103-degree fever and the flu, and recommended that he be re-evaluated and hospitalized if his condition worsened. Instead he was left in his cell.
    The account of a young man’s life cut short — obtained first by ProPublica through public records — appears to contradict the government’s assurances about how Mr. Hernandez Vasquez was cared for.”

    ProPublica: https://www.propublica.org/article/inside-the-cell-where-a-sick-16-year-old-boy-died-in-border-patrol-care

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