Ladies and gents, this has been the week of circus clown performers and data as earnings roll in on top of pump and dump artists trying to keep the inflationary bubble alive before the greatest debt expansion in capitalism’s history implodes.
The non-farm payroll report today will simply add more fuel to the fire that the Federal Reserve and our political overlords have absolutely no clue as to what the hell they are doing.
The situation surrounding government statistics has been murky at best, politically influenced since the early 1990’s at worst. The junta wants a strong number so they can send out the adderall infused leader of the “free world” to chortle, gloat, and stumble through a political appearance of “see I told you so” or whatever.
The current consensus is between 180 to 190K with the unemployment rate remaining the same. What the “experts” do not tell you is that February is the final benchmark revision for non-farm payrolls so the number can surprise to the upside or downside without warning.
From the Bureau of Labor Statistics website:
CES Preliminary Benchmark Announcement
In accordance with usual practice, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is announcing the preliminary estimate of the upcoming annual benchmark revision to the establishment survey employment series. The final benchmark revision will be issued in February 2023 with the publication of the January 2023 Employment Situation news release.
Each year, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey employment estimates are benchmarked to comprehensive counts of employment for the month of March. These counts are derived from state unemployment insurance (UI) tax records that nearly all employers are required to file. For National CES employment series, the annual benchmark revisions over the last 10 years have averaged plus or minus one-tenth of one percent of total nonfarm employment. The preliminary estimate of the benchmark revision indicates an upward adjustment to March 2022 total nonfarm employment of 462,000 (0.3 percent).
With this key piece of information in mind, my prediction is for a “shocking” upside surprise with the January 2023 NFP coming in hot at 237,000 new jobs and U-6 unemployment ticking up .1% to 6.6%. Regional hiring will remain strong which will offset losses in manufacturing as the economy is not slowing but shuddering into a recession.
And now for the warning that I referred to in the title.
One of the hedge funds that I do respect issued a dire warning in the midst of the NASDAQ bear market rally of which few seem to have paid attention to. From the MarketWatch website:
The money quote from Mark Spitznagel, CIO, Universa Investments:
It is objectively the greatest tinderbox-timebomb in financial history — greater than the late 1920s, and likely with similar market consequences. Now, as then, it is of our own making.”
Sadly, I think he is correct and nothing was learned from 1987, 2000, 2008, or 2018. The United States has a death wish, and this time, we might actually pull the trigger and finish the job.