How do you short government data?
It’s a question more money managers and industry insiders are asking as the dearth of government trust continues. Recent revelations about the IRS, NSA and Department of Justice have many questioning if Jack Welch’s whacky accusations late last year had merit, when he suggested President Barack Obama’s campaign had somehow manipulated the economic or unemployment numbers to favor his re-election efforts.
“If government was subject to Sarbanes-Oxley, the producers of these numbers would be in jail. Statistics is the easiest place for government not to spend money, if that’s what they’re looking to do,” Michael Aronstein, president, chief investment officer and portfolio manager of the MainStay Marketfield Fund, recently told ThinkAdvisor.
“If you have a story you’re writing about the New York State Legislature that is produced by the New York State Legislature, you wouldn’t need to be too innovative,” Aronstein said. “People tend to be very lazy about taking numbers at face value.”
Now U.S. economics bear/commodities bull Peter Schiff (left) is sounding a more sinister alarm. Like Welch, he argues it’s more serious than simple indolence.