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Mon May 25, 2020, 07:40 PM

U.S. government cuts off early look at economic data for news media

Source: CBS News

The U.S. Labor Department is ending its long-standing system of allowing news reporters to review government economic data, including high-profile reports on unemployment, retail sales and inflation, before the data is publicly released.

The department for decades has given news organizations an advance look at such data to give them time to assess the numbers and prepare news reports to be distributed once the data is officially released. News organizations had long valued the 30 minutes to an hour the Labor Department had given them in what are known as "lock-up rooms" to review the data, question government officials about it and ensure that their articles were accurate and complete when the information was released.

But William Beach, commissioner of the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, said in announcing the decision last week that the past two months, when all such media lockups had been suspended over the coronavirus pandemic, had shown that the absence of the lockups did not cause much of a time delay or a decline in the accuracy of news reports.

snip

The Associated Press and several other news organizations protested that that decision would make the economic data releases less secure and less useful to the public. The news organizations also asserted that the department's new policy would fail to meet its stated objective of leveling the playing field between high-speed investment firms, which trade off the data in mere seconds, and the general public. Since then, the two sides had been engaged in negotiations toward a potential compromise.





Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/feds-cut-off-early-look-at-economic-data-for-reporters/

24 replies, 2189 views

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Reply U.S. government cuts off early look at economic data for news media (Original post)
groundloop May 25 OP
greatauntoftriplets May 25 #1
bucolic_frolic May 25 #2
not fooled May 25 #3
Hoyt May 25 #4
pecosbob May 25 #5
progree May 25 #9
pecosbob May 25 #10
progree May 25 #14
Squinch May 25 #6
Doodley May 25 #13
reACTIONary May 25 #16
progree May 25 #17
reACTIONary May 25 #15
ashredux May 25 #7
machoneman May 25 #21
progree May 25 #8
Ford_Prefect May 25 #11
yaesu May 25 #18
progree May 25 #20
Doodley May 25 #12
Brainfodder May 25 #19
Igel May 25 #22
progree May 26 #23
Javaman May 26 #24

Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2020, 07:47 PM

1. That means what's coming is bad.

So the speculation prior to the release will focus on what's expected to be negative. But it'll all come out at some point. Republicans hoist with their own petards once again.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2020, 07:49 PM

2. If 36% are unemployed and 7 million die, no one will have a clue?

I don't think so!

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2020, 07:53 PM

3. red don insiders front running trading the data

don't want competition.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2020, 07:58 PM

4. Don't think the extra 40 minutes, or so, will make much difference. Bad news is still bad,

same as good news.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2020, 08:14 PM

5. Elections are just ahead and they want to suppress the numbers as long as they are able

A 10%+ unemployment figure will doom this administration in November. No presidential re-election campaign can survive that number.

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Response to pecosbob (Reply #5)

Mon May 25, 2020, 08:41 PM

9. It's not being suppressed for any length of time -- it will still be posted online at 830 AM ET by

the BLS on the first or second Friday of the month, as always. Though media reports about it will be some minutes later. More in #8 below https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=2500392

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Response to progree (Reply #9)

Mon May 25, 2020, 08:48 PM

10. thnx

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Response to pecosbob (Reply #10)

Mon May 25, 2020, 09:10 PM

14. You're welcome n/t

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2020, 08:30 PM

6. For once I don't disagree with a decision by this administration. 40 minutes, in a 24 hour

news cycle, doesn't make any difference. And it sounds like it required locked rooms and probably guards and lots of mishigas.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #6)

Mon May 25, 2020, 08:57 PM

13. 40 minutes of insider knowledge makes a difference when buying or selling stocks.

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Response to Doodley (Reply #13)

Mon May 25, 2020, 09:14 PM

16. If they don't tell ANYONE how does that enable ...

.... insider trading. Not that it happened, but telling some few people in advance is more risky than telling noone.

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Response to Doodley (Reply #13)

Mon May 25, 2020, 09:15 PM

17. Before: some media people got an early look at the data 40m or so before it's posted online

Now they don't. So everyone sees the report at the same time: 830 AM ET first Friday of the month (sometimes 2nd Friday), other than those who prepared the reports, as always. If some media person or people used to leak it early to someone(s), that source of leak is gone now. Of course the BLS people responsible for preparing the report could still leak.

Edited to add: now that I think about it, the sophisticated types that look at the BLS website at 830 AM ET will see the report some minutes before it gets more widely seen by most average investors through the news media. So the latter will be at a disadvantage, whereas before, the BLS report and the media reports both showed up at 830 AM ET.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #6)

Mon May 25, 2020, 09:11 PM

15. +10 nt

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2020, 08:32 PM

7. BEWARE.... they will "cook" the books

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Response to ashredux (Reply #7)

Mon May 25, 2020, 09:56 PM

21. Yes, this is the 2nd or 3rd step to cook the books and it ain't only the unemployment numbers!

COVID-19 overall deaths, Florida, North Carolina and Texas infection rates and total deaths, which Fortune 1000 firms got the big $ government-backed loans and far, far more!

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2020, 08:39 PM

8. The BLS jobs report will still be posted online at 830 AM ET sharp (1st or 2nd Fri), as always,

it's just that media news stories reporting / analyzing it will come sometime later for who knows how long later -- maybe 5-10 minutes to get the bare-bones out from the report (the payroll jobs number and the unemployment rate) and whatever longer to do some more reporting and analysis.

In the past I've always gone to http://www.BLS.gov just before 830 AM ET and waited for the unemployment rate and payroll employment numbers to change on the right side and in the top headline, and then I click on the link to the unemployment rate or payroll employment (both links are always https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.toc.htm and the first item in this Table of Contents is the Summary which is always https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm ) and it starts out with a narrative with these 2 key numbers.

I'm sure that will be what the usual LBN posters who compete to be the first poster of the news will first post (first Friday of the month most months at 830 AM ET). Otherwise they will lose out to someone else who does.

When the monthly job reports come out: https://www.bls.gov/schedule/news_release/empsit.htm
For the rest of the year it will be on the first Friday of the month.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2020, 08:49 PM

11. They need to off load more stocks first. "Never mind the man behind the curtains!"

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Response to Ford_Prefect (Reply #11)

Mon May 25, 2020, 09:15 PM

18. bingo! they need time to get their trades in before the news breaks, I bet tRump has made

millions trading, manipulating the market.

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Response to yaesu (Reply #18)

Mon May 25, 2020, 09:28 PM

20. "they need time to get their trades in before the news breaks" - true, now that I think about it,

the sophisticated types that look at the BLS website at 830 AM ET will see the report some minutes before it gets more widely seen by most average investors through the news media reporting. So the latter will be at a disadvantage, whereas before, the BLS report and the media reports both showed up at 830 AM ET.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2020, 08:55 PM

12. Trump will claim the November numbers are "tremendous." A few days after the election, we will know.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2020, 09:23 PM

19. The timing of this isn't suspicious even one little teeny tiny bit?

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Response to Brainfodder (Reply #19)

Mon May 25, 2020, 10:09 PM

22. Sounds like they're going to keep doing what they've done for the last couple of months.

In other words, you wouldn't notice any different from the last two months--and since nobody made a big deal about it when they started doing it this way ...

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Response to Igel (Reply #22)

Tue May 26, 2020, 04:16 AM

23. Yes, somehow the Washington Post got it out last time (May 8) at or before 831 AM ET

because BumRushDaShow posted this original version at 831 AM ET May 8 of the April jobs report. Somehow.
https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=thread&info=1&address=10142489386

The month before (April 3), the Washington Post had it out at 833 AM ET according to post #1 (which was posted 836 AM).
By Washington Post Staff
April 3, 2020 at 8:33 a.m. EDT
https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=2462378

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Tue May 26, 2020, 10:42 AM

24. the repukes need more time to cook the books. nt

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