Monday, August 12, 2013

Well, we were only off by 90%

I have a friend that is fond of saying "It's safe to assume that everyone is lying, all of the time."  I tend to take a slightly less pessimistic view of the world, but after reading this article which conveniently hit the wires at 4:36 pm on a Friday in the middle of summer, I'm starting to come around to his way of thinking.

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation, in the document sent today, asked members of the administration’s Mortgage Fraud Working Group to correct and update any public materials related to the results released in October of a year-long law enforcement initiative targeting fraud schemes aimed at vulnerable homeowners.
The FBI restated the number of people criminally charged to 107 from 530. Agencies were asked to correct victims’ total losses to $95 million from an estimated $1 billion, and the number of victims found to 17,185 from more than 73,000.
The corrected statistics come in response to a Bloomberg News story reporting that some cases cited occurred before the initiative began in October 2011, including one filed by prosecutors more than two years before Obama took office."

This is the sort of story that really starts to make one question every data point we get.  Data that is compiled by people looking to please their superiors is always subject to fudging.

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Quote of the weekend: "Staples such as apparel, toys, shoes and basic electronics have been replaced by machinery and equipment, which now account for over 50 percent of China’s exports, compared to just over 25 percent in 1995. Whether it’s energy, banking or telecommunications, Chinese companies have a global presence and are now competing with American, European, South Korean and Japanese multinational corporations.

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Observations from PGA Championship at Oak Hill - 

1) The PGA slogan from a couple of years ago was "These guys are good". It's hard to dispute that fact.  These golfers are SOOO much better than the average hacker at your local muni course.  The consistency with which they can hit a ball exactly where they want is unbelievable to see in person.

2) The Public can occasionally behave themselves.  I'm constantly shocked by the lack of decorum and manners displayed by the general public day in and day out.  People text, call, snap photos 24/7 at seemingly every possible inappropriate moment - for example ---


However, this event was strictly policed by a team of "Mobile Device Policy Enforcement Officials" and after a couple of warnings to youngsters on their cell phones people suddenly started self-policing.  Also, people were remarkably quiet which was very refreshing.  On the final hole with 20-30,000 people watching 2 golfers, you could have heard a pin drop.  It was a surreal experience in a world where most people can't go 24 seconds without texting, tweeting or talking to their buddy.

Cheers!

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