In the interest of Journalism, CNBC had a roundtable of experts weigh in on the jobs report, hosted by CNBC’s senior economics reporter Steve Liesman, who heroically tried to bring a measure of logic and informed analysis to the discussion. Turns out, having a logical and informed discussion about a total non-issue isn’t very easy! Especially when your panel of experts includes some guy who bases his analysis on the fact that he knows about trucking companies (which we hear are a less-than-perfect indicator of the statistical methods employed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) and CNBC on-air editor Rick Santelli (who loves to scream and yell when he is asked for evidence to support his beliefs — oh, and sort of invented the Tea Party).
It starts with a bunch of old dudes plus one blond lady with a laptop sitting around a table arguing about the jobs report, and then one of the old guys (his name is Ken, apparently he has something to do with trucks) argues that the trucking industry is down! Ergo de facto, the methodology used by the BLS is useless! Then this other guy talks for a minute and gets cut off because everyone was sick of listening to people who aren’t Rick Santelli — he says that actually, which doesn’t go over too well with the panel of experts huddled behind their laptops — and Rick Santelli starts yelling about the stock market while some guy in the background puts his shoes up on the desk. Who is this guy? Why is he wearing white socks with Romanian piano teacher shoes on the trading floor? And putting his feet up when it’s in the frame while Rick Santelli is yelling? Whatever, not important! What’s IMPORTANT, according to Rick Santelli, is that he KNEW the numbers would fall in September. “What are you implying,” Steve Liesman asks, and Rick, sounding more and more like George Costanza, screams I’M NOT IMPLYING ANYTHING, and then, arms waving around, YOU CONNECT THE DOTS. I’m a market whisperer! CONNECT THE DOTS!”
“I am connecting the dots,” Liesman replied. “I’m asking you to be honest about the dot connecting that you’re implying.”
“I’m honest!” Santelli screamed, and then add, “If you are looking for a conspiracy — and I’m not — you would only need to change certain numbers!”
“There’s been the last three Septembers, they’ve had this number surge,” Liesman calmly explained. “If this is a conspiracy, Rick, it goes back three years.”