Yesterday some readers were offended when we dubbed the upcoming winter storm set to slam the Northeastern United States and impact up to 50 million people, in roughly 48 hours as “potentially historic” – a phrase created not by us, but by the WaPo’s meteorologists. Still, what’s the big deal, the purists will say, pointing out that snow in January is not exactly a shocking event. We fully agree, however we would like to remind readers that “snow in the winter”, especially when coupled with, gasp, cold weather, is precisely what the US Bureau of Economic Analysis used as justification to arbitrarily push Q1 GDP in both 2014 and 2015 higher by nearly 1% as a result of “incremental” seasonal adjustments after the fact, the explanation being that the cold weather and the snow resulting from a handful of blizzards ended up crushing the US economy.
Of course, as we explained on numerous occasions in the past, the dramatic slowdown of the US economy in 2014 and 2015 had nothing to do with the weather and everything to do with the bursting of the Chinese housing bubble first in late 2013 and then of its shadow banking bubble in late 2014, two events whose reveberation around the globe slammed the US economy into an acute, if brief, contraction. FULL REPORT