Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chart of the Day

From Nick Schultz at the American Blog, "the prior private sector experience of the cabinet officials since 1900":

source: Nick Schultz at American Blog via JPMorgan Private Bank's Michael Cembalest in Forbes magazine

Rob at Say Anything calls this display "damning"--prematurely, in my view. Cembalest limits his analysis to the the Departments of State, Commerce, Treasury, Agriculture, Interior, Labor, Transportation, Energy, and Housing & Urban Development, most of which were created long after 1900. Further, he arbitrarily discounts law firm jobs to only 1/3 of other private sector experience (see note (a)). And he doesn't explain how he accounts for multiple cabinet office-holders in previous Administrations.

The combination amounts to "cherry picking" the data. I hope someone re-works the chart in percentage terms over the entire cabinet without any phony weighting.

BTW, Cembalest also charts "companies that lost more than their entire 2007 book value, both in absolute terms, and as a multiple of pre-crisis book value." This is sufficiently scary and appears unbiased:

source: Michael Cembalest in Forbes magazine

(via reader Marc D.)

1 comment:

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Glad you pointed this out. I had not been suspicious enough, going no farther than wondering "Huh. Wonder what the definitions were for that?" But I fell for confirmation bias enough that I figured, Hell, everyone knows that Obama hates the private sector. This must be a good study. I event sent it along the first time I saw it.

Thanks for keeping conscience.