Friday, 9 March 2012

Why do we Care About Whisper Numbers

We've all seen it, non farms out in a few hours and suddenly emails and bloombergs begin streaming in from mates, brokers and newswires. The number is next squawked round the trading room and everyone gets visibly more excited......

...Then the suckers come in and begin buying or selling futures in the direction of the surprise. If the whisper is higher than expected (more peeps on the payroll), the market begins to rise and vice versa. For the next two hours these guys and girls start deciding what they are going to do with all the money they make from their low risk, high return trade.....

50% of the time, they make money and what a whisper number!  How intelligent are we?... The other 50% of the time 'Well it was only a whisper any way'..

I love how thousands of supposedly clever people even bother wasting their breath on this number when if they thought about it, THERE IS NO POSSIBLE WAY THAT THE WHISPER NUMBER HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH WHAT'S ABOUT TO BE RELEASED!!!

Think about it. Reporters are gathered in a room, security checked and without mobile phones. They are then given a laptop with no internet connection and then, (all under tight security) given the number 30 mins early. This allows them to write their report to publish when the number is released to the general public.

All a whisper number is an estimate from a piece of macro research (and bear in mind that this number is one of the many numbers that make up the consensus) whose message is slowly convoluted from one guy sending another girl an interesting piece of research to, 'guys I have the number and boy are you gonna make money from trading it'...

..Don't me a favour, if a whisper comes today, have a dairy milk instead.*^

*For all US readers, sorry it doesn't make sense
^For all UK readers, sorry for the terrible joke.

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