Wednesday, October 02, 2013
As noted before, the so-called "shutdown" of the U.S. federal government doesn't affect most of the government. So-called "mandatory spending" in the form of government entitlements like Social Security, Medicare and the Obamacare subsidies that were introduced the same day as the shutdown, continues. Nor are workers viewed as essential, including the military and air traffic controllers, and for example the 12 personal staff workers of Joe Biden that no one really know what they do. So which federal workers are viewed as "non-essential"? Well, the most talked about example in the media are the people running national parks and museums. But the affected workers who financial markets are likely to care most about are government statisticians. Because of the shutdown, the monthly employment report that markets are usually so addicted to won't be published, nor will any other government statistics be published. Instead, markets will have to do with only reports produced by private institutions (and probably also the Fed, as the Fed funds itself) such as the ISM reports and today's ADP survey. UPDATE: Now the entire BEA website, including previously released data, has been shut down. By contrast, the Bureau of Labor Statistics site is still up, but they have a note saying there won't be any updates as long as the shutdown continues.