You are probably familiar with the quote about the three classes of lies – “lies, damned lies and statistics.” But I recently had reason to question whether accounts might not constitute a fourth category (or at least a special subset of statistics.)
Why would I say that? After all it is a strange thing for an accountant to say and it certainly doesn’t come easy. My faith, however, has been called into question by some analysis I did.
Dabbling in that dangerous activity called thinking, I found myself unable to reconcile the current near-record levels of unemployment with the fact that:
- More people than ever before are in employment; and
- Stocks are trading higher than they were before the financial crisis, which means they are pretty close to, if not at, an all-time high.