Welch Belch: Watch the Growth Numbers

Posted by Kevin G. Hall on October 14, 2013 

He's baaacccck.

Former General Electric Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jack Welch caused a stir ahead of last November's elections when he suggested, with no proof, that the Bureau of Labor Statistics was cooking the books on jobs numbers in favor of President Barack Obama.

The assertion was shot down by prominent conservative economists who noted at the time how the data collection process works on how difficult it would be to carry out such a large scale effort to manipulate highly protected data.

Welch, 77, returned to the political fray Monday when he used his Twitter account to suggest that the two-week-old government shutdown isn't slowing down the economy.

"This economy slowed starting in mid June BEFORE SHUTDOWN fears..Watch politicians HIDE behind shutdown for 3rd Q GDP slowdown," Welch tweeted.

True enough, the economy has shown signs of slowing.

But some of the economic slowdown is believed tied to the sharp pullback in government spending, especially in defense spending. And recently released minutes from the September meeting of the Federal Reserve's rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee showed that Chairman Ben Bernanke and colleagues were worried about how the threat of a government shutdown and default on government bonds might slow the economy as had the last such debacle in August 2011.

Most major economic forecasters have all recently ratcheted back their growth projections for the final three months of 2013 as a result of the political turmoil.

Welch ran GE from 1981 to 2001 and was widely viewed as one of the nation's most capable CEOs during his long tenure.






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