Comments on: Bad data II Where Wall St. and Main St. intersect Fri, 22 Nov 2013 23:06:16 +0000 hourly 1 By: EllieK Wed, 14 Dec 2011 01:53:09 +0000 Hello Matthew!
Thank you for providing an inline link to the Fed’s [PDF] (so I could be lazy and one-stop shop from your blog).

So. Who is “The Vendor”?

That unidentified vendor caused an underestimate of scary magnitude for the two most recent quarters. But it seems like the Fed’s estimate of student loan balances outstanding versus other sources (who later proved to be correct) started to diverge back in 2008, based on footnote 1 in the PDF. Again, I wonder why they didn’t check on that sooner. Well, at least they disclosed and corrected now, which is good.

Re the data “vendor” at fault: First I looked at the results that INCLUDED student loan data, as denoted on the lower right of each of the rather nicely produced bar charts. On the lower left corner of those charts, it said “Data sources: Fed Reserve Bank/ Equifax”. But then I realized it said that on EVERY chart, with and without student loan data! So I’m uncertain if the vendor were actually Equifax.

An aside: One would think that the Fed could obtain student loan data (for public loans, probably not for private) from other government agencies, rather than paying a corporate entity. Though I’m unsure what data was provided by Equifax, so my aside was not meant as “a big government spending- what a waste” bicker and carp, not for now.