Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers
— Jack Welch (@jack_welch) October 5, 2012
Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch ignited a firestorm on Twitter when he tweeted this morning that an above-expectations US jobs report had been manipulated to support US President Barack Obama and his election bid.
Financial journalists on Twitter, for the most part, ridiculed Welch’s comments, pointing out that Welch was hardly the one to talk. In 2009, GE agreed to pay a $50 million fine to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) after allegations surfaced that the company had been manipulating earnings reports for nearly a decade starting in 2001 in order to boost share price. Some of that manipulation could have occurred under Welch, who was CEO from 1981 to 1991.
— felix salmon (@felixsalmon) October 5, 2012
— Anthony De Rosa (@AntDeRosa) October 5, 2012
— Austan Goolsbee (@Austan_Goolsbee) October 5, 2012
Please stop w/ idea that eco numbers are rigged. If you were going to fix them, would you pick 1.3% GDP and 114k NFP? C’mon
— Caroline Baum (@cabaum1) October 5, 2012
President Obama’s Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Alan Krueger, subsequently told Bloomberg TV that anyone suggesting the Bureau of Labor Statistics had manipulated the numbers was “not a serious person.”