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Barry Ritholtz

Worthless Holiday Shopping Hype Never Dies

The National Retail Federation presents as fact information that’s nothing more than guesswork.

Feel the energy.

Feel the energy.

Photographer: David L. Ryan/Boston Globe/Getty Images

Let’s get this out of the way upfront: Retail sales were not up 16% during the holiday weekend. Nor were they up 14% on Nov. 29, Black Friday.

That we even have to state this tells us a lot about how easy it is to fool people into believing things that are not true. It is also revealing about the state of economics reporting, the effectiveness of fake news and the sheer gullibility of too many journalists. Investors who buy into this nonsense should expect to suffer the financial consequences of their folly.