Rethinking what is the Truth in Economic Data, Premise Challenges Government Reporting

The movie Trading Places with Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy made millions gaming the government disclosure of OJ futures.

It does seem pretty fragile that the future prices are determined by decades old manual methods.

A startup came out of stealth mode today.  I caught the news first in the WSJ print version, and there is a SFGate article that also covers the new service.

He began to wonder what information the government was relying on, and how they were gathering and analyzing it.

"They're reporting on about half a percentage point of reality," he said.

Soloff thought that in the digital age, there had to be more complete, reliable and rapid ways to collect the data that informs critical monetary decisions, here and abroad. A year and a half ago, he co-founded a company that aims to prove it, using an unusual online and offline approach that could offer fresh economic insights.

It's called Premise Data Corp., using the term from logic meaning the assumption that something is true. But it remains to be seen whether the company's own premise is true - that it can make money selling better data, indexes and tools than vast government agencies.