The CNBC folk gave the ECRI chief, Lakshman Achuthan, a pretty serious grilling last night. I can’t say he held up that well. Not because he lost any argument but because there wasn’t one. The ECRI methodology is a black box. As I’ve said many times, I’m quite suspicious of “Leading Indexes” in general, at least the ones I know of, because there appears to be nothing leading about them. I still think the ECRI will probably be proved right about a US recession next year on US fiscal cuts and European contagion but it would be nice to understand their confidence a little better.