Washington’s Blog strives to provide real-time, well-researched and actionable information. George – the head writer at Washington’s Blog – is a busy professional and a former adjunct professor.

~~~

The talking heads say that financial blogs aren’t trustworthy.

But the whole debate about blogs versus mainstream media is nonsense.

In fact, many of the world’s top PhD economics professors and financial advisors have their own blogs. For example (in no particular order):

And the conclusions of economists who don’t have their own blogs are collected by other bloggers and on YouTube videos. For example, this blog rounds up everything Marc Faber says.

And you’ve got blogs like Zero Hedge that break stories about Goldman and high-frequency trading months before the mainstream media. And insightful commentators like Barry Ritholtz and Mish and many others.

So what is “news”? What the talking heads choose to cover? Or what various leading experts are saying – and oftentimes heatedly debating one against the other – on their blogs?

I would argue that mainstream newspapers haven’t just lost readers because of the Internet as an abstract new medium, but that they lost readers because they became – with some exceptions – nothing but official stenographers for the powers-that-be. No wonder people have lost all faith in them.

Indeed, as of February, only 5% of the pundits discussing various government bailout plans on cable news shows are real economists. Why not hear what real economists and financial experts say?

To the extent that blogs offer actual news and the mainstream media does not, the latter will continue to lose eyeballs and ad revenues to the former.

Of course, many financial blogs are not very good. The trick is to learn which are trustworthy and accurate.

And this is not to imply that all mainstream commentators are short on facts. Some are really good. Once again, the trick is find the good ones.

~~~

UPDATE September 20, 5:30pm:

On Friday, I set this to post at 4:30pm today. It is only by coincidence that I learned (via Abnormal Returns) that the Dennis Kneale show on CNBC was cancelled.

And I was looking forward to debating Dennis on the value of blogs . . .

Category: Weblogs

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

19 Responses to “Are Financial Blogs Trustworthy?”

  1. flipspiceland says:

    As Kirk pointed out, when you read what supposedly top ‘journalists’ write, you see this embedded all too often: “Spokesman for the administration”, “official sources said…” “from official sources inside the administration….” and the like, indicating that journalists are doing no investigating at all and are stenographers and nothing more, leading to the view that propaganda is ALL that most people get to read.

  2. going broke says:

    “To the extent that blogs offer actual news and the mainstream media does not, the latter will continue to lose eyeballs and ad revenues to the former.”

    Couldn’t agree more. Blogs that produce ALL of the facts without hand-picking the data, then add their twist to it will fade away.

    The Times They Are A-Changin

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgECKj9LSH4

  3. going broke says:

    oops, should read… and don’t add a twist to it will not fade away. Gotta lay off the Sunday brewskis.

  4. contrabandista13 says:

    Barry:

    The mainstream media chooses what the news is going to be and then how to present it. Bloggers give the raw data. I have personally tuned out of the MSM except to pick up on the agenda that they are trying to advance.

    Have you taken note on the quality of their “Bedazzler” like sponsors lately…? I’m doing some research on this, so far it’s statistically inconclusive, however, from what I’ve gathered so far, anecdotally, it appears like a disaster in fruition for many of the cable news outlets.

    Best regards,

    Econolicious

  5. Mannwich says:

    The MSM still doesn’t have the slightest clue just how little credibility they have left with the American people (or ones that actually think for themselves). They’ll go down blaming everyone but themselves. Pathetic.

  6. manhattanguy says:

    As I always say, cable news is for losers and morons.

  7. BG says:

    It is because of this very kind of stupid comments interlaced with deception and lies that have forced most serious investors to the blogs in the first place!

    It is an obvious reaction to the current lack of serious factual reporting from the MSM.

    DUH!!

  8. teraflop says:

    It’s not just the hosters of financial blogs that have something actionable and meaningful to say, particularly this one (BR) who I’m first to promote to peeps on the floor, but also those who join in the fray to make comments. Disagree with a Kudlow or Kneale and you get drummed off the stage, disagree or argue a point in an intelligent blog and you often communicate and educate. That also is the difference between financial blogs and MSM clowns and salesmen.

  9. SINGER says:

    I didn’t realize there was a Dennis Kneale show…

  10. freejack says:

    You missed one of the best group econo-blogs out there …

    http://angrybear.blogspot.com/

    ….and yeah, we all miss Kash.

  11. clawback says:

    Psst….Tyler Cowen (not “Cohen”).

  12. Mannwich says:

    I guess Dennis the Menace lost his battle with the bloggers. What a clown. Is he still on CNBC during the day or has he been axed altogether? I hope it’s the latter.

  13. VennData says:

    Nobody knows anything.

  14. beaufou says:

    Are mainstream media people afraid of becoming radicals or lunatics?
    Watch out Barry, you might find yourself one day being the head of the US communist party, it isn’t what you say that matters anymore, it’s how many ways you can say it and how many replays you get.

  15. First, I totally agree with the Conclusions of the Post, and “Washington’s Blog”, to me, is a really good source of info/intel that isn’t oft found elsewhere.

    past that, w/ This: “The talking heads say that financial blogs aren’t trustworthy.

    But the whole debate about blogs versus mainstream media is nonsense.”

    we may care to wonder why they are projecting that meme..

    I’ll offer these, in general: “Rockefeller: Internet is “Number One National Hazard””
    “Bill would give president emergency control of Internet”
    “Jay Rockefeller: Internet should have never existed ”
    link, in specific: http://clusty.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus&query=Rockefeller+Internet+Security+Bill

    were it so easy to address ‘issues’ one-by-one, at their face, things may not be as complex as they seem.

    “I would argue that mainstream newspapers haven’t just lost readers because of the Internet as an abstract new medium, but that they lost readers because they became – with some exceptions – nothing but official stenographers for the powers-that-be. No wonder people have lost all faith in them…”
    -from the post

    We should note that stenographers do not ‘choose’ what they ‘report’(record), they, merely, transcribe what they are exposed to..
    ~~”"It looks like what people have been saying about Bob Woodward for the past five years, that he’s become a stenographer for the Bush White House.”
    #4 here: http://clusty.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus&query=stenographer

  16. deanscamaro says:

    I know this is a novice blog readers opinion, but not being a financial guru, advisor or extreme trader, the general theme of what I read here, from those who are obviously deeply imbedded in the financial world, is that one should not read the untrustworthy ones……”The trick is to learn which are trustworthy and accurate.”, as stated above. How does one, who is not constantly buried in the financial world figure out how to differentiate the good from the bad? Do the good ones have a dot on their forehead? There are a lot of us out here who have limited time to spend researching, but want to gain some knowledge from the experts to make rational financial decisions for their personal world. I got through the first three from the list above and hit a block. Media talking heads like Kudlow and Cramer are easy to laugh off, but trying to know who are the good and who are the bad “financial experts” is not that easy. Is it just a fact that people like me should stay off blogs like this?

    Barry, you have blog topics that ask for input. Why don’t you run a poll on those that readers rate as the experts who have “well-researched and actionable information”, as stated in your intro?

  17. polizeros says:

    I would add Doug Henwood to the list. The Liscio Report (http://tlrii.typepad.com) that he co-authors routinely gets quoted by Alan Abelson in Barron’s .

    He blogs at doughenwood.wordpress.com from a left perspective with thoughts on economics and comments on podcasts from his WBAI radio show.

  18. franklin420d says:

    Manwich 5:51 – “The MSM still doesn’t have the slightest clue just how little credibility they have left with the American people (or ones that actually think for themselves). They’ll go down blaming everyone but themselves. Pathetic.”

    But isn’t that the truth of anyone/thing that achieves high levels, but forgets the place they crawled their way up from.

    MSM was there from he beginning, bringing people into a new form of media, yet as more and more people came to them, the more they though they dictated the flow of information, so they quickly became the media they replaced and when they thought they reached a certain level, there was no longer a reason to look back at what it was that caused their growth in the first place.

    At that point how can they blame themselves for what they created, it is the fault of all those idiots who do not appreciate what they were give.

    So if I understand correctly what you are saying, history is filled with people/things that have grown too big for their birches and it is sad and pathetic.

  19. Lugnut says:

    Now you can debate Dennis on the best brands of Mac and Cheese, and the optimal number of days between shaving and changing sweat pants.