Wow, that is some mad feedback on such a short post. Insane!

Quite a few takeaways from all the responses:

• The people have spoken: Full RSS Feeds stay!

Open threads/linkfests are worth doing more regularly, just so as to give all of the off topic ideas a safe home of their own;

• I don’t know if there is a way to make the market posture clearer, and not run afoul of the lawyers, our clients, and everything else. (Any suggestions? I am all ears);

•Alas, comments have to be log in based — it has freed up an enormous amount of time I would rather use researching and writing.  Pick a simple password, turn cookies on, and use Firefox, which always remembers passwords for log ins;

• I am adding category and calendar archives to the sidebar. I will ask about adding a date to each sidebar update;

• The outpouring of comments and affection is very touching; My gratitude goes to everyone who commented or emailed kind words of support. Thanks!

Now, on a personal note: Its very difficult to understand how people see you, and some of the comments surprised me — I think some are based on bad assumptions or inaccurate assessments.

For the record:

Money: I make a decent living, but I am by no stretch of the imagination rich. I have clients who are billionaires, a friend whose firm went IPO (his stock sale netted $950m), a few colleagues worth $100m, and a few buds, grad school friends, etc. in the 8 figure crowd.

They get excellent advice and I get nice outstanding Xmas presents from them.

I live in an upper middle class neighborhood, drive nice — not crazy — cars, and have a few toys. I do well by U.S. standards, but nothing great vis a vis Wall Street contemporaries. If I were more motivated by money, I’d trade more and blog less.

Being A Contrarian: Sometimes what I write is Contrarian and way out of the mainstream; Eventually, the mainstream catches up to the outlier perspective. But the content cannot ALWAYS be away from the crowd (That’s “Naive Contrarianism”), because most of the time — about 75-80% of the time — the crowd is right, and they are what drives the market. Its the 10% or so on either end that is so problematic.

Arrogance: I consider myself a down to earth person (I just spent half an hour cleaning up dog poop in the backyard). I am not coy, I know what I am accomplished in, and where I need work. I have some skills, and I don’t play aw-shucks about. On the other hand, I know many people smarter, more learned, and more accomplished than me. Mr. Market makes you humble — he treats arrogance brutally

Besides, my wife would kick my head in if I ever became that kind of a jackass.

No BS: I call ‘em as I see ‘em. I don’t try to be controversial, I don’t flame bait, click whore, or use SEO tricks. The site is primarily my views, what I think is interesting, plus those people whose work I respect that aren’t usually seen by the public. Everything here is either written for here, or reprinted with permission,. I don’t take othber people’s content.

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.

60 Responses to “UPDATE: RSS Feeds, Traffic, Blog Comments”

  1. TakBak04 says:

    Absolute Support, BR…. we are losing voices all over the web ….you are needed. Keep on “Keeping On” however you do it.

    I actually had a worry that you were going to close your Blog Down…given the market and the forces out there. I was prepared for you to announce you were closing it down.

    I hope you will hang in there. We have few voices these days. Market Conditions have caused many folks to have to pull back.

    Please keep it going…and reading your Lawyers view…we who read the thread understand what you can and cannot do. But, there’s so much to be done out there. Surely there’s a way!

    Keep it Up…whatever way you can do it. The more Info Out there…the BETTER…


  2. Mannwich says:

    Nice work, BR. Want to come over to our yard and pick up our dog poop? It’s getting ugly out there. Like a mine-field.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. We call it DP (Duty Patrol) and when its the cold out (18 degrees), you can practically do it barehanded (but I don’t)

  4. super_trooper says:

    “I just spent half an hour cleaning up dog poop in the backyard”
    Either you have a huge yard (by NY standard) or you let the dog fill it up pretty well (waiting for it to freeze and solidify first). I sometimes do my best thinking when I perform monotone work such as cleaning up dishes, vacuum cleaning, pick up dog poop (5 min max) etc. It often takes us at least a night of sleep to properly process information. I found that picking up dog pop can have a tremendous impact on your future earning capacity.


    BR: 2 giant dogs = lots of poop

  5. dr.j says:

    I am not sure what basis people have for complaining for what has been free content. Jesus, I think all hope is lost for any perspective and gratitude in life. I suppose no good deed goes unpunished. By the way, what have you done for me today?

  6. Denis says:

    I think you forgot one possible takeaway. I bumped into it at least one of that post’s comments.

    In short, a few users, such as myself, actually unsubscribed from your RSS, and stuck to showing up on your blog every now and then. The reason is… you blog too much. I’d much rather read one or two interesting posts per day than a dozen less interesting posts. My maximum threshold is three or four posts. :-)

    I could arguably stick to subscribing to your think tank category’s feed, or using the WP API to build a feed url that returns posts that I’ll most likely want to read. However, it would make a lot more sense if a tiny bit of editorial work grouped the more interesting posts in a “Highlights” category.

  7. Mannwich says:

    @BR: LOL. My wife gets on my case all the time for not doing it enough. My excuse is that when I do the dog duty she complains that I don’t get it all, so my response is that since she’s clearly better at it than I am (because she sees it better than I do), she should just handle that chore because we should both stick to our strengths. Needless to say, that one doesn’t go over too well with her.

    In my defense, I do handle practically all the cooking and all other yard work. I also do some of the cleaning, although I’m quite weak at that too. The kitchen is my domain. I’m no expert by any means, but I enjoy it quite a bit.

    Someone needs to invent a doggy poop radar and scoop combo. I can’t believe Apple hasn’t come up with anything yet. They could call it the I-Poop-Picker-Upper.

  8. TakBak04 says:

    Given my friends obsessed by dog poop…figuring the Neighborhood Covenants/Homeowners Associations will come after them for a spot of “stray poop” and that it’s just an environmentally sound thing to do when we live in close situations with each other for us to clean our dog and cat poop so it doesn’t cause environmental damage….

    I must wax back to my days growing up in Rural America. Where Dogs could be dogs…Cats could be cats …and how amusing it must be to our fellow canines and felines to see us all running after them with reversed baggies waiting to pick up after them with every little bodily function (PooP) that they do!

    Being both a dog owner in past and a Cat owner in the present…I see the daily disdain of them as to how we deal with them. Amusement, disdain as much as they love us. They find us really amusing… We find them …our salvation for our love and trust that’s been so abused out there in the “real world.”

    BUT ….OH TO BE FREE! that’s what I think is in their hearts. We de-sex and de-claw them….so we can all love each other. It’s a hard bargain…that one. But, what would we be without them…and their love and devotion and ours back at them! The chosen one’s we favor understand, I think…and love us back for who and what we are…….even though their primal instincts call from inside…

    We’ve got a bargain with them..the chosen ones we find …strays, pedigree’s and all the inbetweens.

    Ah…the dog poop and the pounds a week of the cat litter that need to be tended to…..! Wouldn’t trade it for anything! In these times…we need that love… the companionship…the sacrifice for something that is real.

    Well..ya just can’t get around that BOND..with our feline/canine buddies…in these important for fun.

  9. snapshot says:

    Thanks Barry – You didn’t owe us all of those explanations. BUT…that is the kind of guy you are.
    (And because you are a straight shooter – folks just keep coming back.)

  10. SINGER says:

    I don’t know what “flame-baiting” is, but it sounds quasi-legal…

  11. Am glad to hear you are one of the people.

    Your fancy car blog posts suggested otherwise


    BR: Champagne taste, beer budget!

  12. Lucky Prof says:

    Most people don’t understand that wealth is relative. I am sympatico with your discussion of money and spending.

    I am 26 years into my chosen career (which I adore), near the pinnacle of my profession — I also teach at Chapel Hill, lecture, and write textbooks. Other Professors think I am wealthy, but I know my income would quadruple if I went to work for some defense contractors.

    You are better off doing what brings you joy than obsessing on what makes you money . . .

  13. Tbrander says:

    Well I know it is a dead horse, but Disqus requires log in…. Also your cookies suggestion does not work for those of us who have WordPress logins..(for our own blogs for instance.. )

  14. Tbrander says:

    But now I get it you are vip hosted at WordPress and they don’t want disqus!


    BR: I am looking into other comment plug in solutions

  15. rick-again says:

    I only read one blog most everyday- yours….this is only my second post…..keep up the good work
    I do not know how you do it

    As Singer above indicated there are a few blogging terms you used that I do not understand but oh well I get by

  16. Andrew11 says:


    The blog is fantastic. Your background/income isn’t important, only the content. Keep up the good work!


  17. BR,

    in regard to the following:
    “• I don’t know if there is a way to make the market posture clearer, and not run afoul of the lawyers, our clients, and everything else. (Any suggestions? I am all ears);”

    -”One, if by Land; Two, if by Sea”, is all anyone could ask for. Past that, if they “need a Weatherman, to tell which way the wind blows..”, well, they should study Meteorology, or, you know, Hire someone that has..~

    and, with this: “…I know many people smarter, more learned, and more accomplished than me…”, remember, it should always, (always), be such–even if you have to get to know new peeps..

    and, as w/ the first point, w/this: “No BS: I call ‘em as I see ‘em.”, it, too, is all anyone could ask for~

    this: “The site is primarily my views, what I think is interesting, plus those people whose work I respect that aren’t usually seen by the public.” though, is what is Good, and can’t be duplicated. To me, it’s the Row to Hoe. Past that, let the ‘Market’ figure it out, as you know, it can get 4 out of two twos (eventually..).

    Lucky Prof,

    as a SWAG, does your work in Physics take you into Optics?

  18. wunsacon says:

    If anyone tires of picking up pet poop, I’m a taxidermist.

  19. jeg3 says:

    Great Blog Barry, especially since you keep it interesting with the various topics and guest post.

    You may also want to do some of your own interviews with offbeat, but knowledgeable people,
    e.g. “Financial instruments could be spiked with unfindable risks”

    Not Wealthy?
    And I thought you were going to outdo:

    Another bubble bursted, where will it end.

  20. Winston Munn says:

    Stuffed pet poop? That’s better than pet rocks.

  21. t1dude says:

    BR – love the site. Every time it has changed, I generally like the changes. Keep up the good work!

    I don’t see the arrogance. Sticking to your guns is not arrogant, esp when you have facts to back it up, and you have the facts far more often than not.

    Not sure why people want or need to know about your income. Then again, I am not really motivated by money either.

  22. The Window Washer says:

    Thanks for asking, listening and then sticking around.

    “For the record:”

    Should be on the site permanently.

    And remember it’s not arrogance if you’re better.
    A few years into my current business I stopped trying to control my image or “sell myself”. I was worn out, overworked and didn’t give a shit about a polite image anymore. Now I just say, “This is who I am, this is what I do, and this is how much it will cost you.” Business is still going great, I found that great customers with judgment of their own will hire people like that (if you have a sense of humor about it).

    Sounds like you’ve hit that same wall in the last year.

    Don’t bother explaining we know you’re a loveable irreverent rapscallion!!
    That’s why we’re here.

  23. The Window Washer says:

    Open threads/linkfests

    Barry your standard for this should be Kedrosky’s Readings section, shoot for that. He does a great job I check most of his links maybe a third of yours.


    BR: I think that makes lot of sense — maybe 5 articles every afternoon, leaving an open thread . . .

  24. bobmitchell says:

    On taxidermy-

    I saw this on TV a while ago-

    This explains why I no longer have a TV, and never want a pet.

  25. wunsacon says:

    >> Stuffed pet poop? That’s better than pet rocks.

    Winston, LOL… No, I meant a different joke. (Something, um, “unkind” towards the pet.) But, your interpretation is hilarious!

  26. Transor Z says:

    I’m a taxidermist.

    I’ll keep you p0sted. My dog just chewed the laces off my dress shoes. As a puppy he chewed through an extension c0rd and the c0rds for our food pr0cessor, fan, lapt0p, and phone. If you can p0se him for all eternity with my sh0e up his ass, we might be in business. :-)

  27. bergsten says:

    Dog Poop Proves the Theory of Parallel Universe

    I have a Dog Poop story too (of course I do — could you possibly think otherwise))?

    Years ago, I tell my darling wife that I’m going out in the back to shovel up the poop. She says she just did it. I walk outside and see something like FIFTY poops within a 100 square foot rectangle.

    Now, the obvious conclusion was that she was lying. But she doesn’t and what would be the point anyway?

    So, the realization dawned on me:

    Parallel universe do exist, (and here’s the important part), they exist on top of each other..

    See? In my wife’s parallel universe the yard was clean, but in mine it was full of poop (there’s probably a moral in here somewhere).

    This explains much of the day-to-day weirdness all around us.

  28. I don’t know how you pet folks do it. I have enough problem cleaning up my own stuff.


    You stole my thunder. The radar pet poop picker upper is a great idea. I wouldn’t have come up with the radar but mine would have had a feature to turn the stuff into energy and electrical power. So it just goes to show the marketplace will come up with different solutions to the same problem. That is until my company takes over yours in a hostile take over, I phase your product out and set up monopoly prices via various and sundry congressional bribes and lobbying

  29. @bergsten

    All that proves to me is that you know how to shovel it ;)

  30. HTCMSI,

    take a page from Bastiat, and see some of this:

    note, that is the “Seen”.

    the “Unseen”, given the 3/4 Tr. U$D annual DoD budget(and then some..), is the “Radar-enhanced Pet Poop Picker-Upper”.

    and, from a different field..

  31. of course Mark. You don’t think we come up with original ideas do you? Just think of where three of the most successful companies in America today would be without idea theft. I’m talking GOOG, MSFT and AAPL.

    And I love Bastiat’s work though I admit I have read little of it

    As for the unseen you are sounding a little like this guy:

    All I want to know is what have you stepped on (maybe it was government dog poop)? You know I’m up there with you though because my foot is screaming at me too :)

  32. mddwave says:

    This is my economic/financial favorite site, but sometimes I have to escape to “Big Picture’s posterous”

  33. wunsacon says:

    >> In my wife’s parallel universe the yard was clean, but in mine it was full of poop (there’s probably a moral in here somewhere).
    >> This explains much of the day-to-day weirdness all around us.

    Or…it could be quantum entanglement. That is to say: the neighbors’ dogs pooped in their yards but the results materialized in yours.

  34. Simon says:

    Isn’t it dreadful how in middle age we get obsessed about our comparative nett worth and “relative success” And yet the reality is we all start with completely different real challenges. For some achieving a stable relationship and a steady income are the equivilant of climbing Mount Everest for others.

    To be honest it’s something I struggle with. It’s hard not to feel judged about superficial things and it’s hard not assume others will judge.

    Thanks BR for the personal note.

  35. Clem Stone says:

    I don’t know, and don’t want to know, what an RSS feed is.

    I enjoy this blog and it’s one of the few i read regularly. I thought Barry made his market position quite clear over this past year. Maybe the diehard bears just didn’t want to hear it.

    I feel compelled to throw some bait out while i’m here: HELP! I’m trapped in the market and can’t get out! Oh no, it’s going down and i’m unable to exit! All kidding aside, is this the part where we are supposedly unable to get out in time? Is the sell button frozen yet? I’m confused because it looks to me like anyone can sell whatever they want, whenever they want.

  36. Coruscation says:

    Full RSS feed and navigable archives were my two wishes, glad the came out on top.
    I expect the what-to-read tour of Baron’s et al to continue.

    I also like the occasional Long Island observations, from the empty on weekdays Century 21 to the busy Munsey Park Apple store, and the various LIRR riders and habits.

  37. Jerry 369 says:

    I to would also like to say thanks for all the outstanding content and everything B.R. brings to us on a daily basis. Thankx Barry! It is always nice to have a home base,this is the only blog I spend any real time at. Seeking Alpha is also awesome{different format},there just is to much noise out there. I find myself less and less able to find anything really worthwhile on the bubble tube{C.N.B.C. Bloomberg,Fox Buisness},its now up to the web. Filtering content takes to much time…Anyone who has the balls to complain about anything at this sight,well,that takes some big ones. This is free and open to all. What the f… is there to complain about anyway?

  38. ItalicBold says:

    @Simon, so true!

    Love your blog Barry, whatever you earn, its clear you have worked enormously hard for it.

  39. vasco7777 says:

    BR…keep up the great work. You reek of honesty and reasonable skepticism but know your fundamental truths.

    This is one of my favorite sites to quickly get a dose of sanity and unspun common sense. The regular posters are a hoot and further add to the recipe of balls and brains.

  40. kblasi says:

    Well, who knew that this would turn into the “poop picking post”?!

    To BR and all you fine poop-picking blog followers, CHEERS!! (me, holding up bag of frozen poop)

  41. JasRas says:

    The barometer of you falling is when you stop posting fun stuff too. If Essays and Effluvia stops, or if you don’t mix in Friday night jazz, or post the latest hot auto—well, then you’ve either burned out or have contracted the site out to someone else.

    The periodic reality checks are appreciated too. It seems to clear the air.

    Now, go scoop the poo like all the rest of us mere mortals!

  42. Struggling Man says:


    This is a great blog. Keep up the good work.

    I would sooner suscribe to this blog than I would some well know american newspapers.

    Thanks for all your hard work,


  43. sal says:

    Great blog and truly appreciate the RSS feed on busy days.

    When I have the time to visit the blog and read the comments there are always 1 or 2 really insightful comments on the topic. One great add would be promoting an occasional quality comment to the RSS feed.

    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

  44. krice2001 says:

    Didn’t weigh in on the longer discussion but I will now. Yours is the blog I follow most. And I understand why you’re not always screaming out loud about exactly what your models may be indicating as you have paid clients who clearly want to know they are differentiated from the rest of us.

    That being said, I have come to hang on to whatever you are willing to through out there. I’ve found your analysis to be the most accurate I can find and as I have said in other posts, you have saved me money by causing me to scale out and I did listen to your “bottom call” in March when I was ready to throw in the towel and I hung in there (albeit at a lower equity percentage).

    Could you be more humble? I suppose, but why? And who really cares? I think so many played the market’s last several months the wrong way (and that was easy to do) that there is palpable frustration – some of it directed to you. From a constant follower and occasional poster with a technical and business background, I appreciate your dispassionate non-denominational read on the markets.

    Some will always be upset when you take up the opposite position from them, politically and economically. I appreciate your candor and appreciate the wake up calls. And I do ant some editing on the blog so it isn’t a free-for-all like some blogs and not degraded to where it becomes all out post wars. Thanks for the blog, I say Barry and please maintain it close to where it is.

  45. winstonw says:

    Barry, walk your dog more……and let it crap on the sidewalk instead.

  46. Init4good says:

    Barry: I for one would be willing to pay $1 a week for this blog, on a monthly basis. You could do what some others have done, and add a”donate here” link – through paypal. I know I am upsetting many readers who abhor the idea of paying for something they can get for free, but that is the topic of another 100+ comment post.

  47. bondjel says:

    Re the “bad assumptions or inaccurate assessments”: I’m a retired clinical psychologist who wants to remind you that when you are attracting the opinions of so many people you are bound to get many misperceptions of who you are and what you’re up to; there is no way to please all of the people even some of the time. Just keep doing it your way, that is what I come to your site to read. If you were more of a homogenized milquetoast, of which we have a massive excess, I wouldn’t bother to read your stuff. At 69 years of age I’ve read a great many public commentators’ words for many, many years and you are one of the only people I’ve ever read who is genuinely politically and economically even-handed and, as far as I am concerned, thoroughly appropriately irreverent. Anyone who can quote Joe Stiglitz one minute and Paul Volcker the next can’t be all bad.

  48. TrendsThatMatter says:

    Barry. Just keep up what you are doing. In my mind, it’s a perfect formula and keeps you at the top of my reading list every day. thanks

  49. Init4good says:

    RE: My last post rethink: OK maybe a dollar a month….

  50. DeDude says:

    There is always going to be people who want things done differently. But the web is a big place so they can find somewhere else. Make the changes that makes sense to you and you will be able to go on for a long time. Try to please everybody and you will get very frustrated very quickly.

    If people cannot understand that there often is a disconnect between what the market does and how the fundamentals look, they need to wake up. It is also pretty obvious that you are presenting the fundamentals not giving investment advice here on your blog. A lot of useful information here, and totally free -thanks for that.

  51. Daffyorbugs says:

    “Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair.”
    George Burns

    It seems to me that the posters who are most worried about your “arrogance” are the most arrogant and smug posters.

  52. tharmon says:


    Well said – I like your direct writing style and just as importantly your perspective. Prior to the meltdown in Oct ’08, what happened on wall st. tended not to impact my company’s business in any immediate way. Now I have one more thing to keep my eyes on and your succinct highlights, questions posed and commentary help me quickly decide where I need to watch for external events that may impact my start up.


    Tod Harmon

  53. EAR says:

    I had to be 139th on the other one and 52nd (?) here just so I can say it twice…

    Thanks, Barry! Keep it comin’!

    And may I add, from what I’ve seen, you have “leaned” in your perspective the way a human being with a dexterous and malleable mind would in a chaotic environment such as ours. Rigidity and commitment to extremes in strategy and ideology are a dark and comfy tunnel. Stay nimble!

  54. farmera1 says:

    From down here on the farm, I got to tell you Berry you are at the top of my links. You’re the first and only blog I read daily. I appreciate your hard work.

    Also I do know a thing or two about manure. My advice is just leave it, it’s good for the grass and can save a lot of time.

    PS: For what ever it’s worth, I looked into your Fusion IQ but honestly from the web site I couldn’t figure out what you were selling or how I would use the information provided. Might need to dumb down the Fusion IQ site for farmers.



    BR: We are rolling out an entirely new front end — much simpler, more explanatory — should go live this month

  55. Casual Onlooker says:

    I’ll echo the support for you. When the economy was self-destructing like one of those tapped messages from the old “Get Smart” tv show, I went surfing the Internet trying to understand this mess. I stumbled upon this site and have been a regular vistor ever since. A lot of content is over my head, I’m just a lowly programmer with a riduculously underwater mortgage (house value dropped 51% within the span of two years), but I have gained a lot of insight from what I have read. I don’t always agree with what you say (less so often with what many of the commenters say), but I appreciate the value of the information.

    Keep up the good work and thank you for providing the service.

  56. Clay says:

    Barry, Ditto on bondgel and farmera1’s comments above.

    I’ve read your blog since shortly after you started it and was attracted to and am still attracted to your honest, objective, “call it as you see it” analysis with some irreverant opinions at times. I hate political bias or any opinion that is not objective, has preconceived notions/ideas and uses only piecemeal info to justify or rationalize that opinion. That is dishonest……AND YOU ARE NOT based on what you have communicated here and elsewhere. Please continue doing what you do, which includes your openness to suggestions, and willingness to change.

    As far as your comments about market posture and expressing opinions, consider adding a standard very brief disclaimer within the body of the post and/or a link to a more detailed disclaimer to CYA, keep your attys happy, your wife, your dogs (LOL), etc. Maybe you and/or your attorney(s) could come up with standard disclaimers regarding various subjects and opinions you wish to express, or just one standard catchall disclaimer for any type of post. I assume this is what you are talking about, otherwise disregard this suggestion.

    I read this blog and don’t subscribe to your RSS feeds (I read the RSS feeds explanation info) and I think I recall your saying something in the past about sending out emails for RSS feed updates. If I am going to receive an email for RSS feed updates, then no thank you……I’ll just continue to visit your blog 2 or more times a day for updates.

    Please keep up the good work.

    Kindest regards as always,


    BR: Thanks, Clay

    Note their is a full Disclaimer/Disclosure linked to in the header of EVERY page

  57. comet52 says:

    I wrote a big long post but realized the only part of it that mattered was, “keep up the good work, Barry.”

  58. hcg says:

    I enjoy the blog each day, multiple times a day. Just as important is what I learn at the site. Thanks for the effort Barry.

  59. William C says:

    I love what you are doing. Great job on this site.

    The AP Economics teachers have been looking at this. I am sure that you have seen it, but just in case, check it out.

    AP Economics
    Bayside Academy

  60. “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”

    F A Hayek
    The Fatal Conceit


    nice post~