I did a longish, NSFW, no holds barred interview with Marco Nappolini and the folks at Pieria. The concept of the series was “to shed light on the motivations, inspirations and writing processes of some of the leading financial bloggers.”

I suspect I gave them more than they were looking for.

Here is an excerpt:

M.N: There’s a great quote on your press reviews page from Dealbreaker that says: ‘Barry Ritholtz takes down financial writers like it’s his job’.

Now if the role of the mainstream media is to hold power to account, could you say that it’s the role of the blogosphere to act as a check on the mainstream media?

B.R: Well that died a long time ago – the media as a balance to power – but let me give you the arc of that, because there’s a development within that arc, that I think is interesting.

When you first start blogging, you have this platform and no one is paying attention. You become completely outraged with some of the of things that you see and read and it’s not just that the media or corporate press is outright corrupt, its more that their business model is so awful.

A perfect example is economic coverage: They’ll throw some kid onto the economic beat who graduated from a liberal arts college last year, or has a degree in media or journalism but not mathematics. This poor bastard is suddenly forced to cover economic data even though they just don’t have the chops for it, they don’t have the tools. So what happens is they actually believe some of the bullshit that gets fed to them – how important NFP is (its not) silly survey projections about Xmas shopping (wildly wrong every year), National Association of Realtors reports (mostly spin) – its kinda crazy.

Now understand, there’s a mix of data sources, most of the people that appear in the financial press have a very specific agenda. They appear on TV and radio or get quoted because they want to attract clients. We understand their motivations. Where things begin to get dicey is when they start to say ever more ridiculous things in order to do more media interviews. They figure that no one will remember what they said, so long as they’re on TV a lot they’ll attract more business.

So that’s one particular sub group of people that really deserves to be metaphorically slapped around.”

There’s a lot more at Pieria . . .



Why I Write: Barry Ritholtz
Marco Nappolini
Pieria, June 26th 2013

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Digital Media, Financial Press, 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 “Why I Write: Barry Ritholtz”

  1. [...] Barry Ritholtz: Why I Write.  (TBP) [...]

  2. davefromcarolina says:

    I wish there’d been somebody around who talked, wrote, and reasoned the way you do when I was young and impressionable. Too late for that, but I can still enjoy a piece like this one. (All the while guarding against my own confirmation bias, of course).

  3. ciwood says:

    Thank you for your honesty. Your blog is the first and last I read each day and I do not comment enough to show you my interest and appreciation. Your blog was was key to allowing me to make a 3% return in 2008 because I was prepared. Unfortunately, my behavioral bias limited me to a 10% return in 2009 in spite of Jeremy Grantham’s marvelous article, “Reinvesting When Terrified”. I believe that you are more appreciated than your blog comments reveal.

  4. lrh says:

    As often… good points, worth my time and that’s uncommon.

    When you replied in your thoughts about confirmation bias, “That means reading people I disagree with, painful though it may be,” I wondered if you have decided on the source of that very common pain.

    I’ve seen that pain overwhelm friends and colleagues to the point where they were talking “confidently” out of their behinds. I know I also often have that same visceral revulsion to disconfirming thinking.

    Do you think that Festinger’s concept of”cognitive dissonance” explains the source of the pain? Have you read any prescription for easing one’s revulsion?

  5. catman says:

    Thanks for the interview. I do business with Ameritrade and they are always pushing to get me to use their Trade Architect feature which has a CNBC feed right in the middle of it. Oy vey,

  6. Theravadin says:

    Great summary of writing and reading and thinking. It is astonishing how big the gap is between being able to speak, and being able to write (well). In fact, it’s not entirely farfetched to say that they are, at the very least, two different subspecies of a language. After 20 years of intensive writing… I’m still learning.

    • Read up on Aphasia, and you will see that two different parts of the brain are involved in speaking and writing !

      • Theravadin says:

        Very interesting – I’d never looking to Aphasia before. Even an ability to read but not write. Isn’t the brain amazing!

  7. beaufou says:

    I don’t invest but your blog certainly made me understand and comprehend what in the World is going on. I recommend it often to deers in headlights. It provides a lot of peace of mind, nothing is scarier than ignorance.

  8. lburgler says:

    You know, it’s a shame. I’m leaving the sell side of the business in two weeks, and I was actually thinking of moving my personal investment accounts to you, and referring others if your service was any good.

    * snip *

    • LOL Sure you were —

      What on earth makes you think I have any interest in your retail clients? What is the value of a 29 year old newbie’s book of business? Thats laughable! Your inflated sense of ego is exceeded only by your childish pomposity.

      Best of luck at your new career as an analyst Barclays Wealth and Investment Management anyway?.

  9. Thanks for your blogging work Barry,
    I’ve always wondered why you don’t tout your product more (fusion IQ is it?) – after all, you are the best spokesperson for what it is you have to offer.

  10. SkepticalOx says:

    Barry, do you have a heuristic on deciding who you choose to read, and who you choose to ignore completely, amongst those you find yourself in disagreement with?

  11. [...] http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2013/06/why-i-write-barry-ritholtz/ - He may be talking economics, but we can relate to why Barry Ritholtz writes. [...]

  12. Winchupuata says:

    Just want to add my appreciation and gratitude for your writing and your blog, it has been invaluable to me.

  13. [...] Why I write: Barry Ritholtz (The Big Picture). Why it’s important to know who’s writing the articles that guide our decisions. [...]