Blogger Backlash to the Backlash Begins

Let’s say that you’re a market commentator or financial blogger…

If earlier this year you predicted that unemployment would climb higher than 10% and that the market would be crushed, would you now be considered half-right or half-wrong by your followers?  Will you be rewarded for nailing the unemployment number or hated for keeping readers out of the biggest market rebound of all time?

We’re starting to see the beginnings of the backlash against many financial bloggers, especially those of the gloom/ conspiratorial kind.  Most of the hate is actually coming from other bloggers.

For all of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, we were being force fed troughs full of lies and obfuscation about what our true financial picture was and what was being done behind the scenes.  It was in this environment that many in the investor class turned to more, shall we say, alternative voices for a different take on the parade of financial meltdowns. 

Bloggers were no longer relaying the news, they were digging for the truth in the data and making the news.

Now, 7 months or so removed from the bottom for most financial assets, many are tired of the conspiracies, even if they contain some truth and even if they do constitute an incredibly unlevel playing field.  The attitude is starting to shift more toward the traditional “Hey, I know these guys are stealing and screwing me and are pulling all the strings, but what the hell?  I can make money in the market now, too, and what can I do about it anyway, might as well join the party.”

The Fly said recently that he hates these gloom bloggers, and if CNBC also hates financial bloggers, than by the transitive property, he must love CNBC.  He said it 20 times cooler than I could paraphrase, but I can totally relate to that notion

Sean O’Brien (Ex-Wirehouse), now writing at The Davian Letter, recently laid it out for the “tin foil hat and black helicopter crowd“:

It is with curious amusement that I have watched the explosion of the Govt/Fed/Vampire Squid conspiracy theory genre within the bloggeratti and the mainstream media.  They all act as if they have just discovered something so secret and nefarious. They( and I am sure you know whom I am talking about…..) delight in “uncovering” anomalies in the tape or after hours activity in the SPY.  They must spend hours putting together deep research pieces on dark doings in the MBS market.  I have news for them…..IT IS NO SECRET.

There will be a lot more of this for as long as the market remains buoyant and buyable on dips.  The further it feels we’ve gotten away from the Doomsday Scenario, the more scorn and invective will be headed toward the blogger prophets of doom – even those prophets who were dead right on everything they predicted but dead wrong as far as what these predictions would mean to the market.

Some of the brightest and most erudite guys I read have been exactly right on the details but wrong (so far) on what all the details would mean big picture-wise.  Personally, I respect any opinion, regardless of the outcome, as long as it was formulated based on facts and sound reasoning.  No one gets them all right, after all. 

It appears, however, that many in the blogosphere are now going to focus on the result of those opinions…mercilessly.

Begun the backlash has.

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web
  1. Jo commented on Dec 02

    This indicates a market top to me.

  2. Jo commented on Dec 02

    This indicates a market top to me.

  3. Joe Blow commented on Dec 02

    I’m an accounting grad student going through recruitment now. May a plague fall upon the families of those who think this market has any meaning beyond free Fed money. Us peasants (Americans not living in NYC, LA or DC) are in very serious crisis. We’re angry and desperate. I have zero job prospects. Zero.

    So, I have “backlash” on my mind. But I won’t be backlashing against “blogs”. I’m just waiting for a spark.

  4. Joe Blow commented on Dec 02

    I’m an accounting grad student going through recruitment now. May a plague fall upon the families of those who think this market has any meaning beyond free Fed money. Us peasants (Americans not living in NYC, LA or DC) are in very serious crisis. We’re angry and desperate. I have zero job prospects. Zero.

    So, I have “backlash” on my mind. But I won’t be backlashing against “blogs”. I’m just waiting for a spark.

  5. JBinDet commented on Dec 04

    So the road to more eyeballs is now calling out gloom and doom bloggers? Let me guess..You’re now the real truth right? So it started out that we should not follow the polly anna optiimists. Next, follow the gloomers but only up to the point they are getting it wrong. Now le’s follow you cause you have been righ the whole time…oh yeah and everything you say is rooted in facts.

    TRB: Follow me where? Into what? Im neither gloom nor pollyanna, all viewpoints are expressed on my site from others whom I respect. I dont make market calls, economic predictions, stock recs or anything. have u been here before?

  6. JBinDet commented on Dec 04

    So the road to more eyeballs is now calling out gloom and doom bloggers? Let me guess..You’re now the real truth right? So it started out that we should not follow the polly anna optiimists. Next, follow the gloomers but only up to the point they are getting it wrong. Now le’s follow you cause you have been righ the whole time…oh yeah and everything you say is rooted in facts.

    TRB: Follow me where? Into what? Im neither gloom nor pollyanna, all viewpoints are expressed on my site from others whom I respect. I dont make market calls, economic predictions, stock recs or anything. have u been here before?

  7. Airelon commented on Dec 04

    Well, I think what we’ve is this scenario where what we will call the “First group” were a) bloggers or commentators were right on every turn. Including their market calls, or b) some bloggers in this group got the market calls wrong, but quickly adapted, and didn’t fight the tape (I was in that group, and expecting the pullback to begin July 15, but now trade with it).

    The second group is the “Doom and Gloom” conspiracy types.

    The reason for the “backlash” (I really wouldn’t use that word, but ok), is that throughout the disaster, everyone was fearful. But there was still a difference between the two groups. As a blogger, throughout 2008, people would constantly ask me about “This blogger” or “Hey Dan, what do you think about this guy?”. My response was to very politely tell them that they were correct on their calls, but to check their thesis.

    Now that everything has begun to play out? Well the First group has been profitable, despite knowing about the real problems. The Doom and Gloomers are not profitable, and they’re angry, and they play the blame game.

    The reason for the dichotomy in outlook, (I believe) is that the First Group are traders as well as bloggers. Let me amend that. They are GOOD traders, as well as bloggers. They keep their emotions out of it. Whereas the “doom and gloom” crowd was never taught emotional control, self control, and how to profit for themselves with such control.

    And now the Doom and Gloomers are pissed, looking for someone to blame. Instead of just manning up, and learning what made the First Group so profitable.

  8. Airelon commented on Dec 04

    Well, I think what we’ve is this scenario where what we will call the “First group” were a) bloggers or commentators were right on every turn. Including their market calls, or b) some bloggers in this group got the market calls wrong, but quickly adapted, and didn’t fight the tape (I was in that group, and expecting the pullback to begin July 15, but now trade with it).

    The second group is the “Doom and Gloom” conspiracy types.

    The reason for the “backlash” (I really wouldn’t use that word, but ok), is that throughout the disaster, everyone was fearful. But there was still a difference between the two groups. As a blogger, throughout 2008, people would constantly ask me about “This blogger” or “Hey Dan, what do you think about this guy?”. My response was to very politely tell them that they were correct on their calls, but to check their thesis.

    Now that everything has begun to play out? Well the First group has been profitable, despite knowing about the real problems. The Doom and Gloomers are not profitable, and they’re angry, and they play the blame game.

    The reason for the dichotomy in outlook, (I believe) is that the First Group are traders as well as bloggers. Let me amend that. They are GOOD traders, as well as bloggers. They keep their emotions out of it. Whereas the “doom and gloom” crowd was never taught emotional control, self control, and how to profit for themselves with such control.

    And now the Doom and Gloomers are pissed, looking for someone to blame. Instead of just manning up, and learning what made the First Group so profitable.

  9. EX_WIREHOUSE commented on Dec 04

    Josh
    I can only assume that any press is good press!

    The difference between Myself and dedicated members of the fourth estate or “financial bloggers” is that firstly I manage money for others and have for over 13 years. I run my own RIA/CTA and haven’t the luxury of wining about the PPT or the Boogie man around every corner. Blogging for me is merely a way to incorporate fun Youtube videos into my casual market observations. I am one of the biggerbears around, but hold my nose every day and attempt to act as the good Shepard for clients, a claim few advisors can make. I have the most respect for those who do not like e current tone of the markets but go out every day with a level head.

    Keep up the good work

    SOB

    TRB: Well said, Sean. You do it better than most. Thx

  10. EX_WIREHOUSE commented on Dec 04

    Josh
    I can only assume that any press is good press!

    The difference between Myself and dedicated members of the fourth estate or “financial bloggers” is that firstly I manage money for others and have for over 13 years. I run my own RIA/CTA and haven’t the luxury of wining about the PPT or the Boogie man around every corner. Blogging for me is merely a way to incorporate fun Youtube videos into my casual market observations. I am one of the biggerbears around, but hold my nose every day and attempt to act as the good Shepard for clients, a claim few advisors can make. I have the most respect for those who do not like e current tone of the markets but go out every day with a level head.

    Keep up the good work

    SOB

    TRB: Well said, Sean. You do it better than most. Thx