Wall Street’s Digital Underground
A few of the more prominent financial bloggers.
Illustrations by Matthew Woodson
The Amiable Skeptic
Barry Ritholtz was a pioneer when he launched the Big Picture in 2003 using the beta version of blogging software, Word Press. He’s a levelheaded bear with a knack for seeing through the statistical fog of economic data, and wrote a well-received book, Bailout Nation.
The Cranky Bull
John Hempton of Bronte Capital covers the ins and outs of Wall Street and Washington—from Australia. A professional money manager, he started out bearish but went bullish last spring, prompting the ridicule of his blogging cousins, whom he dismisses as “perma-bears.”
The Crisis Queen
Naked Capitalism’s Yves Smith had worked at Goldman Sachs before she started blogging in 2006, distinguishing herself with a facility for deconstructing complicated economics. She is writing a book called Econned, about the flawed ideas that led to the crash.
The Equal-Opportunity Debunker
Felix Salmon had a stint blogging for famously bearish NYU economist Nouriel Roubini before he moved to Reuters. A serial skeptic of skeptics, he famously launched an assult on Ben Stein’s conflicts of interest as a columnist for the Times, which led to Stein’s departure.
The Money Gossip
Bess Levin’s posts at Dealbreaker, the de facto “Page Six” of Wall Street, are as much about snark as finance, but her devoted following inside mainstream Wall Street firms has enabled her to beat The Wall Street Journal on a story or two.
Kudos to New York Magazine’s Joe Hagan for his fairly successful attempt to make sense of the financial blogosphere. He got a lot of the big stuff correct and is forgiven for missing some of the finer details, many of which wouldn’t have mattered to NYMag’s typical Sex and the City-obsessed, Barney’s-worshipping readers anyway.
Loved seeing quotes from John Hempton, Equity Private, John Carney, Barry Ritholtz, Felix Salmon, Paul kedrosky, Chris Whalen et al in a mainstream publication. These are some of the most important voices in financial opinion writing today.
I do disagree with the writer’s coda about how Tyler Durden needs for the markets to collapse in order to solidify his influence.
My take would be that his effect on how journalists and commentators report business news is a permanent one and is bigger than any 2000 point swing in the Dow one way or the other. The purpose of Zero Hedge and all good financial blogs (in my mind) is to keep people in the mode of asking questions and turning over stones.
Tyler does this better than most.