Are Financial Blogs Trustworthy?

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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.

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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 . . .

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