Why I Write: Barry Ritholtz



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

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