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« ETF Update: What is Working? | Main | Successful Financial Blogging »

April 27, 2009

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Comments

Jonathan

I though Tyler Durden was in a movie?

oldprof

Guru -- You are absolutely on target with this comment.

The tweets and the bulletin boards are rampant with this kind of information.

For me, the question is how to guide investors, who start looking to the Internet as a source of information.

Thanks again for a helpful and insightful comment.

Jeff

ZeroHelp

If ZeroHedge has been trading in line with his posts he should be broke by now.

Guru

The readers of my blog (Stock Chartist)give me kudos for objectivity. But I share your concern with the points of view of some blogs, especially with those that do a lot of linking or are frequently linked to.

I have an even greater concern with StockTwit. If you spend any time reading the flow of Tweets it looks like nothing more than one big rumor mill, boiler room, tout message board.

Some of the Tweets are blatantly without foundation, whether fundamental or technical, and are clearly aimed at very short run stock pumping. A given that any number of user aliases can be created, anyone can give the appearance of a stampeding support.

oldprof

Jason -- Each blogger has a policy. We entertain dissent as long as it is on the merits. Others choose a different approach.

One thing you might try is going to Seeking Alpha and making your comment there. SA will not delete your comment.

Unfortunately, you will probably not reach the right readers. Even on SA, those reading a particular source are already on board with the political and market viewpoint.

I wonder how many thoughtful readers there really are!

I very much appreciate that you took the time to point this out. I would also note that SA chose not to run this article, since it challenged the methods of "Durden" who is entitled to "take his own riff" on the information. If the source had not been a SA contributor, they would have run my comments.

I am still trying to figure that out.

Thanks,

Jeff

Jason

Just wanted to add to this:

Tyler had an article yesterday on how all of GS's profits are because of a NYSE program called SLP. GS profits were mostly claimed in FICC so its unlikely that its true.

He did not even allow my comment to be posted in which I was politely and respectfully pointing this out.

The sad thing is that the "mob" follows such sensationalists without thinking. :(

REIT Wrecks

Apologies in advance, but that's why you are a "Jr Deputy Accountant, perfectly hedged against BS"

Jr Accountant

As a participant in this game of "catch me if you can" with the financial bloggers on one side and the market on the other, I have to admit that I do it all the time. Not intentional errors or omissions but...

It's all about the spin.

Think about it. You, as the researcher, writer, and editor, decide that you want to write a story on Ben Bernanke's ineptitude or Goldman Sachs manipulating the market or... whatever it is you want to write. So unless you have a starting point (a particular article or something that was emailed to you), what do you do? You type your query into Google - and bam, there's your opinion right there before you.

The "news" can be skewed however the writer chooses. And yes, I agree with you (knowing from stats) that readers generally don't click through links - I'm honored that my readers find me to be that much of an "authority" if that's the case but wish there would be more skepticism sometimes.

I often blog before work and on my lunch hour so truth be told, I don't have the time to comb through sources as much as I'd like to. Certainly I am not alone. We are not as prolific as ZH, nor do we have time to be as such.

I'm torn on ZH. Sometimes the analysis is very vague - "you know what this chart means" and sometimes it is brutally dead-on. I imagine there is more than one Tyler Durden at work.

Who can say?

Great points on blogger responsibility. No matter how many times one says "this information is based on author interpretation of events and should not be construed as investment advice," people are still going to take what is said at face value without doing their own homework.

How can we change that?

oldprof

How could I have missed your "value added" pics!

My marketing department has much to learn from you.

Jeff

oldprof

Eclectic-- Good points. Part of my argument is that MSM is trying to compete with blogs, rushing to publish questionable information.

Bloggers are free to state opinions and to cite evidence. We must all try to evaluate what is written. This means checking the links to see if they have been properly summarized.

I am trying to highlight the differences between various sources.

Thanks for a helpful comment.

Jeff

oldprof

Reit Wrecks -- I read the same article and shared your concern. I had the same problem in squaring the evidence cited with the conclusion.

Meanwhile, this was a Seeking Alpha editor's choice, but they did not run this post from me.

The ZH site has an interesting mixture of inside information, analysis of the big players, and analysis of hedge funds.

Meanwhile, there is a clear viewpoint. It bears watching.

Thanks for taking the time to make a helpful comment.

Jeff

Eclectic Investor

You are half right. You are assuming that newspapers do their research on each and every article. In India, you have a newspaper called the Times of India, where they have a division called Medianet. You can pay Medianet and take "editorial" space anywhere in the newspaper and the rates are lower than advertising. What I am saying is not about some tabloid, but India's No. 1 and most-read newspaper. When the leader does this, why blame poor bloggers, who may be writing because their employers would not accept the truth. I beleive there may be less talent but their is stronger conviction in the blogs. Finally, what are journos but people employed as bloggers.

VennData

Zero Hedge is fraught with sophistry.

muckdog

Links *and* Lakers girls.

Thanks for the kind words, Dr. Jeff.

REIT Wrecks

I just happened to come across your blog and this post. The Tyler Durden story is an interesting one. When they first started, the anonymous Tyler actually emailed me to say hello (though the exchange was, shall we say, interesting). I read some of the posts on their site and was impressed. Now, I am no longer as impressed, and I believe the criticism here is well deserved (though I admit that it is far easier to be a critic than a creator).

In a recent post on commercial real estate debt, they properly attributed some of their source data as coming from the FDIC, but they misrepresented the data itself. The main story in and of itself was not inaccurate, but if they they had bothered to examine the data itself, rather than just flog the headline, they would not have recognized that the FDIC data was actually not supportive. That sounds like a simple error, but "Tyler" is not a dumb guy and in this case error by omission happened to be most convenient - the FDIC headline was better suited their thesis.

Some of their conclusions were also either naive or intentionally misleading (assuming, for example, that 100% of maturing CRE loans are or will be in some form of distress).

They have definitely made a splash, and I wish them the best of luck. They are clearly very talented and resourceful, and sometimes a really entertaining read. But it looks to me like they are big media refugees masquerading as ground-breaking bloggers, and they are leveraging the wild west atmosphere that prevails here to pull tricks they could never have pulled at their old day jobs.

Thanks for the post!

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