Three of my ex-colleagues got laid off from Financial News this month, on top of all the freelancers that were ousted last month. It seems that even Rupert Murdoch, for whom I inadvertently worked (his News Corporation bought Dow Jones which owned Financial News), is feeling the pinch. The financial freelance field is rapidly becoming overcrowded, with few publications showing signs of growth or even recovery. (I, of course, intend to make a million on my best-selling yet-to-be-released novel. After which I will give selective, Dan Brown-like interviews when people question my theory about Brent squeezes.) But I still have oil market reporting to fall back on if I am desperate. I am one of the lucky ones, I guess. It is very difficult to write about refinery feedstock utilization if all you have ever written about is the stock market. The other way around is easier.
I am very concerned about the quality of financial journalism post-recession. If all of the seasoned experts are either freelancing or have found greener pastures, that leaves us with the general press and television reporters covering markets they can't possibly understand. A year ago none of them would have known a credit derivative if it bit them in the backside. While we had been writing about the dangers in that marketplace for several years. Having said that, it seems no one really listened. They were making too much money. Moral hazard risk is alive and kicking.