Monday, September 28, 2009

In Defence of Conspiracy Theories

Financial journalism has changed more in the past year than anything else on the planet, including the credit markets. Traditional magazine or newspaper-style reporting is flying out the window and bare-knuckle, real-time blogging is taking over. If you ever doubted this take a look at Zero Hedge. It is an analytical yet tongue in cheek blog started early this year by an ex-hedgie. Zero Hedge digs into data, analyzes it and draws conclusions that most financial journos haven't the time or the aptitude for. I found it in my internet trawling a few months ago, loved it and followed it, and it is now becoming mainstream. Today's New York Magazine has a long diatribe about Zero Hedge and financial bloggers. It criticizes ZH's tendency towards conspiracy theories and its campaigns against high frequency trading, flash trading, dark pools and Goldman Sachs' market dominance - among other things. I think if you look carefully at financial blogs you will find many of the same arguments that ZH makes, though perhaps with less vigor. These blogs are trying to do you, the general public, a favor by pointing out things that may not be 100% good for you. You can take or leave our advice, but be aware that we try to tip you off before the banks - or the government - rip you off. And try to remember that where there is smoke there is often fire. If it walks like a conspiracy, talks like a conspiracy and acts like a conspiracy - it probably is one.

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