Paul Kedrosky

Posted by Alvin Hale on April 28, 2017
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Category: Blog

Paul Kedrosky has a better life than you do. He’s relaxed, and funny, and fit, and good-looking. He lives in San Diego, bikes a lot and always looks tanned and healthy in a new black T-shirt and jeans. He seems to make money effortlessly, just by being clever and geeky, not that it’s entirely obvious what he does — except for blogging, of course, in which he recently turned pro by moving the financial half of his blog to Bloomberg.com.

Kedrosky’s blog is wonderfully old-school, as befits an early pioneer of blogging. (He set up a blogging platform called Groksoup in 1999, when blogging barely existed.) The original blog, Infectious Greed, as it’s called, is indeed infectious: it jumps in an excitingly unpredictable way from sports to markets to algorithms to — well, it might just be easier to list what Kedrosky isn’t interested in. The experience hasn’t lost that much since the financial posts moved to Bloomberg, you just have to go to two places, and there’s maybe a little less in the way of weirdly serendipitous juxtapositions.

Kedrosky sits firmly in the intersection of finance and technology, which is a perennially fascinating place to be. As a result, his blog will be a must-read for as long as he retains his indefatigable energy and keeps on updating it, which is likely to be many years yet.

The Wealth Report

Posted by Alvin Hale on April 28, 2017
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Category: Blog

On his Wall Street Journal blog the Wealth Report, Robert Frank writes with neither fear nor favor about a relatively tiny but endlessly fascinating tribe: the very, very rich. He covers everything from tax policy to — well, here, read it for yourself: “The bride’s family gave the groom a Bell 429 helicopter.” (That’s from a reported $20 million wedding in India.) Another sentence worth rereading: “One thing I have noticed about rich people is that they are insomniacs.” Frank neither panders nor sneers. What he does is poke beneath the veneer and show that, contrary to the cliché, the rich really aren’t so different from you and me. They’re just a lot richer.

Dubner is an award-winning journalist and the co-author, along with Steven Levitt, of the best-selling economics book Freakonomics and a blog of the same name.

Business Insider

Posted by Alvin Hale on April 28, 2017
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Category: Blog

The thinking man’s finance blog it is not. But if you are looking for all manner of business and economic news, as well as Wall Street gossip and what’s hot on the Web, Business Insider is the best place to go. Unfortunately, more and more of the content on the blog is basically plucked from elsewhere without a lot of original analysis or reporting. But Business Insider, which is headed by former Wall Street analyst Henry Blodget, does a good job of picking its stories. A recent photo gallery of what hotels look like in brochures versus what they look like in person was a lot of fun. And when Blodget does write, it is usually worth the click. A recent story on why an analyst was fired from Merrill Lynch — a subject Blodget knows a lot about — for writing negative reports about Irish banks was a very good read. Along with Blodget the site has a reliable market commentator in Joe Weisenthal, though the length of his articles, like those on the rest of the site, seems to have dramatically shrunk. Add that up along with a usually insightful daily chart, and Business Insider is well worth the regular visit.

Grasping Reality with a Sharp Beak

Posted by Alvin Hale on April 28, 2017
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Category: Blog

It’s hard to imagine J. Bradford DeLong writing Grasping Reality. The blog’s form and topics vary widely. At times, the UC Berkeley economics professor is imagining a philosophical dialogue between two narrators. At others, he is deeply investigating complex financial or economic research topics, sharing rough drafts of his course’s syllabi, dissecting economic indicators or tearing apart the latest weak and/or dishonest argument that has wandered into the blogosphere. And yet it all comes from the same mind sitting at a computer typing.

But somehow he does it, and the economic blogosphere is that much better for it. Brad DeLong’s blog is one of the original economics blogs and has set the standard by which excellence in the space can be judged. It is one part intellectual salon, one part graduate seminar, one part synopsis of the current economic debate and one part fight club. From “Why oh why …” to the other memes it has created, DeLong has helped define some of the central themes of the economics blogosphere. Grasping Reality is always interesting and highly recommended.

Econbrowser

Posted by Alvin Hale on April 28, 2017
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Category: Blog

I read Econbrowser every day. But even those who don’t might still recognize the name of one of the co-authors if they ever took an advanced economics course. Econbrowser co-author and UC San Diego professor James Hamilton literally wrote the textbook on using math in economic research.

The authors, who also include Menzie Chinn, an economics professor at the University of Wisconsin, cover many macroeconomic issues in an understandable and straightforward manner. Chinn focuses on public policy, and he frequently writes about current topics like the economic impact of stimulus spending and the deficit debate. Hamilton’s key topics include business cycles, monetary policy and oil economics, the last of which has made Hamilton a must-read as of late. His analysis shows the events in Libya, and the Middle East in general, so far “are not in the same ballpark as the major historical oil supply disruptions,” but he cautions that geopolitical changes might continue to spread.

McBride is a retired technology executive and the author of the blog Calculated Risk.