September 8, 2005


A one-time college professor of mine, who is now a friend, is requesting some help in finding a markets/business news website that isn't constantly talking down the economy and frightening people. He's gotten sick of CNN/Money and the USA Today business section. He's interested in a site that offers daily news of the market and leaves out the relentless anti-Bush spin.

Anybody here have some suggestions?

Posted by Matt Murphy at September 8, 2005 5:59 PM

Why doesn't he start one up.

Posted by: erp [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 8, 2005 6:35 PM

By the way, the college professor mentioned above is a rare academic conservative, and any BroJudd readers who like early American history may want to consider purchasing his book on the War of 1812.

PS I have heard it referred to as the best all-around treatment of that conflict, because it covers both the civilian and military fronts in detail.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at September 8, 2005 6:57 PM

Investors Business Daily is the best one out there IMO. It's a subscription site but some of the content is free. They do offer a free trial subscription.

Posted by: M. Gray at September 8, 2005 6:57 PM

MarketWatch from DowJones isn't bad.

Posted by: djs at September 8, 2005 7:22 PM

Yes, why doesn't he start one up. I can't think of a better way to manage money than to get one's information from a web site that bases its conclusions on ideology and loyalty to a leader rather than evidence and data.

I can imagine their headline on Black Tuesday, 1929: "Stock Market Dodged a Bullet."

Posted by: Rick Perlstein at September 8, 2005 7:28 PM

Best of the Web had a funny bit today with an MSM story about how Katrina could damage the strong economy Bush has going for him. Of course, the day before the Hurricane it was a weak recovery....

Posted by: oj at September 8, 2005 7:34 PM

Rick, Rick. How utterly charming. You really mean it, don't you?

The media spin everything, including business news on ideology and loyalty to leaders. Basing their conclusions on evidence and data hasn't been in their game plan for decades, if it ever was.

That's why the perfesser is looking for unfiltered financial information and I wouldn't mind finding a new home page that doesn't cause my BP to spike when I log on. I'm so sick of every area of human existence being distorted by the koolaid drinkers.

Posted by: erp [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 8, 2005 7:56 PM

Rick Perlstein:

The point is not to show blind allegiance to anybody but simply to leave out the anti-Bush crapola. They've been talking down the markets since Bush was elected and yet the economy seems to be doing rather well -- "evidence and data" are precisely what he's looking for.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at September 8, 2005 8:36 PM

It strikes me that the salient failure of financial journalism in our time hasn't been bullishness but analysts talking up stocks they had positions in.

I don't watch the business shows. But if they're point out that our prosperity is of an extremely vulnerable, house-of-cards sort, that seems to me only obvious. Sunsets and time bombs that delay the reckoning until years in the future are built into the architecture of the Republican economic program. To say so isn't "anti-Bush crapola" but emperical observation.

When this book comes out I'm going to make sure Orrin gets a free copy. It explains it all quite well, wherever possible by quoting Republicans' own strategic words--

Posted by: Rick Perlstein at September 8, 2005 8:58 PM

My thanks to those of you who suggested bias-free business web sites. I just got tired of USA Today's Money section, which appears to be written by a bunch of Stalinist tort lawyers. It's all bad news and corporate legal cases. You'd never know from anything in it that capitalism actually generates wealth. CNN/FN is better but still has a penchant for focusing on the bad news. And CNN's Lou Dobbs is utterly clueless. It's amazing that a luddite like him would have a major presence on a cable channel, but then again it is CNN.

Posted by: Prof. Don Hickey at September 8, 2005 9:28 PM

OK OJ, he is your friend you make the garlic bread.

Matt: it's not really a financial website but do try the Economics Roundtable which shows blog entries on economics from selected blogs every day.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 8, 2005 11:36 PM

Mr. Perlstein:

Do you really want to be another Barbara Ehrenreich? Another Bartlett and Steele? They are story-tellers, in the weakest sense of the word.

Economic progress is never uniform, nor universal. If your thought is that it should be, then good luck. Even in 1998-99, lots of people declared bankruptcy, and talk about hidden time bombs! The simple truth is that we are fortunate the economy did not slow down more than it did from early 2000 through late 2002. Plus, the use of derivatives nearly caused a capital collapse in 1998. Do you blame the Democrats for their sudden appearance and tremendous growth within the financial world? If a large hedge fund does implode, causing shock on Wall St., will you comment accordingly?

I suspect you are of the age not to know real economic hurt. Do you remember 1974-75? 1979-82? Since then, there has not been real pain in the US economy, at least not across the board.

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 9, 2005 12:26 AM

You two really are having the breakup from hell, aren't you?

Rick: I'd suggest that the house of cards you are worried about has less to do with the economy, rather more to do with the status of Democrats as the majority party. You tend to confuse that status with the health of (small-d) democracy, which is doing just fine.

Professor Hickey: for a stock ticker and news of the day MarketWatch is good. For policy commentary, hands down it's Robert Samuelson of Newsweek and the Washington Post. He's no Bushie, but he is an adult, so he can discuss the economy's structural problems ( real, substantial, and mostly to do with the aging of the baby boomers vs. middle-class entitlements ) without indulging in cheap shots or invoking 1929 every other sentence. The difference in tone between Samuelson and Paul Krugman, whose job Samuelson should have, is sobering. There are also a large number of enjoyable blogs by working economists and teachers of economics: I'd suggest you start with Steve Antler from the right, Brad DeLong from the left, and work through their blogrolls.

Posted by: joe shropshire at September 9, 2005 12:27 AM

Robert Schwartz:

Thanks for the link, I'll let Prof. Hickey know there are some further suggestions.

If you don't mind, could you explain the "garlic bread" comment you always make to OJ when his friend Perlstein pops up? Is this some kind of inside joke?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at September 9, 2005 5:18 AM

Rick Perlstein:

Your side has been predicting upcoming economic catastrophe since I was a kid -- you've got to understand why people of reasonable persuasion look at you guys and wonder not only where the fire is, but where the smoke is.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at September 9, 2005 5:23 AM

Professor Hickey:

"Stalinist tort lawyers" seems a bit repetitive, don't you think?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at September 9, 2005 5:38 AM

joe shropshire:

You may already know this, but Robert Samuelson is the son of Paul Samuelson, a Nobel economics laureate who is very much on the left (he used to talk up the Soviet Union's economy) and has been vocally critical of the Bush administration. When the Nobel prize in economics was first announced in the late 60s, the names that most often headed people's lists of likely honorees were Paul Samuelson and Milton Friedman.

Amusingly, Robert Samuelson once wrote that Friedman was the greatest economist of the last 50 years, pointedly declining to list his dad in that position. I have never heard the son mention his father in his columns, and while the father has praised Paul Krugman's writings for the NY Times, I've never heard him say anything similar about his son's weekly offerings. I wonder if the two of them get along.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at September 9, 2005 6:58 AM

Try, the website of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which is a division of the Commerce Department. They not only are the office that releases the official stats, they actually have comprehensive explanations of how the stats are compiled and what they mean.

Posted by: Tom at September 9, 2005 8:55 AM

Also try, the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. They have the detailed employment/unemployment data.

Warning: Rick, you won't like what you see. Unemployment is 4.9%. There was a time, in fact, when this was considered too LOW, because (some) economists thought it would put upward pressure on wages and therefore inflation. Your lefty friend Paul Krugman argued that the natural unemp rate is at least 5.5%; see

Worse, from your point of view, the trend in the unemp. rate is down. Uh-oh!

GDP is growing at a 3+ % annualized clip (higher than Krugman thinks is the natural growth rate, by the way), and inflation is in the low single digits.

Is this "empirical" enough for you?

If a Dem were in the White House, the media would be stroking themselves over this economy; we'd never hear the end of it.

I don't know what your area of expertise is, Rick, but you should stick to it. Plainly it's not economics.

Posted by: Tom at September 9, 2005 9:20 AM

"Your side has been predicting upcoming economic catastrophe since I was a kid"

MSN Money publishes a guy -- Fleckenstein -- every Monday, who for the past 3 years (at least) has been explaining why the stock market, the dollar, the economy, the tech sector, the real estate market, etc. is doomed, DOOMED to crash any day now. I find it an amusing way to start each week.

Posted by: curt at September 9, 2005 9:49 AM

I'm sure it's an obvious omission but has a wealth of commentators who offer everything from technical analysis to macro economics. Of course, there's also a number of market strategists sprinkled in the midst.

Cramer is himself an avid Democrat but, as a long term hedge fund operator, when the market reverses he tends to ascribe it to sector rotation, profit taking or any of a number of more rationale phenomena. He has opinions that are politically oriented but they tend to come with

I've been a subscriber to (at first it was subscription only now it's open) and RealMoney which is marketed to hedge and mutual fund operators. It's not that expensive and there's a wealth of timely and informed opinion.

Posted by: Ray Clutts at September 9, 2005 12:50 PM

I agree with the recommendation on Investors Business Daily. I also like MarketWatch too.

Professor Siegel's site is also good. He is a prof at Wharton. Wrote Stocks for the Long Run. Free stuff plus subscription:

Posted by: Kurt Brouwer at September 9, 2005 4:55 PM