For independent thinkers only: These online columnists see around the curves to the global economic trends that will affect your business.
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Thanks to a severe case of ADD and being one of the fastest readers you will ever meet, I read dozens of different business blogs and news feeds every day. If it wasn’t for my obsessive compulsive disorder and pathological fear of missing out on some essential scrap of information I could get by with fewer. Here’s my Top 10, which I suppose would do for business owners who don’t realize how essential it is to track the Papua, New Guinea, commodities exchange and keep up to date on the latest mining information out of Mongolia.*
Seeking Alpha Market Currents: If a tree falls in the forest without making a sound but with an economic impact, you’ll find out about it here. Even I can’t read everything they put out in the course of a day. It’s not just a fire hose, though. It’s curated enough to keep the information relevant.
The Big Picture: You’re already reading Barry Ritholtz, right? Even if you aren’t you’ve probably seen him on the financial TV networks. There’s a reason for that. In addition to being a great talker this Wall St. money manager consistently pokes fact-based holes in received wisdom and popular opinion. He is also a New York Knicks fan. As a Chicago Cubs fan, I understand completely.
Real Time Economics: One of several fine Wall Street Journal blogs. This one sifts through the numbers to find what matters.
DealBook: Andrew Ross Sorkin and crew are a great source for all the deals and the news that’s going to impact the deals. They cover so many different things that you don’t need to know everything they report – but there’s guaranteed to be something important here for you.
Financial Armageddon: Is Michael J. Panzner an alarmist or a realist? I vote for alarming realist. Panzner, a financial pro and writer, is smart and digs deep to find stories, angles and implications you won’t see in many other places. Despite the name of the blog, he’s definitely not a screamer.
FT Alphaville: The view from Europe. A great outsider perspective on the U.S. and one of the best insider sources for news and perspective about the entire Euro mess.
Zero Hedge: Don’t know much or care much about international economics? ZH will take care of both of those for you. The editors/writers all use pen names so all I can tell you about them is they’re smart and detail obsessed. These folks doubt everything—and I mean that as a compliment.
Naked Capitalism: Views things more from the Keynes side, but facts and not ideology are the driving force here. NC isn’t so much in favor of government intervention as it is honest, well-regulated markets. These days that’s enough to make you a heretic.
Calculated Risk: Bill McBride does a great job of connecting the dots as well as serving up brief, thorough and understandable synopses of key economic stats and news. He has an amazing ability to separate wheat from chaff.
Mish’s Global Economic Analysis: Mish Shedlock, a registered investment advisor, is as good as it gets when it comes to finding the key facts, stories or stats in far distant lands. I define key as meaning “ripple with incredibly high likelihood of becoming a tsunami.”
I’ve left out a bunch of great ones, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention my two must-listen podcasts: NPR’s Planet Money and EconTalk. Planet Money pulls off the amazing feat of being great for people who know a lot about economics and those who know nothing at all about it. EconTalk is hosted by George Mason U. Professor Russ Roberts. He goes deep into a top with interesting hour-long conversations on a particular topic.
*My self-diagnosis of my mental health may or may not be true. However, I am an incredibly fast reader. While I don’t even know if New Guinea has a commodities exchange, the mining news from Mongolia actually can be important.
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CONSTANTINE VON HOFFMAN is a writer and sometime standup comedian. His work has appeared in Harvard Business Review, NPR, Sierra magazine, Brandweek, CIO, The Boston Herald, TheStreet.com, and Boston Magazine. @CurseYouKhan