FT Alphaville’s predictive powers

By Felix Salmon
July 22, 2010
takes his leave of Alphaville, news arrives that his baby has predictive powers:

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As Paul Murphy takes his leave of Alphaville, news arrives that his baby has predictive powers:

On average, good news on FT Alphaville is associated with 1-week ahead outperformance. Conversely, on average, bad news for a company on FT Alphaville is associated with 1-week ahead under-performance. The same effect is not evident in our database as a whole, indicating that there is something “special” about the news that comes from FT Alphaville.

This worries me. Paul’s been a valiant one-man fighter against the Forces of Paywall at the FT, and he’s kept Alphaville free to date. But as he leaves, parts of Alphaville have already started disappearing behind the wall, and FT staffers, after seeing that I’d blogged the Secret Free RSS Feed, immediately went and truncated it. “If it’s worth something, charge for it” seems to be the mantra at the FT these days, and without Paul’s ninja political skills, I’m not sure how long his successor, Neil Hume, will be able to hold out. Especially when Scientific Research proves how valuable Alphaville is!

Neil will do his best, I’m sure, to try to persuade the FT that Alphaville is valuable (and has those predictive powers) precisely because it’s free. But such thinking is increasingly heretical over by Southwark Bridge, I fear. In any case, maybe I should shut up now. Friends like me are probably the last thing Neil needs. And I’m sure that the folks over at Recorded Future will be getting a nastygram from the FT’s legal folks in 3… 2…

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