April 4, 2012

Welcome to the Counterparties email! The sign-up page is here, it’s just a matter of checking a box if you’re already registered on the Reuters website. Send suggestions, story tips and complaints to

In the latest version of the Atlantic’s “What I Read,” Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith bemoans the end of The Great Blog Era of the Early Aughts:

“I still read some bloggers but it’s sort of a lost art. There aren’t new great bloggers. It’s not the next thing. But the generation of Choire Sicha, Micky Kaus, Andrew Sullivan and Josh Marshall are great and they never stopped being great. Andrew is no longer the conservative he once was but he and Josh are masters of the medium.”

It’s easy to understand why Smith would say “there aren’t new great bloggers.” The era defined by a few influential voice-heavy bloggers has been declared over by Nick Denton (“I’m out of blogs”), the New York Times (“Former bloggers said they were too busy to write lengthy posts…”) Jason Calcannis (“Blogging is largely dead”) and Felix (“…dying, even if it’s not quite dead”).

For a brief, heady few years blogs were supposed to be the future of media. What happened instead, besides book deals, was that, as Felix suggested last year, the tools bloggers use were co-opted by media companies.

Suddenly, Andrew Sullivan and Choire Sicha weren’t the only people who could pull out great quotes from otherwise dry news copy: everybody could, and did, on Twitter. Meanwhile, places like the Huffington Post and Business Insider moved the focus of blogging away from engaging with the blogosphere and towards the art of headline writing. And thus did the great blogging tradition of analysis and back-and-forth-argument get lost, amid a thousand rewriters, blockquoters and aggregators.

But the good old days argument of the Internet doesn’t completely hold up.The finance and econoblogosphere for one, is rich, varied, frequently contemptuous and not in any way dead.

Keeping in mind that the blogs-are-dead meme is largely an issue of semantics, here’s a list of new and not-so-new-ish bloggers that you should absolutely start reading.

Sober Look
The Reformed Broker
The New York Fed
The Bonddad Blog
Derek Thompson
The Atlantic Cities
Josh Barro
Dan Alpert
Matt O’Brien
Neil Collins
Matt DeBord
ISDA Media Comment
Bloomberg View – The Ticker
And, definitely, Huffington Post Divorce.

What else are we missing? Email us suggestions at

And on to today’s links:

Be Afraid
Gooogle begins testing its new “augmented reality” glasses – NYTimes

Long Reads
Why exports will “resurrect the United States as a global economic power” – American Interest

Welcome to Adulthood
Student loan interest rates are set to double this summer unless Congress acts – Politico

Regulators just penalized JPMorgan for actions tied to Lehman’s demise – NYT
JPMorgan, Citi, UBS move prop traders to asset management to skirt Volcker Rule – Reuters

EU Mess
Spain’s fate is the hands of the ECB, natch – WSJ
Spain, como se dice “contagion”? – MacroScope
Greece is now too broke to field a track and field team – AP

“Winner” and “loser” hedge funds are more likely to stay that way – Sober Look

Regulators proving “Hide Not Slide” HFT that could allow investors to game exchanges – WSJ
The U.K. trader known for a $300k bar tab has been arrested – CityAm

Marketing Costs
Buy your CEO a profile in Chinese Esquire for $20,000 a page – NYT

Cognitive Dissonance
China’s premier is now complaining about the banking monopolies his country owns – Reuters

It will soon be easier for Wall Street analysts to talk up companies their employers do business with – Bloomberg

The CIA secretly promoted Pollock, de Kooning and Rothko for more than 20 years - The Independent
Annals of art world skullduggery, Larry Gagosian edition – Felix

Laura Tyson: U.S. multinationals are not abandoning America - Project Syndicate

CoreLogic: Home prices fell to a new post-bubble low in Feb. - Calculated Risk

Ex-Thomson Reuters CEO gets a pay package worth $20 million – Reuters

Burger King is about to go public again – Bloomberg

Young Americans are money-crazed organ harvesting zombies – Reason


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Re: Tinker/Tailor/Curator/Spy – The page is dated today, but the article is date-stamped in October 1995. What is going on here? My guess is that this is less revelation and more historical, but you aren’t bothering to say.

Posted by Curmudgeon | Report as abusive

This is a ridiculous claim. Blogs were never *that big* five years ago, nor have they gone away now.

Must be bandwagon-hoppers looking for the next one to jump on.

Posted by stat_arb | Report as abusive

Mathbabe? Really? You’re impressed by that flow of glib dribble?

Posted by uprof | Report as abusive

There are a lot of good blogs out there (cough cough, wink wink lol).

I don’t think there are a lack of quality blogs….I think the problem is many people have tied themselves up inside certain “blog-circles” and because they have come to rely on these blogs to provide them with information, they have not stumbled great new blogs because they have not searched them out….as they likely did when they initially found the blogs they do follow.

Posted by WallStRanter | Report as abusive

Hey guys – we all know what the kewllest blog site on the web is, don’t we?

Posted by MrRFox | Report as abusive