Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Economic Links

Links.. really? How 1990's is a links list? Very, but I feel the need. You see, there are many excellent sites out there explaining what's going on, and you may want to get to know some of them. Also, it's possible I've missed one or two and you could leave a comment letting me know. I'll try to explain a bit about how I use each site.

CNN Money - Pre market I use this simply to see what the open is likely to be like in the US. As I live in Australia, on a Mon - Fri night this is an interesting thing to observe. Also the currencies page shows you how the AUD is faring against the USD. Lastly, this is a "MSM" ("Main Stream Media") and it's interesting to see what they are obsessing about or how they are explaining market action. You may start to feel a bit stupid if you read too much though, so save yourself any in depth exploration, there are better options below.

Kitco Live Gold Chart is somewhere I go fairly often. If you own gold, or gold mining stocks, it's interesting. And you probably should! It gives you 3 days of activity, and you get used to the chart.

Bullionvault Live Gold Ok, another one? Why? Well - this time it does something very useful - it converts it to a live price in Australian dollars. It also can go down to activity in the last 10 minutes, and has some fairly groovy chart options. The only downside is that it uses Java, heavily, so this can take a moment to launch. Fun to watch when the fireworks are happening in the gold market. The gold market is global, so it's open almost all of the working week - there are some hours where it's not though.

Mish. Is a blog with frequent and interesting articles, and just as interesting a comments section and community. Mish is a fairly hard deflationist, who sides on the Austrian school of economics. I don't always agree with him, but I certainly find his perspective interesting, and I give him points for calling the March low in the market almost to the day. I was not a believer at that time.

Denninger / Market Ticker Karl is a bit of an angry man sometimes. Often justifiably so, but sometimes not. He does take the time to really spell stuff out though, and so it's worth enduring the sometimes ranty/condescending tone to get to the heart of the matter. Something he does quite well and often. I've never explored the forum, it's probably good but also probably huge. You might consider Karl on the lunatic fringe at times, or a "true patriot", depending on your point of view.

Zerohedge I have been following this web site since it started. It is more or less a web site for financial industry insiders, it can be very technical, very little is explained, which can make it practically incomprehensible to newcomers. It is worth the effort though, as many of the articles provide highly relevant (to the market) news and discussions. If you want to understand whats driving the market really (not the CNN version), this is the place. They also discuss US treasury auctions, gold and other topics, and like Mish, the comments section is often a better read than the articles themselves. Work your way up to this site.

The Automatic Earth Some of the best articles I read in a while have come from this site. It is well thought out and written, updated relatively infrequently (once per day-ish).

The Market Oracle is a UK based site, which is a compendium of articles syndicated elsewhere. You will see some of Mish's stuff here, for instance. Many of the articles are leaders to try and get you to subscribe, but others are the full deal. After a time you get to know the various contributors and where they stand. Some are full on doomers, while others are not.

Implode / Explode is another list of articles, which again may point you back to Mish or Denninger. However, what I find interesting is the "Bank Failure Friday" coverage, where they go into details of how many and how big each failed bank is.

Jim Kunstler is an author of a book called "the long emergency" which was a big eye opener to me when I read it. He is a perma-bear, who sees the US as a car dependent society in decline. His timing might be wrong, but a lot of his ideas are not. There are a lot of fatalistic survivalist types who follow him, so be prepared for a bit of that action.

The Oil Drum is not actually an economic web site, it's more of a peak-oil web site. However, if you see energy as the driver of economies, this is a great read. Again, the comments are often very thought provoking. I very much believe in peak oil, by the way. I have read quite a lot about it and might do a follow up list of books that are worth reading on the subject.

Urban Survival is a real "lunatic fringe" entry, but one I find weaves in and out reality. He believes in a system he sells which analyses web language content to predict the future. He believes in government conspiracies, predicting things such as earthquakes and is anti-flu vaccines. You may find it all too "out there" but sometimes it is an interesting read.

Soot and Ashes was dormant for ages but seems to have risen...ahhh... from the ashes. Keith runs the show and he has an attitude of sorts. Good comments. Worth a check in for the amusement value, as much as anything. He used to moderate the housingpanic web site, which was huge for a time when the whole sub-prime bomb exploded.

Are there more? Well, yes, but the above list covers a most of the interesting ones. I check the Sydney Morning Herald for my general news, and sometimes read the business section there about local companies and influences. If you are unsure of the value of owning gold, there are a couple of seriously one-sided fan sites of the metal here and here.

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