In just 10 months, Zero Hedge, a pseudonymously-written blog by financial insiders, has played a major role in forcing issues like Goldman Sachs’ machinations and the inherent unfairness of High Frequency Trading into the mainstream press and the Halls of Congress.
They’ve done this by brass-knuckled, well-researched articles, not being afraid to make serious enemies, being passionate about what they are writing, treating their audience like adults, and printing the truth.
The mainstream financial media, probably miffed that a blog has broken stories they should have, has been attacking Zero Hedge for being anonymously written.
Zero Hedge responded today with an eloquent post. Here’s a few excerpts. Read the whole thing.
On Thursday, following weeks of criticism of our anonymity on CNBC and elsewhere, a reporter from the New York Post confronted our public relations representative over the alleged identity of one of our contributors. As a matter of policy, Zero Hedge does not comment on the identity of contributors or staff, but over the course of a 30 minute conversation with the reporter, something interesting emerged: the reporter in question was so befuddled by this policy that she barely knew what to say. She had, quite literally, no idea how to write a story that wasn’t primarily about personalities. Her attempt to bribe our public relations representative with favorable coverage for an exclusive is an example of what is wrong with financial reporting today.
Now, more than ever, anonymity is critical to the Republic. This should surprise no one. It has been a critical part of speech in this country since before its founding. Without the courageous and then-anonymous writings of, e.g., Thomas Paine or the authors of The Federalist Papers, our nation would be a very different place today.
Given the financial events of the last twelve months, we think it clear that this must be the end of the status quo for financial regulation in the United States. We are also keenly aware that a number of extremely well-resourced, established players have little incentive in seeing any change at all. As we live in an age where posting on a blog can get you fired years later after a casual, lunch-hour Google search by a Human Resources representative, has there ever been a more important time for anonymous speech in financial reporting? We think not.
Believe us, doubt us, argue with us, then decide where the best analysis is being generated: from reporters at brand-name media outlets, without a lifetime of expertise on the subjects on which they write and whose allegiances lie as much as with the sources they need to keep happy as with the readers they purportedly serve, or with those insiders who by shedding the burden of identification, are free to expose the abuses, absurdities, and abscesses of both those in power and those who report on them.
“Marla Singer,” Zero Hedge
(Why isn’t the left doing stuff like this?)