Traditional brokerage houses are ditching in-house research as fast as they can in their desperate effort to cut costs. No one ever paid for it anyway. The trend is driving masses of individual investors to the blogosphere for their investment advice, creating a new generation of online superstars. Without clients to offend or an investment banking department to kowtow to, you get an independent view that is often unavailable anywhere else. With most still mired in the collapse of business, blogs about the economy, in particular, have been catapulted into the limelight, some seeing their online traffic soar to 100,000 page views a day. If you want to reliably cover all the bases, then http://blogs.wsj.com/economics offers the collective effort of Rupert Murdoch’s conservative Wall Street Journal writers. Another conservative view can be found at http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com , prepared by Bush’s chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, Harvard professor Greg Mankiw. If you want to see Obama lambasted for not being liberal enough, visit Nobel Prize winner and ardent Keynesian Paul Krugman’s http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com . A former IMF economist now at MIT, Simon Johnson launched http://www.baselinescenario.com last year, and it became an instant hit. For great macro analysis, go to www.econbrowser.com, written by the original James Hamilton at the University of California at San Diego (where I attended summer school one year to check out Black’s Beach). If you are a neophyte to the economics world, and no one will think less of you if you are, then go to http://economistmom.com . I suggest visiting these sites, finding you comfort level, and tracking them over time, as I would with any new research source.