The internet gives you all sorts of info for free, and most of it is utter chickenshit. A lot of the commentary is clouded by political preconceptions; some is blather from people who are insufficiently self-aware to realize they're being deluded by their own psychological failings. And any old clown can start a blog.
But there is still some true gold out there, for free. It's just hard to find. So, here's the list of what I'm following right now:
Market Internals and Data
Ignore everything and follow only the data. The data is the data, the chart is the chart; the market can be wrong for a long period of time, but eventually it has to conform to the data.
New Deal Democrat at Bonddad Blog - his weekly summary of US economic indicators is second-to-none. He seriously is ten times better than the ECRI.
Calculated Risk - just the hard data, no politics. Once you figure out what's important to follow, he helps you follow it all week.
Bespoke Investment Group - just the hard data, no politics. Their perspective is especially vital when emotion is running high. I cancelled my subscription to their premium service, but their free service still gives you decent enough info about what the market's up to right now.
FT Alphaville - A free blog from Financial Times. They pay attention to the world, not just the US; and to bonds and currency, not just stocks. I personally found it very difficult to read them originally, but over a year I've found it easier to follow what they're on about. The commentary is true City wonkage, and gives you a window into what the professionals are thinking about weeks before it gets into the lamestream media like Business Insider.
There's probably more EM news out there, but frankly the below is more than enough for me.
IKN - he covers Latin America, not a lot, but enough that if you've already got a subscription to his newsletter it's added free value. And most of the good PM mining is in Latin America anyway, and nobody else has a clue what's going on down there. Plus it's good to get a dose of snark once in a while to keep you on an even keel.
FT Beyond Brics - 20-30 articles a day on the EMs. Feel free to skip the countries you don't care about. But it'll keep your mind open to the possibility that other countries exist, and they are either good or bad.
Sinocism - more China news than you would ever want to read about. Seriously. You don't need to read all this unless you want to know all there is to know about China. A huge news report out by 10PM every night about that morning's China news.
The Gold Report interviews - Take it all with a grain of salt. I mean, they interview the Caseys and James West for fuck's sake. But at least it's junior mining news.
Mineweb gold weekly podcast - recent addition, we'll see how it goes. A Gold Report style weekly interview.
Mining.com RSS feeds. Subscribe to lots of them. There'll be only a few articles a day, but they'll be valuable.
General Blogs, or I don't know where to file these
JC Parets at Allstar Charts - why the fuck is this guy giving away his opinion for free? I haven't found one single opinion of his that I can complain about. He's a chartie, but also an internals guy, also a contrarian. He's the best single blogger on this list.
These are blogs which I haven't RSSed yet, or deleted them off my RSS, so I haven't found them to be of any value, but you might want to check them out anyway.
WSJ Marketbeat - news, but often paywalled beyond the first 3 paragraphs. Then again, when it's news, you often only need to read the first 3 paragraphs.
Paul Krugman at NYT - when you need a real economist to explain why everyone else is an idiot, he's your go-to guy. He's earned the right to snark.
A Dash of Insight - dunno why I've never followed him; must have been just too boring to keep my attention? Try him out and see what you think.