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Zero Hedge

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Major Concepts

Zero Hedge is a batshit insane Austrian school finance blog run by two pseudonymous founders who post articles under the name "Tyler Durden," after the character from Fight Club. It's essentially apocalypse porn. It has accurately predicted 200 of the last 2 recessions.[citation NOT needed]

Tyler claims to be a "believer in a sweeping conspiracy that casts the alumni of Goldman Sachs as a powerful cabal at the helm of U.S. policy, with the Treasury and the Federal Reserve colluding to preserve the status quo." While this is not an entirely unreasonable statement of the problem,[1] his solution actually mirrors the antagonist in Fight Club: Tyler wants, per Austrian school ideas, to lead a catastrophic market crash in order to destroy banking institutions and bring back "real" free market capitalism.[2]

The site posts nearly indecipherable analyses of multiple seemingly unrelated subjects to point towards a consistent theme of economic collapse any day now. Tyler seems to repeat The Economic Collapse Blog's idea of posting blog articles many times a day and encouraging people to post it as far and wide as humanly possible. Tyler moves away from the format of long lists to write insanely dense volumes[note 1] filled with (often contradicting) jargon that makes one wonder if the writers even know what the words actually mean.[4] The site first appeared in early 2009, meaning that (given Tyler's habit of taking a shit on each and every positive data point), anyone listening to him from the beginning missed the entire 2009-2017 rally in the equities market.

The only writer conclusively identified is Daniel Ivandjiiski,Wikipedia's W.svg who conducts public interviews on behalf of Zero Hedge.[5] The blog came online several days after he lost his job at Wexford Capital, a Connecticut-based hedge fund (run by a former Goldman trader). Later Colin Lokey joined Zero Hedge's writing team in 2015 and left in April 2016 publishing an article identifying the writing team as Dan Ivandjiiski, Tim Backshall, and himself. This is quite a bit less than the 40 or so writers Ivandjiiski claimed to be on staff in earlier years. Note that they chose the pen name from a nihilistic psychotic delusion.

Zero Hedge is not quite the NaturalNews of economics, but not for want of trying. The Hamilton 68 Project notes an enduring popularity of the site among PutinBot Twitter accounts.[6]

Actually doing some good[edit]

Zero Hedge came to public notoriety when it brought to light the number of high frequency computer trades (flash trades) conducted by Goldman Sachs in Tyler's more condensed and coherent analyses. Goldman Sachs used this data as a form of arbitrage to make a profit off penny differences in bid/ask prices. This was picked up by Bloomberg for a piece called "Goldman Sachs Loses Grip on Its Doomsday Machine" by Jonathan Weil.[7] This caused the SEC to change weekly financial reporting and propose to ban flash trading altogether.

With Zero Hedge receiving more attention from the mainstream media, Matt Taibbi decided to interview and publish the resulting story about Goldman Sachs in Rolling Stone.[8] There he snarkily stated that Goldman is controlling and manipulating everything in order to make money:

From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression — and they're about to do it again.
—Matt Taibbi

Zero Hedge later earned what started as a severe mocking by CNBC analyst Dennis Kneale,[9][10] and turned into a mocking rant by Kneale "calling top indie finance blogs such as Zero Hedge a bunch of idiots who live in their mothers’ basements" when Zero Hedge refused to show up. Zero Hedge championed it as an absolute victory, including a temporary drop in CNBC's viewership[11] and forcing Kneale out of CNBC Kneale accepting a position at Fox Business.[12]

Accusations of plagiarism[edit]

Tyler has a habit of taking other people's research, sometimes adding a slant to it of economic doom if it isn't there already, and posting it on Zero Hedge.[13] This included a series of reports leaked from Merrill Lynch's chief economist David Rosenberg.[14] Lawyers were sent with takedown notices, and were not moved by his claims of censorship about publishing their copyrighted documents. Morgan Stanley had the same issue later, and is considering legal action in addition to demanding the material be taken down.[15]

About the authors[edit]

Ivandjiiski's history is a little odd, since he moved to the United States from Bulgaria to study at the University of Pennsylvania in order to pursue molecular biology (then go on to med school). Instead, he took a job as a junior investment banker at Jefferies & Company in Los Angeles, and continued in finance. It is interesting to note that in 2005, while working for Miller Buckfire, he was barred from working in the broker-dealer business due to insider trading amounting to $780.

Dan denies that he founded the site, but he claims no other profession and to be the primary author of a number of the articles. He claims he writes with a staff of up to 40 other writers that work for Zero Hedge. However, secrecy is paramount in case They find out.

"Creative" journalism is apparently not out of place in the Ivandjiiski family either. His father Krassimir IvandjiiskiWikipedia's W.svg runs a cranky tabloid called Bulgaria Confidential, which received brief notoriety in the US after publishing a story about massive drug trafficking and corruption in Montana, picked up by an independent US rag Free Speech Newspaper.[16] There, Krassimir and Free Speech claimed that the governor was an alcoholic drug abuser who helped turn his state into one of the pits of drug trafficking in the US.[17] The governor fired off complaints about slander, while many wondered why a state with barely a million people[18] and only a small handful of highways, hundreds of miles from any major population center, could have more drug runners than the West Coast.[note 2]

A telling article was written in 2016 about the blog's operations after a falling out between Colin Lokey and the forty two other authors at the blog.[19] The article included private chat logs between the authors emphasizing punishing 24/7 deadlines and an overwhelming profit motive to support the authors' extravagant lifestyles, which conflicted with the image of their anti-establishment, anti-capitalist icon Tyler Durden. To quote Lokey, "[t]wo guys who live a lifestyle you only dream of are pretending to speak for you." Lokey's resignation was also rather telling about the site's bias in heavily cheerleading for authoritarian, autocratic governments with terrible civil rights and human rights records and against freer, democratic societies:

"I can’t be a 24-hour cheerleader for Hezbollah, Moscow, Tehran, Beijing, and Trump anymore. It’s wrong. Period. I know it gets you views now, but it will kill your brand over the long run," Lokey texted Ivandjiiski. "This isn’t a revolution. It’s a joke."

Allegations of "pump and dump" involvement[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Pump and dump

Ironically, Zero Hedge has itself been accused of some of the manipulation it claims to expose. A company called Noble Investments Limited claims that a financial consultant paid Zero Hedge and a nut from Forbes to write a defamatory blog post about the company, which he then linked to immediately.

Accordingly, just fourteen minutes after the Dalrymple GFC Reptort was published on, Weinberg published a fully formed blog entry, including pictures, in which he summarized and quoted from the report, and provided readers a link to Ivandjiiski’s blog entry on where they could download the report. Weinberg did not acknowledge that had "broken" the story fourteen minutes earlier or state anywhere in the blog that the link from which readers were invited to download the report pointed to Ivandjiiski’s blog entry on[20]

The law firm behind the suit describes Zero Hedge as "a portal for people to anonymously distribute derogatory information concerning public companies", giving the impression that Zero Hedge may well have arranged many such pay-to-defame schemes.

Twitter ban[edit]

In February 2020, Zero Hedge got banned from Twitter for making false claims about the 2019-20 COVID-19 outbreak, and for doxxing the Chinese scientist about whom they made the false claims.[21]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. Some essays are more than 3,000 words each, plus graphs[3]
  2. Not really wonder, Krassimir obviously doesn't know shit about Montana. I-5, stretching from Seattle to San Diego, is a very notorious trafficking area, one that is an easy straight shot up and down the West Coast through a number of massive cities filled with millions of people, ultimately ending at the Canadian and Mexican borders.