Theoretical models predict that overconfident investors trade excessively...Psychological research demonstrates that, in areas such as finance, men are more overconfident than women. Thus, theory predicts that men will trade more excessively than women. Using account data for over 35,000 households...We document that men trade 45 percent more than women. Trading reduces men’s net returns by 2.65 percentage points a year[.]It has been known for quite some time that individual investors - this means you, sitting at your computer clicking away on e*Trade - almost all underperform the market. In other words, you suck at investing. In 1999, Odean found that a lot of this poor performance comes from the fact that individual investors trade too much. In other words, one reason you suck at investing is because you have an itchy trigger finger. And this 2001 Barber and Odean paper found that men have itchier trigger fingers than women.
Which brings me to the website Zero Hedge.
Zero Hedge is a financial news website. The writers all write under the pseudonym of "Tyler Durden", Brad Pitt's character from Fight Club. Each post comes with a little black and white icon of Brad Pitt's head. On Zero Hedge you can read news, rumors, facts, figures, off-the-cuff analysis, and political screeds (usually anti-Obama, anti-government, and pro-hard money). On the sidebars, you can click on ads for online brokerages, gold collectibles, and The Economist.
The site is a big fat hoax. And if you read it for anything other than amusement, you're almost certainly a big fat sucker.
But OK fine, suppose the market is not efficient. Suppose there are some smart people who can interpret the public news really well, and some suckers who take home the wrong message. And also suppose that the suckers stupidly believe that they are the ones taking home the right message, and that the other folks are suckers. In that case, the smart people can make money by reading Zero Hedge, interpreting it correctly, and taking money from the suckers who either didn't read Zero Hedge or who took home the wrong message...right?
Wrong. Because there's another problem here. If the writers of Zero Hedge really knew some information that could allow them to beat the market, why in God's name would they tell it to you? If they had half a brain, they'd just keep the info to themselves, trade on it, and make a profit! Maybe then, after they had made their profit, they'd release the news to the public (and collect ad revenue), but by then the news would be worthless. Financial news sites, you should realize, are not in the business of giving you insider tips out of the goodness of their hearts.
So the only way you can make money by reading Zero Hedge is if you're not only smarter than a bunch of suckers who look and act a lot like you, but if you're smarter than Zero Hedge's writers too. Not gonna happen. The fact that financial news is big business fits perfectly with the mass suckering of America's individual investors documented by Barber & Odean (2001). Financial "news" is noise.
As you might expect, it's not hard to look back at Zero Hedge's predictions and see that a large number of them are junk. For example, here's a bunch of posts from 2009 predicting imminent hyperinflation. Hope you didn't make any trades based on that bit of wisdom! (Note for the sake of fairness: Yes, in terms of giving "hot tips", there are a lot worse sites than Zero Hedge...see Update 3 below.)
So how does Zero Hedge get away with this hoax? Barber & Odean (2001) give a big hint. Tyler Durden, whose name and image grace every Zero Hedge Post, is a symbol of masculinity. More specifically, he is a nerd's imagined vision of what a really masculine nerd would be like. In Fight Club, Durden says: "All the ways you wish you could be, that's me. I look like you wanna look, I f*** like you wanna f***, I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I am free in all the ways that you are not."
In other words, you are a young smart (i.e. nerdy) guy sitting at your computer with rivers of testosterone coursing through your veins. And now here comes Tyler Durden, your generation's Platonic ideal of pure masculinity, telling you that Real Men Take Risks. At the top of the site, there is a Tyler Durden quote: "On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero." In other words, gamble. Bet that you're the smart guy and not the sucker. Because hey, you're going to die anyway, so there's no use hedging your bets. Zero hedge, right? (Or you can read a sister site called "Testosterone Pit". Not kidding!)
In other words, "Tyler Durden" knows what Barber & Odean (2001) knew. Men take risks that, on average lose them money. Zero Hedge is a brilliant behavioral-finance technology that uses the predictable regularities of human psychology to extract money from testosterone-addled dupes. The people who run the site are far from idiots; they are geniuses. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if "Tyler Durden" were actually a bunch of behavioral finance grad students, snickering behind their hands at everyone who takes their site seriously.
Now, dear reader, maybe you are a fan of Zero Hedge. Maybe you have been getting angrier and angrier as you read this post, and maybe even now you have a comment box open and are typing the first words of an angry diatribe: "You're an idiot and you teach at a shit school which does not acknowledge fact or logic which is keystone in finance and econ!!!" (an actual Tweet I received the other day from a self-described drunk undergrad.)
And maybe you're right. Maybe I am an idiot who is blinded to the obvious wisdom dispensed by Zero Hedge, wisdom that would make me rich if I was just smart enough to read the site and man enough to make some big bets. Maybe. But before you hit the "send" button on that comment, take a glance in the mirror. You're young, right? You're a man, right? You trade pretty frequently, right? And you're not a rich, successful hedge fund manager or investment bank trader, are you?
Here's a radical thought: Maybe you're the sucker.
Update: I showed this post to a few friends in the finance industry, and while all of them agreed, one came up with by far the best one-line response: "Retail investor is retail."
Update 2: John Aziz has a rebuttal over at Zero Hedge, in which he says: 1. The rise in the price of gold shows that hedging against hyperinflation has been a good bet, 2. The name "Zero Hedge" actually doesn't mean you shouldn't hedge, it means you should hedge against a total crash of the financial system, and 3. Zero Hedge has done a good job of exposing corruption in the financial system. I don't think I need to respond to point (1). Point (2) is interesting, I hadn't thought of that, but I'm not particularly convinced it's true. And Point (3) is true; good news is a good thing good to read, and journalism that exposes corruption is valuable. But reading news is different than trading on it, which is what I'm talking about in this post.
Update 3: Some people have pointed out that in terms of offering trading tips, there are a lot worse offenders than Zero Hedge. That's certainly true - The Motley Fool and StockTwits come to mind, not to mention Jim Cramer or any show on CNBC. Compared to those sites, Zero Hedge has a lot more news and less tips. I just picked on Zero Hedge because the testosterone thing gave me a perfect opportunity to whip out Barber & Odean. And also because it's become a haven for goldbug/"Austrian"/"hyperinflation-is-coming"/"the Fed is a UN conspiracy to destroy the white race" kind of BS.
Nope Zero Hedge normally on the money. Good mix of news and opinion. Anyway who cares? - zerohedge is only one opinion in the market.ReplyDelete
i read zero hedge for news...they usually scoop the MSM...and their coverage of govt econ releases is better than the websites that economists run..Delete
ZH is at the cutting edge of one particular school of thought. Traders are gamblers, deal with it.Delete
Zero Hedge has called for deflation first followed by hyperinflation, which is exactly how it is going to happen. What confuses people is that gold and silver (ZH's recommended investment) performs very well during deflationary periods (1930's). See the following:Delete
Maybe the problem you are having understanding ZH is you are viewing them through a prism colored by your obvious total obsession with the almighty trade. They ridicule "traders" like yourself as much as bankers and politicians which may be one reason you hate them so.Delete
One of the reasons the world is a train wreck lately, there are way too many people like yourself chasing to few money for nothing, chicks for free trades, instead of making things, building things, adding actual value to the world. Real wealth comes from builders and makers, not traders. Traders tend to be the parasites in the financial jungle these days. When they hauled goods from one of the other on ships, horses and camels they served a purpose. When they sit at a computer all day moving virtual money from place to place they serve none.
When all the value creators in the world are gone, the house of cards the traders have built will come tumbling down. Actually it already is coming down. ZH is mostly doing the play by play. The traders who are watching the house they built crumble undestandably have a great deal of angst having to listen to the color commentary.
Lets hope value creators rise again from the rubble of the ramshackle house the traders built.
Maybe the problem you are having understanding ZH is you are viewing them through a prism colored by your obvious total obsession with the almighty trade.Delete
Yeah, maybe so. Maybe letting news slowly color and inform your worldview isn't the same thing as making a trade based on some stock tip...I'm not sure.
They ridicule "traders" like yourself
Like ME??? I don't trade.
One of the reasons the world is a train wreck lately, there are way too many people like yourself chasing to few money for nothing, chicks for free trades, instead of making things, building things, adding actual value to the world. Real wealth comes from builders and makers, not traders. Traders tend to be the parasites in the financial jungle these days.
Well, I tend to agree with this, given that financial theory predicts that in a more rational world we wouldn't need to trade very much.
When all the value creators in the world are gone, the house of cards the traders have built will come tumbling down. Actually it already is coming down.
Yes, that definitely seems to be true...
Lets hope value creators rise again from the rubble of the ramshackle house the traders built.
Yes...what do you think needs to happen, policy-wise, in order for value creators to rise again?
The fallacy here, or course, that everyone has the same background knowledge and judment characteristics and learning characteristics.ReplyDelete
All of which is empirically false -- empirically better grounded than anything coming out of the mouth or pen of an economist sitting in a chair in his university office.
There is no grounds for saying that knowledge which is of marginal value to a blog curator couldn't be marginally more valuable to a reader with an entirely differentt local knowledge and judgment background.
Are exonomists just idiots, or do their math constructs just make them idiots?
On the spot! Some of the worst logic I've ever seen in this blog post.Delete
You really are a dope....ZH is there for anyone who cares to read and do with it what they want....if you read anything and don't do your due diligence on an article then of course the reader is a loser....but just saying ZH makes your money vanish is like saying if you see ice cream and want some, you money vanishesReplyDelete
And you, you are the sucker who actually spent sometime talking about suckers.ReplyDelete
Does it make you any better?
FYI I am a fan of ZH only when it comes to die laughing for their jokes.
Hey, I said that reading ZH (or other financial news) for the entertainment value is just fine...if it's ice cream, enjoy it! Only if you use it to inform your financial trades are you a sucker.ReplyDelete
I like how every single comment thus far illustrated Noah's point.ReplyDelete
But you guys missed a few:
1) "Yes, most people who read ZH lose out, and only the smart ones (us) win."
2) "You're just mad because you haven't made any money trading"
3) "My girlfriend trades all the time and reads ZH."
4) "I work for a hedge fund and I read ZH"
Does that about sum it up?
The fact that brad delong retweeted this article makes you look like such a mook.ReplyDelete
Actually I'm not even a real person, I'm just a Brad DeLong sock puppet...Delete
it is hot. so buy ben and jerrys and hagen daz.they are delicious on a hot day and way overpriced so there must be a lot of profit in them.ReplyDelete
It's the comments that really let ZH down, I swear to god most of the people in the comment section of ZH cannot be older than 17.ReplyDelete
i am a fan of ZH but gotta agree with you on the comment section. And that is what really turns people out. I started when they ZH open and comments are getting degradading more and more.Delete
Its becoming extremist playground.
Yup. It's just becoming a strange attractor for the goldbug Ron Paul kooks. Otherwise I would have written this post about The Motley Fool or some other site...heh.Delete
Noah, this is trashy.ReplyDelete
ZH acts as a clearinghouse for alternative finance, contrarian finance, contrarian politics, speculation, idea-floating.
It's a broad f'n church — and people who write for ZH often radically disagree.
There's everything from insider leaks regarding HFT and dark pools, to Chris Martenson on climate change and peak oil, to posts about Steve Keen's view on "QE for the public", to posts about Nassim Taleb's thoughts on financial fragility, to Austrian deductionism and (yes) Peter Schiff screaming "HYPERINFLATION TOMORROW', to snarky news about the latest uber-bailout rumours from Europe.
It's dark, it's fatalistic, it's sardonic. But like all financial news outlets, people who take it as trading advice are doing so at their own risk. Big deal; you'd lose more betting on Bernanke's view that "subprime is contained" than you would on anything I've seen on Zero Hedge in recent years.
"It's a broad f'n church"Delete
So you're saying the crap on ZH is good simply because there's a lot of it? I could make the same argument for Business Insider (they even have slideshows!!).
Take everything with a grain of salt — especially financial news.Delete
Noah doesn't need to peddle deductionist psychoanalytic conspiracy theories to tell us that. For someone who claims to follow the scientific method, this is a very, very poor post. But good for Noah's pageviews I am sure.
By the way, when it comes to damning testosterone-addled kids perhaps we would do better to look to Wall Street, which seems happy to blow up the nation's pension funds. I don't see any basement-dwelling accumulators of physical silver (or any of the other archetypal ZH trades) destroying your pension fund.
Hey, I just used the hyperinflation thing as one example.Delete
The point is:
A) it's dumb to trade on things you read on a website, even if the things just "inform" your worldview and alter your thinking in the long run.
B) Zero Hedge tries to pump up the testosterone, equate masculinity with financial risk-taking, and encourage excessive risk-taking. This is proven to make people lose money.
It really does not have to do with the specific information content of Zero Hedge (although a casual glance tells me that most of it is probably crap).
It probably influences and reinforces people's macro frames of reference - and broadly speaking, ZH's frame is hyperinflashionista goldbuggery. That's been a bad bet. The people who show up and stay are probably already sympathetic to the Austro-Randite crowd, but the website helps keep them wrong.Delete
"it's dumb to trade on things you read on a website, even if the things just "inform" your worldview and alter your thinking in the long run."Delete
It's dumb to follow dogma. But websites are how we consume information nowadays. I read everything from Noahpinion, Modeled Behavior, Krugman, Steve Keen, WSJ, to Zero Hedge, Max Keiser, Mish Shedlock, and loads more and to some extent it all informs my worldview and trading (except I don't really trade much — I buy and hold — so maybe I am not the testosterone junkie you are looking for). Just reading Zero Hedge would be pretty dumb, I guess, but whoever just reads one source probably deserves to generate lots of negative alpha. I don't think there's any alternative to letting websites alter your worldview. Certainly, you'd lose a lot more trying to follow Modern Portfolio Theory... or the LTCM business model...
" Zero Hedge tries to pump up the testosterone, equate masculinity with financial risk-taking, and encourage excessive risk-taking. This is proven to make people lose money."
I knew ZH pretty well, I've read it since it existed, and I've written for it for the last few months (I am not Tyler, posts appear under my own name). And I don't get the vibe of massive risk taking, or leverage, or a gambling mentality. There's lots of testosterone but I find that is invested more in opinion. I think ZH mainly emphasises precaution and hedging, both financially and personally. The name comes from the idea that we are due a systemic reset, and that is hardly the time for wild risk-taking and leveraged credit derivative swaps...
Again, if we wanna talk about testosterone junkies, you will find a lot more working as traders in Wall Street and the City. The norm there is massively leveraged Martingale trading strategies where traders will take a position and push leverage to create a win-win outcome. It's picking up nickels in front of a steamroller, and is of course made much easier thanks to the new and manipulable world of HFT (and the rapidly-receding world of shadow intermediation...)
So it's ironic you think ZH is the home of testosterone junkie traders when in fact a lot of ZH readers are angling for better regulation of HFT, an end to nickels-in-front-of-steamrollers arbitrage strategies, and things like the return of Glass Steagall to constrain the real testosterone junkies on Wall Street.
A ZH article I wrote on this subject is attached as a hyperlink (click my name)...
There's a lot of crappy reasoning here, but let me pick one cherry: the guys behind ZH may by now be stinking rich indeed: you just don't know. 5 minutes difference can be sufficient to beat the market. Internet and electronics, as you said. And because of the effect a few minutes can have, the market must be imperfect by definition.ReplyDelete
This leaves alone the obligation to weigh the analysis presented by ZH yourself. If you're able to, of course.
Another objection is Noah's obvious identifying those writers at ZH as thinking similar to himself. Empires have gone down for less stupid mistakes.
And no, I do not trade.
A. Wait, crappy reasoning? I never said I thought the market was perfectly efficient. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't! But even if it isn't, it's stupid to take the word of anything you read on Zero Hedge.Delete
B. I have no idea how the Zero Hedge people think. Except I know they are good media businesspeople and have found a good niche for themselves. I just want to warn people that what ZH does may hurt their readers.
This comment has been removed by the author.Delete
@A My second alinea addressed that.Delete
@B Yes, you did suggest that, after your first 'Wrong'.
Nevertheless, we agree of course on the point that some thinking of one's own is required before applying the idea one distilled from an article.
Since common sense is in short supply, that's about as right as it can be. And as futile as the warnings your mother supplied you with: finding out the hard way generally works best.
For the record, the market is far from efficient. That's a given. That sort of begs the questions, however, "what is the alternative" and "can markets be improved if there isn't a better alternative"?Delete
I have trouble laying out the case for an alternative, but I do see the value of providing some sober "adult supervision" if for no other reason than preventing the most odious abuses.
This could get amusing. I'm guessing that some folks aren't going to take too kindly to the suggestion that they're suckers.ReplyDelete
In most market transactions there is a sucker. If you don't know who it is, then it's probably you.Delete
We're all suckers, so build that into your investment strategy:) LOL
Does Chuck Palahniuk get royalties from ZH? I sure hope so.ReplyDelete
Great Post and oh soooo true.ReplyDelete
The biggest idiots are those of us who think they aren't
the people who read ZH are the same people who all think their driving skills are in the top 10% of all drivers
have you ever met anyone who thinks they are below average as a driver?
ZH - scammers, shills and aggressive sheep
not even entertaining
If the writers of Zero Hedge really knew some information that could allow them to beat the market, why in God's name would they tell it to you?ReplyDelete
Um, because they enjoy writing about the economy more than they enjoy making money? That's certainly true in my case. I don't suppose anyone will make money reading my blog, but even if I thought I had some insight that a person could trade on, I wouldn't do it because I have no interest in that stuff. "If you're so smart, why ain't you rich" assumes that the only value in being smart, is getting rich. Not so.
That said, I agree with the main point of the post. Popular finance is fraud.
You've managed to provoke the exact response that you predicted, which makes me think you should get into the baiting suckers market yourself. Start up a rival called ALPHA MALE, pretend it's run by multiple dudes who all go by the name "Vladimir Putin," and claim that you gather valuable inside information from the trophy wives of investment bankers who are all lining up to pleasure you.ReplyDelete
Both this comment and the name of the commenter are full of WIN.Delete
ZeroHedge is a troll, linkbait for the gold bugs, plunge protection team, Fed is manipulating the market conspiracy theorists, of which there are surprisingly many. Sometimes interesting off-beat stuff, more often just linkbait word salad.ReplyDelete
Speaking of what we wouldn't be surprised by, I wouldn't be surprised if "Noah Smith" was actually a juvenile wanna-be Brad deLong , hoping against hope that the right amount of licking the right 'serious' mainstream liberal arses (yum yum) will lead ( one fine day ) to being adopted as a pet. ( Ooo joy!)ReplyDelete
OK, fess up. You wrote this comment with good grammar and then switched words around to make it seem more like it was written by an authentic internet nutcase, didn't you?Delete
The only thing I'd nitpick with is grouping ZeroHedge in with financial news in general. (I am a reporter so perhaps this is unsurprising!)ReplyDelete
Anywho, I'd say that when journalists break news, that is different than someone bloviating about news or market trends on a web site. I agree that once a publication of ANY sort puts something out there, you have no individual advantage in trading that information as one solo retail trader. But bigger market entities do. That's why companies pay hundreds of millions of dollars to build bigger better wires to transmit those data more quickly to their trading terminals.
Don't know that I agree. There is a tendency in most financial news to try an apply some sort of narrative to every market movement, and that can be pure comedy.Delete
That being said, I do find articles based on good investigative journalism enlightening, and it's nifty to learn simple facts like "JPM's quarterly earnings" and particulars in their financial statements. And hearing that some firm like Barclays is under investigation is interesting than "Dateline" sort of way, but... "Markets are down on EZ fears", "Markets are up on possible Fed action", and that whole roller coaster, largely fictional narrative just sounds like journalists trying to meet a deadline. It's funnier than reading comics but has no other value I can see.
If I'm short a stock I'm not gonna keep it a secret, I want everyone else to short the hell out of it. That's the flaw in your "why in God's name would they tell it to you?" argument. So I improve their position, that's why.ReplyDelete
So it's a pump-and-dump... ;)Delete
No you don't know much about trading. A pump and dump is buying early, touting it and selling it at the top. What I'm talking about is the more people that follow a system (candlesticks, MA crossovers, whatever) the more successful it will be because it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Oh and BTW the efficient market hypothesis is a bunch of crap, it's all about fear and greed.Delete
And BTW I don't recall ZH giving specific investment advice. I'm actually a marxist and I read ZH because it's well written and provides a different viewpoint from the MSM "you're to stupid to understand so just buy-and-hold" BS.Delete
So you are using performativity to somehow argue that it's oh so different to trash talk a stock that you've shorted and hope to collect on than it is to talk up a long position you hope to dump? It's not like these guys are sharing their spreadsheets- this is gossip and if they are spreading it to profit from a resultant change in price, that's pretty much the premise of pump and dump and long v. short doesn't really matter.Delete
Just like any establishment, mainstream news want the big banks to be bailed out. They want to see the Fed print more money to help the economy. They don't care to hold these bankers and politicians accountable. Zero hedge is not like that, so I like to read it. I know it is just a very small corner of the internet and it won't change the corrupt government and business one bit.ReplyDelete
What a letdown. I expected some real specifics based on the title, but the entire article seems to be more about the efficient market hypothesis than any specific reasons reading ZH "loses you money".ReplyDelete
ZH is financial and economic journalism for Heaven's sake, not a trading blog. The aggregation of content from a diverse multitude of sources has nothing to do with "trading".
This entire article is way off base and the main point being the "futility of trying to out-trade the market" would have been much better directed at the real garbage sites out there like TheStreet, Motley Fool or the sell-side opinions you find everywhere else.
It's true that those other sites you mention seem to offer a lot more "tips" on specific stocks, and other such nonsense.Delete
However, Zero Hedge certainly seems to offer a lot of "macro" type tips, like "hyperinflation is coming" or "the Euro is about to collapse", etc.
For every "hyperinflation is coming" (words that most ZH writers have always hedged in terms of "the accumulation of huge levels of excess reserves are an inflationary danger" as opposed to "HYPERINFLATION BY 2010" like Peter Schiff) there are many correct "macro tips" like (in 2009) "shadow banking is collapsing", or "there is no foreseeable route to near-term housing recovery" or (in February) "JP Morgan's CIO desk is building up a humungous position in IG9" or "Banks may be under-reporting borrowing costs" or "the ESM is horrendously under-capitalised" or (last August) "the Fed will not execute QE3, but will instead try and flatten the yield curve" or (in 2009 to the present) "retail demand for equities is severely depressed, and the market is mostly being moved by algos".Delete
If your analysis of ZH is defined around the idea of hyperinflation and Euro collapse then you haven't been reading ZH much. These ideas do get some coverage, and the obvious trade that most move toward is buying gold and silver, but this hasn't exactly been an unprofitable trade in the years ZH has existed (gold is +50% since ZH started publishing).
By all means go after money-bleeding testosterone junkies, but if your idea of a testosterone junkie is a ZH reader stacking gold eagles (as opposed to a Wall Street trader working for a TBTF bank with an implicit taxpayer guarantee — and therefore massive moral hazard) then you're missing the point.
Great response A.Delete
"If your analysis of ZH is defined around the idea of hyperinflation and Euro collapse then you haven't been reading ZH much. "
If the author HAD been reading ZH he would notice the following:
1) there is only 1 Tyler Durden, near as I can tell. All posts are credited to their authors with links provided to the original website post. Obviously the author has only skimmed the "submitted by" lines.
2) If the author has in fact seen the movie "Fight Club" he still doesn't understand what the movie is about.
3) ZH provides the best financial/economic news on the web, bar none. Including a large number of articles featuring original thinking and analysis you won't see anywhere else. Why? Because other "authors" (read: blogging trash) and journalists aren't smart enough to analyze it and/or are too scared to report it.
I think I get Fight Club.Delete
Couldn't agree more with Anonymous 10:52 PMReplyDelete
Look Noah, I'm generally on your side as regards "using ZH as a tool to invest will probably make you poorer". But you've also contorted yourself into knots by using an EMH-style rhetorical argument to make your point.
... suppose the market is not efficient.... In that case, the smart people can make money by reading Zero Hedge, interpreting it correctly, and taking money from the suckers who either didn't read Zero Hedge or who took home the wrong message...right?
I'm with you here... we're supposing the market is not efficient (which it isn't or else people like Warren Buffett wouldn't exist)..
Wrong. Because... if the writers of Zero Hedge really knew some information that could allow them to beat the market, why in God's name would they tell it to you? If they had half a brain, they'd just keep the info to themselves, trade on it, and make a profit! Maybe then, after they had made their profit, they'd release the news to the public...
But this second part of the argument goes right back to assuming efficient markets. Look Noah, ZH may be full of idiots (and I'm certain it's at least 86% full of idiots) but you can't have it both ways if you're trying to make a serious point.
Now maybe you weren't trying to make a serious point and this was a post you didn't feel was worthy of your full time and you just wanted to crap on ZH, but in that case, why is this post worth our time?
If, however, you genuinely intended this post to be a serious and valid illustration of ZH's faults then you should have done the heavy lifting and taken the time to document every categorical mistake they've made in the last few years (along the lines of the hyperinflation claims they made which you briefly glossed over) and posted that, rather than shove yourself into an EMH rhetorical fallacy that doesn't work.
This type of laziness does us no favors (and by "us" I mean those of "us" fighting for truth against this never-ending tidal wave of misdirection, falsehoods and lies). We have to be better. Meaning that every i has to be dotted and every t has to be crossed. So be better in the future okay? Cool.
Right! NS did not prove that ZH is full of idiots. So...Delete
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The author does realize the price of gold has risen for 11 consecutive years, right? You can call gold bugs a lot of things, but poorer than they were last year isn't one of them.ReplyDelete
Real trading opportunities might exist in general even in a weak-form EMH frameworks because:ReplyDelete
A. People are getting old/leaving the market/dying and selling their assets and relatedly:
B. People have liquidity constraints.
C. A whole bunch of other limited arbitrage situations that I can't recall off the top of my head
The bigger problem is that big computer systems sitting next to the exchanges are better at picking these phenomena out.
I find that it is more effective rhetorically to say: you can make big outsize profits year after year but you need big computers or a stream of inside information and it doesn't seem like you have any of those things rather than no individual can beat the market over an extended period of time. This first strategy also has the advantage of being closer to the truth.
In a lot of ways, the image you put forth of the "good" fundamental analyst that reads the runes of zero hedge better than the "bad" fundamental analysts is true, except that the "good" fundamental analyst is a big computer sitting next to the exchange at D.E. Shaw* or some other institutional fund rather than some bro just out of University trying to find a way to short US T-bills.
*Of course, given the abysmal record of ZH across most asset classes, the computer probably has assigned it an epsilon by now.
I agree, but demographics aside, I feel exactly the same way about economists.ReplyDelete
Right - in 2009 GLD was at 80 and now its at 154 - really bad move to hedge against inflation. Noah Smith needs to cheek its facts and not write meaningless screeds.ReplyDelete
LOL. Hedge for inflation? What inflation?Delete
If the Governments don't get their collective act together, you might be better off hedging for disinflation, no?
Cheer up, I knew it was only a matter of time b4 goldbugs/bubble chasers chimed in on this thread.
You forgot to sign off "End the Fed and Fiat Currency" though. That makes me sad.
Also, Ron Paul for Pres!Delete
You know what else was a great bet for a while? Housing.Delete
Reading through the comments, it seems that if the behavorial economists really want to make their mark, they need to study how the male ego drives markets and economics.ReplyDelete
Remember that psychic from the 20's who used to make stock picks till the crash? You could have made a fair amount of money selling that news. That's how I read zero hedge. It may be trash, but it's trash other people pay attention to. I cited a dramatic change in stock price coincident with a blazing bag of lies about the firm from zh posts in a paper once.ReplyDelete
I guess it's all entertainment to me, I'm indexed. Besides zh is hilarious.
Zero Hedge is a good example, but Cramer are Dennis Gartman are my favorites. Gartman in particular because traders read his newletter religiously. Whats his performance like?ReplyDelete
i don't follow Cramer any more, but it used to be that you could follow Cramer's picks after he made them (via the thestreet.com website). maybe you still can, but there was a time when you were better off shorting his long picks ("The Cramer Effect" meant everyone piled in).
At least with Zero Hedge (read their disclaimer) they clearly state they are "talking their book." How about Bill Gross....
but seriously, maybe if millions of people are simultaneously wrong, its not mass hysteria, but something to do with improperly designed incentives.
Yeah I emailed John Cochrane this post, and he basically said "Yeah, they're just talking their book." He was intrigued by the idea that pumping up the testosterone might make book-talking more effective.Delete
pumping up testosterone certainly grabs eyeballs, which is the name of the game (apathy is the enemy in the eyeballs game). making fanatically zany posts (plus a few surreptitious Goldman Sachs powerpoints) even makes other bloggers comment on how fanatically zany those posts are, which drives more people to the site. its like a plane wreck, or porn, you really can't avert your eyes or avoid commenting on it.Delete
NS: Like this post, thanksReplyDelete
As someone who did make money shorting credit during the GFC, I agree that ZH is almost always sensationalist and also often wrong. It seems you don't need an Econ Phd to determine that.
So why defend the site? The usefulness of any site is differentiated content. ZH, for instance, has produced a steady stream of analysis -- yes, analysis -- on the undercapitalization of European banks; the extreme difficulty of Periphery sovereigns to hit bail-out fiscal targets; the specific likely avenues for Greek and Spanish EZ exit; etc.
This content was not easy to find on other free sites, including that of econ bloggers. Why did ZH have access to that content? One presumes they are being fed research by Macro hedge funds "talking their book." Is this scandalous? Of course not. Its up to the reader to determine the quality of content in light of the source. The right question to ask is, "does being informed about that research improve one's ability to make investment decisions." The answer, for a broad investment theme like the EZ crisis, was a resounding, "yes".
BTW, I'll never forget Brad DeLong strenuously arguing during the GFC that the Treasury should hand it to the evil shorts by banning short selling. The natural attitude of technocrats is to abhor bets against intelligent policy makers. We see the same thing over again, especially in Europe. In fact, you could argue the European crisis has been a long series of battles by policy makers against the shorts -- battles often climaxing on a Sunday afternoon, "before the Asian markets open."ReplyDelete
If I am a policy maker, I have only to offer favored access to a business journalist in order to practically dictate a favorable story to him/her (lest you think I'm a conspiracy theorist, as a former Wall Street analyst I know all about buying access). The public gets a steady stream of this obviously biased content. At ZH they receive content biased in the other direction. Are we better off with this "balance" or without it?
IMO, the value of ZH is the information covered. Information which is not covered by the financial media. If the information is so horrible, why is it quoted regularly by market participants? Making an argument people lose money off of the information is equal to saying the sky is blue. DAH! The entire financial system is filled with erroneous ideas.ReplyDelete
Does this guy Noah Smith know what happens in the real world? His quote: in the comments section (although a casual glance tells me that most of it is probably crap). What a FOOL! Write up an article on something he knows little about.
Hey, booktard, no common sense, I don't know what a REAL JOB is because I've been in school my entire life, no real world experience, leave the doing to the doers of the world! I just love the ignorance of these but my textbook says "THIS".
Hmm i think Noah's main issue with ZH is not its role as a conduit of information but rather as a specific world view enforcing tool (ie hard money and low gov't controls etc) and this adherence to a specific dogma may undermine the value of whatever information is presented. Bloomberg provides financial news but doesnt go all Limbaugh and demonize different political opinions. Theres nothing wrong with having a bias (Noah clearly admits to his), but it may devalue any information that is passed off as purely objective.Delete
Hah. I've been in the "real world" for quite some time. Specifically, the computers/software/IT side of the real world. What I've learned about investing is that the Big Boys are concerned about speed-of-light issues separating them from the trading floor. This suggests that no matter what I do, no matter what I learn, no matter how smart I am, it will be too late. This has been true since at least the mid-90s, when time-to-deploy-new-algorithms was a key advantage of one employer's products.Delete
Here's a good example of what ZH counters. This journalist, Mark Deen, is probably sitting in a hotel lobby where EU finance ministers are scheduled to meet. He has absolutely nothing to do other than wait for one of them to call and offer a "scoop". The French Minister does so. Phew! Mark Deen has a story to file: "Progress on Euro Accord Expected!".
Wrong. Because there's another problem here. If the writers of Zero Hedge really knew some information that could allow them to beat the market, why in God's name would they tell it to you? If they had half a brain, they'd just keep the info to themselves, trade on it, and make a profit!
What a TOOL this guy NS is. If this was the case, investors would have ZERO investment research available to them from major wirehouses.
That's very interesting...you're using a media market efficiency argument to argue for exploitable inefficiencies in financial markets...Delete
...oh, and, UR MOM
Thanks again for illustrating to everyone the heights of your "Booktardidness".Delete
Good luck getting a job outside of the education field.
Who wants to bet NS lays in a "Keynesian Wetdream" everynight?Delete
I think I saw this happen once or twice in high school. No joke. The cool hip anti-establishment kids ganged up on the "nerd" who actually read and studied the topic discussed in class. I think they even used the word "Booktardidness."Delete
You've done well with this writing. But guess what... While your predictions of the audience might be right, let us not forget the fact you're studying Keynesian economics at a major US university, thus making your dismissal of Zerohedge predictable. Also, the same logic could be applied to main-stream financial news. Why read anything then? Pretty big thing not to think of right there, and you deserve the criticism I'm sure I'll enjoy reading in the comments section after I hit... Publish.ReplyDelete
Given that the dude's going to be a finance professor, and the DSGEs that so many economists think are superossum can be "classical" (prices and wages adjust completely) or "Kenyesian" (they don't) or pretty much whatever you want them to be, I'm not so sure your criticism is terribly valid.Delete
If you hadn't written this comment, I might have sock-puppeted and written it myself... ;)Delete
Go read the rest of my blog! Dissing DSGEs is pretty much the central focus...
Public trading advice is not necessarily not genuine. It could well be that a writer really believes in a stock (possibly to the point that they own it too)and just wants to share that tip too. Even if they own it, they may well actually like the stock. There have been studies about this in the past including one with the WSJ picks if I remember correctly. For those that like to write about finance or it is their job to do so, there are instances where writing about a stock helps them fulfill that desire, goal, or duty while also helping their portfolio if they own the stock too. In some cases it might be a moral hazard of sorts out of the conflict-of-interest, but that is not always the case.ReplyDelete
FFS ZH is NOT a financial adviser. Why is that so hard to understand?ReplyDelete
This is going to be kind of harsh...but your an idiot.ReplyDelete
Maybe then, after they had made their profit, they'd release the news to the public (and collect ad revenue), but by then the news would be worthless.
worthless?? um lets say they think they EUR is going to go down, they put on a short position and then release and article stating their case? You really think that information is useless? In fact it is now more valuable because they can talk their book.
oh and by the way, everyone knows the markets aren't efficient and it has even been proven scientifically.
Again, the only thing that is useless is this terrible article.
Exactly on market efficiency. Go watch Capital Account with Lauren Lyster and the interview w/ Steve Keen. http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/Delete
LOL, I must be the only person who has replied to this post who not only did not know who Zero Hedge is/was but has never ever even visited the website. I guess my feeling is such sites are only for those who are insecure in their own investment choices and don't want to take the time to go through SEC filings with a fine tooth comb to make sure the numbers add up correctly. Anything short of this is like going to a casino. I do get Bill McBride aka 'Calculated Risk' on RSS and for real humor, I read Tyler Cowan's blog. Most everyone else who blogs on economics are interesting but really don't hold any truths to be self-evident and certainly can't help one with investing decisions.ReplyDelete
BTW, Noah - finish your thesis!
You can count the trade recs given by ZH on one hand - and those have been pretty spot on. These are usually arb ideas, when two related market prices get out of wack. I don't remember them ever suggesting to trade one way or another to prepare for hyperinflation - except for gold, something even morons like me have been pushing since the low $600s.ReplyDelete
Anyone who depends on newspapers, magazines or websites for actionable news generally is an idiot - and I suspect the folks behind ZH would agree with this. Only an ivory-tower professor would even consider using a site like ZH for actionable information.
Having said that, I made several small killings a couple of years back in silver based on the seasonal manipulation tactics they revealed. It worked until it didn't, and I only did it after checking the historical data and seeing the occasional patterns for myself.
The value of ZH is the crap nobody in the MSM or the academic world ever brings up until it is farting in your face and taunting you with catapult-launched bovines. Example: the MSM didn't even know what LIBOR was until about 10 days ago. ZH has been harping on the LIBOR shitshow since forever. They bring to our attention all the economic crimes committed by bankers, politicians, lobbyists, and pretty much anybody else.
I find it highly amusing that a budding university professor - of economics, no less - assumes that any journalism or editorial content related to finance and economics that is not actionable as a trade holds no value. If we ran the world according to your profession's actionable theories, we'd all be broke. Oh, wait...
Five Stars *****!Delete
Six stars! ******Delete
I find it highly amusing that a budding university professor - of economics, no less - assumes that any journalism or editorial content related to finance and economics that is not actionable as a trade holds no value.Delete
Hey, I don't think that! I read news, after all.
This post is just directed at people who let the stuff they read on Zero Hedge guide their trading behavior...
10 points....Noah, I know you meant well, but unfortunately this guy is spot on.Delete
" I guess my feeling is such sites are only for those who are insecure in their own investment choices and don't want to take the time to go through SEC filings with a fine tooth comb to make sure the numbers add up correctly"
You're such a chump...1)ZH is mostly read by people tied to the financial industry. 2)ZH goes WAYYYYYY beyond the world of the SEC and stock market 3)Don't believe everything "certified" to the pornographers at the SEC.
Anonymous 4:40 PM writes quoting my earlier post about insecurity, "You're such a chump...1)ZH is mostly read by people tied to the financial industry. 2)ZH goes WAYYYYYY beyond the world of the SEC and stock market 3)Don't believe everything "certified" to the pornographers at the SEC."ReplyDelete
My response - You have just proved my point! Game, set and match.
No, even as poorly expressed as his post was, he kicked your ass.Delete
I'm glad someone finally said it.ReplyDelete
I started reading Zero when they were hot on the trail of High Frequency Trading. The outrage jumped off the page. I was outraged too. Then, a new president was elected and there was talk of a transaction tax to put a stop to HFT. Whoa! The outrage at Zero jumped off the page. How dare they even suggest such a thing. In my mind at that point I pictured The Fonz jumping the Shark and I started looking elsewhere for real financial news. What a joke.
Yep. They all start as contrarian rebels, don't they?Delete
I can't help but feel that you've missed the point of ZH. It's not trying to offer you trading advice (a fact that its T&C's stress)ReplyDelete
It does however point out the many logical absurdities of the market and its main players, and is therefore a source of unending entertainment when listening to the 'Masters of the Universe' making their next great proclamation.
What it points out best is that we're in a capitalist system when the 'players' are winning, but 'everybody's socialist now' when the market turns to shit.
It's the statement you make in your original article that exposes the error in your thinking:
"The site is a big fat hoax. And if you read it for anything other than amusement, you're almost certainly a big fat sucker."
In short, you are the sucker for thinking Zero Hedge offers you trading advice. It's role is similar to that of Private Eye for the British political establishment. It never claimed to have answers, but it knows what's funny...
Trash ZH to generate traffic for your own site/self-validation?ReplyDelete
Would have thought a econ PhD cannie in Ann Arbor would have been knee-deep in babes. LOL
"Cannie" = "candidate" in Australian?Delete
(Anyway, I like the image...)
No point was proven and don't think for second that you have any sort of edge by reading SEC fillings.
How about if u don't read zero hedge your a stock twitts dope! Noah got what he wanted out of this post, more people clicked it. If zero hedge is good enough for Tom Keene of Bloomberg, its good enough for me. Plus to say peep trade off of zhedge posts is lazy blogging anyway!ReplyDelete
Noah: "I just want to warn people that what ZH does may hurt their readers."ReplyDelete
Why do you care? By your own admission, you don't know why anybody with reliable inside information would publish it rather than trade on it. So why publish your article instead of keeping this "information" to yourself and profiting from taking the opposite of ZH's advice?
I think you care because you know that ZH is not read by people for investment advice. It is read by people who want --- and can handle --- the truth about our current financial and governmental oligarchy and the FIRE economy participants who will do everything in their power to maintain it. And with each new scoop, ZH proves that every other "mainstream" media outlet and blogger is, in fact, not at all independent but actually a shill for the FIRE economy's corporate and government participants.
So I'm a shill for the finance industry? Sounds like a reasonable guess, I suppose. But man, if so, I should be getting paid a lot more! ;)Delete
ZeroHedge and it's MANY contributors is not to be missed. While I continually disagree with "George Washington," for example, I read him with interest. Bruce Krasting may be one of the best financial commentators going right now (see today's post). Want to know what's up on a wide range of topics, read ZeroHedge. They are not afraid to broach any topic or take a shot with an strong informed opinion. From investing, to economics, politics and current affairs they are one of my go to sources of information.ReplyDelete
The people I follow on Twitter generally get one free bad post before I unfollow. Noah this is yours! U bash for reasons way beyond "buying on the news". U bash because ur ideas do not agree with ZH, nice try though....ReplyDelete
Surprised you pick on the site offering contrary analysis rather than the much larger msm. There is an edge that can come from contrarianism, and I, as a partner at a hedge fund, appreciates ZH for actually questioning rather than repeating the bs that policy makers and mainstream financial news puts out. For example, you never heard CNBC pundits telling the truth about the housing bubble and financial crisis, but if you read ZH, you would have had plenty of light shone to avoid or short those...ReplyDelete
Well, I do like contrarianism! But you know, I've been reading some of these sites for years, and it seems like the more popular they get, the less contrarian they get. I remember when Motley Fool actually introduced itself with a big declaration that financial news was noise, that people should buy index funds, etc. Now it's a stock tip site.Delete
And I'll be honest - I've intermittently read Zero Hedge for years, and I used to like it, especially when it was mostly about the housing bubble, the financial crisis, and problems within the finance industry. But since then it's pretty much become a goldbug/"Austrian"/"hyperinflation is coming"/"Obama sucks"/"stimulus sucks" kind of thing, and it looks to me like it's just becoming a tip site for Ron Paul types...
you are the definitive idiot. only such a moron would assert ZH advocates trading positions, or give any sort of investment advice. it is obvious you have virtually no experience reading zero hedge. you clearly have some sort of axe to grind, and from the gist of what you say, and the clear fact you are totally wrong in your assertions, i'd say you are a shill for the wall street sell side. heaven forbid there would be a site the offers insight into the rigged game of wall street. you, noah, are a dope.ReplyDelete
Haters gonna hate!Delete
Google Trends suggests that ZH readers are more than testosterone-addicted traders. Readership has been in an uptrend since its inception and many of the top cities that Google search "zerohedge" are financial and political capitals throughout the world. Therefore its highly doubtful that these people are "fat suckers". More likely they are highly educated people inside AND outside the financial industry trying to get a more complete picture of what is happening in the world of finance. http://www.google.com/trends/?q=zerohedgeReplyDelete
The NS FACT BASED Bludgeoning continues!!!!Delete
This Noah Smith guy is a complete "ASS HAT". This is his: Update: I showed this post to a few friends in the finance industry, and while all of them agreed, one came up with by far the best one-line response: "Retail investor is retail."Delete
#1. The $SPX is down over the last 12 years. How many Wall St. firms called the 07/08 crash?
#2. The problems of 07/08 centered on the entire Wall St. community with their MBA/PHD "ASS HATS" like NS betting the housing market never goes down by more than 5%!
In my 18 years in financial services, I've never seen a better site for financial information of what's really happening that the MS financial media would never cover. There have been numerous times this year when ZH has done articles on news the financial media and Wall St. have not covered until it goes up on ZH.
Is "ASS HAT" an abbreviation for something?Delete
Well done Noah. Not only did you provoke Aziz into writing a full post, but you managed to provoke a full response from Tyler Durden:ReplyDelete
"Hold on, hold on, hold on....
You mean that work which we thought was nothing short of fantastic pastiche, and which we got a hearty chuckle out of, was not a self-satirical, sarcastic grotesque?
You mean to say that a 6th year Econ Ph.D. student can come up with numerous extended paragraphs worth of "conclusions" based on a google search as the only primary source data?
You mean that instead of doing some actual due diligence like clicking on our very prominent conflicts/full disclosure policy (featured on the front page for about 3 years now), the author decided to take a stab at coming up with a (far less witty) one?
You mean that he was not writing about StockTwits, which actually pumps trading recommendations every second based on whichever way the wind blows, but was in fact writing about Zero Hedge, whose actual "recommendation" on the stock market since the summer of 2009 has been a simple one: "stay out" as anyone who has actually read it would know...
... You can not be serious man.
Oh wait... This is what the author himself says:
It really does not have to do with the specific information content of Zero Hedge (although a casual glance tells me that most of it is probably crap).
As yes: nothing like confirming all our fears about the frail state of the Keynesian dogma indoctrinated into young, impressionable minds, where one derives conclusions based on a "casual glance" about what one is actually writing about.
Carry on then (and don't forget to name drop #Zerohedge now and then: think of all the clicks to your website you are not getting)"
Let's start with the obvious. ZeroHedge.com is ranked 1,833 globally by Alexa.com (the world's foremost website statistics source). noahpinionblog.blogspot.co.uk is ranked 2,004,514. So... I'd say Tyler's website is generating some content that keeps customers coming back, a sure sign the analysis, opinion and news has significant value.ReplyDelete
And to quote HuffingtonPost recently, "Durden's work is cited everywhere from Tom Keene's radio show on Bloomberg to anarchist meetings taking place in parking garages and vacant lots across America. Whenever I meet people and tell them I'm a blogger, the very first question they ask (in whispered tones) is whether or not I know Tyler."
ZeroHedge.com is the foremost site for instant news and real analysis of the Euro Crisis.
True. Which means Zero Hedge must in turn be less reliable than Fox Business, right?Delete
"Compared with all internet users, the site's users are disproportionately Caucasian, and they are disproportionately childless men earning over $60,000 who browse from home and have postgraduate educations"ReplyDelete
"Compared with all internet users, the site's users are disproportionately Caucasian, and they are disproportionately childless men earning over $60,000 who browse from home and have postgraduate educations"ReplyDelete
Not even wrong, bonehead. What happened? Did your PhD adviser kick you in the nuts this morning?ReplyDelete
A. I like your use of "not even wrong".Delete
B. Now you see why I always wear a cup to dissertation committee meetings...
I read Zero Hedge to get the stories that the MSM does not cover. I've never traded on anything written on the site and reading it does not send me into a testosterone fueled fit. I've never seen the movie "Fight Club". Go figure. Zero Hedge provides a counterweight to the cheerleaders you will find on CNBC. It's fun to read and much more honest and varied than the crap they spoon feed you on MSM sites. Long live Zero Hedge and thank you Noah for your opinion.ReplyDelete
This wins the award for best rebuttal.Delete
Thank you Noah, assuming that you are being sincere. I hope you take your education and use it as a starting point to learn how the real world works. Time and experience will change your opinion about many things in life, including what is really important. Good luck and keep an open mind.Delete
I'm definitely being sincere. Reading Zero Hedge to round out one's worldview is fine and great (though to be honest I think it has a ton of crazy goldbuggery, anti-Fed conspiracy theories, and other such). And it's great to have people saying "CNBC sucks", for the exact same reasons I mention in this post!Delete
Here comes the predicted flood of testosterone-fueled mouth-frothing rants...ReplyDelete
Right...you got your 15min of fame. Get over it...Delete
Move over Justin Bieber...Delete
You use blogspot....'nuff said.ReplyDelete
HEY LET'S NOT GET PERSONAL NOWDelete
You're right, it was a cheapshot.Delete
Nevertheless, I think you should read their manifesto. This should bring to light any misconceptions about their mission.
There are a number of posts and contributors that are full of shit - I'll give you that. It just so happens that ZH is the best alternative to mainstream financial media. There's a reason why cnbc and bloomberg have seen a mass exodus of subscribers in recent years.
I also think you approached this from an economic theory perspective (i.e. " If the writers of Zero Hedge really knew some information that could allow them to beat the market, why in God's name would they tell it to you?")...maybe these guys believe in morality. Altruism is a virtue that is slowly dying. Interesting how economics doesn't account for these things.
That is true, maybe ZH is doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.Delete
More likely explanation: ZH started as an angry blog, an expression of frustration with the mainstream finance industry/culture the way this blog began as an expression of frustration with mainstream macroeconomics. Then it started to attract lots of goldbugs, Austrians, Fed conspiracy theorists, and other similar American wingnuts. The site owner realized he could make more money catering to that crowd, and quality went downhill. Of course, the testosterone thing was always there, which is what really attracted my attention.
your tabloid-styled headline failed to match the body of your article. You gave one instance from three years ago where ZH was incorrect, but I didnt find any specific trade recommendations in your piece. Maybe this is a two part story?ReplyDelete
Zero hedge is fantastic , I love the ZH news stories. I don't bother reading the comments there though. I don't have the time. I wont be reading you blog because you don't understand ZH is about.ReplyDelete
I like the graph from the rebuttal. Sure maybe investing in gold has been a better bet then being in the market, but it hasn't been a hedge against inflation just a hedge against a depressed and often volatile market. While the predictions may have been correct some of the analytics still seem to be incorrect and may prove disastrous in the future.ReplyDelete
The problem is that gold is not inherently money or a store of value and has the same exposure to market issues as any other good. Sure the gold market has its own characteristics, but it does not mean it is bubble proof.
I will have to disagree with Noah that Zero Hedge gives real advice on trading. ZH is more of a clearing house for unpopular economic ideas. There is not ZH index of stocks other then maybe not being in the market or just investing in gold. Sill I will agree there is a hyper-testosterone driven culture that makes the site almost unbearable and casts even useful analysis as childish just by its tone. Just look at the comments here or on zero hedge to see what I mean.
"Update 3: Some people have pointed out that in terms of offering trading tips, there are a lot worse offenders than Zero Hedge. That's certainly true - The Motley Fool and StockTwits come to mind, not to mention Jim Cramer or any show on CNBC. Compared to those sites, Zero Hedge has a lot more news and less tips. I just picked on Zero Hedge because the testosterone thing gave me a perfect opportunity to whip out Barber & Odean. And also because it's become a haven for goldbug/"Austrian"/"hyperinflation-is-coming"/"the Fed is a UN conspiracy to destroy the white race" kind of BS."Delete
Agree completely (same commenter as above).
A little late to the game here.Delete
While one can have any opinion they want about the usefulness of Zerohedge. The blogger makes the point it is not.
However, was the point of this article
A) to be constructive on financial websites which are contrarian in their opinion?
B) Do a hit job on Zerohedge because the blogger does not agree with the politics of the site?
In the comments, there are plenty of examples by the blogger of his dislike of ZH for being critical of President Obama and having a viewpoint on Gold and Inflation.
My guess would be NS is a liberal who wants to maintain the status quo delusion in order for him to not find out all the student loan debt he has will never be repaid.
I must be really dense. I have been reading ZH since 2009 and never once understood it was anything but an aggregator of financial news and social commentary that seems to dig a little deeper and broader than most financial blogs and, need I say, beats MSM to the punch (if MSM ever gets to the punch) days, weeks, even years ahead. I don't understand the connection the author of this post is making between ZH and financial investing. Sure, there are those posting and/or commenting on the site that are trading but I never understood trading to be the purpose of ZH. Does ZH have have a macro view that skews towards anarcho-capitalism, or anti-Obama, anti-Central Bank, whatever? Perhaps, but show me any financial news site out there that doesn't have a point of view. Anyway, is that this author's gripe? Besides, I would give ZH kudos for posting many articles that express different points of view. Seriously, I feel stupid because I don't get the point of this post. Must be because I am a woman.ReplyDelete
By all means, let me provide an estrogen-fueled rant you little twit.ReplyDelete
I call you that because I can just see you padding around Lorch Hall bloviating in earnest.
I was indoctrinated in the UofM economics department roughly twenty years ago, and it took a good twelve to fifteen to shed the gobbledegook I was taught that so obviously did not match what was going on in our economy. That indoctrination might be fine for getting you tenure in another institution of higher delusion, but it doesnt help those of us who actually have to APPLY economics for a living.
The insanity of 2007/2008 was a complete shock, SHOCK I say! to your cohort. I had to seek an alternate hypothesis to how the world worked in that so very crazy time. The path to awareness for me included Calculated Risk, Jim Sinclair, Michael Lewis, The Big Picture, London Banker, finem respice, Epicurian Dealmaker, oh, and Zero Hedge.
I found your juvenile little screed from John Aziz, an economic mind I greatly respect. I found him through Zero Hedge. Cant see how I would have found him otherwise. THAT, is the value I find from Zero Hedge. If you werent such a carictiture of the arrogant little econ PhD, Id suggest you read his blog. But then you might just gum up your head and never finish your dissertation.
Well, I agree with you on the substance...but since I should be polite and match the tone of your post, you happen to be an obese compulsively farting mutant baboon with half the brains God gave a banana slug...Delete
ZH people — let's be nice to Noah and keep our disagreement with his perception of us at least semi-respectful.Delete
PS Noah, trading the news (any news — whether it's what ZH has on the front page, or Bloomberg, or Reuters, or CNBC) is incredibly, inconceivably and incontrovertibly foolish. I don't think you'll find many ZH readers who disbelieve that notion.
Congrats on the viewership by slandering ZH. I'm just disappointed to see no ads on the page. You wasted the one chance you got to monetize this siteReplyDelete
ARGH! There goes my shot at riches...Delete
Nah, he's doing this out of the goodness of his heart ;)Delete
More likely explanation:
"It's the threat of not just the way of doing business, but in their minds it's threatening the game. But really what it's threatening is their livelihoods, it's threatening their jobs, it's threatening the way that they do things. And every time that happens, whether it's the government or a way of doing business or whatever it is, the people holding the reins, have their hands on the switch; They go bat shit crazy"
Stop. You're really making me want to like Zero Hedge. I am always saying stuff like this! Grr. But then I go to Zero Hedge and I see this and this and this and this!!!Delete
Good try. But as far as I remember, Zerohedge readership is mostly baby boomers.
Though you are right that their predictions have not come up correct, I don't think they care much about their predictions. That's what you've got wrong.
They care about making people NOT to invest with Wall Street and that's their profitable business model.
I personally give them credit for the Retail Investor abandoning the stock market.
The only worldwide famous financial website (not news) people NOT to invest otherwise they're screwed, is ZH.
Well, I think that in and of itself is probably a bad tip, since I think stock index funds are a good part of any retail investor's portfolio.Delete
But anyway, it seems like the alternative they've come up with is "buy gold" and "prepare for hyperinflation". That can't be good advice...
Thx for the reply.
I am an avid reader, but will never buy gold. I am quite interested in their analysis but draw my own conclusions. If you provide good analysis I can be an avid reader of your blog also.
In general, people who are looking for money making tips, will always get screwed. I've experienced that personally in the past.
However, as far as analysis, theirs is quite fantastic.
- 1)Facts are one thing
- 2)Analysis is another thing (interpretation of facts)
- 3)Conclusions are totally a different thing (different conclusions can be drawn from the same sets of facts).
I am interested in 1 and 2 and that includes your blog that I will place in favorites to see what you have to teach me.
Number 3 is my responsibility.
Most recent Anon: Agreed.Delete
Noah - you forgot to mention (or did not notice) that there are lots of anti-Semitic comments made on the Zero Hedge website.ReplyDelete
Eighty percent of the articles on Zero Hedge and 95% of the comments are garbage but you can filter pretty quickly based on writing style.
I didn't forget, I didn't know! But I'm not surprised. The goldbug/Austrian/hyperinflationista crowd is really mostly just white supremacists, from what I've seen.Delete
"...mostly just white supremacists, from what I've seen."Delete
No doubt that there is some racist comments/commentors on ZH, but that statement is just hyperbole and you know it.
I didn't say ZH itself is mostly white supremacist. But I've been having conversations with an increasing number of "Austrians", anti-Fed people, goldbugs, and Ron Paul supporters, and nearly every single time the conversation has somehow turned to how awesome the Confederate States of America was...I kid thee not.Delete
I read ZH and find your use of hyperbole misleading and inaccurate.Delete
One can also go to Yahoo and find racist comments. I do not equate Yahoo with the white supremacist movement.
Also, using a logic string to go from Austria/anti-FED/goldbug to the Confederate States of America is tortured logic.
Tiger is a five letter word.
Tigers eat meat.
Five letter words eat meat.
Oh yeah, smarty-pants? Name one five-letter word that doesn't eat meat, I dare you! ;)Delete
This may surprise you, but people of all races, opinions, political parties and so on, get out of bed, go to their job and work together.
After work, we may even go to the bar and have a couple of drinks together!
It does happen, and you know what, its kinda fun.
Don't get stuck on the left/right paradigm, its clouding your economic judgements. You can be liberal and conservative at the same time. You don't have to live in other people's boxes. In fact, the coolest people I know live in the boxes they made their for themselves.
PS Trying to build my own box. Not there yet, but I'm trying.
I agree wholeheartedly...Delete
The main message of ZH is that the western finance system is utterly corrupt and broken all the way to the core.ReplyDelete
Are you saying they are wrong Mr. Smith?
ZH also tends to be faster and report financial events with less respect to the players than the main stream media.
Are you saying that deference in reporting on the financial industry is a good thing Mr. Smith?
If I have any criticism of ZH it is that some of it's correspondents have not taken account of Krugmans dictum: "Economics is not a morality play" and hence opine about "sound money", "fiat currency" and the like.
The occasional advertisement inherent in some posts (eg: "Buy my newsletter") is simply the price one pays to read many good opinion pieces.
I also note that, unlike ZH, I can't find a single word on your website Mr. Smith, that alludes to the recently exposed corruption of LIBOR and its ground shattering implications. However since the British financial press, of which you are part, are subservient to a fault to the powers that be in Britain, this is not surprising.
To put that another way, I find your attack on ZH to be gratuitous and wrong in fact.
PS: I am a Sixty something investor trying to protect my Seven figure retirement fund with a view of having something to leave my children.
The main message of ZH is that the western finance system is utterly corrupt and broken all the way to the core.Delete
Are you saying they are wrong Mr. Smith?
To be honest? I don't know. Some is corrupt. A lot is broken.
Are you saying that deference in reporting on the financial industry is a good thing Mr. Smith?
No! And to be honest I liked Zero Hedge back when that was what I read there, before it became all goldbuggery and "Obama sucks" and "hyperinflation is coming"...
PS: I am a Sixty something investor trying to protect my Seven figure retirement fund with a view of having something to leave my children.
Well, good luck to you...I would not be taken in by the hyperinflation hysteria if I were you...
I have yet to read about a time in history when a society threw gold into the streets.Delete
One thing that Zero Hedge has been getting right is the Libor scandal. A lot of people should go to prison for that particular group of frauds.Delete
PS: I am a Sixty-ish investor trying to protect my Seven figure retirement fund with a view to being able to live comfortably in retirement.
Here's a question: If ZH is so anti-finance industry, why the heck do they keep running pieces dissing Obama, who A) enacted the most sweeping reform of the industry since the Depression, and B) is regularly castigated by establishment types for being too insulting toward the finance industry???Delete
Answer: Because, just like the Tea Party, behind ZH's anti-finance veneer is just good old right-wingery.
If that is what this post was all about, why didn't you just say so?Delete
"Perfection is attained, not when you have nothing left to add, but when you have nothing left to take away." Some French guy, I forgot who, however.
This is a not a left/right paradigm issue as you falsely postulate. That you overlook the fact that much of our current issues come, not from the under regulated FIRE industry, but from the government tinkering in markets (GSE's, The FED, the ECB, etc.). Attributing our current issues along the left-right fault line ignores the fact that both sides have contributed to the mess we find ourselves in.
As someone who has worked in the FIRE industry, all I can offer is that regulation is one of the major roadblocks in capital formation and distribution. The myriad laws of what we can and cannot do with our and our customer's capital prevent of us achieving our true potential.
I don't know you and I have never read your site until till today. But, it is glaringly obvious that what you have in education, you lack in real world experience. I know that this is tough to hear and that, in your mind, you will chalk me up as some right wing/ZH/racist/whatever, so I will offer you this analogy.
You are sex therapist that has never had sex. You can read all the books on the subject, but until you actual participate in the act, you are no expert.
The best regulation is the threat of losing your or your customers money. This has been true since the beginning of time, its true today and will be true in 10,000 years. Learn it, live it and love it!
I don't know you and I have never read your site until till today. But, it is glaringly obvious that what you have in education, you lack in real world experience.Delete
This is true. So, we'll see if I change my mind when I get some real-world experience!
Then again, a lot of people draw wrong conclusions from their real-world experiences. People attribute too much of their success to their own skill and too much of their own failure to bad luck. Also, many people's experiences are unusual, but they don't realize that fact. So sometimes it pays to step back and look at things from an academic viewpoint.
oh and also, you just revealed that you have not actually read very much of ZH. I have - actually read as much of it as I can every day - and I would dare you to prove me wrong: the ZH posted articles and comments (well, those that are serious) are, in the majority, far from supporters of the Tea Party or the right-wing. You are so wrong Mr. Smith. (In fact, I would suggest that more on ZH support OWS than the Tea Party.) And btw, not supporting Obama does not make you a right-winger and really?? financial reform, reallllly?Delete
I just realized that your post here is not to be taken seriously because you don't even know what you are talking about! What was your motive for this post anyway?
In fact, I would suggest that more on ZH support OWS than the Tea Party.Delete
Really? I'm pretty skeptical of that, given all the right-wing stuff I saw when I was researching the site before writing this post. But I'm willing to be convinced.
behind ZH's anti-finance veneer is just good old right-wingery.Delete
ZH represents a much younger and browner demographic than the Tea Party. Most of the commenters seem to be young libertarians and nihilists with lots of ESL types (inference based on language use) while the Tea Party seems to be mostly old white nihilists. :)
That is very interesting. Though another commenter mentioned that the site audience is whiter than the general populace.Delete
And all but one of the goldbuggy Mises-quoting Ron Paul wingnuts I've talked to in the past couple months have linked me to Zero Hedge articles... ;)
Though another commenter mentioned that the site audience is whiter than the general populace.Delete
Maybe I'm drawing the wrong inferences from intemperate (inference young), illiterate (inference ESL) comments. :-)
To all who read this Blog:Delete
This guy is a LIAR. If you read all the comments you will see he's a liar. 1st, NS says he did a "causual glance" at ZH. Then he says he's been "reading it since 2009". One of the later posts said "during the time he spent researching ZH."
No. I read it somewhat in 2009 and then stopped. When it came time to write this post, I hadn't read it in a while, so I went through and looked at about 100 posts (a "casual glance", given the site's large amount of traffic). I saw that it had become a lot more goldbuggy and anti-Obama than when I had read it in 2009.Delete
I'm not a liar.
This guy is a LIARDelete
Noah Smith posts under his real name and puts his credibility and a promising career on the line every time he does a blog post. I have been reading Noahpinion for about a year and it seems to me that he has a great deal intellectual integrity.
I have done pretty well following zerohedge.comReplyDelete
My average cost per ounce of gold during the time I followed zerohedge is around 950/ounce
Doing better than most funds.
Sadly the comments posted here are of better quality than the blog, wonder why. Oh right, because they are zerohedge readers. Watch your traffic go down dramatically in a couple of days.
Gold is a bubble promoted by the corrupt banks like Goldman Sachs at the behest of the Federal Reserve, which is the largest owner of gold in the world. its the last gasp of the dying financial structure so that the federal reserve can collateralize the massive derivative positions held by the rest of the world against US banks, in order to prop up and perpetuate the financial ponzi we know of as the US treasury market. Once Bernanke has manipulated the gold market to their target levels all you suckers will be the biggest bagholders in history as the Fed sells its gold reserves to pay off Chinese debtholders. How does a critic of the financial industry get so many powerpoints from the giant squid, haven't you wondered that? pretty convenient that they have you buying gold in an "etf" that you wont be able access when the ATMs shut down after the banking collapse. not even a shred of useful advice on how to plant crops, field dress an animal to eat, or advice on whether to use #1 or #2 shot against geese. when you are walking around NYC starving because your pizza place closed because they don't take gold, you'll wish you had taken some real advice to prepare for financial armageddon, like having sold all that gold and bought bottles of water, some seeds for crops, a nice plot of real estate to plant , and some weapons and ammo to defend it.Delete
This is wacky, dwb.Delete
To pay off the international holdings of treasuries (at current debt levels), the Fed would need to manipulate gold to the price of gold up to at least $8,000 (current gold prices value US gold holdings at $500 billion, so you'd need a very significant hike), though there is no real indication that this kind of thing would happen.
It is much, much easier to default on the debt gradually through inflating the currency, which will lift the price of gold gradually and allow the US to retain its gold reserves.
Of course, as holders of fiat-denominated instruments, the international bond market should understand that this is the case, and accept it.
But if your theory is true, at the very least gold will be sold at far above its current spot value. Even if your theory is wrong gold's nominal value falls in the future, holders of physical gold will still have the only liquid asset with negligible counter-party risk.
So unless you're buying at a price in excess of $8,000 an ounce, it seems highly dubious you will end up as a bagholder. Gold is not going to FOFOA levels any time soon, but it's certainly not in a bubble.
Gold maybe a bubble, but it is most certainly not being be promoted by GS and the FED.
Both entities benefit from the fungibility of a fiat currency. It is the essence of fiat money that benefits bankers the most. If bankers had to operate on a 100% reserve ratio (i.e. like how you live our lives, you can only lend your buddy the CASH in your wallet and in your bank account) they would most definitely choose gold.
An alternative to your "The FED will sell its gold to pay the Chinese" is this.
What if the Chinese will only except future US paper backed by gold?
Its an alternative thought to the current hyperinflation/deflation debate.
In 2008, the FED/US Treasury attempted to tell the Chinese that Fannie/Freddie paper was not explicitly backed by the US Treasury(Really US citizens). The Chinese called our bluff and we bailed out Fannie/Freddie bondholders (Maiden Lane 1 was 1/2 Fannie/Freddie paper.)
How owns that paper? Who is buying that paper today?
I hear the Chinese are buying US MBS and shunning US Treasuries. Why?
Because 90% of all mortgages written today are currently guaranteed by the US government. At least this paper is backed by a physical homes and thats the point. The marginal utility of a home is much harder to debase.
What do you think the fed is going to say "yes please buy gold" right on their own website or Congressional testimony? They need a believable alter ego. seriously, think about all the parallels.. blowing up a skyscraper at the end, Tyler Durden being a figment of the Narrators imagination. What better alter ego than Tyler Durden, a schizo character, to promote a schizo scheme to solve the ponzi twin deficits by a massive gold pump and dump on you the willing bagholder.Delete
the federal reserve is the largest single holder of gold in the world, and has the biggest incentive to pump up the price of gold, which ZH does a nice job of once again pumping not once but thrice in their response to Noah. why do you think the government blew up the twin towers right as gold started taking off - because the Treasury traders at Cantor Fitzgerald knew about it and were about to go public. again - the skyscraper parallel.
The target price is only $4130 because the FOMC is helping the republicans take back the white house, so those social security benefits will be reduced, and therefore those bonds in the social security trust fund need not be repaid - intergovernmental debt is irrelevant. Central banks manipulate everything, including the price of the largest asset they own. dude, wake up!
oh i forgot another parallel: Tyler Durden lives on "paper street". of course one naive interpretation is that its because Tyler Durden did not really exist (a street that only exists on paper), but the the deeper meaning of course is that the paper is fiat money and so when Tyler Durden lives on paper street hes really the Fed.Delete
Forget the ZH/Tyler Durden/ gold thread.
Of course Central Banks manipulate money, thats their job.
A better questions is, "Who benefits from this manipulation?"
As you correctly point out, SS beneficiaries will be hurt. But, this has been a known for at least 10 years, by my count.
So, again, who benefits?
when the minsky moment comes, creditors will not take dollars. the treasury will need hard assets, not debased paper. who benefits from the biggest bubble in history? the guardian and owner of most of the worlds gold: the NY Fed. Bernanke said it himself, gold is money. its wacky to think that the biggest owner of gold is not in on the biggest pump and dump of all time! ZH latest post is a cry: please dont make me do it. but the die is cast.Delete
Be the cause plastics, pesticides or an over-dominate mother or some unrealized internal sexual conflict; Mr. Noah Smith is just another example of over-estroginization occurring in our world...ReplyDelete
What's the matter with a little testosterone? The MSM sure could use a little more of it in their "news" departments...
Isn't the foundation stone of economic theory something about "scarce resources and unlimited desires"...Sounds pretty aggressive to me...Macro-economic theory starts and and ends with who is holding the biggest gun. Period. All the rest is dog-and-pony. Yes Mr. Noah Smith you have wasted your mind and talent to become a barker for a dog and pony show.
I laugh at the idea of 20 somethings getting all worked up at a ZH article...Yea I'm sure there are a few, but there are way to many personal stories concerning bad pension experiences to jive with that.
Yea lot's of garbage in comments, but like fight club the weak s**t don't last long...Some of the best thoughts I've encountered on the Interwebs I've found from there...you end up following some people in the comments section as much as you do TD...
And if you don't appreciate the brilliance which is the character of Tyler Durden - Palahniuk created one of the great post-pop-culture anti-hero's of the age - being utilized as a pseudonym, then you have no sense irony or humor...An observation confirmed in your forced, pedestrian prose. Perhaps it's your lack of testosterone, but good writing comes from the balls as much the mind.
Speaking of good writing, I would read TD (most of them anyway) just for the over-generous displays of sophisticated humor, besides what ever the content may be...
Hope this little pop-stand does well for you Mr. Noah Smith, perhaps if you can muster some original thought you may be invited to submit as a guest on Zero Hedge someday.
Hope this little pop-stand does well for you Mr. Noah Smith, perhaps if you can muster some original thought you may be invited to submit as a guest on Zero Hedge someday.Delete
Oh, a man can dream, can't he!
wow, looks like you answered your own question. http://noahpinionblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/i-found-bizarro-economics-world.htmlReplyDelete
i bet your commenters will be shocked to learn wrestling is fake too.
I appreciate your responses to my comments and I will now add you to the list people I will read.
Again, I will admit that I haven't read your prior posts, so forgive me if I ask for things that you have already posted about.
Themes I would like see discussed in the future:
GDP seems to measure quantity, not quality. Is there another measure of quality we can use?
Why do Central Banks favor a 2% inflation rate? Why 2%? Why not 1% or 3%?
How does a society solve the problem of a bubble brought on by the over-extention of debt?
In the New Deal years (I believe 1933-1935), the US economy grew at a rate of 6-8%, while the US Government ran deficits of 5%. Why then today, is the US economy is growing at 2-3% while running deficits of 10%?
Who does the shadow banking system benefit?
Does war prove that Keynes was right? (Per Krugman)
These are good questions...I'll try to take some of them on!Delete
Great post. Wish I could send it to my dad. He sends me stuff from Zero Hedge, and virtually anyone who says we're headed for hyperinflation. If you had a dickless monkey type a blog post saying there was going to hyperinflation, my dad would believe it before listening to Noah.ReplyDelete
A very long-winded way to say "if you're so smart, why ain't you rich?"ReplyDelete
Well, same question goes back to you, Noah!
> For example, here's a bunch of posts from 2009 predicting imminent
> hyperinflation. Hope you didn't make any trades based on that bit
> of wisdom!
I actually did, I bought some more physical gold (which I did for the first time in my life in 2008). And I still feel really good about owning it. The only thing I am predicting is that the chance of hyperinflation in the US is not zero anymore. But that alone is an important fact not many people get.
I don't know why zerohedge or anyone else cares what another half-baked unsophisticated armchair "economist" thinks. This Noah Smith character is unremarkable and irrelevant.ReplyDelete
Then the question is why did you post this comment at all?!?!??!?!?!Delete
Noah... pretty strong words and opinions from someone who's afraid to leave the safe, pretty green grass of academia. Like they say, those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.ReplyDelete
ZH is also useful for off-the-chart financial investigation, including different insights. Logically, they're great big "bears" (as in "put your money under the mattress") who doubt many of today's financial development: as Tyler Durden. It's character writing: as you say "your generation's Platonic ideal of pure masculinity" is also a guy that organises a nationwide fight club / revolutionary movement, on his "off", while he cultivates a double personality and produces soap by effectively recycling using a by-product of advanced medical assistance: for instance, as rubber is being used to tarmac roads, a great, expensive technology. So these are real people, so bearish and unbelievers that they might want to destroy the system - Tyler Durden. It's not to make money out of it - the few money-making bits, like 2s10s are accessible mostly to professionals.ReplyDelete
Most likely you did not understand ZH, you're just attacking to get these profound comments on it and form an opinion on other people's pocket: here you go, a good chunk. 'Cause I really haven't found another place posting shadow banking figures - that is hard-work.