Zero Hedge is a model publisher for 21st C America. Be afraid.

Summary: Perhaps Americans cannot regain control of our nation because we’re lost amidst a wilderness of mirrors, and so unable to clearly see the world. Here’s an example of the fun house media that increasingly dominate web publishing. We choose them over less entertaining but more accurate sources. The cost of doing so is high.  {2nd of 2 posts today; I said there would be only one, but this was too easy.}

Funhouse Mirrors

The secret to success on American media is to run a fun house. Provide entertaining news that is irrelevant to our lives, and distorted to fit to our tribal truths. Few show this better than Zero Hedge (subject of several debunkings here). Investment success requires a hard and cold view of the world, uncontaminated by cant and ideology. Yet ZH provides a flow of cartoon-like stories (plus otherwise difficult to get research from the major Investment Banks and real-time news about breaking news). Its fantastic success both proves that the models of equity research and news publishing are broken (I do consulting in this field, providers refuse to see this as their business dwindles).

Let’s see some examples from ZH today, other than their gold-buggery and conspiracy-mongering.

Why Moar QE Is Inevitable (In 2 Simple Charts)

ZH has been predicting another round of quantitative easing since the Fed announced in June 2013 that they were ending QE (they ended it on 29 October 2014). They have been wrong about this since the economy has continued to grow (which they often deny, even mock).

Worse, they have argued that the economy is not growing — or about to fall into recession — for years. This ignores one of the major economic stories since the crash, the continued slow growth of the US economy. Doesn’t crash, doesn’t “take off”.

Here Is The Flashing Red Light In The Inventory-Sales Ratio

“And guess where inventrories {sic} are soaring the most…”

Zero Hedge graph of auto inventories

Typical ZH: not wrong, just misleading. ZH has been blowing their horn about rising auto inventories for many months, but the all-important inventory to sales ratio announced today for autos has risen from 1.60 in May 2014 to 1.64 in May 2015 — up only 2%. Auto sales rose +8% YoY while inventories rose 12%. The auto apocalypse has been delayed.

What’s driving the increasing total inventory/sales ratio, which has increased from 1.19 to 1.29 over the past 12 months (+8%, a large rise)? Metals, hardware, machinery, apparel, and especially petroleum (sales -33% while inventories -33%). Nothing likely to sink the economy.

Just one example of ZH conspiracy-mongering

How The SEC Engineered Every Stock Market Bubble Since 1982“. Now you know!

From yesterday: hysteria about system outages

The NYSE was down for 4 hours. Readers of ZH learned that it might be a devastating attack by our foes, if not the apocalypse: “Is This What The First World Cyber War Looks Like: Global Real Time Cyber Attack Map“. Classic ZH: clickbait title, carefully worded article (“some say”).

Since the NYSE trades only 14% of America’s daily equity volume, it was a blip. No, there was no World War Cyber. But ZH thanks you for the clicks!

The big tilt

The most serious effect of ZH on reader’s minds results from the highly filtered information flow they give: all negative, all the time.  For example, during the first quarter they updated readers frequently about falling estimates of Q1 GDP. The GDPnow model of the Atlanta Fed was a staple of bears in Q1.

For some reason readers of ZH seldom see it in Q2. Their most recent nowcast, on 7 July: looking good.

GDPnow forecast as of 7 July 2015

Update: an example of good reporting on ZH

Q1 GAAP EPS Lowest Since 2012: The S&P500 Is Now Trading Over 20x PE Using Unadjusted Earnings” — This discusses an important story, based on a Bloomberg story and Deutsche Bank research. These ZH articles are useful to read, so long as one knows that they show only the bearish side of reality.

Conclusions

ZH is an ugly version of Wal-Mart or Amazon. It would be sad but insignificant if ZH was exceptional. But ZH is a model of successful web publishing, probably taking mindshare from mainstream providers of economic and market insights. I see websites using its methods proliferating in other fields. For example, geopolitics has become dominated by sites that provide a continuous stream of threat inflation as ludicrous as the worst of ZH.

I do not understand the causes of this trend, or what need these fill for their readers. I suspect (guess) that these provide entertainment and a feeling of engagement for the America’s outer party (managers and professionals). Since they’re largely passive, their distorted view of the world has no consequences for them. It makes them easy to manipulate, and erodes our collective ability to run America.

The 1% have reasons to despise us, and believe that they can better run the nation. We have the ability to prove them wrong, but lack only the will.

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52 thoughts on “Zero Hedge is a model publisher for 21st C America. Be afraid.

  1. I hear you, but this is like 40 y/o women complaining that men prefer girls in their 20’s, people prefer entretaining lies to the cold hard truth.

    Maybe you should consider dressing the truth with a nice succulent side dish
    garnishing it, making it good bait. Just like the 40 y/o women should consider
    loosing most of the “independent” attitude and also most of the extra 20 pounds.

    The truth can be pallatable to larger audiences, just as a 40 y/o woman,
    but you have to present it in a way that makes it look attractive.

    For example,

    The conceptual purity of articles here doesnt help,
    I reckon that articles that mix and synthesize various issues intercrossing them
    would be more entertaining.

    Authors. Add more authors, of all ages,
    have authors discuss an issue amongst them with opposing views,
    see what dynamic emerges

    Interact with your audience, sometimes add your audience comments to the post.

    You are a Scout leader, when you talked to your patrol,
    did you talk to them on your level or their level?
    On their level right?

    Intergeneration friction. You have 3-4 generations reading this,
    if you talk to all you talk to none, Choose your primary target,
    else is like carpet bombing the atlantic.

    Just some thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Normandy,

      Of course it is a serious answer. Costs of solutions are usually the primary factor. Costs most typically consist of time and money.

      “Add more authors, of all ages”
      The time required to recruit authors, solicit their continuing input, and edit their content is immense.

      “Interact with your audience, sometimes add your audience comments to the post.”
      Also requires immense time. Especially since I already respond to most comments. Note that 2/3 of a post’s traffic typically comes in the first day, so adding comments to a post wouldn’t accomplish much.

      “if you talk to all you talk to none, Choose your primary target, else is like carpet bombing the atlantic”
      That’s sound marketing advice. Unfortunately, it’s over my pay grade. I’ve not a clue how to do it. More broadly, much marketing advice is like that (and I do marketing consulting) — easy to describe, difficult to do.

      Like

  2. Fabius Maximus,

    I associate these sorts of sites and the furious sort of fear that are exhibited with the panic of a child at the dark after he hears a twig snap. All nerves are awake, hair is on edge, muscles are tense and danger warnings are flashing all over the body. This abates, normally, through exhaustion, turning on the lights, calling out for help, striking out at the perceived danger, or with the rising of the sun.

    We are somehow tensed up in the dark permanently.

    PF Khans

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PFK,

      We can only guess at the operations of our own society, and never more than when speculating about motives. Mines is slightly similar to yours in that the motive of inner party members (the better educated large class of Americans) is fear — but it is the fear we experience when seeing horror flicks. It’s the voluntary fear of entertainment, not the real fear from surprise. After all, one does not turn to ZH (or a geopol website) and get surprised by seeing scary news there.

      “We are somehow tensed up in the dark permanently.”

      Excactly. Because we have chosen to live in Plato’s cave. No chains hold us to our seats.

      Like

  3. “Of course it is a serious answer. Costs of solutions are usually the primary factor. Costs most typically consist of time and money.”

    You only have the costs in sight, what about the rewards engaging in those costs might entail?

    If you want to maximize the potential for this site to influence change, your choice is simple, Talk to the younger generations, only we can exact change

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Normandy,

      I talk to my children about this (21 and 26). Like most their age, they’re politically aware but uninvolved. Mobilizing youth is the gold goal of activists, but it’s immensely difficult. It is usually, imo, a second or third stage goal. The Right has done a remarkably fine job, building campus organizations that serve as outreach and recruiting people. Many conservative stars were spotted by their scouts in college, and their careers managed from the start.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. When somebody fucks around with data like ZH, the audience has to be wide alert just to differenciate the joke from the serious, that serves a double purpose.

    Loosen up a little bit, fuck with your audience a little bit sometimes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Normandy,

      I should have said this before (I’m in an bad mood today). Thank you for your advice. I’m sure it was well-meant. But the content here is pretty much as good as I can make it given the available resources. I’ve worked to get additional authors, respond to comments, and so forth to the best of my ability.

      “F**k with your audience”

      In Feb 2006 I wrote an article about the Iraq War, published at Defense and the National Interest (predecessor to this website). Both funny and insightful. it was something Will Rogers or Mark Twain would envy. Oddly, few people got the joke. We got floods of emails by outraged readers who took it seriously. My Editor forbid additional humorous articles, promising dire penalties. Thus ended my career with humor, stuck as a straight man.

      Like

  5. “I’ve worked to get additional authors, respond to comments, and so forth to the best of my ability.”

    Try this, get a 23-28 female Author to contribute, writing about anything, thats the lowest cost highest reward shot you havent pulled. Try it it works wonders

    Like

  6. “In Feb 2006 I wrote an article about the Iraq War, published at Defense and the National Interest (predecessor to this website). ”

    Now, thats some heavily funny shit, genius and perspective, you need to go back to that for the vitality boost, just kill your editor and lets go.

    Like

  7. Zero Hedge seems one-sided if you don’t watch CNBC — or listen to it, really I never watch, to be honest. CNBC is constantly rah, rah on equities, growth, good news. But, sometimes a good dose of negativity can help squelch the impulse to do anything risky/stupid. Really if you’re any kind of investment geek at all, you get plenty of ‘good news’ from mainstream investment news sites.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cathryn,

      I understand your point. However, I seriously doubt that a non-professional can build an accurate picture by seeing two grossly slanted sources. Doing so requires a moderately deep background in theory and history.

      More so, I doubt few people would try that approach. Why not just stick with reliable mainstream sources, like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times?

      Like

    2. Well, for one, NY Times and WSJ cost money, and personally, I just can’t make myself pay for them, not so much because of financial coverage because they just come off, err, too Islamophobic, and pro-war to me. Not all the time, but when the build up to wars get going, well, I’m not paying money for this, not voluntarily, at least.

      Like

    3. Cathryn,

      (1) You can get perfectly good economic coverage from the NYT and other sources w/o subscribing. It’s weird, but that’s the web today.

      (2) IMO it’s a horrible mistake to limit yourself to news sources that match your ideology. That way lies confirmation bias, and your view of reality diverging from the actual. I suggest you’d be better off reading just mainstream sources that differ from yours.

      We gain little from new information and insights that agree with what we already have. Those that challenge our views are the true gold because it’s our false views are the ones that get us in trouble.

      Like

    4. If a paper, say, printed lies to support a war that killed a 500,000/1 million people, this is not a small thing. Maybe others can forgive, but for me, this goes on your permanent record, and there is no recovering. Reliable? Whatever. Mainstream sites all seem to report about the same thing anyway, and I pick up most some way or another. If you want diversity, go to other languages, the English speaking world is really its own bubble. I do read Japanese news, and also I’m working on geting up to speed on Finnish language news too (though I still can’t really pick up subtext from Finnish).

      Like

  8. Fascinating to me.
    The content here is simply amazing in its depth and breadth. How one man can assemble it, digest it sort it and still have a life (Daily!!) with Two Posts a day? Come on.
    What is missing is the “Audience”.
    And that is the really bad news.

    Fucking with the audience?
    Please. The comprehension level is so low now in America as it is, that would require again, an Audience…which is already MIA.

    Sadly or rather factually, this is a very adolescent culture at work and at play that we live in. Add deep passivity, mix in the emergence of the Women as sign bearers and what you see is exactly what one would expect in such a mixture.

    Please don’t “stop” FM. Take a well deserved holiday, perhaps. Fewer Posts? Adjusted expectations for today’s world?

    Breton

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Scaremongering/doomer sites provide not only the drama many people need daily but also console the inner narrative of worry that they have as the world gets more complex. A burden shared is a burden halved. Too bad it also misinforms people.

    enenews.com is another example. Every week comes a fallacious, wolf-crying article about radiation catastrophe from Japan only to be replaced by another and another, ad nauseum. This seriously undermines the web as a news source. Effectively these sites accrue rewards at the expense of wider credibility.

    Like

    1. idflect,

      I agree on all points. But we tend avoid misinformation on matters of personal significance to us. But we indulge in fantasies about heaven and hell in matters of no personal concern. I believe that as we evolve some citizens into subjects matters of public policy become realms of fantasy — as we accept rule by others, so that public policy becomes entertainment. We cheer and boo as spectators from the bleachers.

      Like

  10. Great article demonstrating the need to balance everything read or seen today.

    Not mentioned is there is a large body of material with many citable examples on the internet, as FM had for ZH, clearly and strongly suggesting the MSM is a source anything but credible. In this context, suggesting pursuit of more MSM as the solution is highly questionable. Critically evaluating and comparing sites’ material as a research effort is. No one site has THE answer, just as this article has made the case ZH doesn’t. There is no ‘go-to’ source. To expect that is naive. They are all pieces of the puzzle.

    The larger question needing to be answered is how and why are there SO many resources expended on virtually any issue these days – pro and con? If the intent isn’t to increase polarization, the outcome certainly is the same.

    Like

    1. Hank,

      I disagree. Yes, no source is perfect. But sweeping everything in the same pile is a mistake. Magnitudes matter, and sources have widely varying accuracy. Fringe sources like ZH are difficult for non-professionals to use (lacking the ability to sort the wheat from the chaff).

      Yes, the mainstream media has biases. It is not Heaven’s News. But it the place to start, a baseline for gathering information. From that one can use other sources to see what they don’t show, or show with severe slants.

      In the tens of thousands of comments here I have seen countless examples of people saying the mainstream media are useless, then displaying delusional visions of reality.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Interesting. Allow me to take the opportunity to respond consistent with many of those found in your later responses to other reader comments.

      No where did I ever say anything about ‘sweeping everything in the same pile’. What was suggested however, is to believe nothing in any media form and do one’s own research and simply exercise critical thinking in observing the world around oneself. Again, that would include ZH and I would like to emphasize I am not championing this particular source. The record is clear too many times to count that the last source to put any credence into is the MSM, being more blatant in sheer deception than the more subtle mis/disinformation sites abounding in the various media. It is more than a matter of ‘bias’….or not being ‘Heaven’s News’. If only it were so simplistic. Framing it as such suggests there is some redeemable quality and a hall pass due of some sort, when none has been earned. That is just simply a fact no amount of debate can counter. There are too many other alternative sources to begin an inquiry without falling into any potential MSM information spin trap. Operation Mockingbird in support is also a fact https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird and there is no reason to believe, nor real evidence, it was ever discontinued. If anything, I would make the argument the strong record of MSM inaccuracy suggests de facto evidence the program continues, plausibly under another name, and is in a ramped up mode. I could anticipate this impression to be likely dismissed on the basis of your Episemic closure (sic) comment elsewhere on this site’s comments.

      I think without knowing it you are coming very close to stepping across a line of suggesting, not saying, ‘non-professionals’ don’t have somehow the intellectual reach to discriminate ‘sources like ZH’. In truth, again – you are not saying it per se – but that would suggest MSM is, however, a place to start for the less intelligent? If so, I would make the case none of this is rocket science that the average reader couldn’t work through, given the resources of will, time, and a little discipline in comparing content from a number of sources. Nothing very different, really, than what I remember having to do since 5th grade. Later in HS and certainly college, the effort became ‘compare and contrast’ when writing papers on an assigned subject or responding to essay exam questions.

      I would also like to challenge your last paragraph. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t agree with what I’m about to say, but my belief is it too is representative of simply because someone says something doesn’t make it an actual fact of life. It’s an opinion carefully couched in such a manner suggesting it as fact. At least that is how I interpreted it and again solely belief system-based. Language use in all its subtle forms does matter. But, I think you probably know that and don’t wish to risk offending your intelligence.

      Finally, reframing the response to the MSM issue away from what I noted to be the more important question still deserves being addressed. We could continue ad nauseum on the MSM point-counterpoint dance, as I note occurred in other issue threads on this site, but honestly is of no interest at this juncture being really only a secondary one undeserving of any further discourse.

      What say you?

      Respectfully,
      Hank

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Hank,

      “I think without knowing it you are coming very close to stepping across a line of suggesting, not saying, ‘non-professionals’ don’t have somehow the intellectual reach to discriminate ‘sources like ZH’.”

      I am aware of it, and that is in fact what I said. It’s a commonplace on the internet, also seen in discussions by laypeople about climate science and vaccines and a thousand other technical subjects. Like most statements about groups, it’s a generalization — does not apply to everyone, but to most.

      Also, in this context “professionals” has to be interpreted broadly. Many fields have a professional involvement in broad areas such as finance and climate. Many amateurs have developed expertise in climate science and finance — devoting the necessary hours– while many remain stone ignorant as when they started. These things are complex.

      Still, as a generalization it remains accurate by my experience.

      Like

    4. I’m always surprised when I see a response in the blogosphere within minutes of posting on any site and find myself having to wonder. Even at typical speed reading pace, it’s doubtful a lengthy response having even longer linked content could be read, processed, and responded to appropriately. In this case, response time is consistent with the times noted for many of the other comments in the thread and reminiscent of manning a 24/7 military LP/OP. Who does or can do that? In today’s busy world of just simply surviving, the options for this effort are either one has a large enough support manning pool or this is all one needs to tend to in life. Both could suggest potential implications open to reader interpretation.

      You bring up fair enough points regarding professionals, if perhaps unnecessarily pedantic and obvious. I could make the argument that it’s nothing new, but the environment we all have to live in. However, the basic effort involved in soldiering through an issue is, once again, not rocket science, and just as apparent, doesn’t require ‘professional’ input. Only a thinking and engaged brain is required – perhaps as far back as 5th grade skill capacity as previously alluded to. At the risk of appearing petty, careful review shows no mention actually being made of non-professionals not having the brain RAM intellectual chops – if I may ad lib – to discriminate sources like ZH. Contextually, its suggestion was pretty apparent, nonetheless, but isn’t in need of being juxtaposedly confused. What did occur was reframing away from the issue central to all this I closed with in my original response that wasn’t rhetorical. We are all being asked – manipulated, I would go so far to say vis-a-vis skillful language use – to take up polarized sides to further an unnecessary and faux fight. On anything. Everything. Why? I would suggest that is imminently far more important a question than all this bantering about on essentially nonsensical issues and something I have yet to see discussed in open forums like this. Something from this site https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/history-american-democracy-and-the-ap-test-controversy/ speaks to this, if a bit obliquely:

      ‘The historian Daniel T. Rodgers argues we live in a querulous “age of fracture,” in which all narratives are contested, in which the various disciplines no longer take a broad view of the human condition, rarely speak to one another, and have abandoned the search for common ground in favor of focusing on the concerns and perspectives of ever more minute subdisciplines, ever smaller groups, ever more finely tuned and exclusive categories of experience. This is not just a feature of academic life, but seems to be an emerging feature of American life more broadly. The broad and embracing commonalities of old are no more, undermined and fragmented into a thousand subcultural pieces’.

      As they say in America, jus’ sayin’.

      Like

    5. Hank,

      “However, the basic effort involved in soldiering through an issue is, once again, not rocket science, and just as apparent, doesn’t require ‘professional’ input.”

      I disagree. Many technical fields are like rocket science — however simple they appear to laypeople. They require learning a large amount of basic information, a barrier to all but the most interested laypeople.

      We see this in the comments here, very often. People who have read widely in economics – but remain ignorant of the basics of its history and theory — talking confidently, usually denouncing economists. A few hours with an Econ 101 textbook or even Wikipedia would teach them much, but it seldom happens.

      Like

    6. 4 mins response time this go around. Impressive!
      You’re absolutely right.

      But, we’re talking past each other. I think that’s what I was saying. ‘A thinking and engaged brain’ does exactly what you describe and is very doable, depending on topic. Not engaging the effort is a separate issue. “Can’t fix stupid, but can fix ignorance” if that person is so willing to move through the subject matter and acquire the information to effectively speak to it. Doesn’t sound like you had much success with those only gleaning a superficial grasp of core content.

      But, I wouldn’t base the validity of your whole argument on a separate premise, nor use a narrowly extracted example as economics. That would be illogical. Additionally, there’s a reason why the subject is referred to as ‘theory’. Not even many of the leading economists can agree, based on their interpretation of theory. Most recently, that was evident with the Noble prize holder, Paul Krugman’s opposing view on Greece and austerity, vs. all the august others’ in the EU. Within the Troika, the third stool leg, the IMF, didn’t agree with the other 2 on how Greece was being managed with respect to the central economic issue of austerity. Thus, I wouldn’t cite economics as a very credible example, but do get your point, broadly. Another not worth us going point, counterpoint over. It does, however, also reflect the earlier point still awaiting discussion regarding ongoing polarization and fracturing.

      Like

  11. FM Editor:

    I read ZH several times a day to get access to its contrarian viewpoint on what is going on in the world of finance and beyond so I don’t agree that what the site presents is:

    “irrelevant to our lives”

    It’s analysis on Greece Puerto Rico and China just to mention some recent top concerns were excellent since they provided a point of view not found in the mainstream corporate controlled media.

    I didn’t understand the following comment you made – could you clarify? It seems to be critical of ZH but also complimentary:

    “Yet ZH provides a flow of cartoon-like stories (plus otherwise difficult to get research from the major Investment Banks and real-time news about breaking news).”

    To continue, you say:

    “ZH has been predicting another round of quantitative easing since the Fed announced in June 2013 that they were ending QE (they ended it on 29 October 2014). They have been wrong about this since the economy has continued to grow (which they often deny, even mock).”

    Did ZH say QE4 would start up right after QE3 ended? Don’t judge them as wrong just yet. It is not outside the realm of possibility that the Fed will be unable to raise interest rates given current economic conditions and will have to begin QE4 to bail out the markets later in the year. We will see.

    You criticize ZH about the NYSE:

    “The NYSE was down for 4 hours. Readers of ZH learned that it might be a devastating attack by our foes, if not the apocalypse. Since the NYSE trades only 14% of America’s daily equity volume, it was a blip.”

    You are cherry picking your articles from ZH. Read this one:

    “This Is The Way The NYSE Comes Back Online, Not With A Bang But A Whimper”

    ZH says exactly what you said and they even have a chart showing how unimportant the NYSE is.

    Let me finish by addressing your comment below:

    “I do not understand the causes of this trend, or what need these fill for their readers. ”

    I will tell you. I like the contrarian viewpoint and get to read about stuff the mainstream corporate media doesn’t talk about.

    By the way that’s also the reason why I read your website.

    Like

    1. Greg,

      I am not sure how that qualifies as a rebuttal. Your misrepresent their commentary about the NYSE outage (which they implied was probably a terrorist attack and described in extreme fashion) and Greece (about which they’ve predicted imminent doom since perhaps 2011).

      Calling nonsense “contrarian” is imo a wonderful example of why Americans have become so disconnected from reality. The accusation of “cherry picking” is inane. How many examples must I give before you are happy?

      “Did ZH say QE4 would start up right after QE3 ended?”

      No. But then I never said that they did. ZH began predictied another round of QE would start soon since June 2013. That’s 25 months ago, 4 Friedman units — and the question in reality is when the Fed will do the opposite (tightening by raising rates). So when would you suggest we declare that prediction false?

      Like

    2. There’s nothing worse than an erratically firing gun. ZH is right and wrong with just enough alternating frequency to be completely bewildering.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. FM Editor:

    Point #1- Actually I think that you have at least partially misrepresented the ZH commentary about the NYSE outage.

    You said:

    “The NYSE was down for 4 hours. Readers of ZH learned that it might be a devastating attack by our foes, if not the apocalypse. Since the NYSE trades only 14% of America’s daily equity volume, it was a blip.”

    I indicated that you cherry picked the ZH articles which talked about how bad this NYSE shutdown was. You are correct that they did over stress the situation.

    BUT you ignored the ZH article entitled:

    “This Is The Way The NYSE Comes Back Online, Not With A Bang But A Whimper”

    This ZH article actually AGREES with your point regarding how unimportant NYSE volume is.

    Please Go to ZH and read it.

    Point #2 – If you are going to be intellectually honest you have to acknowledge that ZH does provide a certain degree of legitimate insight into the workings if the market. Please tell me you are exaggerating when you imply (see comment below) that everything on ZH is nonsense:

    “Calling nonsense “contrarian” is imo a wonderful example of why Americans have become so disconnected from reality.”

    Point#3 – As for QE4 you say:

    “ZH began predictied {sic} another round of QE would start soon since June 2013. ”

    Did ZH really predict QE4 would begin 16 months before QE3 actually ended in the 4th quarter of 2014? This doesn’t make sense. Maybe ZH predicted that QE3 wouldn’t work and that QE4 would have to be implemented at some point.

    So it is still an open point.

    You may feel that the economy is doing fine and that the Fed will raise rates before the end of 2015.

    Other equally intelligent traders/investors may think that the Fed cannot raise rates and in fact will soon have to implement QE4 to save the economy and the markets.

    So trade/invest accordingly.

    Like

    1. Greg,

      My last comment on this, because I think its nuts. I showed that a large fraction of one day’s stories were nonsense. I didn’t say everything was, but explicitly stated that the risk for non-professionals was that they couldn’t sort “wheat from chaff”.

      Your comment about the ZH comments on the NYSE outage are quite wrong. They published a flood of nonsense, then backtracked when proven wrong. This is the standard MO, much as with their frequent announcements of a US naval force about to attack Iran and that the US economic stats are incorrect — the passage of time proves them wrong, and their either backtrack or hope their gullible readers forget. This is not as nuts as their frequent forecasts that the US dollar is on the edge of collapse, or their report of non-seasonal adjusted numbers as horrific (when they’re just season movements).

      ‘Other equally intelligent traders/investors may think that the Fed cannot raise rates and in fact will soon have to implement QE4 to save the economy and the markets.”

      I don’t know of anyone I consider competent who believes that. There is zero evidence that the economy is so weak that the Fed “will soon have to implement QE4”. Note that only the 2007 crash needed QE; so you’re saying that we’ll have another such large event soon. This is the kind of nonsense that people come to believe who read ZH. It’s not worth discussing, just pity for folks who believe this stuff.

      But that’s America. Reading for entertainment, not information — and no longer able to tell the difference. I’ve had endless discussions like this, for example with believers of Debkafile and Oil Drum. It’s like talking with the girls at airports who used to hand out flowers and solicit for cults.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hidflect

    Your comment implies that people are reading ZH for trading or maybe market timing advice.

    If that is what readers are doing then they are the idiots not ZH.

    It is like any other financial site. You take it for what it is worth. There are any different opinions represented there usually from a contrarian perspective. Some are good others not.

    Read a lot (including FM) and make up your own mind.

    To say explicitly (as the FM editor does in his last response to my post) that ZH is complete “nonsense” is absurd.

    Like

    1. I started reading ZH almost from its inception. It was just one guy fired from Goldman Sachs IIRC. Back then the articles were good, solid exposés and dark hints at things unknown. Slowly the guy ran out material. People only know so much and once told, it’s yesterdays news.

      But along the way he struck a chord with his Private Eye style leering into the world of finance and attracted a lot of Gold Bugs, Rand Paul acolytes and others. So he went with it. Good for him. He turned it into a meme. People who comment on ZH are merely trying to reinforce opinions they already have. No one (?) is swayed by ZH and runs out to short bonds on the basis of that site. It’s fluff. Sometimes amusing, always a distraction.

      Like

    2. hidflect,

      I agree that people go there to re-enforce beliefs already held. But such cycles are powerful influences on people. The ability of the internet to build such communities might be one of its greatest influences on our society — certainly more so than its ability to provide information (I see no signs we’re becoming better informed).

      Gold bugs, conspiracy nuts (“climate change is a hoax”), doomsters (too many to count), bulimics, people with body integrity identify disorder (“Please amputate this leg: it’s not mine“) — everybody can find a community of people to re-enforce their beliefs.

      Episemic closure has become a belief. Spreading it — as ZH and a thousand other webistes do — has become good business. The comment section here provides ample evidence of the problem: of the 39 thousand comments since opening in 2007, a large fraction are from people quite deluded about some aspect of reality — and immune to any fact or logic.

      Like

  14. FM Editor:

    OK I agree that we aren’t getting anywhere. I will make my last comment and move on also.

    You think zero hedge is nonsense and I think it has some legitimate information.

    You think the market isn’t going to crash anytime soon and I think there’s a possibility.

    You think that the dollar will be the reserve currency for the next however long period of time and I am not so sure.

    You think the economy is strong but when I look around I don’t see it.

    A lot of the developments that zero hedge discusses will play out over long periods of time – not months but years.

    If readers think they are around the corner they will be certainly disappointed.

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    1. Greg,

      Your comments suggest why you love ZH: massive reading FAILure. Your statements are all wrong, every one. Delusionally so. Sad, really. Also, you clearly have not read much here — since your statements contradict long-term themes expressed in dozens of posts.

      “You think zero hedge is nonsense and I think it has some legitimate information.”
      As I said AND repeated to you, I said it has some legitimate info — but laypeople have little ability to sort the wheat from the chaff.

      “You think the market isn’t going to crash anytime soon and I think there’s a possibility.”
      I said nothing remotely like that, and have written posts about its increasing over-valuation. On the other hand, readers of ZH have been told it’s overvalued since 2009, during one of the great bull markets of history.

      “You think that the dollar will be the reserve currency for the next however long period of time and I am not so sure.”
      Again I said nothing remotely like that. In other posts I have discussed our mad love for a strong currency, and how the dollar is the reserve currency because nobody else wants it.

      “You think the economy is strong but when I look around I don’t see it.”
      Again, I said nothing remotely like that. I have written since 2011 that we’re locked into slow growth, which continues to this day. Some sectors are growing stronger, some weaker.

      “A lot of the developments that zero hedge discusses will play out over long periods of time – not months but years.”
      Ask yourself: since ZH is wrong so often for so long, what would shake your faith in them?

      Like

    2. Hidflect,

      Think of this as having the same conversation for the thousandth time. Americans have developed a preference for tribal beliefs over facts.

      So long as that remains so, I believe political reform remains impossible in America. Not only will the 1% rule, they will believe themselves best fit to rule. Perhaps they are correct.

      Like

    3. Ha! Yes. You touched near on my keyword. Tribalism. I see it as the root of evils such as corruption, racism, nepotism, nationalism, etc. Then I discovered Transcendentalism (needs a better name..) which explained my feelings very well and I promptly converted.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcendentalism
      (snip) Among the transcendentalists’ core beliefs was the inherent goodness of both people and nature. They believe that society and its institutions—particularly organized religion and political parties—ultimately corrupt the purity of the individual. They have faith that people are at their best when truly “self-reliant” and independent. It is only from such real individuals that true community could be formed.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Agree on all points but one. “Why now.” It’s nothing new in human nature at all. It’s the technology that’s changed.

    Internet makes mass info from masses available. So to be a quality presentation among that, is hard.

    Eventually this all will be recognized and process developed so that quality thinking is once again available to the masses …. without it being self-feeding into the low level thinking on each particular topic. Eventually someone will notice that those that don’t wallow in the muck, do well for themselves in life. And it will become admirable again.

    ZH is a slander magz. A lot of investors avoid ZH and it’s a laughing stock. So their model is as successful as slander magazines, which were successfull and who’s style did filter into regular media when they started up.

    It’s nothing new though.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. An interesting site which sleuths the current news of the day is called The Last Refuge. Don’t let the site name put you off. The moderator of the site referees a very active comments community which drills down deep into the story to uncover facts, coincidences ignored by the MSM, and even deceptions perpetrated by and against the media.

    The best example of this was the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson MO. This site did a far superior job of piecing together the facts faster than the MSM which perpetrated a false “hands up don’t shoot” storyline for several months.

    P.S. Yes I’m a long time ZH reader but fully aware (I hope) of their bias. I believe it started as a small group of Russian guys from New York. The comment about ZH as a counterbalance to CNBC was spot on. Their favorite target is Steve Liesman (or Lies-man as they spell it). Their are interesting nuggets among the dross such as an exception to the money laundering laws which applies to realtors…apparently true.

    Like

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