The men and women (though, in truth, it’s nearly exclusively men) at Zero Hedge seem always very concerned with being right, especially if/when they perceive others as being wrong. Their output as observers of the financial scene is comparatively quite prodigious – and I know this because I monitor a fair number of econ/trading sites: Zero Hedge consistently produces far more posts-per-day than other such sites. And they can usually be counted to be among the first, if not THE first, with any new financial news. I’ve learned of many new developments on Zero Hedge’s site before other sites had them. I obviously don’t know for sure, but I’d bet the principals of ZH all have Bloomberg terminals in their offices (perhaps even in their bedrooms, for all I know, judging from the time-stamp of some of the posts they write). And they certainly don’t suffer from an overabundance of respect for the financial elites of this country – or this world. Sometimes, you can find cogent, Cassandra-like financial analysis at Zero Hedge that’s difficult if not impossible to find anywhere else. All of that can be quite worthwhile.
Unfortunately, even more frequently, what you find at Zero Hedge is a chronic – bordering on terminal – sort of wisecracking insider’s myopia. The same willingness to offend the world’s fiscal and political elites with fearless criticism begins, after a while, to more closely resemble not fearless truth-telling, but a sort of Blackboard Jungle-delinquent’s need to offend. And that’s what makes so much of Zero Hedge’s analysis suspect and tinny sounding: it’s not the reflexive Ron Paul fixation (though lord knows, there’s more than enough of that on display at ZH), it’s not the glassy-eyed goldbug zealotry (though, again, there’s plenty of that). It’s pieces like this one from today, in which the authors, in their seemingly reflexive need to be the coolest/savviest guys in the room, subtly (or, often, not-so-subtly) attempt to pretend reality is different than what it is so they can once again slam their usual suspects list of perceived bad actors on the economic stage. Continue reading