Outing Zero Hedge

By Aug 21, 2009, 2:44 PM Author's Blog  

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am not a fan of the blog Zero Hedge. In my opinion it tends to sensationalize based on meager and sometimes flat out wrong data. In short, I find it adds little to reasoned discourse about events and issues.

Given its penchant for being over-the-top and the anonymity of its author it was probably inevitable that someone would start poking around to see who was behind the blog. So, it’s not a surprise to see this in the New York Post:

A 30-year-old New Yorker who was barred from the securities industry last year may be behind an increasingly popular financial blog known as Zerohedge.com, which is catching flack for its obsession with anonymity.

Daniel Ivandjiiski, whose most recently listed address is on the Upper East Side, was barred last September by the financial industry’s self regulatory authority, FINRA, for insider trading.

Ivandjiiski is also suspected of being one of the founders of controversial financial blog Zerohedge.com, sources tell The Post.

Ivandjiiski didn’t return requests for comment, but he recently told industry publication Hedge Fund Alert that while he writes for Zerohedge, he’s not a founder.

“He denied that he was a founder. He said he was just a contributor,” Hedge Fund Alert Managing Editor Howard Kapiloff told The Post.

Ivandjiiski told Kapiloff that he’s one of several writers who contributes to the site under the pseudonym “Tyler Durden,” the charismatic, psychopathic alter-ego of the main character in the book and movie “Fight Club.”

The fact that the blog is not authored by a given person took me somewhat by surprise, but I suppose that in the larger scheme of things that doesn’t make any difference. Somehow, though the entire picture strikes me for whatever reason as a bit seedy.

Joe Weisenthal at Clusterstock thinks it’s not a big deal:

In the end, it doesn’t matter much. Neither Ivandjiiski nor anyone else who writes for the site is doing anything wrong, and the site is popular because the content is solid. If anything, the controversy adds to the aura of mystery surrounding it, a big part of its appeal.

While Felix Salmon at Reuters has a somewhat different take:

Does it matter that Ivandjiiski was barred from the securities industry for insider trading? In most cases, no, but in some cases, yes.

In any case, it’s now time that “Tyler Durden” disaggregate himself, so that it’s more transparent which blog entries were written by the same person. I used to pay more attention to Zero Hedge than I do now, because I found a few posts which I considered to be so wild that I felt I could no longer trust much of what I read there. If it were clearer which “Tyler Durden” wrote those particular posts, I’d pay much more attention to the other “Tyler Durden” posts. And that’s good for everyone.

I think that Salmon is more on point here than Joe. I recognize the need for some bloggers to use pseudonyms to protect their day jobs but I’ve never been a big fan of that approach. As Salmon points out, it’s not unimportant for a reader to know who is writing the posts even if they don’t know his or her real name.

As for the issue of a questionable background, well, yeah it is important. When you’re inclined to hurl as many self-righteous stones as Zero Hedge, you should at least tell the world you’re doing so from a glass house.

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7 Comments

  1. John Ryskamp says:

    I hate to tell you, but Tim Geithner also contributes to Zero Hedge under the Tyler name. So forget about it. Too many heavies contribute to ZH under that name to “out” the whole crew.

  2. Angel Face says:

    His name is Robert Paulson.

  3. David Weatherall says:

    The whole situation would be a lot more interesting if mr zero hedge had actually made some money insider trading. He was caught making a few thousand dollars. so he’s just a punk kid that had a lack of judgement and now can’t be the big swinging dick trader he always wanted to be.

  4. aenar says:

    Sounds llike you guys are sucking lemons. I have never heard of this mediocre site until ZERO mentioned it. Go back to obscurity

  5. jeff montanye says:

    good to know the feds caught one of the tyler durdens for insider trading to the tune of a few thousand dollars. wouldn’t want them to waste their time running down the insider trading by goldman sachs that reached epic, cosmic (words fail) proportions via their staff at their annex, the u.s. treasury department, since the summer of 2007. of course billions of their ill-gotten gains are not really even insider trading. they are straight-up looting in relatively plain sight

  6. Tyler Durden says:

    Hearsay, BS & innuendo. Keep stirring the pot … maybe you can make a career out of it … and in the end NO ONE will remember your name … unlike the mysterious but provocative Tyler Durden(s) at ZeroHedge.

  7. Jake Tyler says:

    Zero Hedge rules Bitchez!
    I hear Tyler runs a Fight Club in the day and does superhero work at night.
    How about focusing on message … not the messenger … if you(s) can.

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