My ZeroHedge Education

Posted On: Saturday - June 11th 2022 10:27AM MST
In Topics: 
  Internets  Websites  Global Financial Stupidity  Preppers and Prepping  Economics

And I didn't even have to take out any loans* to get it. Tyler Durden would not have approved!

BTW, as much as I read the site and saw the Tyler Durden(s) logo, the movie still sucks! (even the 2nd time around0.

Seeing as it's the first, and 1 of only 4 websites feature on the Peak Stupidity blogroll, you'd think we'd reference the website ZeroHedge more. The reader can go to our review to learn more, but he must keep in mind that it was written ~ 6 years back. At that point, I already mentioned some reasons I've been mostly done with the site, or more like, I don't keep up enough to tout it. I will point out a few things that are in the review too, and then do some reminiscing about my decade-ago education on finance from that one formerly-great** website.

Zerohedge was purely a financial advice, financial criticism, and Global Financial Stupidity (per our topic key parlance) website 10 years ago. I could see it morphing into a site discussing all kinds of American and world politics a few years later. Some of that anti-all-things-American was bothering me after a while. There are many people who will never learn that the American Feral Government Beast != Americans, just as in 1985, the USSR != the Russians. (Oh, you don't speak C, you say? Fine, for you REAL language speakers that'd be AMBEAST .NE. MURICANS .AND. USSR .NE. RUSSKIES. FORTRAN .ROCKS. Just keep them down to 8 CHRACTRS, PUHLEEZE!)

Then, the format got sucky too. I know, it's laziness. I have not updated browsers to avoid the crazy-assed pop-up, earthquake/Mexican Jumping Bean nature of the site, that I hated to even link to for fear of crashing your browser. That's also due to my not needing any more sites to suck up my internet time-wasting. It's more than enough already. But, now I'll go back to 2010, when ZeroHedge was the place for me, web surfing was the life for me ...♫, ♬

It was the 2nd half of '10, ALL of '11, and a large share of '12 when I read ZeroHedge voraciously. I mean, I'd read all posts, maybe only 6-10 a day then, and all comments under those, quite a few of the latter. I myself did not comment. One had to register, probably just with a fake email address, but I didn't try because, well, even then I knew how much of a time suck that could be***. To me, this site was pure financial Gold, Jerry! OK, not pure, but 0.9999, and same for silver. That was the first piece of my education, in fact: Gold, bitchez! was the final word to wrap up any nice comment thread.

The Tylers (I was never really sure if it was one guy or a few, but it's probably the latter by now) and the commenters were pretty down on the whole Finance "sector" of the economy, seeing as this was after lots of them had very recently lost money and/or faith during the housing and general economic bust/turmoil/bailouts of '07-'08. (In fact, housing prices were still dropping in '10.) They had lots of criticism of the F.I.R.E. economy period. No doubt, some of this is a necessary part of a free market economy. However, having one's whole economy based on this stuff was explained very well to be a load of crap.

This was kind of rich coming from a crowd of stock-trader types, the commenters, that is, as I noted in the review too. The commenting was great, but there was the hypocrisy that had 2 parts to it:

1) OK, building an economy on finance, borrowing, lending trading, rearranging, and generally screwing around with money IS a farce, but then why do you people keep discussing how you're getting screwed by it. Get out, and get that real job. These seemed like very astute and common-sensical people, as smart financial types could very well be.

2) Along with that, as they discussed how much of a farce the market was, these same people still discussed ways of making money in it. "It's hard now! It's all rigged!" Exactly, again, get out, and get a real job! (They were probably OK on haircuts.)

Still, it was great! The Tylers discussed the why's and hows of the FED creating money out of thin air****, the stupidity of the F.I.R.E. "industry", what money actually is, the stock market and real valuation vs. speculation, and all kinds of things like that. On the true financial matters, I learned about pension funds, and their expected returns, municipal bonds, T-Bills vs. Treasury Bonds, who owns these things, and so on.

They introduced me to guys like Gerald Celente (that "when people have nothing to lose, they lose it" guy.), Peter Schiff and his Dad Irwin, still alive then, and lots of economic discussion by Ron Paul and the Lew Rockwell types too. They disparaged the FED Chairmen and women (though they had their jokes about the latter being one at all) and the US Feral Gov't and Euro Gov't free-spending economic dipshits. The main point of all of it was something that gets to our commenter Dieter Kief's comment about the one big assumption. It's all going down, because "What can't go on, won't go on. Now Instapundit (hit up 3 or the 4 blogroll sites here!) Glenn Reynolds WRITES that a lot, but these ZeroHedge people EXPLAINED it to me over those more than 2 years of free***** education.

To top it off, the comment section was a haven for preppers. Prepping for the SHTF, thought to be coming any year now (again, this was '10 - '12) was not the subject of that many threads, but the talk came down to that, and there was nothing but encouragement from a large majority of the commenters. I learned very much then and there, probably more than from any of the prepper sites I used to also peruse during the time period (induced by, yeah, that reading of Zerohedge, haha!) There were the common jokes about those "very unfortunate boating accidents" in which one's precious was "lost", so next Roosevelt style confiscation attempt, sorry, Charlie. Yeah, yeah, I know that even the most Affirmative Actioned fat broad at the IRS might sometime .. OK, one of the legacy White guys ... not buy all of that. However, just the ideas put forth on how to hold onto assets of all sorts was a great learning experience for me.

The commenters were a very funny and helpful bunch of guys with lots of common sense. There were the few trolls, but that's often for fun. I do remember the one guy, name of Johnny Bravo - why I remember that is just weird - who wasn't down with the whole real money thing. Johnny Bravo told the rest that if gold really went up to $1,200/oz, he would leave them alone and quit commenting. It did, and he did. (It went well below that level for a while, but I guess the guy was done with the site, flunked out, as I was after a while too, Summa cum Laude instead.)

Part of the reason I learned so much a decade ago from ZeroHedge was that I hadn't known very much of financial matters before then. That has to do with my family being very conservative with money. My Dad did have money in some stable stocks and some bonds, but it wasn't a hobby - he just had a guy that did conservative things with his money. That was much easier to do before the FED held rates in the basement, like a Biden Administration human trafficker (more on this coming, BTW) for 14 years. I would like to be able to live conservatively myself - money in a CD at 6% or even better and fairer, 6% above inflation, no debt - which is the case, etc.

I'd thought this was from Benjamin Franklin, but he was quoting William Shakespeare's first line of this stanza from Hamlet:
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Yeah, well, Bard, but it's hard to be true and a conservative financially, when the damn Feral Gov't keeps screwing with the economy by holding interest rates way below natural levels, creating moral hazards that discourage the responsible people, and generally destroying the economy for fun - fun whether greedy, stupid, or evil.

The Bible teaches something about how to handle our finances, but I can look at that old ZH stuff as and add-on Book of Durden. From Chapter 1:1-4:

1Gold, bitchez! 2Render to Caesar what is Caesar's and for the rest, thy must proclaim "It was a really really stupid and unfortunate boating accident, I swear to you!" 3During these tribulations, the Feral Beast will be fed by thy labor, 4 aaannnd, it's GONE!

Thank you decade-ago ZeroHedge, you Tyler Durdens and you commenters, for that superb financial education! It's paying off for me right here, right now.

* I will insert this here and later in our very recent post, titled Introducing Moar Moral Hazards - Case #2293, on the student loan forgiveness being implemented right now, but 2 1/2 years back we had a 3 part series on student loan forgiveness. I clean forgot when I wrote the recent post. Here they are:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Then, there was our post just this past April, AOC on student loan forgiveness.

** OK, the deal is that I just don't know about it now due to reasons I bring up here. Therefore, ZH may or may not still be a great place to learn. Please assume this same thing when I further mention "was" this or that, using past tense about the site.

*** 5 years later, I came upon The Unz Review, also on our blogroll, and then time suckage went up to a new high! Back on ZH, there were times that I had such a great smart-assed remark in mind, that I came THAT CLOSE to registering but never did. It does hurt inside to miss out on a remark for which they'll never be another shot. Hence,

**** There is really a whole lot more to it than when I ever wanted to learn, as much as the Tylers and commenters discussed this. Between the FED and the Treasury Dept of the official gov't, paper went back and forth... lots of shenanigans, so little time to give a damn other than just noting that it ends up in currency created out of thin air.

***** Yeah, I know, there's no free lunch. I wasted valuable work time, and this was all supported by the government, you know, with Al Gore having invented the whole internet and all...

The Alarmist
Monday - June 13th 2022 9:49PM MST

Early 2009, IIRC.

Yep, same handle. I have a colourful trail of internet bread crumbs that might reveal who I am, though I try to apply principles of OPSEC/COMSEC to avoid being cancelled.
Monday - June 13th 2022 3:41PM MST
PS: Ha, my memory is now tainted from thinking about what you wrote, Alarmist. I assume you used this same handle, and now I think I may have seen you on there on ZH. (I didn't write in, as I said, or I'm sure I'd have written back.) I sort of remember a dot-Indian named troll too. I think I recall a few ZH commenters doing that "First!" thing too, but they were almost always amusing about it.*

This was all 8 minimum to 12 max, years ago. When did ZeroHedge open up for "fight club" business?

Thanks for the info. on the podcasts.

* Ron Unz, no matter what else I've got to say about him, does a bang-up job with his software. He has that small waiting period (I don't know if it's based on time or # of comments) that discourages the "First!" thing. I think that's the reason, but maybe that's a bug. I've considered it a feature.
The Alarmist
Monday - June 13th 2022 8:24AM MST

I also read ZH a lot less since it went wonky on my tablet, but was there frm almost day one; so if you read all the comments, you likely saw more than a few from me, but clearly they weren’t memorable :~0

BTW, I found ZH after being annoyed by too many commenters at Roubini’s site competing to post the first comment with ‘First!’ ZH commenters were of much better quality on the whole, though there was this one Dot-Indian troll....

If you’re looking for a podcast, look for No Agenda, with Adam Curry (of MTV fame) and John C. Dvorak (of PC Mag fame).
Saturday - June 11th 2022 7:55PM MST
PS: That was my experience too, Mr. Blanc, along with more on a company computer that is supposed to have all the blocking software. However, others have told me that I just need to get that Brave browser and some other anti-pop-up extensions.

We have different opinions on this, I know, but I also don't like the current ZH commenting system, in which you must keep clicking "Show More".
Saturday - June 11th 2022 7:03PM MST
PS I tried the site a few years back, but it was so wonky on my tablet that I finally gave up.
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