As we wrap up 2010, the last thing left to do is to recall the stories that generated the most buzz on Zero Hedge. With stories touching on everything from the flash crash, to JPM's silver market manipulation, to the scramble for physical metals, to capital controls, to the manipulated (and successful) push to get Americans out of Money Market accounts, here are the top to stories of the past year (and stunningly all click-bait, slideshow free).
- In tenth place, with 80,842 reads, "The Hindenburg Omen has Arrived" is the story that Zero Hedge brought to the surface as soon as the H.O. was confirmed on August 12, and ended up making waves for the balance of the summer. According to some, it was the concerns about the Hindenburg Omen's self fulfilling prophecy that cemented the Chairman's resolve to proceed with the Wood's Hole speech two weeks later on August 27, which made QE2 a certainty.
- In ninth place, with 80,942 reads, "MUST HEAR: Panic And Loathing From The S&P 500 Pits" is the definitive, and most visceral, recollection of the terror that had gripped each and every single momo trader as the Dow briefly dropped by 1,000 points on May 6. One thing is certain: as the SEC has taken absolutely no proactive steps to address the conditions that generated the record Dow drop, this is just the first of many "flash crashes" for US stocks.
- In eighth place, with 82,232 reads, posted on February 11, and long before it became apparent just how insolvent Europe was, "Just How Ugly Is The Sovereign Default Truth? How Self Delusions Prevent Recognition Of Reality" - our summary of Dylan Grice's phenomenal analysis on the cognitive dissonance when it comes to that last bastion of backstops: sovereign insolvency. The analysis is even more relevant now than it was almost a year ago and we urge readers go through it one more time now that its argument has been fully borne out.
- In seventh place, read 82,297 times, and appearing almost a year ago, "This Is The Government: Your Legal Right To Redeem Your Money Market Account Has Been Denied" discussed the government's stealthy plans to force ordinary US citizens and corporations to force the move of as much money as possible out of money markets and into riskier asset classes. That that particular plan relied on the embedded concern of capital lock ups, was not surprising. What is also not surprising is that with outflows of $392 billion in 2010, money markets were the primary source of capital for US institutional and retail investors. Mission accomplished Paul Volcker, Group of 30.
- At number 6, read by 84,368 people, Gordon Gekko's guest post: "It's Going To Implode: Buy Physical Gold - NOW" needs no introduction. Despite starting a brief blog war, those who actually listened to Gekko's advice, made a 25% return in 9 months. Nuf said.
- Holding number 5, and making waves with 89,743 readers is the recent revelation that JP Morgan, contrary to conventional wisdom, and in line with "conspiracy thinking" admitted Bart Chilton's allegations via FT sources that indeed it had accumulated a major silver short position, which subsequently has been rumored to have moved to offshore, and to non-CFTC regulatable entities, presumably out of the orient. The full piece is here "Water, Meet Blood - JP Morgan Admits To, Reduces Massive Silver Short Position, Proves Millions Of Conspiracy Theorists Correct."
- At number 4, with just a few extra reads at 89,791, another tangent of the manipulation ploy was revealed when we learned that "Canada's Only Bullion Bank Gold Vault Is Practically Empty" It is only very ironic that earlier today we noted that ScotiaMocatta's electronic store is now out of all silver bars.
- At number 3 in the most popular list, with 91,571 reads, and rounding off the trifecta of precious metal manipulation posts, is the one that started it all: "Whistleblower Exposes JP Morgan's Silver Manipulation Scheme" - there is no need to recap this particular post.
- In the first runner up spot, with 93,320 reads, was Gonzalo Lira's essay on possible hyperinflation catalysts "Guest Post: How Hyperinflation Will Happen". The popularity of this post was only matched by the firestorm of angry responses it engendered within the deflationist camp in the blogosphere.
- And in the top spot, it is not surprising that the expose on the intersection of disappearing civil rights and financial prohibitions should garner the most reads in 2010 with 172,155 reads, "It's Official - America Now Enforces Capital Controls" The title is self-explanatory.
All in all, it was a very interesting year, with the oligarchy doing everything in its power to retain the perception it was in control even as the walls were crumbling all around it. We are confident this encroaching central planning process will continue in 2011, this time with far worse odds for that ultimate backstopper of the global bankster system: the US taxpayer.