2011 Greatest Hits: Presenting The Most Popular Posts Of The Past Year

Tyler Durden's picture

Continuing our tradition of listing what according to Zero Hedge readers were the key news events of the year for the third year in a row (2009 and 2010 can be found here and here), we present, as is now customary, the most popular posts of the year as determined by the number of page views, or said otherwise - by the readers themselves. So without further ado, here are this year's top 20.

  • In 20th place, with 70,324 reads, and confirming that in addition to all the vast changes in the financial arena (recall that the downgrade of the US was the straw that broke the camel's back and literally broke the market as well), 2011 was a year of vast geopolitical tensions, fears and overhauls, we have "Aircraft Carrier CVN-77 Parks Next Door To Syria Just As US Urges Americans To Leave Country "Immediately"." Needless to say, Syria will most likely be the unofficial conduit to a military escalation involving Iran. Unless of course the foreplay is skipped and the US military industrial complex skips right to the main course.
  • In 19th place, with over 71,000 reads, we brought to our readers' attention that in addition to being the year of outright denial, there were glimmers of acceptance that the status quo is failing and no matter what, a new regime will be needed... but only after a "global financial apocalypse takes place" - behold: "Step Aside BBC "Trader": Head Of UniCredit Securities Predicts Imminent End Of The Eurozone And A Global Financial Apocalypse."
  • If there was one person of the year award, it likely would have to go to Kyle Bass, who at 18th place with 72.5k reads have our readers "Some words of advice." It is not that Bass discovered something huge or ground-shattering in 2011 - to the contrary - he continued his slow, steadfast unraveling of the broken system, and unlike other flip-floppers stuck to his story. He was proven right in many ways in 2011. Will he be proven even more right in 2012, with a collapse of Japan to follow that of Europe? Stay tuned and find out.
  • The 17th most popular post, with over 73,000 reads came from an unsuspecting source, the BBC, which continued the theme of unexpected confessions from the strangest of sources, when an IMF advisors said that "In The Absence Of A Credible Plan We Will Have A Global Financial Meltdown In Two To Three Weeks." No credible plan was found, and the meltdown was delayed yet again, courtesy of last minute global bailout measures by the Fed, although the half lives of such interventions are getting shorter and shorter. How long will the next such bailout persist? Or that one after?
  • The hacker group anonymous achieved its fair share of notoriety in 2011, as the 16th most popular post of 2011 indicates, with just under 74,000 reads, most recently by hacking the server of Stratfor and exposing the personal information of all of its tens of thousands of clients. However, it first came to the scene earlier in the year, when it released a clip threatening it would "Brings Peaceful Revolution To America: Will Engage In Civil Disobedience Until Bernanke Steps Down." Bernanke did not step down, nor was civil disobedience unleashed, and many of the bombastic calls fell well short, although for Anonymous to truly make an impression on the public it likely will have to step up its game in 2012. Surely a hacked FRBNY email account or two would bring the group new heights in notoriety.
  • At 15th place we get another appearance by Kyle Bass, even if indirect this time, whose suggestion that The University of Texas take delivery of $1 billion in physical gold, was followed through, and resulted in a post with 74,500 reads. Oddly enough, Bass' advice reverberated in Latin America, where Venezuela's Hugo Chavez did the same by demanding the country's physical gold be shipped back to the country from the London cartel. It begs the question - just how much unrehypothecated gold is out there?
  • In 14th place, the always colorful, unabashed and very much outspoken Euroskeptic Nigel Farrage, and Herman van Rompuy nemesis generated 80,000 reads and came one step closer to being proven correct when months ahead of the Euro's 10 year anniversary, he basically confirmed that the Euro is a dead currency. Judging by the record number of EUR shorts in the last week of 2011, at least the speculators out there agree with him.
  • In number 13, with 83,500 reads, the broad population proved it was starved for fair and objective coverage of the first truly important event in the Arab Spring when the Egyptian system was toppling, as the dominoes of discontent, with or without the boots on the ground, were starting to drop, first in Tunisia, then Egypt, then Libya. Is Syria next? And if so, what about Iran? One thing is certain - the geopolitical space will be quite hot in 2012 as well, the main question remains: when will the Arab Spring become a European season?
  • Number 12 reminded us that while one of the main events of 2010, the BP oil spill in the GOM, may have been plugged, the fears remain after it was reported that "Possible New Oil Spill 100 By 10 Miles Reported in Gulf Of Mexico." That nearly 85,000 people were concerned enough to click on this post confirms that when it comes to offshore drilling in the US, nothing has been resolved.
  • At number 11 Jim Rogers proved his predictive acumen, when the former Soros partner warned the public days before siver hit $50 per ounce when he commented "On Triple Digit Silver And Issues Warning: "Parabolic Moves Always Collapse." Hopefully the 83,300 people who read the post took heed and booked profits. On the other hand, with central banks only starting to really loosen monetary policy and print in the end of 2011 (the ECB along expanding its balance sheet in 6 months more than the Fed did in all of QE1), it is guaranteed that Rogers' warning will be repeated at least once again in 2012.
  • Number 10 showed us two things: that things are never what they seem on the surface, and that the conventional media is a joke and a conflicted farce, better suited for comedy than distributing the news when "Former CIA Analyst Tells Truth About Libya Intervention On CNN, Hilarity Ensues." Nearly 87,000 readers took great delight to watch the unmasking of the Mainstream Media's stupidity and bias.
  • At number 9 was the news following the aftermath of the MF Global debacle, that instead of making liquidity more valuable, the CME decided to double down, and allow the same form of liquidity largesse that took down Corzine's house of rehypothecated cards, to be burden-shared by its own clients who had to endure the lowering of initial margins on all trades. That the CME left some first year clerk to draft the press release which simply said that that Initial and Maintenance margin would be the same, only to have to re-issue a PR the next day when it became completely unclear just what the CME's goals were- capital preservation or taking even more systemic risk -was just the cherry on top. This is what 93,000 readers discovered when they read "CME Goes To Collateral DefCon 1: Makes Maintenance Margin Equal To Initial For... Everything!?"
  • Wikileaks proved to be a bust in 2011, when it released virtually nothing actionable, although those who sifted through its archives, including the 94,000 or so others who joined in when the discovery went viral, found some pearls such as this one which disclosed "The Reason(s) Behind China's Shadow Gold Buying Spree" It was also the 8th most read item on Zero Hedge in 2011.
  • Next, we are reminded that more than anything, the biggest ongoing event of 2011 was the slow, methodological and relentless collapse of Europe. Only instead of the usual bullshit headlines and rumors, the reason why "Europe According To..." was the 7th most popular post, is that it took the same bias and prejudice that will never allow Europe to be the same integrated NWO globalist dream that the US melting pot has become, and flipped it on its head, exposing the sheer humor at the stupidity of it all.
  • If there is anything unique about 2011 (and as everyone knows by now, from market terms it is as if 2011 never happened), it is that it ushered some very unwitting people on the stage of global opinion, such as Ann Barnhardt of Barnhardt Capital Management. The 6th most read post of the year with over 101k reads was Ann Barnhardt, quite a colorful character on a normal day, saying that "The Entire System Has Been Utterly Destroyed By The MF Global Collapse." And while some may have taken her admonition for nothing more than a extremist joke, Banrhardt's warning that all modern capital markets are a scam is absolutely valid. Expect many more MF Global-type collapses in the future to merely validate her argument which caused Barnhardt to close down her own brokerage.
  • In 5th spot, we once again go back to Europe, this time by way of UBS, which took the art of Mutual Assured Destruction to a whole new level "Bring Out Your Dead - UBS Quantifies Costs Of Euro Break Up, Warns Of Collapse Of Banking System And Civil War." While the final outcome of Europe is certain, what UBS did is squarely put a bulls eye on its own back, confirming that should the MF Global trade, namely betting the ranch on global moral hazard, fail, and a Eurozone break ups follows, UBS will likely be the first bank to be shorted to death by the global vigilante squad which forgives any central bank insanity, but never forgets.
  • In 4th place was the resurgence of the topic of shadow banking, aka the $20+ trillion unregulated funding system, read synthetic uncollateralized leverage, which as we have been warning for two years, is the true cause of fear at the heart of modern capital markets. MF Global's unwind exposed two things: the rampant use of off-balance sheet vehicles known as repos (entirely unregulated), and the fact that any bank which wishes to commit fraud would simply go to the UK and do anything and everything perfectly legally courtesy of absolutely no oversight, until everything collapses in a smoldering heap. Zero Hedge also brought to the vernacular two other terms: rehypothecation, and its bigger bother, hyper rehypothecation. To find out why shadow banking will likely be the financial topic of 2012 read, together with 105,000 others, "Why The UK Trail Of The MF Global Collapse May Have "Apocalyptic" Consequences For The Eurozone, Canadian Banks, Jefferies And Everyone Else"
  • Third place goes to "China Proposes To Cut Two Thirds Of Its $3 Trillion In USD Holdings" which with 109,000 reads, shows that when it comes to the Nash Equilibrium between China and the US, the balance is always very tenuous. Whether or not China will indeed proceed and dump US paper, knowing full well it would likely be committing an act of self-destruction in the process, is unclear. We do know that China recently did in fact dump US Treasurys, and we also know that as Zero Hedge reported, in the past month foreigners sold a record amount of US paper. And without incremental demand for US paper from abroad, it only leaves the US, i.e., the Federal Reserve-Primary Dealer system left to monetize America's debt. Certainly QE X will be a topic of great debate and discussion in the coming year, if for no other reason than the US needs to fund another $1.2 trillion in deficit spending. And if there is nobody else willing to buy 10 Year US paper at 1.84%, Ben Bernanke will have no choice but to step in.
  • The first runner up for most popular post of 2011, with 140,000 reads, was the announcement that "Trading Of Over The Counter Gold And Silver To Be Illegal Beginning July 15" - while the argument given by the official entities was that this is to protect investors from predator brokers, many saw into this yet another attempt of capital controls, and a further limitation of how, where and why one can trade their precious metals. And while executive order 6102: "the return" it was not, at least not yet, once the year end hedge fund liquidation phase ends, and PMs resume their surge ever higher, we would certainy not put it beyond our leaders to be forced to eventually confiscate all the freely held gold and silver in circulation. It has been done before; it will be done again.
  • And our most popular post of the year, with 148,000 reads, was "BBC Speechless As Trader Tells Truth: "The Collapse Is Coming...And Goldman Rules The World" in which Zero Hedge brought FX trader, who contrary to attempts of discrediting, was not a member of some comedy troupe, Alessio Rastani 15 minutes of fame for no other reason than, in a few short paragraphs, daring to explain all the ways in which the system is broken, where it is headed, and who stands to profit from it all.

Unfortunately the trend from 2009 to 2010 and now, to 2011, is quite obvious: the world is getting ever more insolvent, only this time instead of banks, entire countries are or will soon file for bankruptcy. Which means that taxpayers of the other solvent countries will be on the hook to bail out the transgressors, until finally only one country is left standing. In the meantime any and all diversion tactics will be used to redirect attention from where it deserves to be: the increasingly more disastrous condition of the Welfare State/Banker Oligarchy status quo, and the inevitable warfare to follow: first currency, then trade, then all out.

While we will not predict what happens to the market in 2012 one thing is certain: the main topics discussed in the past three years will continue to dominate the airwaves and things will get far worse before they get better. As a result, five things that we believe will happen almost without a shadow of a doubt: volatility in 2012 will break all records, retail investors will continue to leave markets in droves, correlations will remain at all time highs, politicians will suckle more than ever at the Wall Street teat knowing well the party is soon ending, and lastly, central planning will hit unseen levels. Everything else is noise and soundbites.

It is on this rather grim background that we wish all our readers the best of luck and success in 2012. The final prediction for the new year we will make with 100% certainty is that Zero Hedge will be there each and every day helping readers expose the fallacies, fiction and fraud that the system is reduced to (ab)using each and every day just to kick the can down the road for a few more hours.

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Rakshas's picture

So long 2011 Hello 2012 all good from here....

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

2012 Theme Song

Bulls on Parade- Rage

Remember what THEY have been doing for centuries...no, make that for melenia.

They rally 'round your family/With a pocket full of shells

The Gold Bull is on parade, bitchez

economics1996's picture

As a new reader I would like to thank ZH for allowing me to post with such words as fuck, shit, dick, and other terms men like to throw around. 

I fucking hate the wossified world and the MSM. 

I hate all the diversity is great crap out there.

I like the fact that there is one web sit on this planet where I can be a fucking rude, crude, male and nobody gives a shit. 

I also like people with a IQ over 100 who actually understand $$$$$.

When the SHTF I want to be packing with ZHers.

Happy New Year.  Buy silver towards the end of January you fools.

SGS's picture

We are truly blessed with this last bastion of free speech, ZH's knowledge of the markets is pristine.  I have met a lot of smart motherfuckers in my day, but these guys take the cake.

Long phyzz into 2012!

RockyRacoon's picture

I'm not sure I'd use a word like "pristine" around the not-so-hallowed halls of ZH.   It's all down and dirty here and that's the way we like it.   Fight Club doncha know.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Obama just signed onto sanctioning Iran.  US fireworks, how fitting.

Michael's picture

Happy end of the world year.

Never stop standing up for your constitutional rights.

Watch Now: Climate Depot's Morano on Fox News on CFL light bulb's fire risks and federal mandates -- 'This is a boon for Chinese industry'

  • Morano: 'Consumers need freedom of choice on to go out and pick what light bulbs they want...Are federal mandates and subsidies pushing products that aren't quite safe yet, aren't quite ready for prime time'

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DS3Pko03oJo&feature=youtu.be

    Sen. Rand Paul on Consumer Choice in Energy Committee Hearing


    StychoKiller's picture

    It would be an improvement if CFL bulbs were as efficient as they can be, but using cheap designs and parts makes them at best, 45% efficient -- plus their warmup time to emitting their rated lumens is atrocious here in Minnesota!

    Ralph Spoilsport's picture

    I hear ya man. The CFL outdoor floodlights are useless if you are below 50 degrees F.

    Oh regional Indian's picture

    Hey hey! Yo! Everyone!

    A safe and balanced 2012 all around. 

    And the CFL scam is the worst thing foisted on us. The link below to the lightbulb conspiracy is really worth watching.

    First choice: Flame. 

    Burn baby burn! Good luck all around, we're all going to need it.



    ForTheWorld's picture

    Here's a documentary that you might enjoy watching:

    "The Light Bulb Conspiracy": http://vimeo.com/26859312

    FEDbuster's picture

    Goodbye 2011, hello 2012, BITCHEZ!!

    Let's hope there is still a can to kick this year. 

    Restore the Republic, Ron Paul 2012

    kill switch's picture




    Xkwisetly Paneful's picture


    Clearly buy silver, vote Ron Paul, the banksters are the ruination of mankind and Fukashima is the end of the world as we know it have to top the charts.

    Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

    I am watching cnbc for some ungodly reason.  They are such pumper shills it is unbelievable.  For no reason, because stocks are down, we should buy them.  They are cheap!  Cheap, they tell me!  The dollar will stay strong and gold being down is bullish for stocks!  Jesus H. Christ people are so stupid.  The world has had the worst nuclear disaster ever for the last nine months, the Central Banks, which are not connected to the governemnts by law, are ferosciously printing fiat and handing it to private banking houses at the expense of taxpayers, and, and, and what else matters?! 

    The world is fucked beyond belief with 1 out of 2 Americans poor, Europeans can't retired (gasp), and Chinese are living off of $2 a day while Jimmy Rogers tells me I should tie me hope to recovery on China....holy fucking shit can you believe that?  On China. 

    Now I am watching a bunch of fuckers waiting for sushi the crossdressing beauty about to descend in a shoe.  Doesn't anyone have real lives?  Doesn't anyone pay attention to geo-politics?  Oh, ok, good, Anderson Vanderbilt (cough cough) Cooper is in Lebenon to celebrate the New Year, so now we know the truth about geo-politics, because he will report on tough issues.

    The thing is, and I think this is the main thing, everyone's ego is so blown that we all think we are constantly on TV or something.  We think we are as important as the stars on TV.  Well, maybe not you hedgers, but most people.  Most people, they watch Beyonce because they want to be her.  They watch Brad Pitt because they want to be him.  So they act like them.  The think they are them.

    This is one of the major tricks of our minds.  We can either give up our egos to the whole collective of nature, or give in to the false paradigm that is the impression of the society.  The structure of society should be engaged in helping each of us develope and grow, but because it has been taken over by the propaganda of the e-lite, we are now marched into a gulag of the mind of pop culture, which is totally retarded.

    Anyway, pretty much the world is still shitballs crazy, and Zero Hedge provieds a means of a way for us to pow wow around the perverbial campfire.  WHile everyone else is celebrating being in the right place for the most anti-climactic moment in the year, I will be proud to be getting drunk with you.


    Michael's picture

    I don't care if they have to wheel Dick Clark out every year he's kicking.

    What a great show this year on ABC.

    Happy New Year.

    Monedas's picture

    Rant on, Bro ! That was a good snap shot of the new year !  

    The Navigator's picture

    Pumper Shills OR PIMPER Shills? Shills just the same.

    Ramp up your farming skills, learn to make beer, stock up on antibiotics (did I read it on ZH that antibiotics for fish are (about) the same as for human consumption? - see Patriot Nurse on YouTube and Ebay for fish antibiotics).

    Thanks to Tyler and all ZHers for great insights you alll have let loose in 2011.

    Semper Peratus, The Navigator

    ForTheWorld's picture

    You should read "The Empire of Illusion" by Chris Hedges. I think you'll enjoy it quite a lot.

    AldousHuxley's picture

    Iran war is now immenent.


    Americans no longer have habeas corpus but indefinite detentions.


    Military is gaining power over civilian authorities.


    Stalin, Hitler, Mao, all used excuses to build their power and strip your rights for the sake of "national security".


    Ron Paul Calls National Defense Authorization Act "Slip Into Tyranny"



    BigDuke6's picture

    Dont get too down aldous,

    i'm about to have a scotch whisky with beer chaser.

    its the way old guys in scotland drink and they know a thing.

    they are a very dour race so think about the world going to shit a lot.

    perfect for this special moment dont u think? and a mellow way of getting merry.

    keep up your posts


    xcehn's picture

    It's surreal and sickening.  Extremely disturbing to wrap your head around.

    Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

    While we are just giving it away for free, here is the script.

    Fight Club:


    Yen Cross's picture

     Slewie stay away from adding.....   For 7 days. Happy new year.

    slewie the pi-rat's picture

    is zero a number bro?

    maybe i should start a proposition re:  making it thru to 2013;  i think i would need deposits, at least, on all the Yes bets...

    you're a good bet, Y/C!  thanks for trying to tell me about flows & for staying aloft!

    Turd Ferguson's picture

    Just wanted to jump on the pile here.

    Thank you to Tyler(s) for all you do. You've changed lives and alerted many to the coming financial disaster.

    A year from now, let's just hope we're all here to be able to celebrate the coming of 2013.

    Belarusian Bull's picture

    I double this. ZH is the site of the year for me. Thank you very much, Tyler.

    Muddy1's picture

    I'll second that with the note that if my bookmarks were sorted alphabetically ZH would be at the bottom.  I sort based on frequency of visits to the site which is why ZH is at the TOP, as in #1.  THANKS for everything Tyler.  Happy New Year to all.

    youLilQuantFuker's picture

    Yes indeed. Thanks for the sandbox. 2012 should be exciting. Time to ground and pound this MF'er. Much thx for the edumacation.

    PM's, food storage, water, guns, and suppressors.

    When the SHTF know this:

    For those skilled in the art, try to create the baffles with a shore D 80 vulcanized rubber sleeved into a PVC pipe.

    It will get you home alive with a bag full of booty.

    youLilQuantFuker's picture

    Right on. Keep it on the low. The zombies could be listening in.

    LawsofPhysics's picture

    I'll second that, turd. Well, back to the salt mines on Monday. My two and a half weeks at Park City are over. Another great holiday. Happy new year all.

    Robot Traders Mom's picture

    Sorry to jump in bro, but how come the US downgrade wasn't on the list?

    Did I miss it?

    That would have to be #1???

    TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

    If your son finally passes grade 9 this time, it's sure to be a contender for the top 20 stories of 2012.



    Muddy1's picture

    Pass the vaseline before you jump on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Sudden Debt's picture

    So tru! Happy newyear to you all, and lets pray none of the predictions come true and if they do that everybody is prepared!

    Max Fischer's picture



    Of all the things to thank ZH for (and there are many), I can think of better things than the freedom you're given to be a low-brow, alpha male pig. 

    Max Fischer, Civis Mundi


    Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

    Max you are the biggest nerd I know.

    nope-1004's picture

    You know hundreds of nerds too, don't you?  That puts Max at the top of the douche bag heap, above the likes of Denninger, Sommers, and Krugman.



    Potemkin Village Idiot's picture

    Of course you can... Because you're "Max Fischer, Civis Mundi"... (Champion of self righteousness)... 

    If it weren't for you, all hope for society would be lost forever... I get down in my best Tim Tebow pose & thank the heavens every single day that you have the patience to stoop down from your lofty perch & enlighten us all from time to time...

    Without your comments, the world would be a vastly darker place...

    Happy New Year to you Max Fischer, Civis Mundi...

    Your adoring fan,


    TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

    Max Fischer, civic do-gooder, said:

    Of all the things to thank ZH for (and there are many), I can think of better things than the freedom you're given to be a low-brow, alpha male pig.

    So can I; for instance, the fucking freedom to be a low-brow, high-brain (cough), ammo stashing, PM stacking alpha male pig. Fuckin' a!


    New_Meat's picture


    "the freedom you're given to be a low-brow, alpha male pig. "

    I'm a likin' that idea!

    Happy New Year,

    - Ned

    fuu's picture

    My favorite anagrams of Max Fischer, Civis Mundi:

    Cad! Minx! Virus' mischief.

    Infirm sex, a viscid chum.

    infinity8's picture

    "infirm sex, a viscid chum" - A++ - fucking awesome and hilarious! Happy 2012 to all the Tylers and the ZH community. This site is on a very short list of things that keep my sanity intact. Please don't get disappeared or I might go postal.

    FEDbuster's picture

    2012 may be the year the whole world goes postal?

    slewie the pi-rat's picture

    happy nu-nu, fuu!

    LMFAO this weekend when he went full retard on how important "brains" are and how superior being smart makes one

    i thought:  does this moronic asswipe realize he sounds just like trav?