Jefferies Trolls "Lightweight" Zero Hedge For Being Negative, Unveils Major Restructuring Hours Later

Tyler Durden's picture

It never ceases to amaze (and amuse) us how much time big bank "economists" and "strategists" spend on Zero Hedge - even though we have never compensated said banks either directly or with soft dollars - instead of doing research, or spending time with their paying clients.

Just one week ago, it was CitiFX's Brent Donnelly who was "critical" why the financial media, supposedly, "highlights bearish stories" (perhaps has has missed the past 8 years of CNBC "reporting"... we don't know). This is what he said:

Give the people what they want


In an email I sent Monday, I was critical of the financial media for highlighting bearish stories but ignoring bullish ones. I was thinking about this and realized that maybe you can’t blame the commentators… People just gravitate towards bad news—humans are much more interested in watching a car crash or shooting on TV than a feel-good story. 


I looked at Google searches related to the stock market. The results (Chart1) speak for themselves. My conclusion is that it’s not fair to blame Zerohedge and friends for the permabear newsflow… They’re just giving the people what they want!


To which we had a simple, and logical, response:

What people want is not bearish news, what they want is the truth, something they, for whatever reason, feel they can't get from the mainstream media, which in turn has opened up opportunities to alternative media outlets such as "Zerohedge and friends." Incidentally, these outlets are not only not permabears - we remind Mr. Donnelly that our "permabearishly enough "Don’t look down - You might find too many negatives" and which we summarized in the following post:  "Citi: we have a problem."



As for whether Mr. Donnelly has a problem with "Zerohedge and friends" laying out those things which he prefers not to discuss, we would recommend he stay away from the most recent report written by his Citi co-worker, Matt King, titled permabearishly enough "Don’t look down - You might find too many negatives" and which we summarized in the following post:  "Citi: we have a problem."


If Mr. Donnelly is still confused by the difference between truth and "bearish news", we are happy to explain it further. That, or maybe he should just read the following story just released by our "permabearish friends" at Bloomberg... who simply want to give people what they want:


As for the question whether Zero Hedge traffic correlates with market volatility, we would like to help Brent and everyone else who would rater extrapolate rather than use actual data, with the following self-explanatory chart.


* * *

And just as we though that bankers had learned their lesson and gone back to actually doing what they are paid to do - i.e., forecasting the future instead of reading blogs, yesterday we found that that was not the case.

In a note released on Saturday, Jefferies' Thomas "TJ" Thornton, wrote the following epic trolling of Zero Hedge by invoking none other than Donald Trump:

US - “Lightweights like Zero Hedge might point to a sub-50 ISM as another reason to hate equities, but there’s a reason why little ZH is a choker, a reason he’s got one of the worst records in predicting markets anywhere, just a harrable record, harrable, I mean, successful people have pointed out that he’s 0 for 2600. He’s succeeded at being wrong. Success is my son-in-law, I’m successful, my daughter is both beautiful and successful. I have many successful friends.” Made up quote, but the point is that it’s hard to be successful when just reacting to backward looking information. Our work suggests that by the time the ISM breaks 50 to the downside the market is already pricing in much of the concern--actually a break through 50 to the downside tends to be quite positive for the market over the next 12M even when you include recessionary periods. When that break of 50 hasn’t been associated with an immediate recession (i.e. perhaps now), median market performance is up 11% over the next 6M, and 21% over the next 12M. This week we got a better than expected ISM, and skeptics point to the fact that it’s still below 50, but that may be a positive.  See supporting chart, table and methodology below. (T.J. Thornton, US Product Management).

We are curious just what the explanation of "0 for 2600" means, since those who actually read the articles instead of regurgitating what they read about it on Twitter, know that "little ZH" does not make forecasts or predictions, as our recurring annual year end piece very clearly notes, to wit:

With all that behind us, what is in store for 2016? We don't know: as frequent and not so frequent readers know, we do not pretend to be able to predict the future and we don't try (despite endless allegations that we constantly predict the collapse of everything): we leave the predicting to the "smartest people in the room" who year after year have been dead wrong. We merely observe and try to find what is entertaining, amusing, surprising or grotesque in an increasingly sad world.

In other words, we are merely a data-conveying messenger, one which increasingly more banks feel obligated to shoot for some unknown reason, although to be honest we are grateful for the constant advertising. We couldn't hit record traffic in February with a zero advertising budget if it wasn't for their tireless efforts to namedrop.

We do know, however, who Jefferies is: for years CEO Dick Handler has been scrambling to create something more than just a middle-market broker whose bread and butter have been two things: trading and underwriting junk bonds for small and medium companies (B2/B with an EBITDA of $50MM or less is the sweetspot), and hiring recently fired UBS and other bulge bracket bankers in hopes of getting over its perpetual chip on its shoulder. Bankers such as disgraced ex-UBS healthcare banker Sage Kelly who was recently described as a "bed-pooping, cokehead." He was promptly terminated after details of how senior Jefferies bankers allegedly attract new business, namely cocaine binges interspersed with forced group sex. 

Dick failed.

Jefferies, or Jeffries as it is known in all offering memos before the bank has to spend tens of thousands in hourly lawyer fees to correct the bank's official name, is also the place where novelty economists are hired to make loud noises and write hypnotically stupid sentences just to attract attention and stand out above the crowd. Case in point - the junk bond-focused bank's "chief market strategist" shown below in a recent Bloomberg interview wearing his "I Heart QE" hat.

That said, going back to Jefferies masterful trollery of Zero Hedge, we promptly responded with a question of our own: a tweet showcasing Jefferies revenue success in its most important group: fixed income, which to be honest was at least positive in Q4. That's more than Jefferies can say about its Q3 fixed income results when revenue was, drumroll, negative.

Oddly enough, it was these same Jefferies strategists who were supposed to react to forward looking information in 2015 when instead their lack of "vision" resulted in the worst quarter in recent Jefferies history. This is what Jefferies CEO Dick Handler said in mid-December:

"Fixed Income, which has been a solid to excellent business for Jefferies in prior years, did not perform well in 2015. Almost all our Fixed Income credit businesses were impacted by the prolonged anticipation of the lift-off in Federal Reserve rate-setting, the collapse in the global energy markets (where we have long been an active adviser, capital raiser and trader), reduced originations in leveraged finance and meaningfully reduced liquidity. There were a number of periods of extreme volatility, which were followed by periods of low trading volume."

He hopefully added that "with our exposures in distressed securities reduced to current levels, there should be no similar impact on our future results.”

Wait, isn't it the job of Jefferies' crack economists to look at "forward looking information" and make appropriate adjustments before the bank is slaughtered with its two worst trading quarters in years? It almost appears as if "TJ" was too busy reading Zero Hedge in 2015 than actually advising his boss to dump those billions in junk bonds Jefferies carried on its balance sheet and which led to "TJ" having a "junk" bonus to go with his forecasting effort.

And to think there were those who predicted, looking at "forward looking information" that with its purchase of Jefferies, the "mini Berkshire' known as Leucadia would promptly soar in value. Using "backward looking data" that appears not to have happened.


But the moment of crystal-shattering poetic justice came just hours after "TJ" trolled "lightweight choker Zero Hedge" for being too negative when Reuters reported that...

More details from Reuters:

Jefferies Group LLC will merge its junk-rated loans and bonds business with the junk debt unit of its joint venture with MassMutual Financial Group, according to people familiar with the matter, in the biggest reorganization by a U.S. investment bank since the leveraged finance markets seized up last year. As a result, Kevin Lockhart, global head of leveraged finance, and Adam Sokoloff, global head of sponsors, have left Jefferies, the sources said, asking not to be identified as the moves have not been announced.


Banks have had trouble selling debt related to leveraged buyouts since late last year. Junk bond markets seized up on concerns about the prospect of higher interest rates, the health of the U.S. economy, and how those two factors would affect companies with the shakiest financial footing.


According to the people familiar with the matter, Jefferies' leveraged finance business will be combined with the junk debt origination team of Jefferies Finance LLC, the joint venture between Jefferies and U.S. life insurer MassMutual.

The punchline: "Jefferies' management presented the changes internally as a way to boost efficiency and focus on clients, rather than a response to troubled deals, the sources said. It was not immediately clear if the combination would offer Jefferies more financial resources to increase lending."

Translation: the question is whether Jefferies "forward looking"Q1 fixed income revenues will be positive or will revert to negative for the second quarter in three.

We could continue but frankly we are starting to feel bad writing about the troubles facing the mid-tier junk bond underwriter.

As for whether a "backward looking" sub-50 PMI is irrelevant, we will let "TJ" ask his just fired former co-workers if it suggests the worst is behind us, no matter how one looks at it...

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jaap's picture

What a Dick...

Ignatius's picture

You know Dick Handler?

Looney's picture

If it looks like a troll, walks like a troll, and trolls like a troll, it is a... TROLL?  ;-)


JRobby's picture

"junk debt business" Laugh Track Deafening

It will all be junk pretty soon so business should be booming? Ha hahahhahh hah ha ha!

SuperRay's picture

Is that the Dick Handler, or a dick handler?

knukles's picture

My company is not imploding, and if it does in a few more minutes, it's Zero Hedge's fault.
Can nobody accept any responsibility anymore?  Like Rubio lying about the size of his pecker ... can't even trust guys who are their party's first choice who have Zero Fucking Accomplishments to be straight with us anymore.
And all because of small peckers.
Or a bad board of directors at the BIS.
There're some more Assholes for y'all.

Now I gotta run off to kill some ants.  I'm gonna make believe they're all bankers and get a mass of shits, grins and giggles from it.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

"Now I gotta run off to kill some ants.  I'm gonna make believe they're all bankers ..."

I suppose you have to start somewhere...


I need more asshats's picture

Oh for Christ sakes. This is Fight Club and that's all Tyler can come up with?

How about for once, find the little prick and knock a couple teeth out of his head!

For once. Come on.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

Wait. Zerohedge has friends? Who knew?



weburke's picture

zervos cant afford a good hat? and a fashion guide? 

undertow1141's picture

1.2 billion in CLO year to date last year same period 10 billion, nah its all fucking roses. We're just to bearish here, thats the problem. Everything is awesome...Everything is cool when your a fucking muppet....everything is awesome while you buy me my dream.....

VinceFostersGhost's picture





If you're getting flak, you know you're over the target.

espirit's picture


A ballcap gives that suit 'Creds'?

Fucking Loser. Dipshit Banksters about to meet torches and lampposts.

(ties may come in handy during a hemp/sisal rope shortage)

jcdenton's picture

Are you going to set them on fire?



Ya know, turnabout is fair play ..

Look up The White Horse Inn. Hanging from lampposts is their fantasy. Ours is public strangulation, followed by being burned at the stake ..

ParkAveFlasher's picture

I love how Sage Kelly did ketamine.  $7MM a year and you're spending Saturday night in a K-hole?  Really?  Is there nothing interesting to buy or do with $7MM a year, but drop yourself into a k-hole and watch your buddy hump your wife?  Coloring books are $10 a piece, get a lfe! 

r0mulus's picture

LOL. Yep. I thought when you get that rich, you take a 4pm helicopter from your meetings downtown to JFK to your seaplane, and are at your private place in the Bahamas by 7:30pm.
Nobody that rich needs Ketamine. Dude is quite obviously a psychopath of some sort.

Lore's picture

Run a search for "Jefferies" + "group sex"... OMG

Temporalist's picture

You overpay far too much for coloring books

ParkAveFlasher's picture

You wasted 50% of your comment on redundancy.

undertow1141's picture

He works in The Departmental Redundancy Department.

cheech_wizard's picture

It's a new fad... "adult" coloring books.

Standard Disclaimer: Yes, feel free to scream.

Jim in MN's picture

One with every if they could just get electroshock to come in through our cell phones.....


undertow1141's picture

Well these special fucking snowflakes never had to grow up, so I am not surprised they still color in books to calm down. Teaching most anyone under 40 about how money and responibility work in the real world is like trying to herd 1000 turtles. You find its easier to just pick them up and carry them, then get them to follow along.

mc225's picture

yeah you'd think a guy would be hanging out with some asian or russian chicks, playing with lingerie...

special-k... really?

warpigs's picture

So felow ZHers, how do I down-vote the single negative cunt who down voted this guy?

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

According to the elites, we are the new Lumpenproletariat They want to send us to the Gulags so bad, but they have to take our guns away first. So "Molon Labe" to the special snowflakes everywhere.......

SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

+1. I love all the new words I've learned here at the Hedge over the years.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

~"Alongside decayed roués with dubious means of subsistence and of dubious origin, alongside ruined and adventurous offshoots of the bourgeoisie, were vagabonds, discharged soldiers, discharged jailbirds, escaped galley slaves, swindlers, mountebanks, lazzaroni, pickpockets, tricksters, gamblers, maquereaux [pimps], brothel keepers, porters, literati, organ grinders, ragpickers, knife grinders, tinkers, beggars — in short, the whole indefinite, disintegrated mass, thrown hither and thither, which the French call la bohème."~

"See Mah, days' talkin' 'bout us, days' talkin' 'bout US!"

God help me, I love ZH.


Can I get that on a license plate? (Damn, it's too long!)

Mr. Universe's picture

Can I get that on a license plate? (Damn, it's too long!)

More of a bumpersticker I think.

Lore's picture

If you're going to use a new term, at least apply it correctly: 

"[Lumpenproletariat] identifies the class of outcast, degenerated and submerged elements that make up a section of the population of industrial centers" which include "beggars, prostitutes, gangsters, racketeers, swindlers, petty criminals, tramps, chronic unemployed or unemployables, persons who have been cast out by industry, and all sorts of declassed, degraded or degenerated elements." [Wiki]

'Lumpenproletariat' seems an apt description for the kind of trash and psychopaths who dominate modern finance and banking.  It can certainly be applied to individual so-called "financial professionals" I have known.  

I wondered in the past why ZH doesn't have a section for sharing favorite trading strategies, but in this context the reason is clear.  How ironic that the very scum who drive us away are now looking over our shoulders! 

espirit's picture

Pretty much sums up the majority population.

Take a look from the 'bottom up approach', life ain't pretty.

Oldballplayer's picture

If I met that guy and he introduced himself as "Dick Handler" I would laugh out loud.  My first name is the formal version  of his.  No one has called me that twice.  To my face.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

Screw that, the question is, would you shake his hand?

Goldenballs's picture

Is this Million$Bonus.Extremely sad bloke. 

BlueStreet's picture

If they believed their own bullshit there would be no need to ever be on ZH. The 'dont rock the boat mentality' is driving this country and world down the toilet. 

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

In that case, let's see his hands. Hands up!

holgerdanske's picture

"My conclusion is that it’s not fair to blame Zerohedge and friends for the permabear newsflow… They’re just giving the people what they want!"


Not true! I want a revolution and the people responsible for this mess tried in court. I want Hillary for prison 2016!

I have got none of that from Zero Hedge!

Rubicon727's picture

These folks crawling out of their cushy positions and attacking Zerohedge are simply replicating what elites do when they see the empire collapsing. It happened in the Roman Empire, in Nazi Germany, and I'm sure in any powerful empire of the past. 

Expect to see more vitriolic behavior by these goons. They can behave no other way.

Meantime, a Chinese proverb goes a little like this:

Go to a river bank. Sit down and watch the currents meander. Watch - as the corpses of the wealthy and powerful flow by.

ZH Snob's picture

I read the hedge for its philosophy, not for its supposed predictions.

truth and the seeking of truth is my weakness.  is it subjective, objective, a moving target or a monument of stone?

zh and its commentators ping the world and provide unique insight for me to consider.

milking institute's picture

Did you see the retards hat? it says QE! you can't make this shit up,it's turning into a comedy....

Insurrexion's picture



Troll these teutonic titties David.

Keep the fucking hat on.

It makes for a great target.

_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

The more they complain about ZH, the more sheeple will check out ZH. Thanks Dick.

MsCreant's picture

If your name is Richard, and your last name is Handler, why go by Dick Handler?

Is he gay and proud of it? If so, I am okay with that. 

Or is it a statement about his opinion of his customers?

Arnold's picture

Chelsea Handler was taken.

SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

Does Dick Handler have a son II...?