Bank of America Blocks Certain Websites

You gotta be kidding me! It’s a joke, right? Since when did banks start blocking access to websites they don’t like? Wikileaks was only the beginning, it seems…

Bank of America blocks users from accessing websites that present certain risks to the bank.”

Bank of America

Bofa Block

Zero Hedge, one of the most popular financial blogs in the world, know for exposing Goldman Sachs‘ prop trading, among other things, is hereby closed for everyone using Bank of America’s internet connection. According to BoA the blog present certain risks to the bank. Now, what risk would that be?

(Wikipedia): Zero Hedge is a news websitecontent aggregator, and collection of blogs by contributing editors. It reports on economics, Wall Street, and the financial sector and is credited with bringing the controversial practice of flash trading to public attention in 2009 via a series of posts alleging that Goldman Sachs‘ access to flash order information allowed the firm to gain unfair profits. The news portion of the site is written by a group of editors who collectively write under the pseudonymTyler Durden“, a character from the novel Fight Club.

imagesZero Hedge was founded in January 2009. Posts are signed “Tyler Durden,” a character in the Chuck Palahniuk book and movie Fight Club, reflecting the news site’s activist posture. Despite speculation that “Tyler Durden” is a pseudonym of Daniel Ivandjiiski, who was penalized forinsider trading in New York in September 2008, Ivandjiiski denies being a founder of Zero Hedge. Rather, he says he is one of several writers contributing to the site under the pseudonym. In an interview, “Durden” said there were four editors at Zero Hedge but another editor says there are up to 40. Editors have experience in various areas of finance and operations, differing from journalists who become experts about finance as they write about it, but have no practical work experience in the sector. The online newspaper publishes anonymously to protect the editors from retaliation for dissident speech. Durden maintains this protects its integrity, objectivity and independence, as well. Durden cites the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and a 1995 U.S. Supreme Court case, McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission, which upheld anonymity as a right of free speech.

By September 2009, Zero Hedge had begun drawing more traffic than more established financial websites with 333,000 unique visitors a month, impressing even those who say the news site is full of conspiracy theory and “apocalyptic world view”. Durden says two-thirds of its readers are from Wall Street. According to Quantcast, Zero Hedge has as of 2012 a monthly global traffic of 1.8 million people. Under the name Tyler Durden, Ivandjiiski was interviewed on Bloomberg Radio and Zero Hedge has been quoted in the Columbia Journalism Review.

Zero Hedge is credited with bringing flash trading to public attention in 2009 with a series of posts alleging that Goldman Sachs had access to flash order information, allowing the firm to gain unfair profits. It used New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) data to detect Goldman’s flash trading advantage. The site contends that Goldman Sachs’ alumni are at the center of a powerful cabal and that the solution is “a purifying market crash that leads to the elimination of the big banks altogether and the reinstatement of genuine free-market capitalism” – “Dow Zero.” The site drew the attention of the mainstream financial media and became a news source for reporters. Bloomberg News published stories based on Zero Hedge’s posts, such as “Goldman Sachs Loses Grip on Its Doomsday Machine,” by columnist Jonathan Weil.[2][9] The New York Times ran a front-page story on the high-frequency trading, detailing how it translated into billions of dollars of profit for Goldman Sachs and hedge funds. The NYSE has since made a rule change and no longer releases the data used by Zero Hedge.

Matt Taibbi, (at Rolling Stone Magazine) in his book Griftopia, cites Zero Hedge in the last chapter as accurately assessing the level of corruption in the banking industry and credits its inside advantage. He questions why the mainstream financial media did not earlier detect the corruption at Goldman Sachs. Taibbi writes:

Right around that same time, there were three media stories that helped focus a swirl of seriously negative attention on the bank. My piece was one, New York magazine’s Joe Hagan wrote another, and the third was a series of stories by a heretofore little-known blogger who went by the nom de plume of “Tyler Durden” on a blog called Zero Hedge. Durden’s blog was written in an impenetrable Wall Street jargon, and the man himself – later outed by nosy reporters as an Eastern European trader who had been sanctioned by FINRA – was intimidating even to Wall Street insiders. “Zero Hedge, man, he makes my head hurt” was a typical comment from my Wall Street sources. Beginning in early 2009 Durden had been on a jihad about Goldman, having sifted through trading data to make what he insisted was an airtight case proving that the bank’s high-frequency or “flash” trading desk was engaged in some sort of large-scale manipulation of theNew York Stock Exchange. Durden drew his conclusions by scrupulously analyzing trading data the NYSE released each week. So what happened? Naturally, the NYSE on June 24 changed its rules and stopped releasing the data, seemingly to protect Goldman from Zero Hedge’s meddling.

Well, as a guest contributor to Zero Hedge, I would be happy to present certain risk to anyone who operates like this.


All Human Rights Reserved (h) 2012


9 thoughts on “Bank of America Blocks Certain Websites

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  4. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

    • Thanks for the feedback!
      You may have a point, and I will certainly consider it. My blogging activities are purely exprimetal, I try out different consepts to see whitch ones that works best. If you follow the different blogs of econoTwist’s, you’ll see that they’re constantly changing.


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