Everything you need to know about Hindenburg, the company that accused Adani of fraud

Look up the Hindenburg Disaster and you’ll see images of a burning airship in 1937 when a huge gas balloon burst into flames. This catastrophe inspired a stock market tool called the Hindenburg Omen, which uses technical indicators to predict stock market crashes. The phenomenon also lent its name to Hindenburg Research, which created a storm for India’s richest man, Gautam Adani, by accusing his company of market manipulation and fraud.

the man behind the movement

Founder Nathan Anderson is a 38-year-old short seller who has made a career exposing companies with questionable dealings and shorting stocks. Short selling means borrowing a stock, selling it at a higher price while it is rising, then buying it back when the price has collapsed and returning it to the original owner. The difference is that short sellers benefit from not having to buy the stock before trading.

Hindenburg’s Nathan Anderson is one of many short sellers who use research to spot fraudulently inflated stocks in plain sight. He sells the stock at a higher price before revealing the results, and sells when the report pulls the price down. He started making money off of the hydrogen truck manufacturer Nikola’s scam, for which founder Trevor Milton was recently convicted.

Open a can of worms

In 2020, Hindenburg published a report claiming that Nikola was founded on false allegations, which caused its share price to plummet and led to an investigation into the company. That year, the company admitted in a word-of-mouth video that their trucks didn’t have hydrogen fuel cell engines and were just going downhill.

In 2021, Anderson revealed links between Colombia-based Tecnoglass and the cocaine cartel, which benefited from the pandemic, causing its stock to plummet by 40%.

In early 2022, Hindenburg’s stock plummeted 37% after biotech firm Enochian Biosciences exposed false claims about a coronavirus treatment and murder charges against its founder.

Shares plummeted 40% last year following securities fraud allegations against Ebix by an investigative firm. Later, India’s Session Court banned the publication of the report in India.

Hindenburg claimed to have spoken to dozens of people, including senior executives, who previously worked at Adani. They also reviewed documents and visited Adani Group sites in six countries. Hindenburg, who accused Adani of fraud, also posed 88 questions to ensure the conglomerate came clean, and the group responded with a single statement that the report was banal and malicious.

Clean up the market chaos

Anderson argues that the stock market in its current state is insane. Crypto firms are flaunting their constituent fortunes and unprofitable firms are extending their high valuations. Hindenburg is simply thriving when it finds red flags right in front of its investors, and it counts as detective work.

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