Hunterbrook: A Hedge Fund and Newspaper

Hunterbrook blurs the lines between a hedge fund and a newspaper, looking to trade news before it hits the publish button.
April 4, 2024
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Hunterbrook publishes investigative journalism and general news with a “high commitment to the ethics of reporting,” but there is a catch.

Before they publish, they send the stories to Hunterbrook’s affiliated hedge fund (Hunterbrook Capital), which can trade on the news.

Hunterbrook hopes its trading profits can pay for the journalists’ salaries.

Matt Levine, from Bloomberg, describes the business model as an activist short-selling hedge fund–it investigates companies, finds problems, shorts the companies, and then noisily publishes its investigation to draw attention to the issues.

Trading is not the only way Hunterbrook plans to make money. Instead of implementing a paywall or running ads like a traditional media company, it plans to sell data, research, and articles for use in class-action and shareholder litigation lawsuits against the corporations it reports on that lie to customers, communities, partners, and shareholders.

Hunterbrook’s business model is innovative, but is it legal?

Hunterbrook plans to only trade on information in certain instances when reporting does not include Material Non-Public Information (MNPI), also known as “insider info.”

Talk about walking a fine line.

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