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The Little Research Firm That Took On India’s Richest Man

Nate Anderson’s Hindenburg, named for the exploding airship, is locked in a battle with Gautam Adani, whose conglomerate is a pillar of the nation’s economy.


Photographer: Casey Steffens/The New York Times/Redux

To the companies he attacks, what Nathan Anderson does for a living is unethical, even immoral. But to most Wall Street professionals, he provides a necessary service by highlighting potentially overhyped companies and ensuring that markets do their job. Whether they consider him a vulture or a savior, they all agree that Anderson and his firm, Hindenburg Research, are good at what they do: taking companies down and making money from it.

Anderson is what’s known as an activist short seller. He exposes accounting discrepancies and alleged wrongdoing in scathing reports that journalists quote liberally in articles that often spur government investigations, all with the goal of nudging investors to sell. He typically works closely with deep-pocketed investors who place short bets—borrowing shares and selling them back at a profit when the price declines—alongside his.