By lambert strether of Corrente
This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 698 donors have already invested in our efforts to shed light on the dark and seamy corners of finance. Join us and participate via our Tip Jar or WePay in the right column or read about why we’re doing this fundraiser and other ways to donate, such as by check, on our kickoff post or one discussing our current target. –Yves
Word of the day: Encomium.
Michael M. Thomas, Bill Black, Neil Barofsky, Harry Shearer, and Matt Stoller have already written encomia for Naked Capitalism. That’s a remarkable list of endorsements. Did I mention the Tip Jar? And that a WePay button is to your right, in the sidebar, if you scroll down?
And now it’s my turn. I was going to write a whole history of the blogosphere, and the place of Naked Capitalism in it, but that would have ended up being all about me, and who wants that? So let me cut to the chase — or, in the financial argot I am slowly acquiring, the ‘bottom line” — and give two reasons why you should give Naked Capitalism money. Did I mention the Tip Jar?
First, a bit, only a little bit, of history: When I was coming up, the idea was that we, the bloggers, were going to replace the press, not become them. We would tell the truth. Lots of us forged our online identities playing whack-a-mole with George Bush’s WMD disinformation campaign, for example. For some, official deceit was intolerable. For others, official deceit turned out to be intolerable only when practiced by others: Other tribes, other factions, other parties. Yves, and Naked Capitalism, belong in the former category.
Writers for Naked Capitalism are not asked to adhere to a line. They are not asked to avoid creating awkwardnesses for those in the seats of power. They are not asked to postpone what they have to say “until after the election” or because “the mid-terms are coming up.” Yves demands of her writers that they exercise their critical thinking skills and write at the top of their form. Naked Capitalism, in other words, is an “old school” blog that fulfills the mission of the blogosphere as an old school blogger like me would understand it.
Telling the truth is good behavior. And you should reward good behavior in a very quantitative and metric-driven way, such that a goals-oriented finance person and former McKinsey consultant like Yves would be sure to get your message loud and clear. Did I mention the Tip Jar?
Second, a word about blogging. Blogging is an intensely effortful and stressful activity. Effort: Yves has been writing McKinsey-level essays on the most pressing issues in political economy for years on a nightly basis, along with curating the daily Links post, now the front page news for many of us and certainly me. Effort: Moderating a very large and highly informed commentariat that is not without contentiousness. Effort: Working long hours at a computer takes a toll on the back, the heart, the eyes, the hands, the fingers, sleeping patterns, everything. And that’s before Yves gets to email correspondence, finding writers, reviewing submissions, the site chores, refusing to take phone calls from high officials… Readers, Naked Capitalism is a full-time job! A full-time job, of course, on top of the day job that Yves already has.
Readers, to my first point, you may believe that the truth is its own reward and feel unwilling to give on that basis. However, all the effort I have just described — the full time job that is Naked Capitalism — was paid forward by Yves with no expectation of reward other than the doing of it (and your commentary) spelled out. So, exactly because there’s no contract involved, I think that in justice and charity you should, if you can, give back, and keep this cycle of giving in motion. I know I mentioned the Tip Jar, but one more time….
Here endeth the encomium.