Your Humble Blogger is on a Magazine Cover (!)

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I am on the cover of a magazine I cannot read.

Picture 51

Calcalist is the leading Israeli business daily. The author of the article (4500 words), Uri Pasovsky, said:

The cover says something like: “This is Susan Webber, a brilliant economist who crossed the lines and, under the pen name Yves Smith, runs Naked Capitalism, the world’s most influential financial blog. Her account of how Wall Street has brought about the financial crisis in a cynical and calculated way is just chilling”.

The article headline, at least in the web edition, reads something like: “Yves Smith uncovers: how the world crashed because of a calculated manipulation by an evil hedge fund”.

As you can gather, they have a flair for understatement down at the newsroom.

So I guess that makes me an honorary economist.

The full article is here. It has more photos of me looking fierce and one of Roubini looking serious. Hopefully everything I said is at least somewhat sensible.

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    1. alex black

      “What a cougar!” Um….that term means, in certain circles of slang….um….never mind….

      Congats though Yves! I hadn’t realized I’ve been making irreverent comments on “the world’s most influential financial blog” though. I’ll try to be more respectful in the future, so everyone ignore that opening line.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Dunno where they got that idea from…I assume that’s part of the “flair for understatement” :-)

        1. anonymous

          A Japanese manager showed me this cover earlier today. Forget the understatement, you’ve got quite a following.

          Two points he stressed: your independence and the fact that a straw poll of Japanese business writers give the Euro a less than 30 percent chance of survival. As you know, the key point isn’t that they’re thinking this, it’s that they’re saying it.

          Great work and great snaps!

  1. Joseph

    Good on you Mrs Smith, longlife to bloggers
    Regards from Barcelona, Spain
    ps, try to smile on next photograph pls

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The magazine sent a photographer, and he took a ZILLION photos, most of which were with me smiling. They seem to like me better looking pissed off.

      1. MarcoPolo

        That photographer cut off your head. I could have taken that picture.

        Most influential blog. Got that right. Rarefied air.

      2. Francois

        Pissed off?

        C’mon Yves! ;-)
        This looks to me like your “get real dude” kinda look. :-D

      3. Raging Debate

        The trade rag did you justice. A serious woman for serious times! People want competency now, not smiling happy media twits spouting how “all is well” and offering no solution.

  2. WTTR

    Wow! Colour coordination is fabulous. Gold ear ring is a nice touch and hidden comment on the times we are in. Who says “Gold is a non productive asset”? With good lucks, it is a winner! Israelis know how to sell magazines! Congratulations from the Emerald Isle!

  3. Daniel de Paris


    This is about time. Just hope your readership grows accordingly.

    The picture is absolutely gorgeous. In vie of the information you deliver, you certainly do not need to smile. This not about marketing Italian-made Riva boats. Not even CDOs…

    1. Joseph

      dear Parisian poster, more smiling would also be needed in Paris, normallement….

      1. Daniel de Paris

        Yes, Parisiens are culturally allowed not to smile at work. Some certainly abuse that right. Especially in the tourism business :)

        1. Joseph

          unfortunatelly, Dear Daniel de Paris, bad habbits spread, good ones dont; I have been mistreated in Barcelona a few times, being confused with a tourist; mind you that I was deviously similed to

  4. Coldcall

    I do very much like your blog Susan, but they probably have not done you any favours by the exaggeration : “the world’s most influential financial blog”.

    What is it with all this over-selling? We have seen it become the norm to misrepresent, to use clever semantics in order to fool audiences and brainwash the masses (ie BBC/FOX.

    Its funny because i am a salesman, and i am shocked by the sort of crap journalism on offer these days. They and the politicos have created a modern civilisation in which there is no “truth” but only opinions and they now appear to carry more weight than empirical evidence.

    I would suggest the agw bandwagon is a great example of this new society we have which places the art of rhetoric above all else.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I consider “influential blog” to be an oxymoron.

      The Japanese have an expression that would describe the effort to find the “most influential blog”: “a height competition among peanuts.”

      1. attempter

        Maybe it’s premature, but not wrong in principle.

        Historically, real transformations usually start with rumination and debate among disaffected intellectuals outside the system.

        So if such change is in the West’s future (a big if), I’d bet the econo-blogosphere (as opposed to the utterly pathetic political blogs) will have been one of its most important wellsprings, if not the most important.

      2. psychohistorian


        Time to grow into the authority you are building. It is going to be a fine line but I believe you have what it takes to walk the talk. And please do not underestimate the respect you have behind you which is growing in leaps and bounds…..most reasonable people do not like crooks nor corruption.

        My snark thought of the day is that now Yves Smith needs to come out with an “Axis of Evil” posting that calls out the governments and corporations at most to blame for the war the rich are waging against the poor/rest of us.

        Thanks you for being who you are and having the strength of your convictions to speak the truth to power that you are doing. A growing number of people highly respect you for your efforts on our behalf.

  5. novo

    The article makes sense, you can rest assured.

    They described the Magnatar deals in detail, but didn’t really give a lot of background on CDOs (just said sth like: when you create a CDO you got to have shitty tranches and good ones, hence the more CDOs you want — the more shitty mortgages you need).

    They tried to spin your opinion on the latest bull run/commercial real-estate rebound to a “Wall Street is being manipulated, look at the 10% drop last week!” conspiracy. But it was just one paragraph.

  6. alex

    When my daughter can read that article to me I’ll know that she’s more than ready for her bat mitzvah. Unfortunately, unlike Ha’aretz or Der Spiegel, this magazine has the unmitigated gall not to have an English version. You’d think that Israelis of all people would know the story of the Tower of Babel (ok, some Torah’s omit the footnote that the pre-tower universal language was Modern English).

    Congratulations Yves. I also hope to see your picture in more American publications.

  7. jeremy

    Hei Yves,
    Straight from israel: I can only say that your cover made more than a ripple…:-) it demonstrated clearly and plainly what probably happened inside wall street. I took the liberty to refer you to another author who wrote a wonderful book regarding that human factor. To my clients I always say a quote from the godfather: “everything is personal” LOL
    I attached the link:
    Keep your feet on the ground and your nose on the horizon, u r brilliant.

  8. EV

    I sould have known Yves Smith would be a woman, too much sense.

    **sorry blokes**

    Nevermind, congratulations! I am only a recent subscriber, but a very regular visitor since I’ve found nakedcapitalism and I will surely stay.

    1. JMcM

      I presume it was Adam Smith=> Eve Smith=> Yves Smith, that last step just to mess with peoples’ heads

      1. Cindy

        Somehow I’d never thought of that regarding her nom de plume, but I think you are right!

  9. Gary Greenberg

    Check out the other Gulf, Yves. Israeli website Debka highlights US buildup including 4 aircraft carriers…

  10. E.H.

    Not only have you got your face on a magazine cover, but you have also received a bunch of new readers as well (me being one of them).
    Salutations from Israel.

  11. Bill

    Yves, Congrats, YOU. LOOK. FABULOUS. !!

    And seriously, you don’t need to smile, people who smile all the time lack gravitas, and your writing as well as your speaking convey that quality in abundance….forced smiling only dilutes its power.

    Not to mention, that not much happening these days in your area of expertise is anything to smile about….

    Plenty of time to smile when you leave work, at the myriad of beautiful things there really are to smile about…..doggies, kitties, all manner of naturally beautiful creatures and organisms….

  12. John Alexander

    Congrats Susan, and kudos on an excellent book as well! The recognition is growing-and not a moment too soon. Blogs like yours fill us with despair and give us hope ( that there are still people in the financial markets with some common sense and ethics) at the same time.

    Keep up the good work


    I finally figured out “Yves Smith” ; took me so long, its either too much morning coffee or not enough.

  13. LeeAnne

    Congratulations Yves. The cover photo brilliantly backs up the position of the article. It is severe and no more accurate than photos of you on video I’ve seen. Photos require context.

    The photo of you chosen for this magazine article exemplifies authority. Its important that your views be included in the debate on finance reform at the highest levels. That is clearly the position of the Israeli creators of this article.

    For instance, at your signing on Thursday night at Book Culture, in person (and BTW, I’ve not seen it mentioned on the blog that there was an overflow crowd, standing room only), I was struck with how your features are much softer, prettier and younger in person than any videos I’ve seen of you.

    The photo and treatment are also profoundly counter cultural –an antidote to treatment at home. Being posed on a bar stool for a TV ‘news’ interview on the most serious topic confronting the world today was alarming (but I’m no longer acclimated toward TV having not watched it at all in many years) –my reaction although inexplicable to myself at the time is clear now in contrast to this israeli magazine treatment. I could only attribute the reaction to the certainty you would be undermined by MSM in subtle ways were you to ever gain significant media exposure.

    Visual treatment is profoundly influential. For example, a photo for an article on derivatives in Fortune Magazine in the 1970s of a Wall Street ‘Master of the Universe’ posed in silhouette in a business suit on a window sill with his knees up, expensive shoes flat on the sill was jarring; significant for its signaling value.

    That photo and others to follow along those lines -the Hollywood treatment of businessmen particularly in finance signaled the beginning of the decadent path of Wall Street; the project that is now nearly complete: human beings treated as mere commodities and the end of the constitutional authority that put ‘the people’ first.

    Advice from this humble commenter: Forget the ‘humble.’ Own the ‘authority.’

  14. Zephyrum

    Congrats, Yves. This is certainly the most influential blog for me. For your thoughts, yes, but also due to the excellent commentary from Down South, attempter, Swedish Lex, LeeAnne, et. al. I learn something here every day.

  15. aidawedo

    Longtime reader here, congratulations on your celebrity. Do not forget the little people on your way up! Hope to see more of you and your iconoclastic blog in the future, now that you are, on the radar, so to speak…

  16. Doc Holiday

    אני לא יכול לדבר או לקרוא עברית, אבל זה מעולם לא מנע ממני לחשוב

  17. Anal_yst

    Congrats! If it makes you feel better, I after the better part of a decade of Hebrew School I can’t really read/understand the article, either, d’oh!

  18. Dan Goldman (not related! don't shoot me!)

    As someone who can and in fact did read the entire article and who’s never heard of you before nor of the blog, I can tell you I take them at face value about your blog’s status as the world’s most influential financial blog. I’m a believer! Congrats. :)

    It was a very interesting read, that’s for sure. Very interesting insight into what the hell was going on there behind the scenes.
    And all I can say is that those bastards crashed the market just as I was raising money for an awesome startup company. They made it a whole lot harder to do, but I managed to do it anyways. hurray! (now the company is already raising a second round at a pre-money value of about $46M so we managed to do well after all)
    Anyone want to invest? it’s energy related… energy is good. (did I mention I’m not related to Goldman Sachs??)

    Dan Goldman.

  19. john

    Great about being featured, and about “the world’s most influential financial blog”, obviously, but don’t take that trash about being an economist! That’s the kind of slur that ruins reputations!

  20. anon

    Congratulations, Yves! It’s good to see that you’re getting more well-deserved publicity and recognition.

  21. Anonymous Jones

    Congrats. It’s a badge of honor that the first cover is not in English. Very cool.

    1. readerOfTeaLeaves

      Yves, as a reader who found you via, I agree with this comment that it’s a tribute your first magazine highlight is in a non-US publication.

      Like Zephyrum, I appreciate your posts enormously. And I also appreciate some of your very smart commenters; I learn something every time that I come.

      And I sincerely appreciate the Odiogo audio of your posts — it’s a huge time-saver for me, as I know that I can keep up with your posts by listening, even on the days when I don’t have the time to read the text. Indeed, I’ve just subscribed to the podcast so that I can ‘catch up’ on my iPod. (Since I’m pretty picky about what gets on my iPod or in my podcasts, that’s my highest compliment.)

  22. DragQueen Capitalism

    Yves, you give me something i feel a fool for having: hope.

    Whereas I love your antidote du jour, the one I see is the juxtaposition of Chris Jordan’s photos of baby albatross’s from the midway atoll, their belly full of indigestible plastic, and those from the GOM oil spill. Because the growing underwater island of plastic in the pacific northwest gyre is much more disturbing. But holding the mirror up to ourselves is not so much fun as watching Anderson Cooper’s handsome face trying to contain his pseudo-outrage at BP’s intransigence.

    You embody that most rare of virtue’s, yet, to me, the bedrock upon which all others rest: honesty.

    I can’t tell you how much I admire you and raise a toast to the fact that You’re garnering some of the recognition you so deserve.


  23. sgi

    Yves/Susan, there is only one guiding principle for you to remember, and that is to always tell the truth. That is all that we want and need. Your reputation and success will follow.

    And, from one girl to another who is probably about the same age as you, I think you look fabulous. Pretty and polished. Not sure about the smiling/not smiling issue. I love smiles but agree that the issues are nothing to smile about. You may want to project authority, but haven’t we had enough of that? Are you one of us or just another one of them, a member of the elite, rich and remote?

    And I do love this blog. It appears to attract a range of people from the political spectrum who appreciate your writing and the comments for what they are, a desire to understand the policies and politics that got us here, and to tell the truth about them.

  24. emca

    An impressive photo without a doubt.

    Maybe it should be on a book cover.

    As to a smile; recant of the absurd does not require facial expressions of mirth.

    {And don’t give up your blog for your new found fame!)

  25. Jerry

    Why all this talk about photos…..if a guy was the object of this article, would most be commenting on the pics or the content?????

    1. Bill

      Jerry !! I couldn’t agree more.

      The hell of it is, most of the sexist comments are meant to be compliments…..

  26. gilgud

    Its A very good read !
    I read the web edition and web very impressed

    Regards from Israel

  27. psh

    But how to exploit Yves’ awesome celebrity and badass glare to cause maximum trouble? You could spin off an NGO from the blog and its readers. The easy way might be to partner with Transparency International – they don’t do anything quite like the muckraking here. Then you could try to get on the Roster, or get special consultative status with ECOSOC based on expertise on UDHR Article 21 and Convention on Corruption Articles 18 and 19. Since there’s zero domestic impetus for reform, maybe you can raise a stink in Geneva. That would be fun as hell.

    1. psychohistorian

      When I start thinking like that I find that some good mindful meditation, hash, yoga and deep breathing return calm to your life.

      I want to be around in 2013 when there hasn’t been the Rapture or other world ending apocalypse and see if we can move society beyond the 15th century Enlightenment era. With what is left of the world by then, of course.

      1. colinc

        Absoposituvely!!! Especially with regard to that 1st sentence!! :D


        1) I must emphatically endorse, 2nd, and support your earlier comment @ 11:36am! Susan/Yves’ name should be at least in the same breath if not more well known and respected (mostly more so) than S. Johnson, N. Roubini, N. Ferguson, P. Krugman, etc.!

        2) So, from the 2nd paragraph above, I have to ask… are you looking forward to the huge CME event in the summer of 2012 or the mushroom clouds in 2013? (Of course, the latter might be a bit later!) :D

        3) I also must concur completely with readerOfTeaLeaves and Zephyrum (above) but thought the list was a tad remiss in neglecting you, psychohistorian! :) I also think a nod should go out to attempter, eyeontheballPatriot, Kevin de Bruxelles, and oh so many more!! This is the greatest “beauty” you have achieved, Yves! Managing to attract one of the largest(?) collections of reasoned, erudite and “truth-seeking/giving” minds I can find in any medium.

        While I haven’t read ALL your posts, Yves, what I have read I have always found quite informative, well-supported and [even] educational! :D However, just as attentively as I’ve absorbed your words/thoughts, so too have I consumed most, if not all the comments. I’m sure that my failing, aging memory is not able to conjure the names of at least a handful of other commentators and I apologize for that… but I’m sure you know who you are. It’s just a damn shame that most of the topics are more indicative of species regress rather than progress. :(

  28. LAS

    This ends my puzzling whether Yves Smith is also Susan Webber.

    Yves, your voice inflexions — when heard during an interview — reminded me of Susan Webber, but I was afraid to ask, thinking there must be a good reason to have separate public personas.

    You deserve every bit of fame and attention. All the best.

  29. Yoel Esteron

    Dear Yves/Susan: On behalf of all of us in Calcalist – thank you for your words of wisdom. It was a real pleasure publishing this interview and recieving overwhelming response from our readers. Cheers!

  30. Casanova

    I appreciate your ideas and writtings, but would you please stop calling yourself :”your humble blogger”. If anything it shows that you are craving for greatness hiding behind humility. Humility is a false front we employ to gain power over others.

    1. bystander

      Cassanova, please stop calling yourself Cassanova, unless that is your real name. If anything it shows that you are craving for machismo.

  31. E L

    “Hopefully everything I said is at least somewhat sensible.”Ah, shucks, that reveals your not a major network financial analysts.

  32. JWSchothorst

    Beauty, Brains, and Balls. You are the total package girl. Love the blog, and read it every day. There’s always something to be learned or absorbed. Shoot for the Stars, as you got what it takes.

  33. emm


    nice to see you on a mag cover, but talk about a twisted sense of editorial judgement. I mean, hiring that photog.

    What could they possibly be thinking.

  34. Ronnie

    Yves, for some reason you always look like you have Aspberger’s Syndrome. Kind of dead eyes, with an iron pole down your back, holding you a bobble head. Are you incapable of smiling? Try it out in a mirror. Get your eyes to wrinkle at the edges, and you will fool everyone!

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Did you read the thread? Photographers came to my apartment. They took over 100 pictures in three settings. I smiled in most of the shots (it’s hard smiling for a half hour straight). The magazine did not want those, they took the ones with me looking Serious. This was an editorial choice, not me not smiling.

      1. robert

        Dear Mrs Yves-

        The way you look in the pictures describes exactly the atmosphere of the article ( I read Hebrew) so it would look very funny if you were smiling while your article describes how few people have folded the world to its knees…

        Have also read all the comments and I can tell you everyone is full of compliments about your work .

        This summer will be my first time in the USA and hope to see it from close range…

  35. Kobi Fester

    I read the interview in Calacalist (yes, in Hebrew) and amazingly once again yesterday the S&P rose from 0% to 1.5% within the last 15 minutes. And who can be behind it if not the plunge protection team (PPT also=PowerPoint, i.e. all is just a show, not real).Not to mention the opening of -1.5% rising to +1.5% in mid-session and diving to o% just 15 minutes before the closing.

  36. DjSagi

    Conspiracy’s are REAL!!! The Matrix is real!!! the earlier you know about it the better it is for you, today with the internet you can start waking up your life and start knowing what the hell is going on in the world today, we all know that something is very wrong with the world but after a little research you will have the tool to understand HOW it all works, Wall Street is just the beginning…

  37. lior

    Greetings from israel
    Down here we love 2 read what you cooking out there
    I personly hope for Another Massive Full out :)
    keep up the good work ….

  38. Adi

    Thanks for shedding a light on whats going on, I’m not an economist, but tha artical at calcalist was sharp, and yet written in a way that explains the professional terms to anyone.
    This is how I got to know about your blog, and now I mean to come back for more visits.
    Keep up the good work!

  39. Ariel

    Read the article- I do read Hebrew :)
    Great work (of both , journalist and you)

    Never read your blog before , but now you can count on that you have one more reader.

    Keep it up , this is one of the only things we got left as defense in the financial world of sharks.

  40. Yael Alon

    I do read Hebrew and I read the article. You made a lot of sense. I think it is safe to say that you have acquired a new country of readers. Rarely have I seen unanimous agreement amongst talkbackers. Everyone says- “Thank you for a superb article. The lady is obviously brilliant.”

  41. Itai

    I read the article in Hebrew and i must say you are a brilliant analyst. You have just acquired a new blog reader!

  42. PJM

    Well, when you have a smart woman that is beatiful too, all latinos come and say: What a lovely combination. ;)


  43. Galina

    And now the Calcalist article has a link leading here.
    I also read it in Hebrew. Infuriatingly scary.

  44. NIRO

    Indeed a nice article.
    You’ve come a long way figuring out what’s behind the scenes, but there’s still a long way to go, I hope you can keep it up once the winds turn to storms.
    You’ve climbed half way up the pyramid but this is were it’s getting steeper and steeper by the minute.
    There’s a devil up there, there are even a few. There are other hidden motives.
    It’s not just about money, it’s about control and power, it’s about changing the world we live in, it’s a process that started many years back and this is the final match.

  45. reader

    Dear Yves, I’ve read the article and it was brilliant.
    Thank you for opening so many people’s eyes.

  46. Nir

    Great article, came here right after reading it. Thank you for this mind boggling explanation of the crisis.

  47. yakoub

    i don’t read about economy much , and know little on the matter

    but since this crisis came along i always kept thinking about one question :
    why couldn’t the world follow a system where there is a separation between
    1) dangerous fluctuating market
    2) state or community trade institutes that should be safe and secure for national protection .
    both realms should respect each others boundaries based on the idea that they depend and need each other

    making strict regulation on wallstreet will damage profit and rapid trade opportunities , and on the other had you can’t have the whole nation institutes be dependent on this wild racing horse for making profit , so isn’t a partition of trading realms the rational solution ?

  48. plunge protection team

    All I want to say had been said by all the above readers, so I’ll just add that you’ve made me wanna learn economics, and being a SAHM(stay at home mom) w/3 kids and almost 40 makes it a very changeling thing for me to want…

    But, you are definitely the inspiration.

    I think the photo is amazing,
    with or without a smile.

  49. Tamar

    Great article! You’ve enlightened my understanding.
    BTW, some of the comments for the article request a regular translations of your blog…

  50. Vinny

    Wow! Congrats for the cover and also for creating “the world’s most influential financial blog”.


  51. Tamir

    תודה לך על הכתבה המעולה, הנה צירפת לעצמך עוד קורא,מקווה שתמשיכי עם העבודה הטובה שאת עושה
    דרך אגב,את נראת טוב גם ללא חיוך

  52. Issac

    I am a follower of the Blog from Israel. I read the article in Hebrew. The article is excellent!! And Yves is portrayed beautifully! The coments on the article also show that people very much enjoyed reading it and found the information very understanding (and shocking).
    For the sake of our future I hope there will be more articles of this kind and a lot more Yves !!!!!

  53. fcb

    first time that i read somthing so clear and sharp about the crisis. never liked hedge funds from the very reason of lacke of transparency to public. can’t understand how people are investing in something they don’t know what it contains. The greediness is there and somting must be done to control it in some way. your article shuld put things in perspectvie to all the people how are looking for fast and easy profit. thanks . You have just acquired a new blog reader

  54. Skippy

    How’s your long distance mental running technique edgy lady, looks like your going to find out…eh

    Skippy…go you good thing and bloody well done!

  55. ChrisPacific

    That’s an awesome photo. Nothing wrong with looking fierce – you look as though you’d like to kick some ass, which frankly is exactly how I would expect you to look given the subject matter.

    I’ve been reading financial blogs for around 4-5 years now, but this is the one I always come back to. It’s not so much because you are knowledgeable and insightful (there are others out there who fit that description as well) but because you are also good at presenting complex issues in an understandable manner, and you never let volume and repetition substitute for reasoned argument. The combination of all those things is rare.

  56. Yossale

    The hebrew article is great – I’ve just finished reading it. BTW , the subtitle under one of your picture says “וול סטריט היא האלוהים, והבלוגרים הם הסיכוי היחיד לנצח אותה”

    Which is ” Wall street is the god , and the bloggers are the only chance to stop it”

  57. Israeli in NY

    I recently got to know some wall street guys and I am shocked and amazed, while hardworking people lost their life savings due to wall street malpractice, the party for those guys still goes on. huge salaries and bonuses (for what exactly?) NOTHING changed.
    Wall street today is not about capitalism, it’s about looting. in capitalism there is a correlation between risk taking and financial rewords- the higher the risk the higher the potential gain. of-course there are many exception to the rule. But the thing about wall street is that it was able to rise above the principle as a system. no risk for its individuals (worst case the bonus is smaller) and no risk for its institutions: (worst case they will be bailed out) how long is this anomaly going to last? what can be done about it?

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