Last Day, Last Chance for Our 2013 Fundraiser!

We’ve had 792 of you give our fundraiser, and are close to reaching our goal of 1000 donations. So far, your contributors have paid for boosts to site speed and service, a travel budget for our writers, meaningful “thank yous” to the regular guest bloggers, and vacation support to keep the site vibrant while I get some badly needed downtime. Thanks to your speedy responses, we’ve going to be getting some advice on micro coding and tweaks that will help us with Darth Vader Google, since being featured properly in searches is important to extending our reach.

Our final target is $8,500 for an intern and other research support. For instance, we’d like to do some serious analytical work on private equity fund returns, since the funds’ claim to superior performance is why investors continue to shovel money at them with too few questions asked. And that’s before we get to the wee problem that too often they achieve these results by levering up the companies they acquire and paying huge special dividends rather than invest in the business, and then slash headcount to enable them to meet the interest payments. The worst aspect of this picture is that the private equity fund managers like Blackstone, Bain, and KKR profit even when they drive companies into bankruptcy (note that the investors in the funds don’t fare as well).

We’ve learned that while volunteers can be enormously helpful, by nature we can’t count on them to be there when we need them. We have a highly qualified mathematician, our Andrew Dittmer, who could perform the private equity analysis. And we’d like to keep our 2012 intern Jessica assisting us from Spain, where we hope she can give some on the ground reports. Given that we publish every day and many of the things we cover have short windows in which we can influence perceptions, we need resources we can rely on, and we can’t ask people to make that sort of commitment without paying for that commitment.

The goal here is to build a culture where we pay for truth, instead of being lied to for free. We got confirmation last weekend, when in its op-ed section, the New York Times asked Academy-Award winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney about his tastes:

FOLLOWING The Naked Capitalism blog gives you a very unvarnished look at the political economy. You find out things that don’t show up in the news until weeks later. Also, the Center on National Security Web site, which every day publishes a roundup of articles about national security issues.

Similarly, Brad Miller told you how this site was part of a critical infrastructure that educates and provides independent analysis on finance and economics to people on the Hill, Congressmen as well as staffers. Neil Barofsky wrote how Naked Capitalism has become a counterweight to the forces that work to shape public perceptions about finance: powerful megabanks, government officials, and a captured media. Bill Black exhorted readers to join this effort to change the corroded thinking in the halls of power.

Here is what some of you have said:

This is about impact. I don’t know of another place where the donation would make more difference. And thanks for helping me make sense of the world around me.

You work so hard and I learn so much!

Few things are indispensable. NC is one.

I cannot thank you enough Yves, Lambert, and all the unknown folks who make this blog what is due to your genuinely meaningful work.

It’s difficult for me to express my gratitude for your work. Because of your site, I know I’m not alone and I know I’m not crazy. I often disagree with you, but that’s not the point; the point is that you have created a space where people can talk about the truth, where facts, reason, and logic are prized. NC is a clear example that another world is possible. It’s not perfect, not a utopia, and it doesn’t solve all our problems. It is, however, a community outside the Main stream media. And that fact gives me tremendous hope.

To join us, you can use the Tip Jar in the upper right column, WePay further down in the right column, or by check made out to Aurora Advisors Incorporated to Aurora Advisors Incorporated, 903 Park Avenue, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10075

I’m deeply grateful for how many of you have supported us over the years in the various ways you can. Today is the last chance for this 2013 fundraiser. So give now to Naked Capitalism. If you can’t afford much, give what you can. If you can afford more, give more. If you can give a lot, give a lot. This isn’t just giving, it’s a statement that you are want a different debate, a different society, and a different culture. It’s time to join us as we make sure this site can do an even better job of debunking the lies that prop up a diseased power structure and promoting a more just social order.

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  1. Lonely_in_Dallas

    I’m sending a check for $100 as I don’t wish to leave a digital trail. Keep up the good work!

    1. psychohistorian

      I am sorry to inform you that the check clearing of the deposit to Aurora Advisors Inc. from your checking account is a digital trail of your contribution……and I suspect easily available to NSA/CIA/FBI folks.

      Cash contributions, which are not suggested, are the common method to not leave a digital trail.

    2. H. Alexander Ivey

      Count me in! (late as usual). My check for US$ 100 will be in the mail ASAP (am off-site right now). Don’t get me started about overseas credit card payments…)

      Appologies for not emailing to Ms Smith directly, but can’t find the address, and I want to get back to reading NC damnit!

  2. tim s

    donation sent. thanks so much Yves. I’d hug you if I could. What you’re doing is great and it is good that so many recognize it.

  3. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

    In before the book closes! Less than the price of two gun magazines – with way better information! :P

  4. Lambert Strether

    Thanks to you both!

    * * *

    However, to add a bracing dose of clarity, 1000 – 2 – 792 = [let me deploy my calculator here] 206. Yves is very goal oriented, and 206 is the goal!

    Craazyman’s $500K whale has not yet materialized, so, please, if you can’t give $500K, give $50K. If you can’t give $50K, give $5K. If you can’t give $5K, give $500. If you can’t give $500, give $50. If you can’t give $50, give $5. Reaching 206 should not be hard!

    Why should you pay the freight when you can ride for free?

    1) For the business model. An independent media that’s funded and driven by readers and not rentiers is critical to the health of the body politic. We’ve known this since 2003, at least, when blogging exploded, and we’ve also experimented with funding models driven by politial parties and foundations. Since those funding models are, ultimately, driven by rentiers too, they have failed to be able to cut through the massive infrastructure of bullshit and lies that it is the job of our political class to main. Reader-funded independent bloggers, whoever, have been able to do so: Yves, emptywheel, and (in his own way) Greenwald (as well as a myriad of smaller bloggers, also plugging away). Each have strengthened and leveraged their own expertise, whether in finance or law, and have only been able to do that because of the reader-funded independent model. If you support that model, then you should (wo)man up, step up, and stump up, and you should do that here, exactly because you are reading this. The PayPal button is to your right.

    2) Because you ought to. Writing and running Naked Capitalism is work. It is labor. (It’s also performed with the opportunity cost of not doing something a good deal more fancy and lucrative.) It is labor that is done during waking hours with 24/7 coverage — as you can see from the time-stamps. People have this notion that blogging is just a little typing; well, for Yves, blogging is creating two McKinsey-level posts a night like, forever (unless she can get somebody else to perform the labor of filling in), with a ton more labor back stage that makes those two posts even possible. Not only is blogging highly skilled labor, it’s also very stressful; although it would be over the top of me to list the bloggers who’ve had significant health problems, the list exists. The stress is real. And remember: This fundraiser is for next year. Yves has obligated herself, already, to doing the work next year. Your level of contributions has had and will have a direct, causal impact — for good or ill — on the quality and nature of the work Yves will able to do. Do you want our intern, Jessica, doing interviews and writing thank you notes and collecting images and doing research., and Yves writing and reporting? Or do you want Yves doing all that, instead of writing and reporting? The choice really is yours. The PayPal button is to your right.

    3) To pay it forward. This example:

    The mathematician Paul Erdős heard about a promising math student unable to enroll in Harvard University for financial reasons. Erdős contributed enough to allow the young man to register. Years later, the man offered to return the entire amount to Erdős, but Erdős insisted that the man rather find another student in his situation, and give the money to him.

    If last year has been good to you, you are Paul Erdős, NC is the promising math student, and NC readers are the people to whom NC is paying forward your gift. The PayPal button is to your right.

    It is unimaginable to me that Yves would set a goal that could not be achieved. So won’t you help NC be the best possible NC it can be next year? The NC you would like it to be?

    * * *

    And if none of those reasons do it for you… Do it for Yves’s cats.

  5. Brooklin Bridge

    Count me in -check- and hope $100 helps. It’s more than I sent last year.

    And I would be very interested in that possible article you mused on about Google’s monopolistic advertising practices/locks. I far prefer the ads AND you all getting paid than no ads and you’re working your heads off for nothing, but I really hate the idea of the lock Google puts on everyone who has a web site and needs revenue. Always more toxic news in a steady stream of toxic news, but it’s important to know about.

  6. frago

    naked capitalism needs some merch, t-shirts, hats and mugs with trendy sound bite messages we can proudly wear to show our disdain for the man

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Thank you for asking! We do, except the mugs (Cafe Press, which features US made gear, does not allow for creating mugs except via a big order, and that would mean someone like me or Lambert keeping mugs in the house, having to box them up and run to USPS or UPS or Fedex ship them, and we just don’t have bandwidth for that). But we are particularly pleased at the way the Tshirts and the device covers came out thanks to the help of NC reader Maura.

      When we get the redesign done, our ECONNED ad will alternate with an NC gear ad:

  7. South of Heaven

    Just donated. I have been reading since 2009; NC is my morning drug of choice (along with the Guardian). The NC comments section is the best on the web (for that alone I would donate) but the posts are the reason I come back every day. Thank you to all who contribute and thank you Yves for saving my sanity every day.

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