The Best Part of This Week

I’ve always been a big believer in the importance of the comments section,. You correct me, give ideas and information, catch typos (aiee!) and make my work and that of the other bloggers better. Your reactions this week took that up a level.

It’s always a bit lonely to throw out ideas into the void, to see if they resonate with others. Over the past few years, and especially over this past week, you have shown me that we are actually a community, a group of people who believe together in justice. Individually, you decided to put your resources on the line to make sure that we keep going, grow, and get better, that our words and ideas matter. This is essential, it’s the first step in creating a different society, where we assert our own collective dignity.

Even though we carry on our fight in the realm of ideas, we still have to contend with real world issues. One of them has been unexpected server downtime this week, which was again due to a wave of traffic from a large number of Chinese IP addresses. We’ve fortified our defenses, but the downtime has impacted our fundraiser. We were set to conclude over the long weekend, but we’ll now take it through Tuesday. Rest assured this change will not come at the expense of regular programing.

Let’s get to 1000 donors. Right now we’re at 627, which means we are nearly 2/3 of the way there (click on the Tip Jar buttons to do so over Paypal, or WePay further down in the right column>, and here for instructions on how to do so with a check).

Over the next year, I’m excited to work with all of you to continue to puncture the perceived monopoly of wisdom the Very Serious People have over economics and finance. It’s ultimately a collective endeavor to do this because ideas cannot be divorced from the networks of people who carry them. It’s remarkable that we are actually a community, as well as a website, and I’ll be thinking hard about how to make sure we manifest that going forward. We’ve gotten input and encouragement from many of you, and I thought I’d share a few from my inbox this week:

Sometimes reading your work is the only reason to get out of bed in the a.m. Great that there are honest, smart voices left.

NC is my indispensable daily go to site, I appreciate all that you & Lambert & the NC ‘crowd’ do.

We need independent voices, and in depth, knowledgeable, independent analysis of issues. I don’t always agree with you, but you have educated me on a number of issues and changed my views on a number of things. My only hope is that you will have even greater reach and influence in the future – representative government is imperiled not because the parties disagree so much, but because they agree that corruption is so nice for them.
PS – I have some very right wing friends, and I am often surprised at how often they quote you!

NC is invaluable — literally, beyond value — as a resource. In addition to the material in the posts, the perspective and additional info provided by the commenters, esp. those with first hand knowledge based on living abroad, provides exceptional depth.

I guess my wife and I are archetypes for your low-profile midwestern readers who never appear in the comments section. But to believe that represents a lack of appreciation for your work would be a misapprehension. Innumerable have been the conversations that start with, “Did you see in Yves where…?” You are an integral part of our day. Keep up the good work.

If you’ve already given, thanks for sending me the message that this site matters, that we can create leverage in the world from our own corner. If you haven’t, there’s still time (though not that much of it). I guarantee you that in a few years, you will be proud of being a part of building this community. You will have shown that there are parts of this world that believe that integrity and dignity matter.

That’s what you’ve shown me.

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  1. Ep3

    NC is the first site I turn to in the morning. The truth will set us free. Thanks yves & co. Keep up the good fight

  2. R Kelman

    We may believe in justice. But what we consider to be just and what is not is what determines who is in the community and who is not. We have many communities in this country. What we lack is the ability to reconcile the vast differences among the multitudes of communities. They appear to be irreconcilable.

    1. human

      Not true.

      What we don’t have, in this country, is a forum to discuss our differences. Try stepping onto a soapbox in a public venue these days. Witness the purposeful exclusion of third party candidates from presidential debates!

      This open and frank discussion and reporting was at one time a very important purpose of The News.

      1. Other human

        R Kelman seems correct as far as I can tell. Places for people to connect are everywhere, but each community (including the nakedcapitalism website) is heavily policed by both owners and members to keep those with different ideologies away.

        Online, the wildest forum I’ve seen was the Zeitgeist Movement Forums, put up in 2007. There were new-age spiritual types and the techno-utopians who hated them. There were right-wing libertarians and the socialists who hated them. There were anarcho-communists and the anarcho-capitalists who hated them. There were lots of young people angry at “the system” and some old timers who have been fighting the good fight for decades. Lots of ideas, discussion, and flame-wars. I thought, this was it – we were really going to hash things out!

        This all had to end, of course. The website owners didn’t think this was productive and started laying down the law. Finally, they simply pulled the plug and all that vibrant human energy captured in the text of all those posts were cast into /dev/null.

        The sadest thing here is that Yves is happiest about simply being funded. You got mo money, honey! That’s the system logic in a nutshell: money = community.

  3. PaulArt

    I read NC maybe 4-5 times EVERY DAY! I cannot count the number of times I have personally been EDIFIED by following the links that people put in their comments – especially that GREAT GURU ‘From Mexico’. I sometimes want to discuss the finer details of ‘Are you being Served’ and ‘Only Fools and Horses’ with Banger knowing that he is from the Isle. I have lapped it all up and I hope they will keep it coming. I usually buy about 4-5 books a year that are mentioned in the comments. I abandoned HP about 6 months back because of their Hillary boosting and the troll nuisance. It goes without saying Yves that you need to keep that IRON heel on the troll traffic. It is the single most destructive force that drives down GOOD INTELLIGENT traffic to a site. I feel guilty for not giving more to NC. I actually don’t even remember how I came here in the first place! NC is now an institution in my mind. Keep up the wonderful work!

    1. PaulArt

      By the way, I just made a monthly subscription to NC as well besides the small amount I gave in the first fund raising round.

  4. peace

    Hope springs eternal. I have friends from different communities (religions, sexual identities, ethnic backgrounds). These groups are at war and also contest their conflicting values peaceably in courts and public fora around the world. Yet my friends have a community of sorts. We share some values, perspectives and sense of humor together – and feel “more chill” about what we differ about. Equanimity helps but must not be confused with inaction and unilateral acceptance. Keep on keeping on.

    Serendipity alert: while writing this, I opened my apartment curtains to see a calm bhuddist monk in the traditional golden robe handing a pedestrian something. Hope? Courage? Equanimity? (a coupon for McDonalds? tee hee hee)


  5. Zane Zodrow

    I have been reading NC daily for 3+ years, sharing profusely on FB and Twitter, and have introduced dozens (hundreds?) of people to NC while touting it as a solid source. Almost never comment, but please keep up the excellent, important work.

  6. skippy

    Heck who can’t resist an edgy intellectual hot babe like Yves, then there’s the whole mottled, lame, lazy and econned crazy mob that has nothing better to do but stick sharps in the eyes of the malefactors responsible for this mess.

    The thing is through out this epic episode of looting I’ve dropped dimes on friends and associates with info sourced from this blog. Some of note, some of wide social networks, some just for information’s sake. Well the slow drip has started to awaken some out of their back to – normal dreams – and ask this defective to clarify issues, and sticky points in the information stream. Its a bit embarrassing really, yet, how are people supposed to get non MSM cortex injected info, if by word of mouth, supported by evidence from a blog like Naked Capitalism.

    I mean give to help Yves, but, don’t forget to take it to the streets, the dinner table, any conversation that it can be dropped. Its like watching someone get raped and keep walking on by… eh… association thingy. I know I sleep better.

    Skippy… After a bad day I cruse neoliberal – neo/classical sites and link naked capitalism posts… then feel much better… no need for crutches here… and forward this blog far and wide!

  7. PQS

    Thank you, Yves, Lambert, and the whole NC team of commenters. Like others here, this is my “go to” site first thing in the a.m. to check news and see what’s happening out there.

    I have learned so much about economics, which I can frankly say I couldn’t have cared less about just five years ago. Global Economic Meltdown has the power to focus the mind.

    And, to paraphrase Thoreau in “Walden,” donating to NC doesn’t require the purchase of new clothes, so it’s obviously a great endeavor.

  8. Shirley Ende-Saxe

    Thank you for the valuable service you provide to non-financially adept people. I read you weekdays and have gleaned an amazing education here. Sent a tip, keep up the good work!

  9. mc2264

    I visit NC several times a day–my favorite site. I took especial satisfaction in being able to inform some Congresscritter friends that Obama really has ways around the debt ceiling–a revelation! Thanks Yves and Lambert.

  10. armchair

    At certain times, there are certain websites that are magical. Sometimes it is fleeting and sometimes it is sustained. Naked Capitalism is sustaining the magic.

    I am very proud of my reading choices, since 1999 when I became a regular surfer. Af first, I followed Paul Krugman and Molly Ivins’ columns closely as they did an excellent job of deconstructing George W. Bush and his promises.

    In early 2003, I came across Billmon, perhpas via Atrios, whose writing was magical. The following is my attempt to reconstruct that time:

    And then there was the brilliant and magical moments at TPM when Josh Marshall was blogging from a coffee shop and reporting on ‘stovepiping’ intelligence and much of the information that would land in Scooter Libby and Judith Miller’s lap.

    Huffington Post had its time too, before it became some cumbersome that visiting its website was like pulling a shipping container with a Schwin three-speed.

    Discvoering Digby was magical, and remained magical until very recently. The writing is very good, but I can’t figure out how to comment on the website. I agree with Yves that commenting is one of the best things about her website.

    Atrios has been good all along, and I believe that is where I discovered Nouriel Roubini and Brad Setser.

    I’ve rarely found Atrios comments to be fun or insightful. He says such interesting things about urban planning, and then you go to the comments and you feel like your Mr. Jones in the Bob Dylan song. I don’t get it. To quote from Dylan’s, “Ballad of a Thin Man,”

    “You raise up your head
    And you ask, “Is this where it is ?”
    And somebody points to you and says
    “It’s his”
    And you says, “What’s mine ?”
    And somebody else says, “Where what is ?”
    And you say, “Oh my God
    Am I here all alone ?”

    I remember being in Guadalajara, Mexico in November 2007, studying Spanish and being able to tell my host family that a crash was coming. The best was telling a Sri Lankan man who spent his adulthood in London. I emphatically told him that a crash was coming and that I learned about it on Roubini’s site. I still wonder if people remember my warnings. Roubini and Setser’s writing was magical, like looking into a crystal ball. Some of the best insights came from commentators like the London Banker and Rich H.

    I absolutely put Naked Capitalism in this league. The writing, reporting and analysis here is sincere, brilliant and accessible. I heartily endorse everything Yves says about the comments. Comments are so much a part of the thing I have been following for 10 years now. Thank you!

  11. Flying Kiwi

    I forget what brought me to NC but it was several years ago and the antidote du jour was a pic (presumably doctored?) of two little girls in a wood trying to lure an 8′ Grizzly into a bird cage.

    For reasons that would no doubt keep a psychotherapist in the luxury to which they seem to believe they are entitled that one image spoke to me on many levels about life, the Universe and everything (cr. Dougles Adams) and I have been hooked on NC ever since, giving it at least 2 hours a day for which time I have grown much richer, except in money terms.

  12. sleepy

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

  13. Doug Anthony

    Yves’ advance warning to coming issues (attempts by the elites to evade just about everything except higher compensation) is absolutely needed to roust the troops who can help with the heavy lifting.

    Congrats – wish you/we could win 100-0, but you do what you can.

  14. Whistling in the Dark

    For whatever it’s worth:

    An occasion for noting “what’s it all for” arises. The esteemed presence in the room is expected to get up and say a few words about that. The idiom “to shine a light in dark corners” has done well enough in the past, but somehow a cheerier note is called for today. Good feelings are being shared, so the speaker reaches about for some “positive” notions. These are the handiest tokens of such retrieved from the ready-word bank:


    It’s interesting! An idea: do we need these small and pithy slogans? Do they make us more or less human (and which is better??) It might be: that justice is called for out of a sense of injustice at large. It might be: that dignity is called for out of a sense of its affront. And, out of that moment of rebellion, a movement is formed which finds it expedient to articulate itself in a “positive” way. But, in order to do that, it must meet the challenge– a perfectly reasonable one–of the interlocutor who is not so sure what is meant by the words written on the banners it has chosen for itself.

    Do we need these tokens? — what, as signs of our membership in a community? Sounds dangerous.

  15. rivegauche

    I also turn to NC first thing every a.m. and have been reading NC for years. I, too, have forgotten WHAT first drew me to NC. The WHY remains clear – to learn about our finance sector and more. And I have learned so much from you, Yves, and from guest posters, Lambert, and all of you who share your thoughts, links, knowledge, and experiences in the Comments section. Thank you.

  16. Will

    I’ll throw in my two cents.

    My grandfather had a lot of my sister’s college savings invested in BoA stock, and consequently a lot of her college savings evaporated shortly after she started college in 2006.

    Naked Capitalism helped me understand the depth and breadth of the fraud. I now have an explanation of how control frauds work (thanks Bill Black!) + a long laundry list of a variety of frauds committed by Bank of America and it’s helped me convince several people, including my fiance, to move their money to safer, less corrupt institutions. That laundry list of frauds contains a laundry list of naked capitalism links almost as long (Taibbi has a few too, among others).

    NC has helped me a in a lot of concrete and non-concrete ways. It’s made a big difference in helping me understand the world around me with clarity. Thanks for this excellent resource.

  17. Paul Jurczak

    Thank you for tons of good work. Pity that the topics are usually so depressing. Well, c’est la vie.

  18. Kokuanani

    ****and have introduced dozens (hundreds?) of people to NC while touting it as a solid source.*****

    I hope you’ll now go back and send each of those folks a short note informing them of NC’s fund-raising drive, and requesting that they contribute to NC. Even $10, $20 or $50 from a number of them would make a difference.

    They’ve had the “benefit” of NC’s wisdom. Ask them to please pay up.

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