By David Sirota, a reporter at the International Business Times and a best-selling author
I’m going to describe why I think you should put a few dollars towards this site and Yves Smith. I’ve supported Naked Capitalism myself and regularly promoted its posts because of what this site, its readers, and this community mean to the cause of nonpartisan reporting on the financial sector. You can give here, or you can read on.
In the world of politics and media, the pension beat is defined by one of the biggest gaps between reporting resources and the amount of public money at stake. Simply put, there are but a handful of journalists covering the $3 trillion in the nation’s public pension system. This is why outlets like Naked Capitalism are so important for readers to support: they do the critical work to try to bring a spotlight to a public policy area that — in terms of sheer budgetary size and also significance to millions of people – is vital.
Wall Street, of course, does not need to be convinced of the pension system’s importance. Today, roughly $660 billion of the public pension system funds are invested in hedge funds, private equity, real estate, venture and other so-called “alternative investments” — and those firms make big money off the fees they charge to those pension systems.
But as NC has shown time and time again, many of the firms and pension officials do not fully disclose the precise terms of their investment agreements, meaning taxpayers and retirees are often left in the dark about precisely how much in fees they are actually paying. After NC started calling out private equity abuses, the SEC confirmed the validity of these warnings.
Over the last year, NC has played a decisive role in covering those transations — and the often lax regulatory climate surrounding them. In the process, NC’s reporting has provided the public — including policymakers — with more information about how public pension money is being spent. Whether you love or loathe the financial sector, this site is pursuing the most basic ideal of nonpartisan journalism: transparency.
While Wall Street throws tens of millions worth of campaign contributions at public officials to keep the pension money flowing and the deals secret, I hope you click through here to throw a few bucks to NC to keep its white-hot spotlight on the situation. The kind of research and reporting done here is all too rare – but more important than ever.
Many people give to politicians, or charities, or foundations. They do so because they believe doing so will create leverage for change. Here this site has done that on a much leaner-and-meaner basis than many bigger media organizations. If you believe we need more impartial reporting on Big Finance, one of the most efficient ways to get to that is to support this site by giving now. I guarantee you, that putting a few bucks (or more than a few bucks if you can afford it) into this kind of journalism will help make sure that the financial industry receives the kind of scrutiny that it deserves — and that our society requires.