“Journalism as It Should Be”

All of us involved in Naked Capitalism are very grateful for your responses over the course of this fundraiser. And if by happenstance, you’ve been too busy to go to our fundraiser page and chip in, you can do so right now! Contributions both small and large help get us to our goals.

We are at 1182 donors, which means only 68 to go before we hit our contributor target, and $7,390 shy of reaching our current financial target, which is $25,000 for more original reporting.

Over the next year, we’re excited to work with all of you to continue to puncture the perceived monopoly of wisdom that Very Serious People have over economics and finance. We’ve seen in the last year that the various initiatives that have all been working to change what is deemed to be acceptable ideas are bearing fruit. Obama has had to make a full bore effort to get the TPP as far as he has, and we have decent odds of defeating him. He has been twice stymied this year in his efforts to appoint financial services industry cronies to important regulatory positions. Not only is a self-described socialist polling at over 30% among Democratic party voters, but the diehard neoliberal front-runner Hillary Clinton has had to move to the left in a big way in her messaging.

And closer to home, we’ve scored tangible wins in forcing the resignation of Andrew Bowden from the SEC, getting CalPERS to reverse itself on keeping tabs on a key source of revenue to private equity barons, and have pressed California Treasurer John Chiang on private equity transparency, with the result that he is proposing serious legislation, which in turn is leading officials in other states to call for similar measures.

We’ve been able to play a role in making these changes happen because this site is a collective endeavor. 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 as we’ve stressed, our most important original stories have come because whistleblower and experts recognize that Naked Capitalism has a smart, involved readership, one that is genuinely interested in and able to grasp the complicated forms of chicanery and looting that have become Americas’s biggest growth industry.

I’ll be thinking hard about how to make sure we do even better going forward. We’ve gotten input and encouragement from many of you. I thought I’d share a few messages from my inbox this week. From Jim P:

I am not sure how I came to your website, however, I am grateful to be a part of helping NC grow. What I did was very easy, in fact, I think it took less than 2 minutes to donate. What you and your guest writers do is much more difficult. Exposing lies, AND the truth, is a very laborious and often times frustrating process.

However, the greatest and most powerful revolutions start very quietly, hidden in the shadows.

So keep on doing that voodoo that you do, so well!

From Robert A:

I am only a lay person, a humble council labourer (though perhaps not so humble in attitude) here in Oz and often don’t really understand the technical econ articles but I get the gist and scrolling down to the comments I am silent observer amongst that witty, learned, thoughtful and sometimes garrulous family of commentators who are almost like friends to me and who expand and unravel the articles in novel ways and which, all in all, makes me avid visitor daily to the detriment at times of doing the mundane chores of living. Well, I guess that at least makes me extremely well informed layabout.

From Jeroen:

The one thing that stood out for me the most in this past Naked Capitalism year was your coverage of the Greek tragedy. I was and still am really impressed with your detailed coverage of all the different aspects of this drama. It was on a completely different level than almost all other analysis of the unfolding drama I read and it was in very big contrast to the media coverage here in the Netherlands. I was also amazed about the frequency of your updates: it must have cost you a lot of effort and energy.

Being from one of the creditor nations, your coverage also broke my heart, because it made it crystal clear how the game was really played and that one should not expect anything from the creditors to come to a real, human solution. Following your site from almost the beginning of its inception, I should have known better but I have once more learned the ‘Naked’ (truth) in the ‘Naked Capitalism’ your website exposes.

Reader Gabriel sees our work as similar to that of other writers he admires:

Journalism as it should be – crabbed, clever, vicious naming-names pieces by malcontents (successful and not) who have no especial reason to believe they’ll win, but who, simply by reason of a kind of contempt, a sense that it’s not just that status quo is bad, but that it’s stupid, evil and counter-productive (even in sq’s own terms of reference), are by God are determined, not to win (nobody goes into this who expects to win, at least not in my experience), but simply out of the primal joy, the fulfillment in making the other fuckers as uncomfortable as you can for as long as you have the money to be able, and maybe take a few of them on your way down.

This, obviously “my” idea of NC – not ascribing above psycho connotations to NC’s really-existing goals.

Here’s where we differ with Gabriel: we want to win. We expect to win. It may take longer than we like, and be a far more difficult and costly battle than we expected, but if we persist, we will prevail. That was the attitude a small number of determined extreme right-wingers took in the early 1970s, to engage in an open-ended campaign to move the values of the country to serve their interests, that of the top wealthy. We can prevail if we adopt a similar determination to take this country back.

Gabriel’s favorite journalists indeed probably will not win as individuals. In fact, day-to-day losses are the norm to which activists need to steel themselves on long-term campaigns of this nature. But we can win if we work together. One of the core objectives of neoliberal ideology is to vitiate collective efforts, to condition people to see themselves as atomized individuals, all too cognizant of the limits of their personal power, and thus persuade them that opposition if futile. We’ve seen already from the shifts in the political tectonic plates in the US and abroad that this is patently false.

As we said at the start of this fundraiser:

It may seem unreasonable to act as if you can change the way lives are lived on a mass basis. But if you aren’t willing to assign yourself that job, you can’t ask others to do it for you. And the urgency of the debates in the comments section suggests that many of you have accepted that mission, whether you recognize it or not.

Lambert and I and the other regular writers on the site are incredibly grateful for your votes of confidence in our work.

Keep Naked Capitalism unbought and unbossed. There are multiple ways to give. The first is here on the blog, the fundraiser page, where you can use a debit card, a credit card or a PayPal account (the charge will be in the name of Aurora Advisors).

You can also send a check (or multiple post dated checks) in the name of Aurora Advisors Incorporated to

Aurora Advisors Incorporated
903 Park Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10075

Please also send an e-mail to yves@nakedcapitalism.com with the headline “Check is in the mail” (and just the $ en route in the message) to have your contribution included in the total number of donations.

Donate 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. It’s about saying you are tired of the lies you are being fed for free, and are willing to put your valuable resources into reshaping how information in our society flows. It will help policymakers understand that if they make good decisions, they have allies, and if they don’t, they have enemies. They will be forced to hear that there is an alternative and that there are costs to not taking them up. And that, my friends, is power.

Join us.

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  1. cnchal

    Leverage. That’s what I consider my little donation as. A way to fight back at the gross injustices perpetrated by the elite. A way to throw anvils in the gears of the elite.

    Consider Pirate Equity. These elite are thieving criminals that have enjoyed immunity from prosecution. Yves shining her light / blowtorch at these fuckers and exposing the rank smelly corruption is eye opening. They need to be choked off and denied all pension money. None of us would know anything about it if it weren’t for nakedcapitalism. Can you imagine any mainstream media exposing them? I can’t either. The MSM is bought off and corrupt themselves.

    As a bonus, nakedcapitalism gives you more food for thought than you can chew on. That alone is worth a donation.

  2. TheCatSaid

    Bravo and kudos for the great journalism and for creating a marvellous site. Yes, I’ve sent in my contribution, with gratitude to all those involved.

    In relation to this topic, there are those who are actively working to create something with more wholesome paradigms. I’d like to hear those voices here as well. They are typically not covered by MSM.

    For example, here’s are two brief conversations with David Martin about the recent award-winning Documentary, Future Dreaming. They are both inspiring and amazing–and these are tools that can be put into practise now–we don’t have to wait till the old system falls apart. The observations about accountability (2nd clip) are mind-blowing and right on target, with added value of historical insight.

    Future Dreaming: A Blueprint of Change

    A Blueprint of Change (corporation)

    If you want your socks blown truly off, check out the talk given to the recent annual conference of the Australian Real Estate industry (talk about in-your-face and not pulling any punches!): David Martin at REAL15. The perspective may be right down NC’s alley. (Added context: In a talk at the Arlington Institute, DM predicted the Global Financial Crisis over 2 years before it happened, including the time frame.)

  3. Merton Densher

    Yves: massaging’s what Hillary wouldn’t get from you.

    P. S. I realize late nights and long hours are
    not good for hands or eyes.

    1. TheCatSaid

      That’s really funny! Maybe that typo should stay in place.

      “the diehard neoliberal front-runner Hillary Clinton has had to move to the left in a big way in her massaging”

      1. John Zelnicker

        Agreed! I wondered if Yves actually meant what she wrote (as in “massaging public opinion”).

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