Announcing Mini-Fundraiser for Water Cooler!

Dear Readers,

I know it may seem strange to be launching a fundraiser now, and just for Water Cooler, but there is method to this special appeal. Water Cooler provides both economic and political coverage, and at a time when former Clinton Administration official Brad Delong announced, following the purge of two Sanders-supporting writers, that those deemed to be too far to the left will be “gleefully and comprehensively trash[ed]” come November.

Independent funding is key to having an independent editorial point of view. As Matt Stoller wrote in 2011:

The truth is, you can get lies for free. Wall Street is only too happy to buy advertising, to make sure you hear from their well-credentialed experts. If you are not paying for your media, though, then they are. And you aren’t the customer, you are the product being sold. While this arrangement works, what it means is that you’ll get lies for free. And this is a very expensive proposition. So I hope that you’ll consider, if you haven’t already, putting some dollars towards the Naked Capitalism fundraiser. If you can’t afford much, give only a few bucks. If you can afford more, give more. If you can afford to give a lot, give a lot. It will pay for itself, I guarantee you. 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 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 policy-makers understand that if they make good decisions, they have allies, and if they don’t, they have enemies.

The success of both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump shows that citizens recognize how badly neoliberalism has failed, and they want to turf out the current misrulership class. And in response, political incumbents, their big backers, and their media allies are trying to tighten their hold on messaging, and that in turn is leading to actual or promised punishment of those who refuse to fall into line. This escalated focus on progressives, most of whom aren’t even all that leftist, shows how intensely elites perceive the need is to persuade the public that the center of political gravity in the US is to the right of where it actually sits.

We’ve been able to deliver independent, hard-hitting commentary, analysis, and original reporting because we are independently funded. Lambert volunteered to add Water Cooler as an additional feature so we could be more timely and comprehensive. But Water Cooler is a separate store front within Naked Capitalism to pay for his considerable effort on it over and above all the work he already does on the site (and for which he is paid out of the annual fundraiser). Lambert has a separate Tip Jar in Water Cooler, under his Plantidote.

Despite Water Cooler getting high traffic levels all this year and lots of action in the comments section, donations to it fell sharply in the first quarter and have only started to pick up now. To be crass, Lambert is making well under a living wage for his work on Water Cooler and that is not right. We need you to live up to what we hope is one of the widely-held values in the commentariat, that people should be paid fairly for their work. That means digging into your wallets, whether a little or for a lot, and chipping in for Water Cooler.

We’d like to get broad-based participation from the NC community. So even if you can only make a small contribution, we’d still appreciate that, because we also have readers who can make much bigger donations. Our target is 200 donors, and we’d like to return to our regularly scheduled programming as soon as possible.

Here is the link to Lambert’s Tip Jar. Please click the hat!


If you are allergic to PayPal (note that you can use a credit card or debit card on PayPal), please use Lambert’s contact form to obtain his physical address, to which you can send a check.

* Yes, Lambert also gets paid out of the annual fundraiser, but that is for the considerable amount of work he does besides Water Cooler, such as DJing the site, helping manage the comments section, managing a lot of the tech issues, and helping in tooth-gnashing over other “business of running the business” matters.

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  1. crittermom

    Yves, I’m trying to leave a small tip via PayPal (I lost everything to the banksters), but the smallest amount that comes up is $25 & I just can’t afford that. How do I go about making a smaller donation? Is that possible?
    (I love this site & all you do, having made my first small donation to it within the past week after the site got attacked).

    1. OIFVet

      Use Lambert’s contact form to obtain his address, to which you can then mail a check for an amount that is budget-friendly for you. The link to the contact form is right under the top hat. I admire your determination to support NC, it really is worth it.

        1. OIFVet

          Thank you Lambert and Yves. I don’t post very much right now, but NC remains a required daily reading for me. My income will take a huge hit when my SO and I move back to the old country, but I will always have enough to spare for NC. Thank you for all that you do!

  2. etnograf

    Many thanks, Lambert! I don’t have time to actively comment here, but over the last few years Naked Capitalism & Water Cooler have come to replace my daily newspaper subscriptions. I’m always happy to chip in to keep this service going, even if it’s only a small amount.

    1. BillC

      Agree completely … I go to WaPo, NYTimes, and other mass media sites only to see what the elite spin of the day is. When I want the facts that are truly relevant, I come here, or occasionally McClatchy newspapers. Lately, looks like even The Guardian has fallen in with the ranks of our global neoliberal overlords.

      Thanks, Lambert, Yves, contributors, and commentariat!

      1. allan

        x3. I get my news and analysis here (and a few other DFH sites) and read the MSM or listen to NPR/PBS only to look for disturbances in the emanations from the Death Star.

    2. Lambert Strether

      Thank you etnograf, “Anonymous,” and BillC.

      I think one of the lessons of the 2016 media so far is the need for independent sources of news, or at least filters. (You’d think we’d learned this with Judy Miller and the WMDs but apparently we need to relearn the lesson every few years.)

  3. ewmayer

    OK, ya shamed me into it. :) I had to enable image-rendering in my browser to see the hat, but now that I know where the widget is placed, I can tell any other fellow low-bandwidth browsing nuts reading this and contemplating a donation that it’s roughly where the word “PayPal” appears under the $25 default selector in sans-image mode.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Sorry about that. I would have thought PayPal would helpfully render a link if the hat was not displayable, but I’m helpless in the grip of their horrid backend experience and I don’t see an option to check that would do that.

  4. Société Anonyme

    I’m in for 200 fiat dollars… you may happily (or tragically ;) blackball me until I make good on this. I’m allergic to PP so I’ll send a cheque.

    BTW I just watched ‘LOCKE’ for the 2nd time — highly recommended; rather a “guy’s film” in many ways, but also about honesty and ethics and workmanship. Rare qualities in this day and age and sadly the absolute opposite of what we find in Trump and Clinton. Tom Hardy is magnificent. I really do recommend it to all.

    Lambert and Yves, thanks for all you do and for the glorious photos. And god speed to the NC readers who are facing hard times. This is an amazing community.

    PS I’ll add $25 for crittermom… As Mario used to say in my dive Paris café (RIP), “c’est le geste qui compte”

    1. rfdawn

      Also allergic to PP but my PC is enslaved so, obedient to their laws, I paid. Now for that cortisone shot.

  5. tegnost

    I’m in but it’s going to take a few days…
    thanks for everything, and yes, you do deserve it

  6. John Zelnicker

    Water Cooler has been a great addition to the site. Lambert’s comments are worth at least as much as the links and quotes. I read Naked Capitalism every morning with my coffee and Water Cooler in the evening with my Scotch. To me, this is the single most informative site I’ve found, and not just for finance, economics, and politics. It will be the end of the month before I have the funds, but I will most definitely get in touch with Lambert at that time. (I don’t do Paypal either).

  7. Knifecatcher

    I’m in for a few bucks. Keep fighting the good fight, especially on health care! I just got hit with a $2132.42 bill for stepping into an ER with my 4 year old. Spent 15 mins with the doc who confirmed that his eyeball wasn’t punctured but there were no tests, no x-rays, no nothing. Bastards hit me with the Chargemaster rate, I’m sure.

    Thanks for shining a light on how broken our health care system is.

    1. abynormal

      dk is correct but if you don’t have cash, TELL them you will pay 475.00 in 25.00 payments/19 mos. my sister negotiates these bills all the time for people. ALWAYS, Date, Time and Write Name of person your speaking to. when you TELL them what you plan to do they will comply (don’t listen to their grumble).

      (i asked my sister what happens if they don’t accept her terms and she said, “if they make me lose my house or any asset i will sue the fuck out of’m but they comply when you speak their language…its business to them) Good Luck

  8. Carla

    My donation comes with many thanks to Lambert for, in particular, his advocacy for Expanded, Improved Medicare for All.

  9. maxhazard

    Donated. Only been here a couple of weeks; wish I’d found this intelligent community of like-minded thinkers earlier…

    1. Optic

      Done too. Same as maxhazard. I only discovered this wonderful site after reading your article on politico.

      1. Saguara

        Done (first donation to any web offering). Gratitude in also discovering your site from recent politico article. Learning a lot and loving the antidote du jour as well as an occasional Wendell Barry poem. Still looking for non-Wall Street retirement strategies for middle income people. Not sure if this is a topic covered by your site. Thanks so much for what you do so well!

  10. alex morfesis

    was stalked by an ex girlfriend at lunch today (was avoiding her as I am about 10 days tardy on a project we are working on) but she picked up the tab when I went for a mother nature break…oh well…no kids, no wife, no car payment…the bills can wait…thanks for all the hard work and fun…all in…

  11. reslez

    I love watercooler. I give Bernie Sanders money but Lambert has probably done more to actually enhance my life. I can imagine, but undoubtedly don’t completely understand, how much hard work goes into it.

  12. Ian

    I have switched from monthly (as I tend to mess it up with my paypal shifts every once in a while) to during the fundraisers. Thank you for everything.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Was not able to find an address at Corrente and am allergic to forms – (I can send it via the one for NC).

  13. Kokuanani

    Done, Lambert.

    Also sent you several “plant” pics yesterday.

    Hope summer reaches you soon.

  14. abynormal

    a measly deposit should hit my bank by the 15th but its been dragging out to the 21st (guess GA Child Support Recovery’s HFT platform is of the lowest rank)…i will send you an email of the donation amount.

    Lambertonese is why awards are created…adding the Water Cooler was Masterful.

    (hope Lambert sets aside mula for well earned vacation/S)

    1. low integer

      Knowing aby is a kind soul, I just thought I’d point out that the last comment (in brackets) surely means “hope Lambert sets aside mula for [a] well earned vacation or vacations”, i.e. the /S is not a snark closing tag.

  15. low integer

    Sent a little contribution from down here in Australia (via Paypal) earlier today. Money well spent!

  16. petal

    I’m likely about to lose my job, so I’ll have to send a small amount via cheque. I’m so so sorry, Lambert and Yves. It’ll be the best I can do. Things are scary right now.

      1. petal

        You guys keep me sane, help me to laugh, keep me learning every day, and I feel a part of something here. It makes a huge difference! I did submit via the contact form this morning but haven’t heard back yet. Maybe it got eaten. I will try again.

  17. emgrasso

    I was willing to make a donation on top of my previous donation to the main site, but not at a 25 dollar minimum, and you don’t seem to allow a choice. Too bad.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Lambert does allow for checks. If you click on his link, you can find out how to give by check.

      And I don’t understand this discussion of a $25 minimumum. I’ve gotten many single digit donations via Paypal.

      I’ve pinged Lambert to clear this up.

      1. flora

        wait… you mean a person does not have to click a pre-set amount from the dropdown box immediately above the hat? a person can just click the hat and enter then enter any amount? or click the hat and then change the amount on their paypal page? very confusing.

        1. Lambert Strether

          I think that the trade-off is enter any amount or a dropdown. I could add a lower amount to the dropdown in the future. (Frankly, the administrative interface on PayPal’s back end was so bizarre and confusing that I was terrified to change anything, lest I either screw up the form or, worse, anger the PayPal gods. And I did try!)

          Maybe the best thing to do, for now, is contact me using the contact form link.

        2. katiebird

          I copied his email address at the top of that page and logged into paypal myself. Then sent him something through my own paypal account.

          Hope it works!

  18. Pat K California

    Donated … for the first time! And gratefully, I might add. I discovered this site, oh, about 2 or 3 months ago, and now I find myself here multiple times every single day. What a marvelous news service you provide. But to me, what really blows me away is the caliber of the comments here. It’s like nowhere else I’ve ever been. Thank you so so much for this forum!

  19. Debra D.

    Just sent in a donation. Thank you for NC and for the Water Cooler. I have been a reader since 2007. I appreciate the articles and the comments very much.

  20. Anon

    Just sent in a donation after remembering my PayPal information. Petal, I hope that things work out for you.

  21. Eclair

    I am constantly in awe of both of you, Yves and Lambert. 24/7/365 (366 in leap years) … 7 AM and 2 PM (except weekends). I mean, I get exhausted just thinking about your schedule and commitment.

    And, yes, I will send a check to Lambert. Apologies for not having done so before.

    1. Lambert Strether

      No harm, no foul. And my commitment is pretty small compared to Yves. Of course, she’s the one with the social graces, so naturally her network is much bigger than mine!

  22. Norb

    Tried to donate with Paypal and discovered my account has been suspended due to suspicious activity. Spent close to an hour addressing the problem, one positive was the courteous service people at Paypal. They are working on clearing up the problem and will email me when resolved. I then tried to donate with my credit card thru Paypal, but my card was rejected, WTF.

    On top of that, when checking email through an ATT account, I was greeted by a FULL screen ad soliciting my chance to win a dinner with Hillery Clinton! Oh happy days!

    I was feeling pretty good this morning- but the more I think about it- the experience of opening my mailbox and being forced to confront the smiling face of a person responsible for the deaths of thousands of people makes my skin crawl. Its really quite amazing.

    Start your day with Identity theft and the smiling face of a war criminal.

    Lambert, when I can figure out how to get some money to you the amount just went up.

    1. flora

      If your credit card was rejected then,if you haven’t already done so,call your cc company on the “lost or stolen cc – call this number” phone number printed on back of card. Ask if there’s a reason for card being denied? Then tell them you suspect suspicious activity/compromised card and want to close that account immediately – AND that you would like a new cc on a new account to replace it. The change is free and it won’t affect your credit rating. Expect you’ve already done this but thought I’d mention it for other readers.

    2. Lambert Strether

      I have actually had good experiences with PayPal support people also, amazingly enough.

      You can always contact me via my contact form if our electronic payments system is too much for you!

  23. Liberal Mole

    Done! My financial advisor said I needed to be more informed about economics. So glad I found you guys!

  24. JohnMinMN

    Okay Lambert. I logged in to my paypal acct after 10 years of inactivity so I could make the long promised donation. Went ahead and donated to NC as well. I’ll do my best to make it a regular thing. Thank you Yves and Lambert for all you do.

  25. ScottW

    Bernie’s donations can now be directed to Water Cooler. Thanks for providing a dose of sanity in what will be an insane Presidential race.

  26. craazyman

    Is there a PO Box to send a check to?

    I’m banned by Paypal because they want me to verify my identity by sending them a drivers license, utility bill, etc.

    I’m way to overwhelmed to manage something with that degree of detail. Also, my credit card seems to work everywhere I need it to (retailers, online retailers, subscriptions, restaurants, travel, etc.) — except when I try to support NC and/or Water Cooler.

    Not you guys fault at all! To be sure. It’s just a little frustrating

      1. craazyman

        I don’t see anything there but a Paypal credit card payment form and a yahoo email address.

        I did in fact look there before I posted my comment.

        No address, no PO Box, no indication of where to send a check

        I’m using Internet Explorer with Windows 10 Home Edition.

        I wanna send Lambert some money so he can get that Maine Cavalry Officers Uniform from the Civil War and wear it when he posts stuff. When we approach Richmond on horseback we’ll take the entire south by surprise. They will surrender immediately, due to our incredibly attractive tailoring and our well-groomed horses. They’ll look at themselves in their blue jeans and Budewieser T-shirts and NASCAR hats and fat bellies and they’ll get undressed on the spot. We need to have uniforms ready and that’s not going to be entirely without financial cost. This fundraiser is only the beginning of the campaign, not the end.

  27. craazyman

    somehow my inquiry about a PO box to send a check to got moderated.

    Between Paypal and “artificial intelligence” it makes it hard, that’s for sure.

  28. Minnie Mouse

    I am having trouble finding a physical address for a check. I am allergic to electronic commerce.

    1. Lambert Strether

      On the Water Cooler page, see the prose section immediately above the plant and you will see a link to my contact form. It’s foolish, given everything we know about data mining, but I can’t see a good reason to hand my physical address over to a web crawler…

  29. PlutoniumKun

    Donation made. Its great value – a couple of years ago when all the best newspapers were disappearing behind paywalls I decided to wait a few months and then decide which ones to subscribe to. But I found that there was no point when I have NC and Water Cooler to take up my lunchtime reading and learning. Far better than relying on even the best mainstream media. And I much prefer my money going to Yves and Lambert.

  30. Andrew

    Thanks for the push — just donated.

    Water Cooler is my wide-angle lens for understanding what’s going on in the world. Being armed with Lambert’s gems, whether original or harvested — “Whose economy?”; “self-licking ice cream cone”; “sorting Americans in buckets”; and the wonderfully clarifying “1. Because markets 2. Go die” — makes me a far more effective advocate for change than I could ever be on my own. Thank you, Lambert, & proficiat Water Cooler.

  31. griffen

    Not yet done, but will do soon. Thanks much for the efforts to consistently help the lazy among us. So much information compiled to one place makes finding real news much, much simpler.

  32. Amateur Socialist

    I wanted add my thanks for Water Cooler, it really does contribute important content. But we can’t really add a separate contribution at this time without reducing our regular monthly pledge to the site. Which I doubt is the point. The husband had a good job interview on the phone last week and they asked for an in person meeting so maybe that will work out.

    Please consider this a pledge to try to do more in the future. If he goes back to work full time it should help a lot. At a minimum maybe we can make an additional contribution for WC by the time the next main site fundraiser starts. We both appreciate everything you are doing and grateful we have been able to sustain our yearly support for the main site in these uncertain times.

Comments are closed.