Back in 2007/2008 when the financial services crash happened, I lost around 40% of the value of our so-called ‘retirement portfolio’. You would think that as a professional mediator handling public sector contract disputes up and down California, as well as being reasonably politically connected, that I would have had a clue, but no. So I got depressed, withdrew, and pouted. In retrospect, it was pretty pitiful.
Then I discovered a book called ECONNED, that actually explained in clear language exactly how all of these events took place & why. I was hooked – never again. From there I discovered Naked Capitalism, and discovered an entire world out there of people who know what they’re talking about, expose the soft underbelly of our corrupt financial and political system, and are actually doing something! You know, folks like Lambert & Wolf Richer, and too many more to name individually.
I was hooked! More important, I was motivated to get off my pity party and start to look around and do something myself. As a retired employee & beneficiary of CalPERS, the Naked Capitalism stories got me up and running. I started talking to people, doing research, and ran into the arrogant siege mentality of my very own pension plan. I have never seen this level of self-important groupthink outside of small, rural, tinpot cities. Egad. One thing led to another, and I’ve been writing articles about them ever since. I have also been working on my union and management friends to help them understand that the benefits of CalPERS are not guaranteed no matter what, and they better get with the program and start working on CalPERS before they do something terminal.
From there I started writing weekly articles for a Los Angeles blog, CityWatch, and am proud to say that almost all of the LA City Council walk quickly the other way when they see me, not to mention the Mayor. I’m back to being a proud progressive muckraker. My old friends from UC Berkeley in the 60’s now talk to me again. Life is good. It’s cool.
And I owe it all to Naked Capitalism waking me up. It’s my first read when I get up, and never fails to provide meaningful information that makes me think.
So please join me and support the Best Blog on the Planet! Go to the Tip Jar right NOW, which tells you how go give via check, credit, or debit card. Whether you can give $5 or $500 or $5000, all amounts make a difference. And dig deep. My personal experience proves investing in this community is an information and and political force multiplier.