Why Naked Capitalism Is Such a Precious Place for Writers

So what is so special about writing for Naked Capitalism? (Hint: since Naked Capitalism is special, please support this fundraiser at the Tip Jar).

Well, here’s my story as I approach the end of my first 12 months of writing as a member of the NC team. (You can support the Naked Capitalism team by clicking on the Tip Jar here.) I moved from the UK to live in Barcelona just over 20 years ago and spent the first 10 years working for language schools and engaged in academic translation work. This led to ghostwriting lengthy articles for one of Spain’s foremost business schools, and setting up my own political and business blog, Raging Bullshit, under the pseudonym Don Quijones.

By then the financial crisis was raging here in Spain and Naked Capitalism had become an authoritative source on how the global economy had devolved into such an ungodly mess. In 2013 I was offered an opportunity to work for Wolf Richter on his celebrated financial blog, Wolf Street (then known as Testosterone Pit). I worked for Wolf for the next 7 years, producing between 8-12 articles a month, some of which were cross-posted on NC. Wolf gave me a crash course on how to research and discuss economic and financial data and trends as well as the importance of backing up assertions with strong evidence and sound data. I will always be grateful to Wolf, who at the end of last year kindly recommended me to Yves.

The move to Naked Capitalism as a team member has given a boost to my own development, allowing me to cover a far wider range of topics of political as well as financial and business interest. When I started writing for Naked Capitalism a year ago, I was both thrilled and rather daunted, maybe even a little intimidated, by the prospect of writing a weekly article, due in part to the high level of specialist knowledge and expertise of its readership and commentariat. A graduate in history and a self-taught pseudo-economist, I am a consummate generalist.

Each article we writers produce always provokes intelligent, informed and sometimes very amusing feedback and insights which keep us on our toes. It’s no exaggeration to say that I have learnt something new from comments on every article I have written and have had to eat humble pie on more than one occasion when a commenter unearths an error. I will never forget being caught out by one commenter — and then ribbed by others — for referring to something going off as ‘a damp squid’, not ‘squib’.

Another critical feature of my development as a writer has been how much I’ve benefited from articles posted by my colleagues and, of course, the responses from the commentariat. This is particularly true with regard to issues relating to Covid-19 and the vaccines. Time and again NC has been ahead of the curve on issues such as aerosol transmission, the importance of mask-wearing and ventilation, and the limited efficacy of the vaccines. (If you want to reward NC for being early and right, please click the Tip Jar.) This, I believe, is down to a combination of factors: the open-mindedness, research and critical thinking skills of the writers; the editorial freedom Naked Capitalism provides, allowing its contributors to cover hugely important yet controversial issues that most other left-leaning alternative news websites steer clear of; and the unparalleled insights offered by the brain trusts Yves and Lambert have formed and nurtured over the years. So if you value these important communities as much as I do, please go to the donations page and chip in!

With my UK background, fluency in Spanish, ability to read complex articles in French, and excellent contacts in a number of South American countries, I have been able to research issues across a large part of the globe from original sources. This and Naked Capitalism’s encouragement for me to address concerns in different countries provide me with an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of what really is happening under the surface, not just as reported in the traditional media. To be able to write in such depth twice a week for NC and its discerning readership is a huge challenge but, at the same time, a personally rewarding one.

For the past few months, I have been asked to submit articles for two postings per week – an absolute honour for me. This in turn has led a US publishing company to approach me with a commission to write a book about vaccine passports. For me writing my first book is a huge opportunity which I would not have been offered had it not been for NC. It is also evidence of just how wide and varied a readership Naked Capitalism attracts. For many people in important positions, whether in finance, industry, politics, or media, Naked Capitalism is one of their main go-to sites. (Your support ensures that Naked Capitalism will still be a go-to site. Click the Tip Jar here.)

One final and very personal note: I will never forget the concern and support provided by Lambert, Susan and, Jeri-Lynn during my and my Mexican wife’s convalescence from Covid-19. Even though I have never met them other than virtually, it was one of the beautiful things about being part of a team rather than just a freelance contributor to a publication. So please help keep Naked Capitalism strong by making a generous donation!

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  1. GramSci

    ¡Hola Don Quijones! I must have missed the announcement of your move to NC, but I’m delighted you’re here! With an expat daughter in Barcelona and a link tax stranglehold on news out of Spain, for the past seven years you and Naked Capitalism were my only source of information on the fate of Spain.

    All the more reason to contribute to the NC fund drive!

    1. Susan the other

      Or as Ariana Huffington would say, Don Cajones. Whatever happened to Ariana? I’d just like to tell you that I am really happy we’ve got you writing about Mexico and South America. I catch bits and pieces of stuff about all points south, but never enough to satisfy my curiosity. I’ve enjoyed your articles. So thank you. More please.

      1. Nick Corbishley Post author

        Thanks, Susan. I’m so glad NC readers like yourself are interested in what’s going on in Latin America. It’s such a fascinating region and there’s so much happening down there. Plus, it’s often a useful bellwether for untoward economic trends and developments. As for what happened to Ariana, your guess is as good as mine.

    2. Nick Corbishley Post author

      Glad to be of service, GramSci. Spain’s link tax was one of the most absurd policies to come out of the Rajoy years, which is saying something! If I’m not mistaken, the EU took a leaf out of his book in 2019 and passed a similar directive. But I’ve not heard much about it since.

  2. griffen

    I previously worked in a consumer finance company, with a gentleman originally from Cameroon. I always appreciated his intellect and his approach to solving problems. Bonus for being an essentially pleasant, nice personality to work with (even on days rousing him about a SQL or data problem). And he was fluent in a few languages.

    I write the above to note that foreign born individuals have a much different perspective than my own. Often that perspective includes the costs of becoming a naturalized US citizen. They also offer perspectives on their home economies, and for example what legitimate inflation looks like. Or in one instance, what Russia was like after their devaluation in 1997 or 1998 (it’s the year they devalued and Long Term Capital bit the proverbial dust).

    I will need to hit that jar this week!

  3. LadyXoc

    I have really been appreciating your work (starting with the cross-post from Mountain Home about Ivermectin). It is wonderful to have a bit of background about your professional history. I’ve been a faithful NC reader since before the Iraq invasion and GFC, both of which, as you say, NC got right and early. Personally, I work at a translation company and my Hungarian boss asked me nearly 20 years ago what a “damp squib” was and I had no idea (figured it was some sort of Britishism); however, had to research it to get an answer. I saw the typo, had a laugh and moved on. As a professional editor, I have decided to let the metaverse unfold around me, unedited. Glad to have you aboard.

    1. Nick Corbishley Post author

      Thanks for your kind words, LadyXoc. It’s a great philosophy you’ve developed there, letting the metaverse unfold, unedited. Beautifully put, too.

  4. Joe Well

    Thank you for all your writing about Latin America.

    It is frustrating that so much that North Americans write about the region is both badly misinformed and dripping with condescension. Your writing is the opposite of that.

    1. Joe Well

      Edit: not to imply that you’re North American, but in general that’s who writes about Latin America in English.

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