Bravo! Met Our Fourth Goal, On to Our Fifth: Karōshi Prevention

If you’ve been watching our fundraiser headings, you’ll see were were on the verge of meeting our fourth goal, that of paying well-deserved bonuses to Lambert, Nick, Conor, and KLG. Your enthusiastic responses to the “Harry Shearer Double Your Donation” challenge pushed it over the top!

We are now well on our way to our new target of $24,000 for Karōshi, aka burnout, prevention.

But being who we are, your humble blogger must sound a note of reality. We are still behind where we need to be in this fundraiser. If you haven’t donated yet, please take a detour to our Tip Jar and chip in! And if you are in a position to be generous, please dig deep, both on your behalf to bolster the donations from people who gave despite having limited means.

We are on our way to meeting our fifth target, support for extra manpower so we can make our 365 day a year, just about 24/7 coverage more sustainable.

If Yves the publisher and Yves the employee were two different people, Yves the employee would have gone on strike a long time ago.

Perhaps you’ve heard of karōshi, a Japanese word that translates roughly into “death by overwork”. The Guardian reported on this phenomenon:

Japan has again been forced to confront its work culture after labour inspectors ruled that the death of a 31-year-old journalist at the country’s public broadcaster, NHK, had been caused by overwork.

Miwa Sado, who worked at the broadcaster’s headquarters in Tokyo, logged 159 hours of overtime and took only two days off in the month leading up to her death from heart failure in July 2013….

Sado’s death is expected to increase pressure on Japanese authorities to address the large number of deaths attributed to the punishingly long hours expected of many employees.

You’ve shown in the past how essential this coverage is. This year, Yves cleared out a house with 46 years worth of stuff in it, did 16 year of deferred maintenance and cosmetic fix ups, got it sold, dealt with other estate demands, moved overseas_…but did you even much notice her absences?

That was due to the great job everyone on this site does and covering for her during crunch times… but it was also due to Yves taking off as little time as possible…and this year, not even a largely working holiday.

Even though your generous support of the site have allowed her to have a day and a half off from posting every week, and shift more of daily Links duty to Lambert, this hasn’t translated into more personal time for Yves. Even on her days off from posting, Yves is managing the business of the site, discovering and responding to e-mails she embarrassingly didn’t see, sometimes catching up on research, and often vetting story ideas or articles pitched to her.

A big reason that the site consumes more writing/production time than in the past is that we’ve kept improving our output and expanding our beats. Our Links section used to be 25-30 links. It is now 55 and sometimes more.

Similarly, in runup to the crisis, when anyone who knew about finance was a one-eyed man in the land of the blind, many of our posts had only a few hundred words of commentary on an extract or extracts from news articles. Now, a significant portion of what Naked Capitalism does is quick turn-around political economy analysis of a very high caliber. We often produce think tank level work but with the aim of stripping away obfuscation and holding people accountable. That means more writer time on average per post.

We joke that we run the site with 1.6 people, although with our increased commitment as a result of Covid-19, it might be up to 1.8 writer equivalents. Regardless of the precise figure, it’s a way to highlight that we provide a remarkable level of output and the consistency of coverage with very thin resources.

The amount we are seeking for this target, $24,000 for weekend, holiday, and “shit happens” support.. We hope you’ll recognize how essential this is and donate generously to keep Yves in fighting fettle and have other talented writers like Lambert, Nick, Conor and KLG contribute more regularly.

Donors keep sending kind notes. A sampling. From sproble:

A good deal of you already know that NC is a frigate of clarity in an ocean of obfuscation (and even worse stuff).

Some of you might not know it yet, but if you’re here right now, it seems you’re on your way:

to being (even) better informed
to interacting with a unique, intelligent online community
to rewarding yourself with an alternate to the “mainstream matrix”.

Give what you can!

From Elizabeth S:

Thank you for telling the Truth so vividly - very grateful -.

And timotheus:

Check coming with a note reading “best deal in town!”

There are multiple ways to give. The first is here on the blog, the Tip Jar, which takes you to PayPal and our new payment service, Clover. There you can use a debit card, a credit card or a PayPal account (the charge for PayPal will be in the name of Aurora Advisors).

You can also send a check (we really like checks, no middleman fees!) in the name of Aurora Advisors Incorporated to

Aurora Advisors Incorporated
PO Box 110105
Brooklyn NY 11211-9997

Please also send an e-mail to with the headline “Check is in the mail” (and just the $ en route in the message) so we can count your contribution in the total number of donations.

Our sick days, weekend and vacation coverage target is $24,000, and we are already over $1,955 towards that goal. Thanks SO much for your generous support!

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  1. chuck roast

    Hi Yves
    My check was just returned by the PO
    “return to sender, not deliverable as addressed, unable to forward”
    Want to try another address?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      That is alarming. If you used our old Alabama address, that is supposed to be forwarded for six months. If you used the new agent address (in Huntsville), they are supposed to receive our mail.

      Sorry for the trouble. We have been getting checks at our address at the Tip Jar:

      Aurora Advisors Incorporated
      PO Box 110105
      Brooklyn NY 11211-9997

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          We have over 50 checks that have arrived at that address, plus other mail.

          Are you sure you had all the #s written carefully? It is easy to make a 5 that looks like a 9 or a 3.

          Lambert is not set up to credit me or send checks to me. This will just be a payment to him…which is fine, he winds up getting a big cut out of the fundraiser.

  2. Randall Flagg

    I have to say, while I’m grateful beyond words for this site and am impressed with your desire to expand things like the amount of daily links, etc., about that problem of burnout.
    Wouldn’t less ( or holding at the current level) be more?
    More in the quality of your lives?
    Speaking only for myself, I would rather have this site be LESS of a burden on you all and be if the highest caliber, and see it run until all of you (and us readers) shed our mortal coils than be a grind.
    Having never gone beyond high school, entering directly into the school of hard knocks, this site and commentaries have provided me a better education than a fair amount of what I know kids are getting these days.
    Please take care of yourselves first. I’ll take a chance and say I think I speak for all that we want you around for a long time to come.

  3. camelotkidd

    Bravo Naked Capitalism!
    I like think that we comprise a community of PMC apostates. We are PMC’s or could have been but never drank the Cool-Aid
    This community saves my sanity

  4. tawal

    Hi I Ditto Randall Flagg,
    I sent you 4 months of Bernie $.
    I don’t want you people to burn out; we need you.
    Rather less content, but more on point content, and more communication on posts from you guys on posts from commentariat.
    No need to get snarky and waste time with trolls, just delete and move on.
    Just my opinion, take it, or move on and delete it.
    Thanks Always,

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Thanks for the kind thought and your support of the site. Sadly, however, what seems like less work is actually more work. It’s the problem originally attributed to Caesar: “I didn’t have time to write a short letter so I wrote a long one.”

      More on point content = more Internet investigation and much more editing before posting. And it is hard to judge in advance what posts will appeal to readers and wider audiences. For instance, one of our most important pieces, that got the SEC Chief of Enforcement to resign, received hardly any comments but after a week was picked up (IIRC by Matt Taibbi) and then got enough out in the MSM to be impossible for the SEC to ignore.

      As for participating in comments more, Lambert and I would both like to, but our comments often take a lot of time, particularly, for instance, when I have to hunt for articles that disprove an unsubstantiated assertion made by a reader. And our time is finite, so more labor in comments = fewer posts.

      1. Eclair

        Re: responses to troll comments.

        One of the delights of NC’s comments section occurs when an inflammatory, rude, undocumented, or not-well-reasoned comment is dropped into the conversation, usually sporting an ‘unknown’ nom-de-plume. There is a period of hushed silence, while the commentariat holds its breath. Then, a couple of regulars post polite replies, pointing out deficiencies in the argument, or warning the unwary person to hold their fire. A few more hours, and Yves drops in, and, as a commenter described yesterday, hurls her thunderbolt, (probably after spending that time hunting for articles to ‘disprove an unsubstantiated assertion’,) demolishing (and sometimes banning) the unfortunate commenter. Delicious!

        Yeah, it takes time, but, for me, it is a continual learning experience. Maybe next fundraiser, include a chunk of budget to reward Yves (and Lambert, who is no slouch in this area ) for time spent manufacturing thunderbolts.

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