We Are Seventeen Years Old

This site is still feisty and punching above its weight thanks to the considerable support, participation, and insight of many readers, commentators, writers, moderators. So all of us here at Naked Capitalism express our deep appreciation for your help and input over all these years, and also welcome newbies to the fold, and hope you’ll soon become regulars.

We now have over 30,900 published posts close to 2 million comments, which is a considerable body of work. Many have contributed, including importantly those who donate to the site. But giving us intel, links, feedback (including the critical kind) and correcting our too frequent typos are also very important and very much appreciated in sharpening our analysis and timeliness.

I’ve seldom told the origin of the name Naked Capitalism. In 1999, a writer approached me about pitching a TV show, focused on witty and cynical commentary. We then went to a producer, who was interested. When I nattered about what the show was to be about, one of my remarks included the expression “naked capitalism”. The producer sat bolt upright and said, “That is what you should call it.”

I went and promptly registered the URL. Unfortunately, we soon learned in Peak Dotcom that no one wanted to hear a negative word, and in the bust, there was no money for advertising on a new show.

So then in 2006, a friend urged me to start a blog. I barely knew what they were and was generally of the view that there was no point in writing unless there was something worth saying. But at that time, there were important issue not getting adequate coverage, specifically that credit risk (as in loans and bonds) were being underpriced on a close to pervasive basis. Lenders were not demanding high enough interest charges and were lax on other terms. The frenzy was particularly acute in home mortgages in most Anglosphere countries.

Yet you had to read the Financial Times and Bloomberg carefully to infer that, and you got no clue from the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times.

A vibrant econoblogosphere debated the developing crisis. We debated what was going on. Our important interlocutors, who also would up helping increase our visibility, included bloggers who have since retired (or passed on) and others who are still writing: Mark Thoma, Tanta at Calculated Risk, Ed Harrison, Barry Ritholtz, Felix Salmon, Paul Krugman, Simon Johnson and James Kwak, Steve Waldman, Marshall Auerback…I am sure I have missed other important names and apologize for the oversight.

As the financial system blew up and then not enough in the way of reform happened, we became active in the next, underreported leg of the crisis: mass foreclosures and the failure of banks to make mortgage modifications for viable borrowers, as had been customary during the last big mortgage crisis, the S&L crisis. Here, securization maven Tom Adams played an invaluable role in teching me and many others about the many arcane and important details about the contracts and procedures for these mortgage deals, asl well as CDOs. Matt Stoller organized a very effective coalition via a listserv that came painfully close to getting a better deal for underwater borrowers than the one the Administration was pushing forward, Keep in mind any deal amounted to a huge “get out of liabilty nearly free” card for mortgage securitization originators and servicers, so there should have been ample leverage to cudgel them into doing more for borrowers and communities. But Obama managed to flip Eric Schneiderman for the very cheap price of a seat next to Michelle at the State of the Union address, and the promise of a role in a Federal coalition….which proved to be a hollow mandate.

I feel remiss in having to skip over so many critical chapters….Richard Smith’s relentless pursuit of international scammers. The private equity insider who educated me about the industry and about CalPERS as a big window into how it worked. The Cyprus banking collapse. The 2015 Greek bailout crisis. Brexit, which brought us our Brexit Brain Trust, including Colonel Smithers, PlutoniumKun, Clive, vlade, and the illustrious David, now Aurelien. The PropOrNot fiasco, in what turned out to be an early shot in the Russia!Russia! mania. Covid, where Lambert, assisted considerably by our Covid Brain Trust, has built an encyclopediac record. Jerri-Lynn Scofield’s ahead of the curve work on the right to repair, the war on plastics and the cost of fast fashion. And now the exciting beats manned by new members of our team: Nick on digital currencies, the war on cash, and Latin American economics and finance; KLG, with his deep dives on scientific practice and malpractice, and Conor with his watchful eye for important news stories outside the Collective West, particularly those with serious geopolitical implications. We also depend on our super overqualified tech maven Dave, and our diligent moderator katiebird.

Again thanks for your idea, insights, loyalty, and support! And on to another year.

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  1. bwilli123

    Congratulations. There is no other site on the internet like it. None as well trusted by its readers, and which trusts its readers equally as well.
    Thank you, all.

    1. bwilli123

      The only site where, if short of time I can happily go straight to the comments and be reliably and entertainingly informed.

  2. caucus99percenter

    Congratulations and mahalo nui loa for this archipelago of truth and sanity in the midst of a vast sea of lies, psychological warfare, and gaslighting.

  3. ddt

    Hope NC stays feisty and punches above its weight for many more years. A breath of fresh air online. Happy Birthday!

  4. Mark Gisleson

    Seventeen years? It seems like several lifetimes ago.

    There is no site I’ve recced more often than Naked Capitalism and now more than ever I would find it impossible to stay abreast of the news without your invaluable coverage and analyses.

    Bravo, kudos and congratulations. You have done a lot of good over the years. Few can say as much.

  5. The Rev Kev

    Congratulations for seventeen years of outstanding work and commentary on the workings of the world that we live in. It is something that you can look on with pride and every day it is like a breath of fresh air when compared to the Soviet-era style propaganda in the main stream media these days. caucus99percenter said it best when he said that this is an ‘archipelago of truth and sanity in the midst of a vast sea of lies, psychological warfare, and gaslighting.’

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qwscb3QIVSg (5:58 mins)

    1. caucus99percenter

      Arrr, matey, me pronounz be she/her, but no worries — finding the various flavors of offense-taking games regarding words and their usage pointless and boring, I am way past getting bent out of shape by mismatch on that sort of thing.

  6. HH

    Many thanks for establishing a bastion of sanity in a landscape of irresponsible and malignant information media. Long live NC!

  7. Carla

    Happy Birthday, Naked Capitalism! Although I’ve been here for only 13 of the last 17 years, I really can’t imagine how I could have stayed sane without this site. Yves, Lambert, the regular contributors, and the stellar commentariat have taught me so much–I am indebted, and deeply grateful, to you all.

  8. JCC

    I first came to your site shortly after you started publishing due to a link on either James Kwak’s site or Mish Shedlock’s site. I’ve been an almost daily reader ever since. It’s hard to believe it’s been 17 years..

    Thank you, Yves, for taking the plunge into informing and educating myself (and many others, I’m sure) about how our economic and financial system generally functions (or not). Multiple undergrad courses in economics and finance never came close.

    And the various animal/ecology links and stories supplied by you, Lambert, and others, have always been appreciated, too, as well as the generally excellent commentary.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Same here – during the meltdown I started reading NC, Calculated Risk, and Baseline Scenario. I also got my news from Common Dreams and a few others at the time. The links posts at NC started aggregating from other sites I read regularly, so NC became my goto, and I’ve been reading daily ever since. Except when I’m camping – then I leave the digital behind and only listen to the loons.

    2. Carolinian

      Barry Ritholtz wrote a post promoting this blog and a few others. I think almost all of the others are now gone. We who are permitted to warm a seat in the peanut gallery salute you for this accomplishment which even puts up with occasional kvetching.

  9. ChrisRUEcon

    Happy Birthday NC! The best family blog ever!

    I came for the New Economic Perspectives #MMT cross-posts, but stayed for the excellent class-traitor coverage of all things important – from Finance and Econ to Politics and public health – as well as antidotes and plantidotes!!

    Thank you so much to you, Yves, for starting this wonderful site and to Lambert, katiebird, Nick, Conor, KLG and all the other contributors/moderators over time, including those in the world’s best commentariat!

  10. Carlos

    Congratulations. I’ve discovered this blog early this year, thanks to a recommendation by Gonzalo Lira. I’ve been reading religiously daily since then. Though I never post comments of any kind, I’ve learned a great deal about economics, finance and American and Euro politics thanks to Naked Capitalism. I wish I could be able to make donations to support the blog and I hope I will be so in the next year.

  11. BradN

    Happy Birthday indeed!
    NakedCapitalism is my most trusted resource, an inspiration, and Yves active moderation a model of sanity.
    I am particularly fond of the whole PropOrNot fiasco because that is how I found NC to begin with. It was excellent advertising.

  12. bassmule

    My financial education began, and more or less ended, in 1982 with a class at NYU called Financial Markets taught by the late Arnold Sametz. As it happened, the year he died (2009) was the year I stumbled across this site, probably through Barry Ritholtz’s website. Naked Capitalism got me turned around from a naive belief in Free Markets to a better understanding about how the world really works. For which I owe undying thanks to Yves, Lambert, and all those who make this blog work. And to the Commentariat, who school me here every day.

  13. Rolf

    Congratulations on your 17th, and looking forward to 17 more! NC is the sole oasis in the desert of media websites. It’s my first (and usually only) stop. The summaries that precede articles and interviews are golden, and the diverse contributions of the NC commentariat and discussions that arise therein are typically superlative in their own right. Many, many kudos! Ever onward —

  14. jhallc


    “Time Flies like an Arrow…
    Fruit Flies like a Banana ”

    Came to this site through “Tanta” at Calculated Risk back in 2008. She seemed, to me anyway, to be a kindred soul of you and Lambert. Keep up the good hard work!

  15. Rod

    Happy Birthday for the daily party with gifts for all attending.
    Thanks so much for the work y’all put in to bring it forth and keep it going.

  16. SteveD

    Happy Birthday and a deeply felt THANK YOU to the whole NC team. This is a singularly valuable resource.

  17. Boomheist

    This site has been my go-to morning overall state of the world information source for at least 12 of your 17 years, maybe longer. Best single source of information and discussion and thinking about anything important happening in the world I have found. Yves you and your crew are doing great work. I don’t always agree with you, am sometimes provoked by you, and maybe once or twice have provoked you. I recommend NC to everyone know.

  18. Otto Reply

    Congratulations Yves and thank you and the NC team for creating and maintaining this refreshing oasis of sanity. Unlike lyman alpha blob, I don’t camp, so all I hear in flyover country are the loonies. Thanks for reminding us how the internet/blogosphere used to be – an open forum of free exchange rather than a sales/marketing tool. And the sharp moderation + focus on critical thinking is particularly welcome as it has created a digital habitat that permits a robust commentariat to flourish.

  19. Wukchumni

    Three cheers for NC!

    It works perfectly for yours truly who is an early riser that always feels sharpest in the wee hours when the ball gets rolling…

  20. Burritonomics

    This site is indispensable; it’s always daily reading. I can’t even remember what brought me to it, but here’s to seventeen years, and many more.

  21. Butch

    I’ve been reading for years now, but rarely comment. Any thing I might say usually gets said, usually better. But Happy Birthday! And thanks, thanks, thank you for existing. The U.S., the world and especially my life are improved with Naked Capitalism in it.

  22. MaryLand

    Thank you for all these years of the best information on the internet. I’ve been a reader for most of those years, coming here from Calculated Risk. My world is more understandable thanks to you all. Long may you run.

  23. PlutoniumKun

    Congrats on the birthday (anniversary?) and my profoundest thanks to Yves and Lambert for the amazing quality of insight for all those years. Heres to another 17.

  24. Jabura Basaidai

    only been partaking for 8 years but it was a lifesaving moment to discover NC when i did – thank you a million times

  25. elissa3

    Congratulations! My go-to site every morning. Can’t count how many times I’ve referenced NC among friends and relatives.

  26. Leftcoastindie

    Congrats on the first 17 years may many more follow!
    You have been an island of sanity in a sea of despair.
    Keep up the good work.

  27. Jackman

    Wow, impossible to imagine what our lives would be without this incredible site, and without the insight and courage and bottomless energy of Yves and Lambert, et al! Happy Birthday!……
    I remember first finding this site in 2008 when nothing made sense, and then suddenly, finally, some clarity!…..

  28. Glenda

    So glad I found this site to read daily. Finally a place where my views are acceptable. I know I can trust the insights I find here. Thanks to the commenters and the skill in your moderating, Yves. It feels like home.

  29. David in Friday Harbor

    I’m overwhelmed with everlasting gratitude for the intellectual labor that has gone into maintaining Naked Capitalism for 17 years. I came to the site circa ‘08 via Moyers? Taibbi? Krugman? got up the courage to join the Commentariat circa ‘11 (on my third “handle” — long story), and have read NC daily the entire time.

    I have made genuine and lasting friendships through NC meet-ups and messages. I have been able to engage in successful political action enabled and encouraged by the NC community. Perhaps a bit maudlin, but I’m reminded of the father of a former colleague, who was awarded a medal by the Solidarity government of Poland for his efforts as a slave laborer in the German camps to keep spirits up and to prevent suicides.

    Yves, you are that important to us.

  30. Eclair

    Congratulations, Yves! And Lambert and the rest of the crew here at NC.

    I don’t remember discovering NC until 2007, 2008. But, thanks to the little known, but growing, econoblogosphere that you mention above, Calculated Risk, Johnson and Kwak, Paul Krugman, whom I was reading constantly during 2006, when they were saying, “hey, guys, you might want to pay attention over here!” I had this awful feeling of impending doom, coming into 2007 (like Lambert’s feeling that something awful is going to happen :-))

    As it happens, my spouse’s company was transferring him (and most of his colleagues) from Orange County, California to Denver, Colorado. They gave us the option of moving in June or in September, 2007. My husband wanted to take the September option, saying this would give us more time to get our house ready to sell, find one in Denver, etc. House prices in Orange and LA counties had skyrocketed, but seemed to have leveled off somewhat. I ‘persuaded’ him to take the earlier move date and we sold our house at the end of May 2007.

    By August 2007, the Southern California housing market had crashed: my husband’s colleagues who chose the later move date, could not get their asking price. Many, the lucky ones, ended up not selling, but renting, a hassle. Others, not so lucky, ‘lost’ money. So, the knowledge gained is often not just theoretical but immensely practical.

    My discovery of NC a year or so later, amidst the foreclosure crisis is another tale. But, thank you!

  31. ambrit

    Happy Birthday to NC.
    I came here from Krugman’s NYT column.
    Naked Capitalism is the definition of an “Alternative News Site.” As such, it is almost alone in fulfilling that function today.
    The Secret(TM) seems to be the site’s habit of not pushing any socio-political “agenda.” [In this regard, I’ll posit that developing critical thinking skills is not an “agenda,” but a “calling.”] Thus, readers and commenters of any and all stripes can join in, secure in the knowledge that their views (informed or not so informed,) will be given due consideration. The fun part is the ‘push back.’
    Here’s to many more years of Naked Capitalism, in whatever venue it continues along in.

  32. Rick

    Congratulations indeed! I didn’t realize I started reading so close to your origins – the site was mature beyond its years.

    Brings back memories of the cataclysmic 2008 recession.

    Would be fun to see what other names people remember from that time, especially the more obscure ones. I nominate Charles Kingsley Michaelson of Some Assembly Required. He quit after Trump was elected, and I miss his juicy linkfests. Archive is still up at SAR.

  33. Val

    Having wandered over at some point from the link at Michael Hudson’s,
    I recall seeing Yves on Moyers, and saying to my wife, “hey that’s the lady with the good web site”.
    I was in error. That be the lady with the best website. Still true. Every day.
    Everyone here made a similar “exceptionally fortuitous click” at some point.

    I wish to congratulate our hosts for sharing their lovely minds and their courage and tenacity in pursuing this work.

    1. Late Introvert

      Dang it, I really can’t remember how I ended up here the first time, and I remember being a bit confused at first. That’s me though, I’m slow that way. It maybe took a month or so of poking around, reading the comments, and it sort of creeped up on me just how serious and deep and excellent this place is, and how humbling. I clearly had a lot to learn about a lot of things. I certainly know a lot more about economics than I did five years ago. I might even crack a Marx book or 3 thanks to Michael Hudson.

  34. Ignacio

    Congratulations and best wishes for the future for you the humans managing this unique web site and for the blog itself. Happy seventeen!

  35. Roop Dogg

    Love to you all! My favourite cranky website BAR NONE. First stop in the morning, great and learned commentariat, and a much needed emotional support when the times go crazy. Thanks for all you do Yves, Lambert, Nick and Conor, not to forget katiebird, Dave and KLG. Here’s to peace on earth and goodwill to you and yours this season.

  36. ChrisFromGA

    Well, we share a birthday. I wish I could say I was 17, but reality says add a few decades to that number.

    Thanks for keeping the site going; it is a real oasis of sanity in clown world!

  37. CarlH

    Congratulations Yves, Lambert, and the rest of the contributors! I am so thankful I found this site and it’s accompanying commentariat.

    1. Sue inSoCal

      Ohhhh, man! Terrific musical happy birthday! (I laugh..) I think it was Moyers’s interview. And my brain worked so much better then. I’ve had to rely on others for numbers, so to speak, but Yves, Lambert et al, you are the go-to for real news. Long may you wave!

  38. Irrational

    Congrats and thanks to Yves and the crew!
    I can’t remember when and how I found NC, but as the world gets crazier I don’t know what I would do without this island of sanity.

  39. Susan the other

    Happy Birthday. and many more. Seems like yesterday. But so much has happened since I found NC c. 2009. Half a generation later it also seems like an entirely different world. Splain me that one. The incredible lightness of something new? I really think I’d have gone brain dead without NC. Cheers.

  40. Rubicon

    Aside from NC, here’s quite a few out there who seem overly dynamic in explaining areas of US Finance. It’s very difficult to learn much from them. You know, the types who run around saying, “The Sky Is Falling.”

    We prefer reading Naked Capitalism on a daily basis within that venue. Using Dr. Michael Hudson as a guide, most NC articles fit within the his mode; not always, but we rarely end up feeling we’ve been mislead.

    The other issue that attracts us to Naked Capitalism is that it talks about US health care & other central issues like that which impacts millions of us.

    Thank you, NC’s “crew.” :)

  41. SusanS

    I have been reading this site every day since 2006. It’s something I really look forward to. Your Covid coverage was indispensable to me. I am still wearing a mask. Thank you and Congratulations!!!

  42. juno mas

    Wow! The heartfelt expressions of thanks, joy, and communion mark this birthday as the “Best Ever!”. I’m committed to another year of “fearless” inquiry at NC simply to rejoice again next year: Hallelujah!!!

  43. skippy

    Reminds me of the quote from the Army sniper in the last Predator movie: “I was born [came to NC] … and then since its been a long low crawl through enemy territory [the world]”.

    Pip Pip ….

  44. Joe Reader

    Thank you Yves, the other contributors, Lambert and the very knowledgeable and witty brain trust. I have learned a lot from reading the blog. I believe I have visiting the site for 16 years. I recall a bumper sticker when in high school. It said “question authority”. I grew up in a college town in northern CA and the college was liberal arts then. I am thankful that liberal mindset as in my environment. Seeing the anti war protests about the Vietnam era as youngster helped myself ask why? I was at a protest in front of the local post office while in the 5th grade. My stepfather was open minded and very glad he took me along with him. Reading Chomsky and Zinn helped shape my outlook in my 30’s.
    This site made my critical thinking skills stay active.
    I think about being out of the country and joining an ex pat community. They would have to be readers of Naked Capitalism for me to be associated with them.
    Thanks Yves

  45. ScottB

    Happy Birthday! I remember, like many others, finding NC in the early days (Barry Ritholtz recommended you). You held my hand through the Lehman Brothers Death Watch and all that was to come, and made it so much clearer. And ECONned. The best takedown of economics around.

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