Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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Thanks! Met Our Sixth Goal, On to Our Seventh: More Original Reporting

If you don’t need to be persuaded to give but just haven’t done it yet, please go right to our fundraiser page to chip in!

Thanks to your generous responses, we’ve hit our first six targets: investments in essential IT infrastructure, bonuses to our loyal guest writers, increasing staffing to provide for continued expanded Links, supporting the comments section, supplying the horsepower for our 24/7 coverage without burning out our tiny team, and funding to extend our reach.

Our seventh goal is funding for more original reporting. It may seem weird to have this as our final goal. Shouldn’t we have asked sooner?

In fact, all the the previous targets are essential to keep the site going. For instance, rewarding our regular writers isn’t just to recognize their above-and-beyond the-call-of-duty dedication; it also helps in bringing new writers on board, as we have this year. And many of you have said that Links and Water Cooler are “must have” features.

Readers have told us that one of the things they particularly value about Naked Capitalism is its no-holds-barred coverage of financial, economic, and increasingly geopolitical news, and the power dynamics that drive them.

From Janet T and Steve H:

I could write a lengthy email about how highly we value Naked Capitalism in our household, but will attempt to keep it short and sweet. We’ve just made a donation, and I hope that it was made in time to be matched in Sarah’s challenge.

Early each morning, Steve checks the news “out there,” and for quite a few years he would bring me my morning coffee and the news for the half hour before I would get ready to head off to work. I retired a year ago from my nursing career of 45 years, so now he waits until after I get up to discuss the morning’s news with me over morning coffee. NC has been THE most consistent source of information and quality thinking each day for us over the past decade (maybe longer?), and for this we are both thankful.

As a health care professional, the comments from IM Doc and the others in the “COVID brain trust” have been illuminating from the start of this pandemic, with accurate information that has not been popular with the MSM’s official line. I can only hope that IM Doc and the others can maintain their health and their sanity while continuing to work in this current environment. It’s truly the most bizarre circumstances and illness that I’ve ever seen in my adult and professional life. Also, other current world events are presented, with important information and insights discussed on NC which also do not parrot the MSM’s official line(s). Pulling all of these sources together for Links and the Water Cooler is an amazing job, done every day for those of us who tune in.

I (and we) truly appreciate the years of critical thinking and the work done by all those who make Naked Capitalism what it is: an invaluable resource for those of us who want to think about the events and circumstances which can affect all our lives in different ways, with information presented clearly, and the superb commentariat which adds depth and additional insights.

With deep thanks and our gratitude to you, Yves (brilliant intellect), and to Lambert (wit!), and all the mods and contributors whose names I cannot recollect at this moment

And Eudora Welty:

Donated. I can think of so many reasons I appreciate NC: IM Doc’s reports, the formerly Jerri-Lynn’s style, lectures from Michael Hudson, Yves’s acerbity (is that a word), Lambert’s irony, the commentariat. The antidotes, too. It’s the best source for real news.

And some notes are short and sweet. From mrsyk:

:

In. Thanks for providing such an excellent site.

One of the reasons we’ve been able to punch above our weight is the considerable and extremely high quality input we get from this community.

But as much as this site makes an important contribution via analyzing and adding expert insights to news stories, our greatest impact has come via original reporting. For instance, all of the officials we forced from their posts, the SEC’s Andrew Bowden for seeking a job for his son from the very people he regulates, the scandal-ridden fiduciary counsel Robert Klausner who had CalPERS as his client, and more recently, CalPERS’ former Chief Financial Officer Charles Asubonten, and this year, CalPERS Chief Investment Officer Ben Meng, all resulted from stories that we broke.

We also forced an industry-wide change in private equity by shaming CalPERS into disclosing how much it was paying via one of its biggest fees, the so-called carry fee. CalPERS’ change was widely described as a landmark. Even a guest speaker at CalPERS said its disclosures on fees and costs, which CalPERS made only under duress, had shaken other public pension funds into getting more serious about trying to contain them. Hubert Horan’s Uber series has led to reporters finally questioning the ride-sharing company’s fundamentals.

And our reporting is important in informal/social media networks. Lambert’s extensive work on aerosols and ventilation has helped increase the use of Corsi-Rosenthal boxes and stiffened the spines of mask-wearing readers. His takedowns of CDC fecklessness, most recently its horrible advice on hospital safety, will stand the test of time.

We’d like to do more reporting, but we’ve discovered why journalists take umbrage at bloggers: An originally-reported story takes roughly four to ten times that of blog post of commentary and analysis. Consider an example from the Columbia Journalism Review :

A recent report by Mother Jones in which a senior reporter worked four months as a corrections officer exemplifies this tension. The massive 35,000-word report exposed corruption in private prisons but conservatively cost $350,000 to produce and only brought in $5,000 in banner ads.

Now we admittedly have a leg up in that Naked Capitalism readers savor meatier content. But even so, original reporting doesn’t just take much more gumshoe work than analysis of news. It also involves pursuing leads that often don’t pan out. And it also can require meaningful hard dollar expenses, such as paying lawyers to pursue FOIAs when the government agency gives an obviously phoney-baloney excuse for withholding documents. Even a round or two of legal saber-rattling runs into thousands of dollars.

So that is a long winded way of saying that original reporting is costly but more and more important as the mainstream media is both running into budget constraints and becoming less intrepid generally.

Our target for original reporting is $45,000. We are already $520 towards that goal.

Im addition to continuing with our financial services industry spadework, we would have Lambert dig even deeper into Covid and healthcare. Yours truly will be doing more work on continuing sanctions blowback, particularly the impact on banking and trade flows. KLG is now providing fresh work on medical/bioscience intellectual capture and corruption, and to have her and Lambert keep pursuing our “code as law” beat. And crapification is only getting worse.

So those of you who have contributed already, thanks again for your generous support, and we look forward to those NC fans who have just found out about the fundraiser to help make the site more successful.

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

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

Aurora Advisors Incorporated
164 Peachtree Circle
Mountain Brook, AL 35213

Please also send an e-mail to yves@nakedcapitalism.com with the headline “Check is in the mail” (and just the $ en route in the message) to have your contribution included in the total number of donations.

Donate now to Naked Capitalism, whether it’s $5, $50, or $5000. If you can’t afford much, give what you can. If you can afford more, give more. If you can 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. As one reader wrote, “A small investment in our future, together.”

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