Hooray! Met Our Fourth Goal, On to Our Fifth: More Original Reporting

If you don’t need to be persuaded to give but simply have not gotten around to it, please proceed straight to our fundraiser page to chip in!

Thanks to your generous and speedy responses, we’ve achieved our first four targets: more upgrades to the user experience and other site tech support (which should lead to faster loading times and quicker resolution of reader problems), nice ex-post facto honoraria to our loyal guest writers, travel/conference expenses and coverage, and providing the staffing for next year so we can have 24/7 coverage. Let me stress again that these are all things that your donations have and continue to make possible. And at 972 donors, we’re over 77% of the way to our new goal of 1250 contributors for this fundraiser.

Our fifth goal is funding for more original reporting. Yes, I know, it may sound peculiar to ask for that at this point in the fundraiser. Shouldn’t we have asked for that sooner?

But the reality is that all the things we’ve asked for are essential to keep the site going as it is now and provide for some readily-executed and critical improvements, like improving the mobile version of the site and rewarding our regular writers (which will also help us in bringing new writers on board).

Readers have told us that one of the things they particularly value about Cfdtrade is its no-holds-barred coverage of financial and economic news, and increasingly of the power dynamics that drive them. Consider this e-mail from Daniel K:

Thank you for your hard work, expertise, integrity, and courage.

It seems to me that it didn’t used to require courage to be critical of the US government, and to challenge it.

But it seems to me we can no longer count on corporate media to press for the truth, and ask critical probing questions, and that doing so becomes ever more perilous.

And the words of Linda B:

Thank God somebody thinks it is appropriate to do the hard work of finding out the facts and holding people accountable.

And from Barry B:

Your site is a beacon of sanity in an ocean of deceipt, laziness, vapidity, greed, and corruption.

In the aftermath of the crisis, the financial firms made a concerted effort at controlling news flow, and have focused even more energy on getting Washington DC on their side. That means the official messaging regularly aligns with the interests of the 1%, albeit sometimes artfully wrapped in Vichy Leftist garb.

So it is hard on a day-to-day basis simply to extract the signal from the noise in what passes for financial journalism. But our continued skepticism and informed readership have over time led us to break or be early to report stories, such as widespread problems with mortgage securitizations; the legal and political battles over foreclosures; our extensive series on the fiasco of the so-called Independent Foreclosure Reviews, based on extensive whistleblower input; and reports from multiple in-bank whistleblowers on servicing abuses. More recently, we’ve done ground-breaking reporting on private equity abuses, which has led to a resignation at the SEC, industry-wide pressure for more fee disclosure, including a proposal for new legislation by the California Treasurer John Chinag to require not only full transparency on fees, but also on related party transactions. a major mechanism for rent extraction. Lambert has done extensive digging into Obamacare, exposing how it is making health care into even more of a lemon market. An Richard Smith’s multi-year pursuit of scammers is yielding fruit as major media outlets like the BBC and the Wall Street Journal are using finding on multi-bullion dollar scams as input into their stories.

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 the effort of a blog post of commentary and analysis. Even when it is a comparatively easy original post, like our analysis of the Hank Greenberg version of events in the AIG bailout trial last year, it still requires digesting raw information, testing its veracity, and assessing whether critical information has been omitted.

Similarly, while whistleblowers can be invaluable sources, they come with their own problems. We’ve found that under one in five can provide enough support for their story (no matter how compelling it sounds) for us to be able to develop a post based on it. And we typically need to spend some time with the ones who can’t deliver the goods before we have to tell them that we still need more information to move forward. And even in those cases when we’d have extremely capable whistleblowers, who have provided documentation and clear explanations, they’ve brought their own set of issues, such as trying to get access to our information and s to advance other aspects of their business.

Our target for original reporting is $25,000. We are already $1465 towards that goal.

Im addition to continuing with our financial services industry spadework, we would have Lambert dig even deeper into Obamacare, and we’d like to keep a closer eye on Social Security “reform.” A priority if we do well would be to commission more posts from Dave Dayen, who keeps close to a lot of DC developments and would help us provide timely, insightful commentary on a wider range of topics if he were reporting more regularly here.

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 (or multiple post dated checks) in the name of Aurora Advisors Incorporated to

Aurora Advisors Incorporated
903 Park Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10075

Please also send an e-mail to [email protected] 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 Cfdtrade. 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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8 comments

  1. Kokanani

    Yves, Lambert, I have a fund-raising suggestion for you:

    In our family, we have enough “stuff,” so for events like birthdays and Christmas, we provide those who express an interest in giving us gifts with a list of organizations we’d like to see supported.

    Christmas is coming, and it wouldn’t be TOO weird for folks to suggest NC as an alternative to having to brave the crowds and look for a tie or scarf. Folks could send a link to NC [perhaps to one of the stories explaining its goals], together with an “I love this place. I think you will too. Please send them some $$$ in lieu of getting me a gift this year.” A additional would be that it would introduce new readers/supporters to NC.

    C’mon, folks have probably already been sending friends links to sizzling NC stories. Let them know how to support such a great place, become one of the “in crowd” that reads NC first thing every morning [and again or Water Cooler @ 2 pm], and finish their Christmas shopping before the end of October.

    Win win for all. And ka-ching — in a good way.

  2. Carla

    Hi, Yves… thanks for this. I’m wondering if the line below the thermometer (Cfdtrade 2015 Fundraiser, amount raised) might be used to provide a running total of the entire fundraiser so far. Right now, it kind of looks as if all that’s been raised is $1,465, when the real total is many multiples of that. Just a thought.

  3. low_integer

    Heh, I’m assuming you mean over 77% of the way to 1250 donors, because 972 out of 1000 is 97.2%.

    In any case, I’m very happy to see how successful the fundraiser has been so far and thanks for the email.

    Cheers!

  4. Nigelk

    Yves, Lambert, et al:

    Thank you for what you are doing, have done, and will continue to do: Speak truth to power.

    A check is in the mail as of today, 10-23-15, for $100. Wish I could do more.

    It’ll be under my actual name, not my nom de plume, but you’ll know it’s me because in the subject line at bottom left it says “DOWN WITH THE OLIGARCHY”.

    Best wishes,
    Nigel K

  5. jhg

    Dear Yves, Lambert, and everyone else,
    I just sent a $100.00 donation. I have followed your site for a long time now and I check it every day. I am not in the financial business but I have learned a lot from your columns and posts as well as the discourse in the comments section.
    Keep speaking truth to power.
    Best of Luck
    John G.

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