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Naked Capitalism

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Naked Capitalism
Homepage dated November 1, 2014
Type of site
Financial news and analysis
Available inEnglish
OwnerAurora Advisors Incorporated
Created byYves Smith
LaunchedDecember 2006; 17 years ago (2006-12)
Current statusOnline

Naked Capitalism is a liberal American group blog.[1][2] Susan Webber, the principal of Aurora Advisors Incorporated, a management-consulting firm based in New York City, launched the site in late 2006, using the pen name Yves Smith.[3] She focused on finance and economic news and analysis, with an emphasis on legal and ethical issues of the banking industry and the mortgage foreclosure process, the worldwide effects of the banking crisis of 2008, the 2007–2012 global financial crisis, and its aftermath. The site became one of the most highly frequented financial blogs on the Internet[4] and has published a number of noted exposés since.


Webber graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Business School.[5] She began her career in the financial services industry in 1981 at Goldman Sachs, later moving to McKinsey & Co. and Sumitomo Bank.[6] In 1989 she founded her own company.[6]

Webber started the Naked Capitalism blog because she saw a reporting gap in 2006, just before the financial crisis – there was a lot of anxiety among seasoned observers, yet the US press featured "all this cheerleading [of the financial industry] and there was a lack of any skepticism [...] How could anyone in the market not see what was going on? That we were going to have some sort of train wreck?"[7]

Webber has also written under her pen name – a pun on the 18th-century economist Adam Smith[8] – for other outlets including the New York Times,[9] New York magazine,[10] Bloomberg,[11] and the Roosevelt Institute.[12]

Contributing writers[edit]

Naked Capitalism is written by a small group of contributors.[2][13] In addition to Webber herself, current and former contributors include:


Naked Capitalism became widely read during the 2007–2008 financial crisis as people were trying to come to grips with what was happening.[3][6] This led to TV appearances for Smith on stations such as CNBC, CNN, Fox News and PBS, and she was approached to write a book on the crisis.[6][27]

In a 2010 piece critiquing the Wall Street Journal's coverage of the foreclosure scandal, the Columbia Journalism Review noted that the Wall Street Journal was being "outclassed" by Naked Capitalism.[28] In 2011, TIME included Naked Capitalism among "The 25 Best Financial Blogs", saying that Smith had been well ahead of the curve in understanding the financial crisis.[29] Stephen Gandel, reviewing Naked Capitalism for TIME, said that "At times, Naked Capitalism's accusations against Wall Street can be hard to prove. But the blog's sense of right and wrong rings true to me."[29]

In 2011, CNBC listed the site as one of the "20 Most Influential Finance Blogs", describing Smith as "a harsh critic of Wall Street who believes that fraud was at the center of the financial crisis."[30] In 2013, Wired included the blog among its "favorite sources of news covering the world of business and finance", saying Smith offered a "piercing look at the ethical and legal missteps of the global financial industry."[31]

Documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney told The New York Times that the "blog gives you a very unvarnished look at the political economy. You find out things that don’t show up in the news until weeks later."[32] The New York Times financial reporter Gretchen Morgenson cited Naked Capitalism in 2014 as one of the "must-read financial blogs" she visited regularly.[33]

In 2014, Naked Capitalism obtained and published twelve Limited Partnership Agreements (LPA) – agreements between private equity firms and their portfolio companies that are termed trade secrets, an area the SEC's Special Inspector Andrew J. Bowden had promised to look into.[34] In 2015, Naked Capitalism drew attention to comments Bowden had recently made at a Stanford Law School conference that many observers felt were inappropriate and a sign of "regulatory capture" – a regulator becoming too friendly with an industry their profession requires them to regulate.[35][36][37] Bowden stepped down shortly after.[38]

In 2018, a Naked Capitalism article highlighting discrepancies in the work résumé of the Chief Financial Officer of the $410 billion[39] California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) was followed by the executive's departure.[40][41] In 2020, a Naked Capitalism blog post pointing out disclosure discrepancies toppled the same organization's chief investment officer.[39][42] Naked Capitalism said the officer had personally invested in some of the same private equity groups CalPERS had invested in, creating a conflict of interest.[39][43]

Naked Capitalism was cited by Dow Jones & Company in an amicus brief for the 2020 U.S. Supreme Court case Allen v. Cooper.[44][45] Since 2021, the site has been archived monthly in the Economics Blogs Web Archive at the Library of Congress.[46][47]


  • Yves Smith (2010), ECONned, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 978-0-230-62051-3[48][49]
  • Naked Capitalism Whistleblower Report on Bank of America Foreclosure Reviews (free e-book, 2013)[50]


  1. ^ Douglas, Danielle (2013-08-02). "The rise of Promontory". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2023-07-18.
  2. ^ a b Hagan, Joe (2009-09-25). "The Dow Zero Insurgency". New York. Retrieved 2023-07-22.
  3. ^ a b Kulwin, Noah (2018-08-10). "Naked Capitalism's Yves Smith on Why We Didn't See the 2008 Crash Coming". New York. Retrieved 2023-07-22.
  4. ^ a b Hill, Claire A.; Painter, Richard W. (2015-10-19). Better Bankers, Better Banks: Promoting Good Business through Contractual Commitment. University of Chicago Press. p. 220. ISBN 978-0-226-29305-9.
  5. ^ Srinivasan, Sujata (2010-10-26). "Yves Smith: Economics Cons The World". Forbes India. Retrieved 2023-07-18.
  6. ^ a b c d Davies, Rob (Jan 2011). "Yves Smith". Credit. 12 (1). Incisive Media: 52–54. ProQuest 840570237 – via ProQuest.
  7. ^ Pollack, Lisa (2012-02-10). "The blogosphere". Financial Times. Retrieved 2023-07-18.
  8. ^ Rafferty, Kevin (2010-04-05). "Brutal truth about the biggest con game of all". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2023-07-24.
  9. ^ Taylor, Mike (2010-11-01). "Recommended Reading: Yves Smith's Sunday New York Times Op-Ed". The New York Observer. Retrieved 2023-07-18.
  10. ^ "Naked Capitalism". New York. Retrieved 2023-07-22.
  11. ^ "Articles by Yves Smith". bloombergview.com. 2016-04-29. Archived from the original on 2016-04-29. Retrieved 2023-07-22.
  12. ^ Smith, Yves (2010-09-23). "Guest Post from Yves Smith: Goldman Sachs' Glass Ceiling Remains Intact". rooseveltinstitute.org. Archived from the original on 2018-12-22. Retrieved 2023-07-22.
  13. ^ "Bloggers". naked capitalism. Retrieved 2023-08-31.
  14. ^ Truthout (2017-12-10). "Lambert Strether". Truthout. Retrieved 2023-07-23.
  15. ^ Staff (2021-01-04). "Nick Corbishley". Truthout. Retrieved 2023-08-31.
  16. ^ Gallagher, Conor (2022-12-28). "NATO's Ghosts of the Past Return in Kosovo-Serbia". Brave New Europe. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  17. ^ Pilkington, Philip (2017-08-16). "Utilitarian Economics and the Corruption of Conservatism". American Affairs Journal. Retrieved 2023-07-23.
  18. ^ "The Economics Department Presents Speaker David Dayen". Loyola Marymount University. Retrieved 2023-07-24.
  19. ^ Hudson, Michael (2017-04-04). "Bloomberg's Hit Job on Venezuela – and Me". michael-hudson.com. Retrieved 2023-07-26.
  20. ^ Fry, Erika (2011-09-29). "Is Occupy Wall Street Getting Its Fair Share of Press?". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2023-07-23.
  21. ^ Smith, Jeremy (2014-04-07). "Financial repression, Matt Stoller version". Prime. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  22. ^ "Nathan Tankus". JSTOR Daily. Retrieved 2023-07-23.
  23. ^ "Simon featured on Naked Capitalism | University of Georgia School of Law". www.law.uga.edu. Retrieved 2023-07-23.
  24. ^ Mirowski, Philip (2014-04-15). Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown. Verso Books. p. 431. ISBN 978-1-78168-302-6.
  25. ^ Weisenthal, Joe (2009-07-01). "SHOCKER: Fed Governor Says Fed Policy Won't Cause Inflation". Business Insider. Retrieved 2023-07-27.
  26. ^ Smith, Richard (2016-07-31). "How Scotland's tax haven firms could be reformed". The Scotland Herald. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  27. ^ "In Aftermath of Financial Crisis, Who's Being Held Responsible?". PBS NewsHour. 2011-11-24. Retrieved 2023-07-22.
  28. ^ Chittum, Ryan (2010-10-08). "The Journal Trails Badly on the Foreclosure Scandal". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  29. ^ a b Gandel, Stephen (2011-03-07). "The 25 Best Financial Blogs". TIME. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2023-07-18.
  30. ^ Carney, John (27 January 2012). "The Best Alternative Financial Blogs". CNBC. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  31. ^ WIRED Staff. "101 Signals: Want to Know Business? These Are the Only People You Need to Follow". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2023-07-20.
  32. ^ Murphy, Kate (2013-10-12). "Opinion | Alex Gibney". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-07-18.
  33. ^ Staff, The Times Insider (2014-04-25). "Follow the Money: Gretchen Morgenson on Wall Street". The New York Times. Retrieved 2023-07-22.
  34. ^ Lopez, Linette (2014-06-01). "Someone Posted A Bunch Of Private Equity 'Trade Secrets' That The Industry Wants To Keep Under Wraps". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  35. ^ Sirota, David (2015-03-30). "The SEC's Danger of Regulatory Capture". In These Times. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  36. ^ Taibbi, Matt (2015-03-25). "Regulatory Capture, Captured on Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  37. ^ Hiltzik, Michael (2015-03-20). "Bankers are complaining – again – about too much regulation". Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on 2023-07-25. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  38. ^ Davis, Owen (2015-04-07). "Chief SEC Watchdog Returning To Private Sector". International Business Times. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  39. ^ a b c Cantrell, Amanda (2020-08-16). "The Crucifixion of Ben Meng". Institutional Investor. Retrieved 2023-07-18.
  40. ^ Ashton, Adam (2018-04-20). "Inflated-résumé claims prompt review of top CalPERS official". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  41. ^ Ashton, Adam (2018-05-21). "Pension fund's CFO 'no longer works' for CalPERS after hiring review". The Fresno Bee. Archived from the original on 2023-07-24. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  42. ^ Cumbo, Josephine (2022-02-22). "US pension group Calpers hires Canadian as investment chief". Financial Times. Retrieved 2023-07-22.
  43. ^ Smith, Peter; Kruppa, Miles (2020-08-06). "Calpers investment chief resigns after 18 months at $400bn fund". Financial Times. Retrieved 2023-07-22.
  44. ^ LoBue, Robert P. (2019-08-12). "Brief for Amicus Curiae Dow Jones & Company, Inc. in Support of Petitioners, Allen v. Cooper, 140 S. Ct. 994 (2020) (No. 18-877)" (PDF). supremecourt.gov. p. 4. Retrieved 2023-07-31.
  45. ^ Wang, Runhua (April 2021). "Modify State "Piracy" after Allen: Introducing Apology to the U.S. Copyright Regime". Buffalo Law Review. 69 (2): 499–500. Retrieved 2023-07-31 – via Hein Online.
  46. ^ Smith, Yves (2021-11-07). "Naked Capitalism Added to Library of Congress". naked capitalism. Retrieved 2023-07-18.
  47. ^ "Search results for Economics Blogs Web Archive, Naked Capitalism, Available Online". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved 2023-07-18.
  48. ^ Fligstein, Neil (2011). "The Banks Did It". Contemporary Sociology. 40 (2): 140–142. doi:10.1177/0094306110396834b. ISSN 0094-3061. JSTOR 23042104. S2CID 143482557.
  49. ^ Du Boff, Richard (2010). "A History of the Great Bust – Still With Us". Monthly Review. 62 (4): 55–62. doi:10.14452/MR-062-04-2010-08_8. ProQuest 749929643. Retrieved 2023-07-18 – via ProQuest.
  50. ^ Smith, Yves (2013-04-05). "Launching Our First (Free) Ebook on the OCC/Fed Foreclosure Review Fiasco". naked capitalism. Retrieved 2023-07-18.

External links[edit]