At last . . . I understand!
"The Cheapest Way To Hedge Against The World Totally Going To Crap"

"How did the New York Times manage to spend $40 million on its pay wall?"

Philip Greenspun asks. He's genuinely puzzled.

The funniest answer is from "Alex in Texas":

Perhaps their most popular blogger, Paul Krugman, convinced them that the Keynesian Multiplier effect of spending lots of money building infrastructure without regard to cost-effectiveness would lead to greater profits for them in the future.