July 13, 2020

I'm turning Notes on the Crises into a full-fledged publication

Subscribe to help me do that

I'm turning Notes on the Crises into a full-fledged publication

Less than two weeks ago Peter Coy published a profile of me in Bloomberg Businessweek.  In doing so, Peter changed my life forever, and for the better.  The majority of the people reading this are doing so after reading the Bloomberg piece (many thanks to my early subscribers, who made the profile possible). Over the past fortnight, so many opportunities and possibilities have come flooding in as a result of that piece.

As of July 2020, Notes on the Crises regularly gets 50,000 unique views and my total email list (paid subscribers plus free sign ups) is turning the corner to 40,000 emails, including many influential figures across finance, government and journalism from around the world. I have 83.5 thousand twitter followers, which is more than many head editors of much larger publications.

Coverage set off more coverage. Articles about me have appeared in multiple newspapers and news publications around the globe and they’ve been written in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic and more that I’m not even aware of. Here is a picture of a front cover story about me published in a Taiwanese magazine:

The story has appeared in various forms in many Spanish publications including CNN Chile, The Colombian Business paper La República and the Argentine publication La Nacion. Here are two pictures generous readers took of the physical newspapers they were printed in.

(If you’ve seen a story about me appear in a foreign physical newspaper please send me a picture of it and, if you’re feeling especially generous, email me at crisesnotes@gmail.com for details of how to send me a physical copy).

Money for the Money Blog

Most importantly though, what has flooded in is paid subscriptions. So much so that Notes on the Crises has made me far more than financially secure — it has put me in the position to dream bigger than my own comfort. I’m now in a position to expand operations, and bring you insights informed by multiple perspectives.

When I started this substack, I had more modest expectations. Specifically, I had it in my head that I'd be thrilled if it generated 45,000 dollars for me, personally. When I agreed to be interviewed for Peter’s profile, I was hoping to get some more subscriptions to ensure I could always afford health insurance. Thanks to my new paid subscribers, I’ve blown well past those sorts of goals. Since the Bloomberg article was published, I’d estimate that Notes on the Crises has, on net, gained 1300 subscribers. That is a truly mind-boggling amount to me. I’m also pleased to announce that Notes on the Crises is the 13th highest paid substack as of midnight today, based on Saturday’s subscription results.

I’m already blown away by this level of interest in a new, and institutionally unsupported blog. But I believe it will also climb up the rankings more, especially with your help.

Over the past few weeks I’ve also heard more from you, my readers. I’ve learned, to my amazement, that many of my subscribers are not thinking about a Notes on the Crises subscription as financial support to me, but are rather thinking in terms of the service it provides you as a reader. In that case, I’ve got great news for you..

What’s next for me, and my subscribers?

While I want to do well personally from this blog (of course), I’ve been offered an opportunity to do more. At this point  I also want to provide a platform to the community of alternative economic thinkers who have engaged me intellectually despite my lack of educational credentials over many years.Through paid subscriptions, my readers’ subscriptions will be going not only into my pocket but into:

  • A freelance writing budget for guest writers.
  • Translating the substack into other languages (which I will have more details about in the coming weeks).
  • Bringing on the professional editor I’ve selected full-time (she begins this week on a part-time basis).
  • Other projects associated with building out a professional publication.

In other words, there will be a great increase in content from Notes on the Crisis, effective next month, as well as arrangements for putting out the high quality writing and analysis that these circumstances demand. I will not be raising the price of subscriptions, but I will be providing more for your money’s worth.

For those of you who did subscribe initially in hopes of supporting me, congratulations, you have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. With my personal needs covered, I will now direct “surplus” funds into building the publication I’ve dreamt of building for all of my adult life.

I’ve already commissioned at least half a dozen articles (and counting) which will come out on a rolling basis over the next few months.

For those who are subscribing for my thoughts, don’t worry I’m not going away. I will be publishing at least one piece of my own writing a week, and many weeks I will be publishing two. The #MonetaryPolicy101 series will be going on the back burner — these posts will be prepared further over the summer, then posted at least once a month. I will select perspectives that will enrich analysis of the on-going crisis, and edit them according to the standards expected from this blog — , though of course without stifling their views. From August on , readers will simply be getting more reading material out of their subscription, and now professionally edited. I will also be working on creating a weekly email digest option for people who find an email for each post too much communication. Inevitably, a ‘Notes on the Crises’ podcast is being considered, though I’m staying focused on writing for now.

In short, the more success Notes on the Crises has, the more materials I will be able to produce.

Finally, I will make sure to still have two articles a week for the next month — one by myself, one by guests. Thanks to a speedy guest writer, I will even have two articles this week, despite moving on tax day later this week.

In the next few weeks, I will be dealing with the administrative backend of Notes on the Crises and making decisions about incorporation among other business decisions in my new-found position. Please bear with me , as I find my new footing in this expanded and exciting role. My aim will always be bringing you more and better writing in the future. Best of all, this doesn’t even exhaust the exciting things I have to announce. I’m excited about being able to bring you more details about translating Notes on the Crises, and other opportunities which will be coming in short order.

Further Connections Sought: Supporting Macroeconomically-Informed Journalism fit for 21st Century Crisis

Part of the reason I’ve enjoyed such amazing success is the relative paucity of in-depth economics journalism, which is related to the hollowing out of journalism all together. Increasingly, traditional publications have less to offer today’s young economists. It no longer makes sense to spend years and years trying to learn the ins and outs of a niche topic in order to get a job at a mainstream journalistic publication.

Due to this, a longstanding ambition of mine has been to secure funding for me to play the role of Executive Editor to macroeconomically-informed investigative publication. (I’ll be writing about what I mean by ‘macroeconomically-informed investigative journalism’ in the coming month). If you or your firm is interested in funding that kind of reporting, contact my publication at: crisesnotes@gmail.com.

Housekeeping: Email Addresses and Means of Support

In future, for all correspondence related to this blog, please email me at crisesnotes@gmail.com. Future publication related emails should be also sent to this address. I know that I have handed out my personal email in the past, but I’m hoping to transition business-related email to this address (which will facilitate me hiring an administrative assistant in the future, funding permitting).

While my criticisms of private cryptocurrency and its capacity to help deal socioeconomic problems are well known, I’m also willing to accept donations in cryptocurrency (with or without an ironic spirit).

A Final Word of Thanks

Thank you so much for your support. It’s not overstating things to say that my paid subscribers, along with my readers, have made my dreams come true.