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Welcome to 2023. Time to Grow Global Economics
Hi Global Econ Readers!
Welcome to 2023! I wanted to take a minute and tell you my plans for this column.
I started it last spring because I want to write more regularly and publicly about economics, mostly macroeconomic topics. I think macroeconomics is generally poorly understood and poorly explained in public discussions. I enjoy teaching it, conducting research in it, and, people seem to enjoy my explanations. So, I started.
I experimented a bit and wanted to see if I could write regularly or if I’d run out of material. Additionally, I wanted to get a feel for writing these. Should they be longer? Shorter? More technical? Less technical? And so on.
Conclusions from 2022
What I concluded from 2022 is that
1. I do enjoy writing these and have plenty of topics to write about.
2. There is an audience and it’s not necessarily the one I initially imagined. Originally, I thought my readers would just be people in investment businesses, other economists, etc. But it turns out that there are a lot of non-economic, non-investment people out there who want to read and understand these things and want someone they trust to explain them.
3. In addition to learning that there is an audience and a more diverse one than I initially imagined, there is a paying audience. That means that it is possible for me to grow this and for it to be an actual income source in my life. That’s important because it means I can devote time to building this. Over time that will allow me some financial independence so I can do more of this.
4. But, I also learned that in my peak busy periods (usually end of a semester) I have a hard time producing weekly columns. This means, it’s hard to build a regular readership if it’s not regular content.
So, I’ve been thinking about these points and have a plan.
The Plan for 2023: Growth and Consistency
The basic plan for 2023 is to grow the column and paid readership. Not too surprising :-)
I believe there is still an economic/investment/professional audience out there interested in reading regular commentary on the economy. A few years ago some students and I launched and ran InvestCEE, a website focused exclusively on economic and investment news from Central Europe. There was a period when it ran well and I had some people ask about regular reports and analysis. But, I love that there is a broader audience reading my columns and I like my broader columns. I think there’s a way to combine all these things.
So, I plan to continue my regular columns. I’ll write them as I have been, following my interests and what’s relevant in the news and your feedback. So if you ever have comments, questions or topics you think I should address, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!
Additionally, I’ll also start building more “professional” (for lack of a better term) material as well that is interesting for investors, economists and others. At this point I also plan to develop some regular reports and metrics that I track in a few regions of the world and then possibly move to a connected website. We’ll see.
I haven’t figured out pricing yet. I see others on Substack raised their prices. No surprise given inflation. My ideal situation would be to have tiered pricing where I keep my column the same price and then charge more for the regular, business-oriented work. It’s not clear how to do that on Substack right now, but it’s evolving all the time. For now, I’ll keep everything as it is, and I’ll let you know in advance before I change anything.
A few of my economics students want to help with basic economic research. So I’ll get them started in January. Probably they will just submit reports to me on developments in different regions so that I can track more things more easily. But, over the years, many of these students have become research partners and friends and excellent writers. So I might co-author with them. And the better ones might write pieces for Global Econ, but it’ll be at least a few months before that would happen. Most likely, for now, they’ll help me with internal reports and help work on the more professional services that I think will be interesting to the market.
But that brings me to Jack French.
Introducing Jack French
Jack French is a friend and former student. He helped me build, edit and wrote regularly for InvestCEE. He also learned to write code and we published a research paper together last year (“Exploring what stock markets tell us about GDP in theory and practice” in Research in Economics).
Jack worked at Bridgewater Associates, the asset management firm of Ray Dalio. He then joined the New Bagehot Project at the Yale School of Management, named after the famous journalist and thinker, Walter Bagehot who is most famous for his book Lombard Street on how central banks can fight crises. The project researches and writes about financial crises around the world throughout history with a strong monetary policy and central bank focus.
But Jack and I enjoy working together and he’s joining me to help me build the investment-oriented material. Jack will begin writing some pieces we’ll release on Global Economics. His focus will likely be more on investing and markets. Additionally, he’ll work with me and the student team to develop the other materials. Jack’s now amazing at writing code for economic analysis and we’ll all benefit from his skills. He also has a talent for writing and explaining complex topics in understandable ways that even I can understand!
Of course, all his opinions are his own and do not reflect the opinions of Yale or the New Bagehot Project. The same goes for me and Quinnipiac University where I teach. My opinions are my own. And, finally, we are not giving investment advice. We are analyzing economics and economic-related topics.
So, please help me promote and grow the readership. Share these columns with anyone and everyone you can think of. Put them in social media, wherever you like.
I really appreciate the help and as it grows, I will find a way to thank everyone who supported me this far. Perhaps I can make a founders group in the subscribers list so I can keep your current price forever. We’ll see. I really appreciate your interest in my work and your support.
Now… let’s start 2023!