Although I'm not a fan of the Grateful Dead, I have to admit the phrase, "what a long strange trip it's been" has been running through my head as I ponder recent developments.
I started blogging at the end of 2004 on Daily Kos under the name Bonddad. Before I was a lawyer, I was a bond broker where I bought and sold bonds to money managers, insurance companies and banks. This is where my internet name comes from -- a "bond dad" is (or maybe was) a Wall Street term for a very successful bond broker (completely as an aside; I went to law school with another guy who was a broker. We were on law review together. When we first met as a group, we exchanged emails and after finding out that I was bonddad@.... he said, "so you're the one who took that name!"). Within what I guess was a year or so, I was making it to the Rec list, where my internet prominence grew (although I was hardly a household name). I wrote pretty exclusively about the economy on that website for 6-7 years. I left that blog largely because the level of discourse -- especially in the area of economics -- had devolved to the point of lunacy. While I wrote for the Huffington Post for a few years, I stopped writing there for the same reason.
I started this blog on December 6, 2006. Here's a link to the very first post, where I wrote:
Last week there was a deluge of data hitting the street. This week we
have far fewer items. Productivity, factory orders and non-ISM numbers
are on Tuesday. Weekly jobless claims come on Thursday. Last week we
say a big increase in construction related losses. We'll have to see if
that trend continues this week. Most people will probably be waiting
for Friday's employment report to see where the economy stands.
What a deep statement that was....
Oddly enough, my mother died within a few months of starting this blog and frankly, the daily discipline of writing about the economy really helped to get me through that time.
NDD and I "met" on Daily Kos sometime over the last 6-7 years. We wrote
a series of posts together. I think our first really big collaboration
was a series of 4 articles on the Great Depression that were also posted on the Huffington Post. I frankly forget when NDD started writing here but it's been at least a few years and he's been a welcome addition to the blog.
If I was going to describe the difference between our basic approaches, I'd say that he is more of a true economist while I am still a trader at heart. NDD looks at the fundamental trends in the economy without analyzing how that effects potential trades while I'm looking for actionable information to make money. And because of that basic difference, I think we provide some of the best overall "real" economic data on the net. It certainly isn't for everyone; in fact, our overall readership has remained between 800-1000/day for the duration of the blog's life. But when I look back at our level of success -- that is, our overall correct calls for the economy and the markets -- we've been right more than wrong.
About a year ago, I received a communication from the website XE.com who wanted to add economic commentary to their website. We exchanged a few emails about the possibility, but the negotiations slowed at the beginning of the year. Over the last few months they picked up again culminating in our signing contracts with them to provide content. And the best part is we're finally getting paid! On top of that, they have over 14 million hits per month on their website, so our visibility will increase. And we'll eventually be doing podcasts. I'll be doing one/week that focuses on international developments while NDD and I will be doing a bi-weekly podcast on the US economy.
So, what's going to change from my end? My international postings will go to XE for obvious reasons -- they're a currency website, after all. I'll also be posting shorter pieces mostly on important economic data releases. My US stuff will probably stay here. I'm also going to be posting more charts here, focusing on general market trends.
For those of you who have been with us since whenever, I want to encourage you to make the jump with us over to the new site. None of the content will change; it will just be posted in a different place. And from our perspective, we'll be making money (finally!) from the deal along with gaining a wider audience -- and an audience who would find our analysis useful.
New Deal democrat here: I would like all of our readers to take to heart two things. First of all, I hope you'll be happy for us. For my part, what this means is that I'm going to get paid for doing something that I love to do anyway, and I've been doing for free for eight years. Secondly, it's not going to change the type of material I post, let alone its content, by one iota. In fact, the site explicitly wants us to continue to post the same nerdy analysis we've both been doing here. And, after serious consideration, I've decided that I'm keeping the nom de blog "New Deal democrat." If some commenter over there doesn't like it, too bad for them (although the site is internationally focused, so I expect a lower proportion of RW nutjobs than on, e.g., Business Insider). So if you are a reader that started with us way back in the Daily Kos days, i very much would like you to follow us over and feel free to comment - and don't freak out that it is a Canadian-based currency trading site, Eh?
One of our concerns was that you, our established readers, wouldn't be shut out of reading our material. And you won't. You won't even need to register to read our posts. If you want to comment, you'll need to register, that's all. There's good news there as well. The comment system at XE.com is much more thread-friendly than Blogger's.
And just to be sure you're aware of what we post, I'm going to be posting links here so that you can click right over from the Bonddad Blog to the post on XE.
Further, every couple of weeks you'll be able to hear the dulcet tones of my midwestern voice, because we are doing podcasts as well. If you thought I was sarcastic in print, you ain't heard nothin' yet!
Plus, we aren't obligated to post all of our material at XE. So we'll continue to post here as well, although obviously the volume will go down.
It's been quite a journey. We both now join a pretty select group of bloggers, who have been able to leverage their talent into paying gigs - mind you, not that either of us can retire on this! But can my dream of becoming the new Mark Haines (the colorful, take no BS part, not the congestive heart failure part) of economic videojournalism be in reach? MSNBC, CNBC, and Bloomberg, call me maybe! ;-)