Just about a decade ago, I concluded that I had said all that needed to be said regarding the tumultuous changes reshaping the financial services industry in the wake of the Great Financial Crisis. After going from being extremely bearish on the financial sector to relatively bullish in early 2009, once the banks began to ride the QE wave to recapitalize their impaired balance sheets, the sector became, in all honesty, kind of boring, like watching paint dry, except maybe less exciting. By 2014, the combination of zero-rate interest policy, quantitative easing, untethered fiscal spending, and the increasing politicization of the banking industry, made me lose the desire to write and publish. If this was the future of the sector, I could find better things to do. During my time away from doing research, I had a chance to further my learning about the intricacies of the financial world from the vantage point of an institutional investor and as chief financial officer of two exciting start-ups. However, none of those experiences could match the passion with which I embraced researching and writing about the business I spent over two decades as a student of and had grown to love.
I started my career on Wall Street in the early 1990s when banking, financials, and capital markets were going through enormous change and exceptional growth. I truly hit the jackpot starting as a research analyst in what was the most exciting industry. I never took a break because I never wanted to lose my seat at the most exciting table I had ever sat at. I cut my teeth through the “Tequila Crisis” of 1994, worked through the Indonesian Financial Crisis of 1997, the Russian Debt Crisis of 1998, the Sub-Prime Crisis of 1998, the Dot-Com Crisis of 2000, 9/11, and, of course, the Great Financial Crisis.
Over the last 18 months, I began to see clearly that real change was brewing, and, by the summer of 2022, I decided I was ready to start writing and publishing again. I haven’t been this excited to write in a long time, and I am overflowing with themes I want to write about and publish. What will happen in the aftermath of an environment of “free money” that encouraged highly aggressive/bad behavior with little concern for unintended consequences, let alone a safety net? How will the banking system restructure? Where might be the cracks in the housing market? How durable is the economy, and how segmented is the strength? Where are opportunities for growth or lurking risks?
Since I last published, what has not changed is my style and approach to analysis. I have always been fiercely independent and unbiased. I am often been early and unafraid, driven by data. The broad scope of the data I use and the process I employ combined with my 30 years of Wall Street experience differentiates my final product.
What has changed dramatically since I last published is technology. Technology has transformed the entire process of publishing making the business vastly more cost-efficient. From server to cloud, manual to automated, and local to remote, the fixed cost basis for publishing research has declined meaningfully. Ten years ago, my rates started at $100,000 per year, and large institutions and sovereigns were the only groups that could afford such a price tag. Today, I can now provide the same service for a lot less. Same value, just a lower cost of goods sold, so to speak. As I re-launch my research and advisory business, I am offering an early subscriber, introductory rate of $3,084 per year per individual. I am doing this to expand my distribution from what had been limited to big institutions and sovereigns to individuals, family offices, and financial advisors. I will still provide services to institutions and sovereigns, but I intend to restrict those services to a limited number of clients. The business model has changed, and I am excited to reach a much wider audience, something I couldn’t do under the last generation’s analog fixed-cost structure.
To former clients, I would be grateful and delighted to serve you again. To prospective clients, I hope that you subscribe and, if so, I look forward to having you join us.