03 March | Coronatine
the month that lasted a decade
March has felt like a literal decade. It’s hard to put into words this weird feeling of uncertainty mixed with exhaustion, dread for what is about to come, gratefulness for frontline workers, hope for the future and a slight three-year-old level breakdown lingering right under the surface. Nevertheless, I’d say we all have to get comfortable feeling whatever we’re feeling as it doesn’t look like it’s ending anytime soon. Sending everyone who needs it a virtual hug and some wholesome memes.
What I’ve Been Reading:
The internet has been overwhelming as many of us transition from our mostly online selves to our *completely* online selves. Whether its Twitter, private chat groups, news outlets, or Houseparty, there have never been this many people sharing their thoughts, creating content or just hanging out online as ever before. That being said, the silver lining of quarantine has been the extra time (for some of us). Here are a few links I from around the web this month:
On coronavirus & the market: Blizzard, Winter, Ice Age, The Hammer & the Dance, and Corporate Socialism
On crypto: an excellent macro thread and a post-mortem on market panics on DeFi
On surviving & thriving: 75 Things to do during social distancing (from yours truly), Morning Brew’s guide to staying home, and Finding Purpose & Mission in Bleak Times
On ways to help during a pandemic: a running list, donate masks and support local businesses by buying gift cards and ordering takeout!
Things I can’t be bothered to read anymore: Remote WFH home tips, Trump tweets, toilet paper jokes
I read four books this month across all genres, currently working through Big Debt Crises.
If you’re in the mood for something light that makes you giggle awkwardly to yourself while reading, I recommend The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.
If you’re in the mood for some heartbreakingly beautiful writing about a mother and her son’s journey from Mexico to the U.S., I highly recommend American Dirt.
If you are using quarantine time to work on your writing chops, On Writing Well is a straightforward refresher of the basics.
If you’re thinking about the emotional rollercoaster the markets have been, What I Learned Losing A Million Dollars, is a good reminder to always have a plan and remove emotions from the equation.
Felt great to get back into a reading groove - what else should I add to my list?
What I’ve Been Listening To:
Invest Like the Best - Chad Cascarilla - This conversation with Chad (CEO of Paxos) and Patrick was clear-sighted and pragmatic, a great walkthrough of the markets and a few potential scenarios moving forward with the pandemic.
On the Brink’s Dollarization Series - Nic and Matt have been killing it with their podcast and I love the dollarization mini-series they launched. They cover crypto-dollarization, stablecoins, free banking, and more. I particularly enjoyed the conversation with Lawrence White and his research on “popular dollarization.”
On Purpose with Jay Shetty - I am loving this mental health podcast by Jay Shetty, which covers topics like negativity, personal growth, and productivity. He’s got some killer guests - loved the combo of Jay’s soothing voice and Sophia Bush’s passion in the linked episode.
One Big Thought:
This is the first time I’ve ever experienced a multi-front crisis. Up until now, I’d go into meetings and people would look at me and joke, “you must have been in a child during the ‘08 crisis” (spoiler: I was) or “kids who’ve never experienced market cycles just don’t understand.” And they are right. I had never seen the markets tumble in the way they did a few weeks ago. I’ve never seen or understood the magnitude of a $2T stimulus, record-level unemployment levels and zero to negative interest rate environment, while virtually every single country in the world fighting the same damn thing. I’ve never really understood what market pain feels like, in the slightest.
In many ways, this is worse. Coronavirus is a crisis of many facets. Public health, financial, geopolitical and economic. Each person is facing a different battle with coronavirus - and I’m one of the fortunate ones. So now that we are here in unprecedented times, what do we do?
First, observe. I’m taking my time to read, learn and understand what’s happening daily. You never really know when you’re in the eye of the storm. Second, is write. It’s a weird time to be writing but I think keeping a journal is beneficial not only for mental health but to keep records of what’s happening. And then lastly help out across communities. I’ve been amazed by the scientific collaboration, private sector coordination, Italian balcony singing and online camaraderie that is everywhere right now. It’s resilience and adaptation that allows us to move forward through all of this. This is a crisis, unlike anything the world has seen. I’m excited to see everyone on the other side of this - and until then making the most of these uncertain times.