Bits about Money is a reader-supported publication, frequently mentioned alongside Money Stuff, the Diff, and Stratechery. We cover the intersection of technology and financial infrastructure.
We offer paid memberships on a monthly or annual basis. You can sign up for one here.
What is in the free edition?
We plan on publishing approximately 20-26 free issues of Bits about Money in 2023. These are typically 2,000 to 8,000 word long-form articles explaining the under-the-covers story for why financial products work the way they do. We frequently cover history, implementation details, product and corporate strategy, regulation, and the like.
Past issues have covered how curb cuts influence bank branch siting, why the Durbin regulation of interchange drives fintech monetization in the U.S., and who comprises the fraud supply chain.
What is in paid memberships?
In recent years the Internet has converged on supplementing the previous gift economy, where public intellectuals just do their thing for the Internet, with monetization based on subscriptions. In particular, paid newsletters seem to be an honest way to make a living these days.
I personally prefer writing without a paywall. It maximizes value for the Internet and lets me indulge in diverse intellectual interests. Also, paywalls are just a terrible user experience, even when you've paid for the publication.
But my bank won't accept HN karma for the mortgage and, thus, this offer: if you'd like professionally relevant writing about the intersection of finance and technology to keep arriving on a reasonably regular basis, you can pay me money, and I will continue writing. If you (in aggregate) pay more money, you (in aggregate) will purchase more of my professional cycles, and thus tend to get more artifacts shipped to the Internet than if you had paid less.
I intend the supermajority of my written output to continue being available for free on the Internet, but will consider doing some special things for members only, in rough correspondence to the level of ongoing support received.
What is the difference in the tiers?
Standard memberships are $15 a month or $165 a year.
People periodically report to me that my advice has been professionally useful for them, most commonly due to a win in salary negotiation but sometimes e.g. on IPO day. If you think my output has been exceptionally professionally valuable for you, you're welcome to elect the Charge More level. It's exactly like a normal membership, except it costs more. Charge More memberships are $50 a month or $500 a year.
Can you answer any of the other obvious questions?
This is likely deductible for your business or reimbursable by work's education/etc stipend; just push the same buttons you would for e.g. a WSJ subscription. (The IRS says: "To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your industry. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your trade or business.")
If you need substantiation, point the appropriate person at this page and/or your receipts. If the email you received doesn't suffice for a receipt, you can get nicely formal-looking PDFs through this Stripe-administered portal. This is not the same as the membership portal, due to platform limitations. I'm working on fixing them.
If you live in Europe or otherwise need custom language on your receipts, you can cause to have printed upon the receipt any information you need for tax or similar purposes. Check the membership portal.
All prices are quoted inclusive of Japanese consumption tax. If you do not reside in Japan, please enjoy the finest Japan-produced bits and our traditional 0% tax rate on exports. If you reside in Japan, we will discount your membership appropriately for the tax-inclusive price to be as quoted; no special action is required from you. If you need a receipt or invoice which shows Japanese consumption tax, send me an email (patio11@ this domain works). We can, of course, accommodate the qualified invoice system (link in Japanese).
We offer full refunds within 30 days of payment. No reason is required, though I'd of course hope to hear why. We do not offer a free trial; feel free to just read past issues if you want a feel for the publication.
Bits about Money is a product of Kalzumeus Software, LLC, whose primary place of business is in Tokyo, Japan. We can also be contacted at 548 Market St, Suite #95114, San Francisco, CA, USA or via email, which will generally be faster.