Friday, March 5, 2010

EconomPic Turns Two / Jake Has a Favor to Ask

I was debating whether to first thank you all for the support that has allowed EconomPic to "blossom" over the past two years and then ask a favor OR to first ask the favor and then thank you all. At the risk of sounding insincere in my appreciation to all of you readers, I will lead with the favor… (hey, I think this is the first favor I've asked in these two years so give me a break).

The favor… Anyone Know of a Job for Jake in the San Francisco Area?

Maybe not the best timing considering unemployment is near a 30 year high, but I have reached the point where I am now ready to begin actively looking for a new opportunity. However, I am in the awkward position of not wanting to reveal my real identity to 5000+ potential viewers (I actually really like my current job… definitely more so than being unemployed which is a potential result if my current employer were to discover that I was actively looking to leave).

Thus, the question… how do I attempt to lever my readership (i.e. those that understand my point of view, share a strong interest in the field of which I am pursuing a new opportunity) while not risking my current employment?

Solution (for now) = “Jake”.

I apologize if this bursts the bubble, but my name is not Jake (shocker!). In fact it does not even start with a J (or does it?). That said, let me provide true (somewhat murky) facts about “Jake” (if referring to a fake name, it is not third person… right?).


  • Works in the field of investment management
  • Graduated from an Ivy League Business School ~ 3 years ago and has an undergrad degree from a large “state school” (results in my rare blend of "sophistication" and beer drinking skills)
  • Since business school has worked for a well-known firm and received a nice promotion ~ one year ago
  • Lives in New York City (and has for most of the last 10 years)
  • Is ONLY looking for an opportunity in the California Bay Area (this is actually driving the decision to look… again, the current job is great, just not in the Bay Area)
  • Is hoping to move to a position even more aligned with his strengths and interests; currently works closely with a number of very large institutional clients on the relationship / marketing side of the business, but is looking for a role that is more 'data / research / investment decision making' driven
  • That said, he is looking at all possibilities including roles and employers (hedge funds, mutual funds, consultants, endowments, foundations, etc...)
  • While money is an important factor to a point (would like to pay the bills), the much larger factor will be whether it is a role that makes him excited to go to work on a Monday (or Saturday and Sunday if need be)
  • Is not scared to travel (I am actually becoming a professional at it), but would prefer to limit this to 5 days or less / month
  • Has a passion for both economics and financial markets (see for more details)
  • Loves to look at broad swaths of data and make it more understandable (see for more details)
  • Can be considered a risk taker when he has strong views
  • Has a mind that can race 1000 miles an hour, but is known to sit down and read long (supposedly boring) documents when he feels he can learn more about something
  • Enjoys coming up with broad ideas when his mind does race and likes to test those ideas with market data (see for more details)
FAVOR: So... does anyone out there know someone in the Bay Area in the field of investment management or even better, know of an opportunity that I may be qualified for? If so, PLEASE drop me an email at or direct my email address to your contact and I would be happy to share more about my background.

Now... To the Sincere Appreciation

Back on March 4th, 2008 EconomPic came to be with this sorry looking chart of CPI. The point of the blog was simply to store charts that I had been creating to get a better sense of what made up headline economic figures that were reported (lazily at best, intentionally misleading at worst) by traditional media outlets.

Here and there, I would send Barry over at The Big Picture (I used to correspond with Barry from my business school days) some of these charts, which on occasion he would post and to my amazement I would get a few hundred hits from his site.

I didn't post a single word (literally, I didn’t even source my initial posts as I didn’t think anyone was reading them) on EconomPic until June 11th, 2008 when I wrote a post titled "Why Not Deflation?". I honestly didn't expect a single person to read the post, but I wanted to document this belief so I could prove to a friend or two that I had called it right when the economy slowed. Likely due to my own click through to Naked Capitalism (I linked to a post at Naked Capitalism, which likely made Yves aware that my blog even existed), to my utter amazement, it was made one of her links of the day.

In my now 1600+ posts, I've learned more about the economy and world of finance than I thought possible (yet I still know little). This is only possible by the great reader base and other great bloggers I read daily that have made traditional media seem flat and out of touch. The thought of giving back to this community provides the motivation to keep making 10-20 posts per week. The fact that EconomPic has ~1800 RSS subscribers through Google Reader alone is mind boggling.

So thank you to everyone who has read or contributed, which has enabled EconomPic to be something more than a storage space for these tacky charts.


  1. Isnt referring to yourself in the 3rd person fun? I do it too, but Im usually wasted when I do....

  2. As in:

    "Jake just finished off his 7th Jameson and sure is looking intoxicated"

  3. I dont use my real name either, big surprise.

    I very good friend of mine was in San Fran for many years and worked the option desks at a large trading firm. He still regularly flies out there and hangs with his old crew so I will get in touch with him this weekend and point out your situation.

    OT, but I want to file a grievance from the New England Patriots against the New York Jets; how the heck can you be a throwing team when you have to play 2 times against the Jets with Revis and now Antonio Cromartie on the corners??? That just does not seem fair to me.

  4. i saw that pick up this morning when i woke up. lets just say i'm not sure if my texts to my jets friends or pats friend were more enjoyable. with a healthy jenkins i don't see how an opposing qb stands a chance.

    and thanks for any help you may be able to provide. the feedback has been rather incredible

  5. When I saw that news item this morning I could not help but think the Pats are on the downslope and the Jets are on the rise. Sucks but probably true!

    I imagine you will be getting quite a response the work here is excellent.

  6. Just wanted to say good luck on your job search, and that EconomPic is one of my favorite blogs on the nets. Really appreciate your work "Jake."

  7. Thanks for EconomPic! I make a lot of graphs too; so I respect your superior talent :-)

    If you do come to the Bay area, I'd be glad to show you a few neighborhoods, or whatever might help. I've also been thinking of perhaps starting a discussion group with the agenda of friendly but rigorous criticism of each others' investment ideas.

    Jim Fickett

  8. Great Site. Was added to mybookmarks. Greetings From USA.

  9. Hi Jake... Love your site. There once was a program called "Business Cycle Indicators" (BCI) put out by N-Squared Systems (Salem OR). This software was later acquired by Media Logic (Austin TX) who could not make the subscription based model work and closed. BCI was a subscription based charting system for more economic data than I can remember... that allowed charting with recession shading (you could even come up with your own parameters for recession and create a data set and overlay for them (iow you got the NDR data, but you could create your own also. You could stack (overlay) any of the many series and do more. It was a terrific program. A few years ago, Joseph Ellis came out with "Ahead of the Curve" and started a website, but he does not update his charts all that often, maye 1-2 times a year. Why not start a company and create a sort of "grand unified economic data" that not only tells a story of what is going on in the big picture, but drills down all the parts in detail, something on the order of what Ellis did, but even bigger. Just a thought... Thanks for a great site. Everyone should have a clear picture of what is going on, especially these days. It's out there, but it is in many places and many different parts.
    Who will bring it together?

  10. Your prominence is deserved. You have carved out a good niche in the economic/financial blogosphere. I hope you get the job you want, but I have no leads for you.

  11. thank you very much for running this blog, visualizing all the important data.
    you´re really doing a great job.

    wish you luck with your job search, but cannot help (sitting here in Germany).

  12. Love your work - and I fear we will lose you if you get a new job!

    Best of luck in your search.

  13. I'm a regular reader. Just wondering if you found something in SF?


  14. jack- i've had interviews and a few offers, but still in NYC waiting for the right opportunity. if you know of something, please feel free to drop me an email ( and i will be more than happy to provide additional details of my background.