I’m a writer interested in how Americans navigate an uncertain economy. My work has appeared in The Nation, Forbes, Slate, American Banker and other outlets.
I worked in the credit card industry until 2018 — you can read my reflections about that in this New Republic essay: “I Worked at Capital One for Five Years. This Is How We Justified Piling Debt on Poor Customers.” I was drawn to lending out of a recognition that people sometimes need to borrow money, that choice and autonomy can be good things, and that helping someone at a price may be better than a person having no help at all. I left once I understood that my employer was by-and-large indifferent to whether its loans were helping or hurting its borrowers, and once I internalized how public markets impose real constraints on the ability of firms to do business ethically.
My biggest project right now is focused on this question: What would a financial sector look like that worked in the best interest of its consumers? I’ve been interviewing Americans about their experiences with credit cards, payday loans and personal loans to better understand the consequences of these products on consumers’ lives: when are people glad they had access to credit? And when do people conclude these products did them more harm than good? I did a cross-country road trip in mid-2019 to hear from people all over the country. If you’d like to share your story about debt, please reach out!
I now make a living as a freelance writer, covering economics, especially consumer and labor issues, but also business, finance, and tech. Here are the qualities I hope to bring to my writing:
- Reporting on issues that impact low-income and middle-income families: I don’t pretend to have magical insights into anybody else’s life. What I do have is an awareness that the media underreports on issues facing the working class, and I have the patience to find sources who will work with me to paint more complete pictures of our economy and culture. Here’s a few examples of my reported work on economic, labor and consumer issues with diverse sourcing.
- Numeracy: I majored in math and economics at Duke, and worked in analytics for five years (for example, building and monitoring predictive models) before becoming a writer.
- Ethical introspection: My work is inspired by people like Shoshana Zuboff and Elizabeth Anderson. I spend a lot of time thinking about the roles that power, violence, ideology and culture play in structuring our economy, and in turn, how we all interact with one another on a daily basis. Here’s some of my writing at the intersection of ethics, culture, and the economy.
- Journalistic rigor: Whether I am writing an essay, op-ed, or reported feature, for my own site or for other publications, I always hope to meet the same quality bar: to meet a standard of writing that can be fact-checked, to disclose any conflicts of interest, and to correct any errors of fact. I make a good faith effort to seek out information that will disprove my arguments.