Today in membership: How we got to Brexit, confessions of an ad man, and Private Key

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Hi members!

Now that you’ve gotten a sense of the state of play of Brexit, we wanted to go back in time to determine how this whole mess got started. There are few people more qualified to discuss that than Stephen Wall, the UK’s former permanent representative to the EU. In our exclusive Q&A with him, Wall explains how the roots of the Brexit referendum go all the way back to, well, the day the UK entered the union.

We also wanted to point you to another Brexit-themed story, about what people in the UK are stockpiling in anticipation of a hard crash out of the EU, something that could make certain items in very short supply (we’re looking at you, Nutella).

Our business book primer this week looks at a classic from the advertising industry, David Ogilvy’s Confessions of an Advertising Man. Ogilvy was one of the giants of the ad world, and his 55-year-old book remains essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the art, science, and black magic of selling things.

Over in Private Key, we have analysis of Facebook’s announcement that it plans to release a digital coin for WhatsApp, the company’s popular messaging service. The coin will first be used for people around the globe to send money to India. That plan may expand in time, but it is interesting to see what Facebook, a company with 2.5 billion users, could do for money transfers in places that lack robust financial infrastructures.

Stay tuned for more this week, including an interview on Brexit with a key player in London’s financial community, a look at the best credit cards to get, and a conference call to talk more about Brexit.

We want to hear from you! Please send comments, questions, and stockpiling advice to

Here’s to a rewarding day,

Sam Grobart
membership editor