This island paradise

23 February 2024|

Lying on a lounger in the shade on a beach in Antigua, glass of piña colada in hand, a good book dog-eared on the table next to me, looking at the turquoise and ultramarine sea and the pale gold sand, the white nicks of sails on the horizon, watching a squadron of pelicans skimming the swell, and the bright yellow bananaquits or iridescent hummingbirds flitting around the dark green foliage: there’s not much better in life than that. At least,

Teaching the government how to budget

16 February 2024|

At the tender age of 51 I have, for the first time in my life, found the need to employ a team of builders. This is turning out to be a stressful experience, not because I doubt their ability or indeed their honesty, but simply because of the sums of money involved. Over the next few months, I shall be spending something close to 20% of what my lender judges to be the current market value of my home on

An economist’s guide to the Super League

9 February 2024|

Proposals for a European Super League were back in the news again last weekend after Barcelona’s club president suggested that it could start as soon as next season. For those that don’t know, the controversial proposals would see Europe’s leading football clubs enter a new midweek competition. For the league to become a reality, it will have to clear hurdles in both the European Court of Justice (which seems to be going in its favour) and the court of public

From classroom to boardroom

2 February 2024|

During a recent train journey I unexpectedly ran into an old friend. As we caught up, I mentioned that I was doing a marketing placement year at an economic consultancy as part of my degree. Describing my role drew an unexpected response. ‘No viral TikToks, then?’ my friend asked playfully. The remark made me think about the misconceptions surrounding marketing roles, and how my placement at Fathom has differed from the stereotypical ideas that people have of the marketing industry.

Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum

26 January 2024|

When we think of pirates many of us probably picture something out of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, or a figure like Captain Hook. Perhaps your imagination supplies you with a corsair who has a peg leg, an eyepatch and an annoyingly verbose parrot perched on his shoulder?[1] However, both pirates and piracy as a concept are far more diverse than Western popular culture would suggest. Their history stretches back to the Sea Peoples of the 14th century BC,

Labour market’s impossible trinity

19 January 2024|

What should your dream job look like? Probably you will tell me that it should be very interesting, provide you with an excellent work-life balance and at the same time offer you a compensation package that positions you at the top of the income distribution. I am sorry to be the bearer of such sad news, but you can only pick two options out of the three: welcome to the impossible trinity of the labour market. In 1999, Canadian economist

Money buys happiness: case closed?

12 January 2024|

This week I was on a mid-afternoon Tube ride on my way to a client meeting. The carriage was half empty and out of the corner of my eye I noticed a spontaneous scene: a couple, both in their early twenties, who were holding hands, smiles sculpted on their faces, their conversation free-flowing, their eyes locked on one another’s gaze, radiating an aura of carefree freedom. They were oozing energy and optimism, seemingly lost in one of those moments that

Budgets and burpees

5 January 2024|

It’s that time of the year again, the time to make New Year’s resolutions. Social media are full of marketing campaigns along the lines of “new year, new me”, and they seem to be working – 18 out of the 20 busiest days at the gym in 2022 and 2023 were in January and February, according to one study.[1] Let’s take a closer look at these New Year’s resolutions, whether they succeed in changing our behaviour, and their effects on

A Christmas tale

22 December 2023|

Christmas is fast approaching, so what better way to end a year of Thank Fathom it’s Friday than with a short Christmas tale? A merry Christmas to all who celebrate, and happy, restful holidays to you all! It was a dark and freezing cold afternoon when Mr Claus trudged in from the reindeer feeding. Based on the weather outside, you would think that all was right in the world: that the polar ice caps weren’t melting, and that the Claus

Reflections of an economist dad

15 December 2023|

Becoming a new dad, which I did for the second time a few weeks ago, is a somewhat surreal experience: time passes at a different speed, perspectives change, survival mode kicks in and the mind wanders. I’m back at work now and reconnecting with the practical aspects of my life. For today’s blog, I merge the new dad and the economist mindsets, and share a few thoughts. Money is nothing Childbirth is the most stressful experience I know, and I’m