Tobias Sturmhoefel

The many benefits of better bogs

11 October 2019|

I may be taking a risk in writing this blog, as toilet humour is usually one of the things to steer well clear of in the workplace. On the other hand, it is the oldest and one of the most universal forms of comedy. And, given the wealth of extremely detailed (and perhaps overly revealing) data available to economists these days, I think it’s not surprising that some more bizarre topics will occasionally come up for discussion. Looking past the

Ritush Dalmia

Becoming Homo Economicus

4 October 2019|

The day before my holiday to Greece this summer, I rolled out of bed at 11am to horrific news. My dad had just got a haircut. A haircut!? The day before we fly to Greece!? Outrageous. I disgruntledly explained the Balassa-Samuelson effect, i.e. lower productivity means that services in less developed countries tend to be cheaper than in more developed countries. (I’d like to point out that my dad actually almost always gets a haircut when we go on holiday,

Greg Spanner

Mastering the wage bargain

27 September 2019|

In a week, I will head back to university to complete a masters degree in economics at LSE. As anyone who has considered a post-graduate degree will know…it’s expensive. Which raises the question, is it worth it? The obvious justification for paying such extortionate fees is labour market signalling and increasing human capital. But will my masters give me improvements in these over and above my undergraduate degree from the University of Surrey? And will it make a difference that

Florian Baier

Economists are warming up to climate change

20 September 2019|

I’m an expat, or European immigrant, living here in London. Don’t worry, this post isn’t about Brexit. For my frequent visits home, though not as frequent as my Mum would like, I use an Irish low-cost airline (which is the only one which flies direct from London to my hometown). I have paid as little as £30 for a return flight to Germany. While this is good for my wallet, it’s really not great for my carbon footprint. £30 —

Erik Britton

Trains, cathedrals and superlatives

13 September 2019|

“Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance Everybody thinks it’s true” Paul Simon I write this sitting on my bed in my berth on the Caledonian Sleeper train, running overnight from Edinburgh Waverley to London Euston. As many (better) writers before me have noted, there is something peculiar about train travel, particularly long journeys, particularly at night, that turns the mind towards contemplation. In my case, that is now amplified by a couple of glasses of scotch

Andrea Zazzarelli

In vino veritas

6 September 2019|

This August I turned 40 and while I’ve cherished the abnormal levels of attention and celebrations, I’ve so far remained immune to most symptoms of a mid-life crisis. I have no urge to purchase a sports car or motorbike or a trophy wife. I see sport as a necessary evil enabling and counterbalancing a relatively carefree lifestyle on my terms, not on those fuelled by bucket lists, age-related insecurities or peer pressure. As a result, I feel no desire to

Joanna Davies

The pitfalls of misrepresentation

30 August 2019|

At the age of 32, my other half is retiring, and he thinks I should too. At least, that’s what this morning’s drive to the station implied. Sure, we’ve discussed the joys of being footloose and fancy free, exploring the world and wearing our hair in dreadlocks, but I didn’t really mean it! My response to this morning’s ambush was silence, which I suspect spoke volumes, or, at the very least, made my true feelings a little clearer. I’m not

Brian Davidson, CFA

How to join the bottomless brunch club

23 August 2019|

Investing by theme is in vogue these days and personally I think it’s great. Worried about climate change? Invest in a green fund. Think technology is the future? Go tech. There are a whole host of themes that investors can gain access to these days, via ETFs or fund managers. You can even get exposure to the marijuana industry if you think the prospects for the budding industry are good (or if you just like smoking pot). But despite the

Kevin Loane

WeWork: a fantasy valuation?

16 August 2019|

Last Thursday, a group of Fathom staff got together after work to conduct an auction of Premier League footballers. While business here is going well, none of us are owners of top-tier English football clubs (yet). Rather, the money was play and the auction was for this year’s work fantasy league – an increasingly popular pastime where real-life players earn pretend managers points based on how well they play in actual games. A couple of sceptical colleagues saw the event

Andrew Brigden

Why patience really can be a virtue

9 August 2019|

At 18:30 on Saturday 18 May 2019 the last scheduled High-Speed Train (HST) — familiar to those who remember the early marketing material as the InterCity 125 — left London Paddington for Exeter. It was the end of an era. This diesel locomotive, designed and built on a meagre budget by British Rail through the early 1970s, was never meant to last. It was intended as a stopgap measure before electrification could be rolled out across the UK’s long-distance rail

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