Erik Britton

Japanification, bring it on

21 February 2020|

In his 1999 paper: ‘Japanese Monetary Policy: A Case of Self-Induced Paralysis?', Ben Bernanke stated: “I tend to agree with the conventional wisdom that attributes much of Japan’s current dilemma to exceptionally poor monetary policy-making over the past fifteen years”. In 2006, Bernanke was appointed as Fed Chair, where he remained through the Great Financial Crisis and the transition into the low-rate, Japan-style new normal thereafter, until 2014. The kind of finger-wagging that bien-pensants like Bernanke were directing at Japan

James Montgomery

On the pros and cons of working from home

14 February 2020|

As I write this post, I must admit that I’m doing so in extreme comfort. I slept an extra hour and a half; I had my breakfast at the kitchen table while I checked some emails; and I’m infinitely more relaxed in my joggers than I am in my jeans. This isn’t because Fathom’s dress code and working environment has become extremely lax in the last few months. Rather it’s because I’m working from the comfort of my own home.

Andrea Zazzarelli

Life choices: lessons from the Garden of Eden

7 February 2020|

I’ve always enjoyed a good story. As a young boy I loved mythology and epic tales in all their forms. I liked to decipher their hidden meanings, unpick the allegories and catch a glimpse of how the societies, values and norms of those times differed from today. Or, indeed, how they didn’t. As I grew up, this fascination morphed into a passion for history and economics as gateways to a life-long journey of self-discovery; of learning about the drivers of

Brian Davidson, CFA

Time for a new narrative

31 January 2020|

The UK will leave the European Union later today, bringing an end to years of acrimony, confusion and inflamed passions. It could make a good topic for today’s blog post, but instead, I opt for something much easier and less emotive: debunking some of the fundamental beliefs underpinning capitalism. Controversial, perhaps, but the assumptions that humans are rational, and are driven by a desire to maximise income and consumption have been disproven by various studies, which have been praised by

Erik Britton

Shiller and the owl of Minerva

24 January 2020|

Fathom is about to embark on another major consultancy project. This isn’t a brag — or not mainly. It’s a note about what — I’ve come to realise over the years — consultancy really is, at least the way we do it. [1] The project involves gathering and cleaning tons of data, reading piles of learned papers, defining the question as tightly as possible in the light of all that (the question being rather loosely defined at present), designing an

Andrew Brigden

OIS forwards as a Keynesian beauty contest

17 January 2020|

This week’s TFiF goes gingerly down the rabbit hole of market pricing, using implied expectations about UK Bank Rate as an example. What do investors base their forecasts on, and are they any good at it? You might think that they should devote all of their efforts to a careful consideration of the various bits of publicly available information that ought to influence the MPC’s decision. Well, they probably spend a bit of time thinking about that. But in truth,

Ellie Henderson

Ain’t no mountain high enough

10 January 2020|

During a particularly hard interval session[1] with my athletics club, by the time we got to the later repetitions I felt as if I were struggling up London’s version of Mount Everest. (In reality it was just a slight incline.) Due to my incessant moaning about how much I HATED hills, the club coach gave me some advice. As I was testing it out and trying to distract myself from the burning in my quads, it got me thinking about

Ritush Dalmia

So that was 2019

3 January 2020|

'Best of’ lists and summaries of the past year… Twitter is full of them. Instagram is full of them. Even the news is full of them. To keep up with the trend, it’s only fair that the first TFiF of 2020 is a look back at of some the best blog posts written by Fathomites in 2019. Let’s start with social media. In ‘Social media, and fear of failing to ‘keep up with the Joneses’’, Joanna Davies talked about how

Joanna Davies

Don’t be SAD this Christmas

20 December 2019|

Elevating my chair and peering around Fathom HQ, I am greeted by a display of the latest audio headwear, far more extensive than the range available in my local John Lewis department store. Two thoughts spring to mind. First, I should have asked my colleagues’ advice prior to buying my new noise-cancelling headphones. (Toby’s must be good, or perhaps it’s the guttural screams and blast beats of the black metal he chooses to listen to that divert his attention away

Florian Baier

The deadweight loss of (Secret) Santa

13 December 2019|

Today sees two consequential events. One, the Conservative Party has won the general election with a landslide majority, making it more or less inevitable that the UK leaves the EU, as planned, on 31 January. And second, it’s Fathom’s Christmas party. While many believe the former will lead to a prolonged (economic) hangover, the headache caused by the latter will hopefully be limited to Saturday morning. But we don’t only indulge in delicious food and wine, we also have a

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