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

Andrew Harris

How global is ‘global Britain’?

2 August 2019|

One thing that many Remainers and Leavers have in common is that they want Britain to be more ‘global’, whatever that means. Naturally, they disagree about the path needed to get to this hallowed ground and indeed what a global Britain would look like, but both groups are sure they want it. But what does global Britain mean in an economic sense, how do we measure the UK’s openness, and how does it compare to its peers? The answer to

Alessia Montinaro

Climate Keynes

26 July 2019|

The debate around climate change, and what actions governments, the private sector and households ought to take is being thrust ever more into the public eye. Earlier this year ‘Extinction Rebellion’ protests demanding ‘emergency’ action disrupted central London — although arguably not as much as this week’s ‘heatwave’, which once again exposed the UK’s infamous struggles with inclement weather. But with temperature records set in many European cities, it highlighted a longer-term trend towards a warming planet. The climate debate

Brian Davidson, CFA

If Bob Marley were a central banker…

19 July 2019|

When the Fed meets later this month, it is now widely expected to cut interest rates. Inflation has remained sluggish and there are signs that the economy is slowing, but cutting rates at the first signs of danger seems strange: not only are pre-emptive cuts rare, but the unemployment rate is below most estimates of the natural rate, and on a downward trend. The economy is operating above capacity, and a cut would reinforce the view that the Fed is

Erik Britton

It’s a kind of magic

12 July 2019|

Magic, according to the Collins Dictionary, is the power to use supernatural forces to make impossible things happen. Well-known authorities on the issue such as Hermione Granger,[1] assert that casting a magic spell successfully requires not only saying the right words in the right order but also enunciating them correctly, with the correct emphasis: “It’s not wingardiam leviosa, it’s wingardiam leviosa”. Others such as Ged, the principal character in the late Ursula le Guin’s Earthsea series, maintain that magic is

Andrea Zazzarelli

From Air Jordans to Jamaica via Pink Floyd

5 July 2019|

At Fathom, discussing monetary policy is one of those topics that can set blood boiling, comes at least with a PG rating and, in past eras, would have probably been settled by duelling "à l'outrance". Much of the reason for such heated exchanges centres around the concepts of credibility and independence. These were the central tenets of Fathom’s founding father and have been the bedrocks of our professional offering ever since. Yet, independence and credibility are too often taken for

Joanna Davies

A journey of unexpected self-discovery

28 June 2019|

On a recent trip to Peru, spent tackling the gruelling Inca Trail to the once-lost citadel of Machu Picchu, I found myself baffled by a more elementary matter than the life-changing experience of self-discovery that I had anticipated. Instead, I discussed, at length, the optimum height, or — more specifically — leg length, for tackling the mountainous Andean trail with my fellow hikers! Despite many passionate debates, we couldn’t reach a consensus on whether longer or shorter legs were best.

Florian Baier

To the silent millennials

21 June 2019|

"This right to vote is the basic right without which all others are meaningless. It gives people, people as individuals, control over their own destinies." Lyndon B. Johnson Political Britain is currently preoccupied by the question of who will be the next UK Prime Minister. Daily radio interviews and opinion pieces by the candidates, and even TV debates. It feels like we’re in the run-up to a general election. However, the next Prime Minister will not be chosen by the

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