Brian Davidson, CFA

TEA-fif

25 January 2019|

In a project in 2017, I recorded how often my neighbours in the office offered to make drinks, and how often they accepted drinks made by others. I found that not everybody was pulling their weight. Laura was a drinks-making machine. Kevin and Jo less so. Apart from, perhaps, offering some amusement, I had hoped that, in carrying out my study and publishing the results, I might pressure some of my colleagues to make more drinks. It didn’t really work. That’s

Tobias Sturmhoefel

Don’t expect much from your New Year’s resolutions

18 January 2019|

Many readers will have kicked off 2019 with an optimistic New Year’s resolution, whether that be dry January, more exercise or a healthier diet. Now that we’re halfway through the first month of the year, how many of those resolutions have already fallen by the wayside? After all, we’re approaching ‘Blue Monday’ — by which time most of us will have apparently failed to keep up our NY resolutions — conspiring with other factors, such as a maximum post-Christmas squeeze

Florian Baier

Mexico: tacos, tequila and life on the treadmill

11 January 2019|

When I think about Mexico I think of its rich culture, great people, delicious food, mezcal, and Germany’s disillusioning defeat during last year’s football World Cup. Mexico has a lot going for it economically, too — it’s one of the richest economies in Latin America. In terms of economic growth, Mexico has outpaced the rest of Latin America for the past five years. Inflation has been stable since the early 2000s (at least until recently, but that’s more to do

Joanna Davies

Top of the Blogs: the best of Thank Fathom it’s Friday

4 January 2019|

A cartoon in the FT over the Christmas period featured the phrase “we’ve opened all the presents, eaten all the food and argued about Brexit — now what?” With great foresight, and keen to avoid the latter, my brother-in-law tacked a sign to the lounge door, pointing, as each family member made their way in, to the words “This is a Brexit-free zone! Non-compliance will result in a forfeit”. Lacking much new to say, and faced with the threat of

Andrea Zazzarelli

Secret Santa is coming to Fathom

21 December 2018|

In the classic 1924 cornerstone of modern social science, The Gift, the French sociologist Marcel Mauss formally distinguished for the first time a gift from other types of consumer behaviour to which they are inexorably linked. Economic theory says that a good should bring utility to a consumer and have an intrinsic value that can be used as a means of exchange. Mauss argued that a gift adds reciprocity as an important third social dimension. Gifts provide a link between

Kevin Loane

The most wonderful country in the world

14 December 2018|

For some this is the most wonderful time of the year. While I’m not usually one to shy away from overindulgence and mindless consumerism, I struggle with London in December. It’s cold. It’s dark. Mariah Carey’s voice permeates. The winter solstice is next Friday, and I can’t wait. Indeed, during weak moments, the combination of short days and poor weather makes me question whether I’m getting tired of London. No, I’m not tired of life. But maybe I’m getting fed

Andrew Brigden

Working longer than you’d like? Blame near-zero interest rates…

7 December 2018|

Ever since I was introduced to the idea as a student of A-level economics, I have long been intrigued by the clear, inverse relationship between the hours worked by an individual, and the amount that he or she produces per hour. As someone interested in his own work/life balance, as well as that of the company more broadly, I've often wondered: can we work less, yet produce more? The past ten years have seen a growing interest in the production

Brian Davidson, CFA

The football fan’s guide to the G20 summit

30 November 2018|

To the average punter, the G20 summit, which kicks off in Argentina today, sounds like a tedious and boring affair. I’m not saying that it isn’t but, with the leaders of the 20 most economically and politically powerful countries meeting in one place, it is a significant event. Deals will be made, treaties signed and the global agenda set. Yet from the outside, the conference might still seem a bit dull. To make it more interesting, and to help our

Erik Britton

Fathom’s upcoming conference: twenty-one years in the making

23 November 2018|

On 7 December we’re hosting a conference at which we will call for a major shift in the stance of monetary policy, globally. Here’s why. Twenty-one years ago, I was an official at the Bank of England, which had just gained operational independence as a consequence of the election of Tony Blair’s New Labour government. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had been launched, and the NICE decade (Non-Inflationary, Continually Expansionary) was well underway. Our concerns at the time related to

Andrew Harris

What economics has taught me about myself

16 November 2018|

All of us have, at some time, had the ‘pleasure’ of living with others, be that friends, family, lodgers or even the eclectic mix of individuals thrown together in first-year undergraduate dorms. Sharing accommodation can be great fun and I’m sure readers will all have plenty of anecdotes to recount. But, as with anything, there are drawbacks. Often chief among these are gripes about hygiene, bin rotas and, most commonly, who does the cleaning. Bad roommates are just as bad

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