Undercover Economist

My weekly column in the Financial Times on Saturdays, explaining the economic ideas around us every day. This column was inspired by my book and began in 2005.

Things (I think) I was wrong about this year

A few weeks ago, Toby Young, the editor of the Lockdown Sceptics website, tweeted: “New study suggests more than five million Britons have had the coronavirus. Given that ~50,000 people have died from it, that means an IFR [infection fatality rate] of <0.1%.” There...

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Christmas in an alternate 2020

Perhaps there is no wrong way to exchange Christmas gifts, but in a hurried rendezvous just off junction six of the M40 must come close. My sister was furious; we had planned to go for a walk in the woods together the day before Christmas Eve, one of the safest...

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A brief history of commercialising Christmas

There are those who will have you believe that Santa Claus wears red and white in honour of the colours of the Coca-Cola brand. This is nonsense. The great man was seen clad in red and white some years before Haddon Sundblom’s iconic 1930s advertisements. What’s more,...

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