I recently went to a public lecture at LSE hosted by the Forum for European Philosophy. The discussion was entitled “Does philosophy have to be obscure?” It struck me as a bit odd that both possible responses presume that philosophy is indeed obscure. If we understand “obscure” as “unclearly expressed” or “not easily understood”, so many things seem more obscure – Facebook’s terms of agreement, say, or … Continue reading Times Literary Supplement: Does philosophy have to be obscure?
Much has happened since I began writing this column more than two years ago: the UK has voted for Brexit, Donald Trump has been elected US president and new trade tariffs have been imposed. But some things haven’t changed. In my first column, I argued that cutting out your daily cappuccino won’t make you the next Wolf of Wall Street. Whenever it’s suggested that it … Continue reading Marina’s Monetary Musings: Invest your tuppence wisely – or better yet, feed the birds
There is a belief that people with psychopathic traits – like aggression, cold charm and a ruthless lack of empathy – do well in the financial industry. So a team of academics, led by Leanne ten Brinke, a social psychologist at the University of Denver, set out to investigate if that’s the case. Her team studied the video interviews of 101 hedge fund managers. The … Continue reading Marina’s Monetary Musings: Mirror, mirror on the wall – who is the best one of all?
Winston Churchill’s half-smoked cigar sold for $12,000 at a US auction in October. A hand-written note by Albert Einstein on the topic of happiness (“a quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest,” he wrote) went for $1.5 million in Jerusalem. In London, Audrey Hepburn’s iconic blue satin sleep mask was bought for £6,250, some 50 times … Continue reading Standpoint Magazine: Tunnel Vision
Large charities embroiled in scandals have brought charitable giving into disrepute, from Oxfam staff who sexually exploited victims of the Haiti earthquake, to harassment at Save the Children. But the failure of these charities should not put you off donating. Indeed, the philosopher Peter Singer argued that ‘if you are living comfortably while others are hungry or dying from easily preventable diseases, and you are … Continue reading Marina’s Monetary Musings: How to become an ‘effective altruist’
Last week saw the deadline for companies with over 250 employees in the UK to report their gender pay gap. The figures revealed that HSBC has a gender pay gap of 59 per cent, Lloyds has a 32.8 per cent gap, Legal & General have a 30.5 per cent and Aviva has 28.5 per cent. While the gender pay gap in the UK was at … Continue reading Money Observer: How to close the gender pay gap in finance
Yet more unhelpful advice for millennials: Barclays has joined the admonishing chorus by announcing that millennial couples need to stop spending an average £3,500 on annual cruises or £5,946 a year on eating out twice a week. First, it’s unlikely that many millennials go on cruises, a distinctly octogenarian activity. Secondly, if we drill down into the cost of eating out calculated, we get to … Continue reading Marina’s Monetary Musings: The avocado cruise
Over the last two years a chorus of wealth experts have urged millennials to save money instead of eating out. But such advice doesn’t solve the systemic intergenerational inequality in the UK. Now Barclays has joined the group, by saying that habits such as annual holidays (planned by 86 per cent of millennials) and nights eating out (54 per cent) could ‘de-rail millennial retirement ambitions’. … Continue reading Money Observer: Yet more unhelpful advice for millennials
Economists look to house prices, GDP and retail sales to predict the next recession. But a new study says we could look elsewhere to know when the next downturn is due: by counting the number of women who are pregnant. Previous research has shown that birth rates fall in a downturn, but the current study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that … Continue reading Money Observer: Fertility and other surprising ways to spot a recession
What’s your first memory of money? Psychoanalysts could have a field day unravelling how people’s first memories shape their views of finance. So, what do you remember? I remember finding a bundle of German banknotes in the playground. I gave the notes to my mother, who asked around at the kindergarten to see if anyone had lost money, but nobody came forward. In the end … Continue reading Money Observer: First money memories