Money Observer: Yet more unhelpful advice for millennials

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

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Money Observer: Fertility and other surprising ways to spot a recession

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

Money Observer: First money memories

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

Money Observer: Why money buys happiness sometimes

Literary critics are not usually known for their views on money. But the German critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki supposedly said that ‘money doesn’t buy you happiness, but if you’re sad, it’s better to cry in a cab than on a tram.’ This seems logical, and yet it may depend on whether or not you’re an introvert. The relationship between money and happiness has spawned many theories. … Continue reading Money Observer: Why money buys happiness sometimes

Money Observer: What Piketty has in common with reality TV

‘Who says a reality television show can’t convey an important message?’ asked my friend Elly Steinberg, who is a documentary film-maker. She was referring to The Great British Benefits Handout on Channel 5, where three unemployed families who live on benefits were each given £26,000. Some of them managed to get a business off the ground, invest in education and become self-sufficient. The important message … Continue reading Money Observer: What Piketty has in common with reality TV

Money Observer: How about making trainers more sustainable

I have never heard a laugh as loud as the one let out by my local cobbler when I brought him my old trainers. ‘We don’t re-heel trainers, nobody does,’ he said when he stopped laughing. Given how mundane and popular trainers and sneakers are, it seems surprising there is no easy way to repair them. Clever start-ups have come up with a taxi service … Continue reading Money Observer: How about making trainers more sustainable

Money Observer: Here’s what Brexit is doing to our diet

As we know, inflation is upon us, and it’s on an upward trend. Once a month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) determines the price of a basket – think of a shopping basket – of goods and services typically bought by UK households. This is used to calculate the consumer prices index measure of inflation. I wanted to peek inside that basket of goods … Continue reading Money Observer: Here’s what Brexit is doing to our diet

Money Observer: What the travel industry tells us about the state of globalisation

Many UK-listed companies reported profits this year, but certain businesses did not: notably travel and leisure sector firms such as Easyjet. After six consecutive years, Easyjet’s growth success story has stalled, because it has been unable to reduce its costs in the face of lower revenues. Brexit is part of the story of course. With the pound weakening, more Brits are opting for ‘staycations’. The … Continue reading Money Observer: What the travel industry tells us about the state of globalisation

Money Observer: Why our politicians should be able to price a potato

It’s often said that politicians are so detached they don’t even know the price of a pint of milk or a loaf of bread. In 1992, then-president of the United States George H W Bush was forced to admit he did not know how much a gallon of milk cost during a debate with Bill Clinton, whose rural background earned him the admiration of the … Continue reading Money Observer: Why our politicians should be able to price a potato

Standpoint Magazine: Golden Gogol

A new production of The Nose, Shostakovich’s opera based on Gogol’s mesmerisingly surreal short story, was part of this season at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. A Tarkovsky retrospective was held in Shoreditch. Any moment now, I expect to get invited to a poetry slam riffing on Mayakovsky. The Nose, one of Gogol’s Petersburg Tales, tells the story of Collegiate Assessor Kovalyov, who … Continue reading Standpoint Magazine: Golden Gogol