Entries by Tim Price

Three years down the toilet

Up and down the land, hundreds of thousands of students have been receiving their A-level grades. Some of them will doubtless plan to read PPE at Oxford. Others will doubtless aspire to studying Economics at Cambridge (note: at the time of writing, the Cambridge economics web page was broken, much like the spirit of its […]

Speaking truth to power

Being There is a bizarre little curate’s egg of a film. Directed in 1979 by Hal Ashby, who by all accounts at this stage in his career was no stranger to substance abuse, it also happens to be Peter Sellers’ last film, and it maintains an elegiac quality throughout. The film is punctuated by illness […]

Tangled web

In April 1999, Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger created a website called Cluetrain. The Cluetrain Manifesto was a modern day reworking of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses – the pamphlet which, nailed to the door of the church at Wittenberg, is credited as having triggered the Reformation.

Four types of people

As Mike Tyson never quite said, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the Facebook. Just when it seemed that Elon Musk’s notorious Q1 Tesla conference call couldn’t be surpassed for CEO-inspired trainwreckery, or that Netflix’s Q2 earnings miss and its associated 14% share price fall might be setting some new kind of […]

Per ardua ad astra

The history of the Spitfire is a catalogue of triumph against adversity. Its designer, the aeronautical engineer RJ Mitchell, died in 1937, three years before his creation’s finest hour. Throughout its history, the Royal Air Force had been dismissive of fighter aircraft, hewing to the conventional wisdom that the bomber would always get through. When, […]

An odd, non-linear game

For historians, there are primary sources and secondary sources. Primary sources are the original documents that point to the raw history, like the original Magna Carta, for example. Secondary sources are effectively historical derivatives – they incorporate interpretation and analysis. In financial markets, the equivalent of primary sources are prices – the only raw data […]

The long march of the bezzle

The world of economics is indebted to JK Galbraith, author of The Great Crash 1929, for his coinage, the bezzle. “To the economist embezzlement is the most interesting of crimes. Alone among the various forms of larceny it has a time parameter. Weeks, months, or years may elapse between the commission of the crime and […]

The outrageous cost of a free press

Whilst a student of English Language and Literature in the late 1980s, this commentator spent several summers interning at advertising agencies and newspapers. The ad agency jobs involved first-hand experience of copywriting assignments and real campaigns. The newspaper jobs, on the other hand.. On walking into the offices of The Daily Express (more specifically, its […]