Simon Evans Goes To Market

How do you make economics funny? How do you put the comedy in commodity?

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics behind four commodities.

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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0101Land2014051520140522 (BBC7)
20170523 (BBC7)
20170208 (R4)

How do you make economics funny? How do you put the comedy in commodity? Simon Evans has the answer in this new series which asks us to get involved in investment.

Rather than being cowed by an apparently complicated and overwhelming system, Simon jumps right in. He takes as his focus four commodities which are so intrinsic to our lives they have an almost elemental significance - land, gold, oil and grain. Yet, despite the fact we encounter them everywhere we look, very few people have been able to build a fortune on them.

All that's about to change as, Simon enlists help from the experts. Each week he will be joined by Tim Harford, Merryn Somerset Webb and a guest specialist as they examine the chequered social and economic histories of these commodities. By looking at four such fundamental products, Simon brings us to a closer understanding of how global economic forces have a far-reaching and often surprising impact on our lives.

In this first episode, Simon looks at Land. How did it come to be traded, why we think bricks and mortar are a safe investment and

who really owns the land we buy.

Performed by - Simon Evans, with regular guests Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset-Webb, and Land expert Kevin Cahill

Written by - Simon Evans with Benjamin Partridge, Guy Venables, Andy Wolton

Producer - Tilusha Ghelani.

Simon and guests ask how land came to be traded and who really owns the land we buy.

How do you make economics funny? How do you put the comedy in commodity? Simon Evans has the answer in this new series which asks us to get involved in investment.

All that's about to change as, Simon enlists help from the experts. Each week he will be joined by Tim Harford, Merryn Somerset Webb and a guest specialist as they examine the chequered social and economic histories of these commodities. By looking at four such fundamental products, Simon brings us to a closer understanding of how global economic forces have a far-reaching and often surprising impact on our lives.

In this first episode, Simon looks at Land. How did it come to be traded, why we think bricks and mortar are a safe investment and who really owns the land we buy.
Performed by....Simon Evans, with regular guests Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset-Webb, and Land expert Kevin Cahill
Written by....Simon Evans with Benjamin Partridge, Guy Venables, Andy Wolton
Producer....Tilusha Ghelani.

0101Land2014051520170208 (R4)

Simon and guests ask how land came to be traded and who really owns the land we buy.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

0102Grain2014052220140529 (BBC7)
20170530 (BBC7)
20170215 (R4)

How do you make economics funny? How do you put the comedy in commodity? Simon Evans has the answer in this new series which asks us to get involved in investment.

Rather than being cowed by an apparently complicated and overwhelming system, Simon jumps right in. He takes as his focus four commodities which are so intrinsic to our lives they have an almost elemental significance - land, gold, oil and grain. Yet, despite the fact we encounter them everywhere we look, very few people have been able to build a fortune on them.

All that's about to change as, Simon enlists help from the experts. Each week he will be joined by Tim Harford, Merryn Somerset Webb and a guest specialist as they examine the chequered social and economic histories of these commodities. By looking at four such fundamental products, Simon brings us to a closer understanding of how global economic forces have a far-reaching and often surprising impact on our lives.

In this episode, Simon looks at commodities markets in grain. How moral is it to trade in food? how much of it is animal feed and what is the future of food?

Performed by - Simon Evans, with regular guests Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset-Webb, and to talk about grain markets, Kanes Rajah and Jim Rogers.

Written by - Simon Evans with Benjamin Partridge and Andy Wolton

Producer - Tilusha Ghelani.

Simon asks how moral it is to trade in food. And what is the future of food?

How do you make economics funny? How do you put the comedy in commodity? Simon Evans has the answer in this new series which asks us to get involved in investment.
Rather than being cowed by an apparently complicated and overwhelming system, Simon jumps right in. He takes as his focus four commodities which are so intrinsic to our lives they have an almost elemental significance - land, gold, oil and grain. Yet, despite the fact we encounter them everywhere we look, very few people have been able to build a fortune on them.
All that's about to change as, Simon enlists help from the experts. Each week he will be joined by Tim Harford, Merryn Somerset Webb and a guest specialist as they examine the chequered social and economic histories of these commodities. By looking at four such fundamental products, Simon brings us to a closer understanding of how global economic forces have a far-reaching and often surprising impact on our lives.
In this episode, Simon looks at commodities markets in grain. How moral is it to trade in food? how much of it is animal feed and what is the future of food?

Performed by....Simon Evans, with regular guests Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset-Webb, and to talk about grain markets, Kanes Rajah and Jim Rogers.
Written by....Simon Evans with Benjamin Partridge and Andy Wolton
Producer....Tilusha Ghelani.

0102Grain2014052220170215 (R4)

Simon asks how moral it is to trade in food. And what is the future of food?

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

0103Gold2014052920140605 (BBC7)
20170606 (BBC7)
20170222 (R4)

How do you make economics funny? How do you put the comedy in commodity? Simon Evans has the answer in this new series which asks us to get involved in investment.

Rather than being cowed by an apparently complicated and overwhelming system, Simon jumps right in. He takes as his focus four commodities which are so intrinsic to our lives they have an almost elemental significance - land, gold, oil and grain. Yet, despite the fact we encounter them everywhere we look, very few people have been able to build a fortune on them.

All that's about to change as, Simon enlists help from the experts. Each week he will be joined by Tim Harford, Merryn Somerset Webb and a guest specialist as they examine the chequered social and economic histories of these commodities. By looking at four such fundamental products, Simon brings us to a closer understanding of how global economic forces have a far-reaching and often surprising impact on our lives.

In this episode, Simon looks at why we buy and sell gold all around the world. When did that begin? Why do we continue now we have paper money?

Performed by - Simon Evans, with regular guests Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset-Webb, and to talk about the trade in gold, Dominic frisby.

Written by - Simon Evans with Benjamin Partridge, Guy Venables and Andy Wolton

Producer - Tilusha Ghelani.

Simon looks at why we buy and sell gold all around the world. With Dominic Frisby.

How do you make economics funny? How do you put the comedy in commodity? Simon Evans has the answer in this new series which asks us to get involved in investment.

All that's about to change as, Simon enlists help from the experts. Each week he will be joined by Tim Harford, Merryn Somerset Webb and a guest specialist as they examine the chequered social and economic histories of these commodities. By looking at four such fundamental products, Simon brings us to a closer understanding of how global economic forces have a far-reaching and often surprising impact on our lives.

Performed by....Simon Evans, with regular guests Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset-Webb, and to talk about the trade in gold, Dominic Frisby.

Written by....Simon Evans with Benjamin Partridge, Guy Venables and Andy Wolton

Producer....Tilusha Ghelani.

0103Gold2014052920170222 (R4)

Simon looks at why we buy and sell gold all around the world. With Dominic Frisby.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

0104Oil2014060520170301 (R4)

Simon looks at commodities markets in oil. Why is this trade different to others?

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

0104 LASTOil2014060520140612 (BBC7)
20170613 (BBC7)
20170301 (R4)

In this episode, Simon looks at commodities markets in oil or petrolium. How is it produced? Why is this trade different to others? Is our over-reliance on it dangerous?

Performed by - Simon Evans, with regular guests Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset-Webb, and to talk about Oil markets, Paul Horsnell.

Written by - Simon Evans with Benjamin Partridge and Andy Wolton

Researcher - Matthew Oldham

Producer - Tilusha Ghelani.

How do you make economics funny? How do you put the comedy in commodity? Simon Evans has the answer in this new series which asks us to get involved in investment.

Rather than being cowed by an apparently complicated and overwhelming system, Simon jumps right in. He takes as his focus four commodities which are so intrinsic to our lives they have an almost elemental significance - land, gold, oil and grain. Yet, despite the fact we encounter them everywhere we look, very few people have been able to build a fortune on them.

All that's about to change as, Simon enlists help from the experts. Each week he will be joined by Tim Harford, Merryn Somerset Webb and a guest specialist as they examine the chequered social and economic histories of these commodities. By looking at four such fundamental products, Simon brings us to a closer understanding of how global economic forces have a far-reaching and often surprising impact on our lives.

Performed by....Simon Evans, with regular guests Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset-Webb, and to talk about Oil markets, Paul Horsnell.

Written by....Simon Evans with Benjamin Partridge and Andy Wolton

Researcher....Matthew Oldham

Producer....Tilusha Ghelani.

How do you make economics funny? How do you put the comedy in commodity? Simon Evans has the answer in this new series which asks us to get involved in investment.

All that's about to change as, Simon enlists help from the experts. Each week he will be joined by Tim Harford, Merryn Somerset Webb and a guest specialist as they examine the chequered social and economic histories of these commodities. By looking at four such fundamental products, Simon brings us to a closer understanding of how global economic forces have a far-reaching and often surprising impact on our lives.

Simon looks at commodities markets in oil. Why is this trade different to others?

0201Alcohol2015070820150715 (BBC7)
20150716 (BBC7)
20180811 (BBC7)
20200306 (BBC7)
20170315 (R4)

Comedian Simon Evans returns with a series about the economics of some of the goods - or bads - we are addicted to.

If you crave your daily coffee, can't get by without a cigarette, feel that mid-afternoon slump without your sugar-fix, or can't face an evening without a glass of wine, you are definitely not alone. But have you ever thought about the economics that has made your addiction possible? Who does it profit? And would you want to make some canny investments that take advantage of our human weaknesses?

Simon looks at the economics, history and health issues behind these oh-so-addictive commodities.

With the help of economics guru, More Or Less host Tim Harford and the Queen of investment know-how, Merryn Somerset-Webb, Simon walks us around the economics of these very familiar commodities and pokes fun at our relationship with them.

Written by Simon Evans, Benjamin Partridge and Andy Wolton.

Producer: Claire Jones

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in July 2015.

Can't face an evening without a glass of wine? The comedian presents a lecture.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

Comedian Simon Evans returns with a new series about the economics of some of the goods - or bads - we are addicted to.

In this series, Simon Evans looks at the economics, history and health issues behind these oh-so-addictive commodities.

Presented by Simon Evans, with regular guests Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset-Webb.

Produced by Claire Jones.

Presented by Simon Evans, with regular guests Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset-Webb.
Written by Simon Evans, Benjamin Partridge and Andy Wolton.
Produced by Claire Jones.

Simon Evans presents a comedy lecture on the economics behind alcohol.

0201Alcohol2015070820170315 (R4)

Can't face an evening without a glass of wine? The comedian presents a lecture.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

0202Tobacco2015071520150722 (BBC7)
20150723 (BBC7)
20180901 (BBC7)
20200313 (BBC7)
20170322 (R4)

Comedian Simon Evans continues his series about the economics of some of the goods - or bads - we are addicted to.

If you crave your daily coffee, can't get by without a cigarette, feel that mid-afternoon slump without your sugar-fix, or can't face an evening without a glass of wine, you are definitely not alone. But have you ever thought about the economics that has made your addiction possible? Who does it profit? And would you want to make some canny investments that take advantage of our human weaknesses?

Simon looks at the economics, history and health issues behind these oh-so-addictive commodities.

This time it's tobacco. It's been called the single biggest avoidable cause of death in the world today yet it has remained an investment goldmine, with a single pound invested in tobacco stocks in 1900 now being worth over 6 million pounds.

Simon speaks to Robert West, Professor of Health Psychology and Director of Tobacco Studios at University College London about current global trends in smoking. He is also joined by economics guru, More Or Less host Tim Harford and the Queen of investment know-how, Merryn Somerset-Webb, as he walks us around the economics of these very familiar commodities and pokes fun at our relationship with them.

Presented by Simon Evans, with Professor Robert West, Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset-Webb.

Written by Simon Evans, Benjamin Partridge and Andy Wolton.

Producer: Claire Jones

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in July 2015.

Can't face a night without a cigarette? A lecture on the economics of the addictive weed.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

Comedian Simon Evans returns with a new series about the economics of some of the goods - or bads - we are addicted to.

In this series, Simon Evans looks at the economics, history and health issues behind these oh-so-addictive commodities.

This week it's tobacco. It's been called the single biggest avoidable cause of death in the world today yet it has remained an investment goldmine, with a single pound invested in tobacco stocks in 1900 now being worth over 6 million pounds.

Presented by Simon Evans, with Professor Robert West, Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset-Webb.
Written by Simon Evans, Benjamin Partridge and Andy Wolton.

Produced by Claire Jones.

This week it's tobacco. It's been called the single biggest avoidable cause of death in the world today yet it has remained an investment goldmine, with a single pound invested in tobacco stocks in 1900 now being worth over 6 million pounds.

Produced by Claire Jones.

Simon Evans presents a comedy lecture on the economics behind tobacco.

0202Tobacco2015071520170322 (R4)

Can't face a night without a cigarette? A lecture on the economics of the addictive weed.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

0203Coffee2015072220150729 (BBC7)
20150730 (BBC7)
20180908 (BBC7)
20200320 (BBC7)
20170329 (R4)

Comedian Simon Evans continues his series about the economics of some of the goods - or bads - we are addicted to.

If you crave your daily coffee, can't get by without a cigarette, feel that mid-afternoon slump without your sugar-fix, or can't face an evening without a glass of wine, you are definitely not alone. But have you ever thought about the economics that has made your addiction possible? Who does it profit? And would you want to make some canny investments that take advantage of our human weaknesses?

In this series, Simon Evans looks at the economics, history and health issues behind these oh-so-addictive commodities.

This time it's coffee.

How much are we now drinking as a nation? And how much of the price of a cup of coffee is actually the coffee beans? Are we giving coffee growers the best deal when we buy Fairtrade coffee or should we be seeking out Direct trade coffee? And could this be the least harmful of all addictions? Perhaps even a positive addiction, with the coffee shop being, as Steven Johnson said (in his recent 'Where good ideas come from' TED talk), 'a place where ideas can have sex'?

Simon speaks to specialist coffee experts Onny Loisel and Michael Cleland. He is also joined by economics guru, More Or Less host Tim Harford and the Queen of investment know-how, Merryn Somerset-Webb, as he walks us around the economics of this very familiar commodity and pokes fun at our relationship with it.

Presented by Simon Evans, with Onny Loisel and Michael Cleland, Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset Webb.

Written by Simon Evans, Benjamin Partridge and Andy Wolton.

Producer: Claire Jones

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in July 2015.

Simon Evans presents a comedy lecture on the economics behind coffee.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

Comedian Simon Evans returns with a new series about the economics of some of the goods - or bads - we are addicted to.

This week it's coffee. How much are we now drinking as a nation? And how much of the price of a cup of coffee is actually the coffee beans? Are we giving coffee growers the best deal when we buy Fairtrade coffee or should we be seeking out Direct trade coffee? And could this be the least harmful of all addictions? Perhaps even a positive addiction, with the coffee shop being, as Steven Johnson said (in his recent 'Where good ideas come from' TED talk), 'a place where ideas can have sex'?

Presented by Simon Evans, with Onny Loisel and Michael Cleland, Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset Webb.
Written by Simon Evans, Benjamin Partridge and Andy Wolton.
Produced by Claire Jones.

Presented by Simon Evans, with Onny Loisel and Michael Cleland, Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset Webb.
Written by Simon Evans, Benjamin Partridge and Andy Wolton.
Produced by Claire Jones.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in July 2015.

0203Coffee2015072220170329 (R4)

Simon Evans presents a comedy lecture on the economics behind coffee.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

0204Sugar2015072920180915 (BBC7)
20200327 (BBC7)

Comedian Simon Evans' new series about the economics of some of the goods - or bads - to which we're addicted.

If you crave your daily coffee, can't get by without a cigarette, feel that mid-afternoon slump without your sugar-fix, or can't face an evening without a glass of wine, you are definitely not alone. But have you ever thought about the economics that has made your addiction possible? Who does it profit? And would you want to make some canny investments that take advantage of our human weaknesses?
In this series, Simon Evans looks at the economics, history and health issues behind these oh-so-addictive commodities.

This week it's sugar. Some people say sugar could be the new tobacco - exposed as a health risk that's been knowingly concealed for decades. And the trouble is sugar is in almost everything now - even things that 'look' savoury. What part does economics have to play in how we have got to this point? How do we make sense of what the food industry is doing with sugar? And if we want to invest in this addiction, how do we do it?
With the help of economics guru, More Or Less host Tim Harford and the Queen of investment know-how, Merryn Somerset Webb, plus author David Gillespie, Simon walks us around the economics of this very familiar commodity and pokes fun at our relationship with it.
Presented by Simon Evans, with regular guests Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset Webb.
Written by Simon Evans, Benjamin Partridge and Andy Wolton.
Produced by Claire Jones.

Simon Evans presents a comedy lecture on the economics behind sugar.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

0204Sugar2015072920170405 (R4)

Simon Evans presents a comedy lecture on the economics behind sugar.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

0204 LASTSugar2015072920150805 (BBC7)
20150806 (BBC7)
20180915 (BBC7)
20170405 (R4)

This week it's sugar. Some people say sugar could be the new tobacco - exposed as a health risk that's been knowingly concealed for decades. And the trouble is sugar is in almost everything now - even things that 'look' savoury. What part does economics have to play in how we have got to this point? How do we make sense of what the food industry is doing with sugar? And if we want to invest in this addiction, how do we do it?

With the help of economics guru, More Or Less host Tim Harford and the Queen of investment know-how, Merryn Somerset Webb, plus author David Gillespie, Simon walks us around the economics of this very familiar commodity and pokes fun at our relationship with it.

Presented by Simon Evans, with regular guests Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset Webb.

Written by Simon Evans, Benjamin Partridge and Andy Wolton.

Produced by Claire Jones.

Comedian Simon Evans' new series about the economics of some of the goods - or bads - to which we're addicted.

If you crave your daily coffee, can't get by without a cigarette, feel that mid-afternoon slump without your sugar-fix, or can't face an evening without a glass of wine, you are definitely not alone. But have you ever thought about the economics that has made your addiction possible? Who does it profit? And would you want to make some canny investments that take advantage of our human weaknesses?

In this series, Simon Evans looks at the economics, history and health issues behind these oh-so-addictive commodities.

Simon Evans presents a comedy lecture on the economics behind sugar.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

Comedian Simon Evans' new series about the economics of some of the goods - or bads - to which we're addicted.

If you crave your daily coffee, can't get by without a cigarette, feel that mid-afternoon slump without your sugar-fix, or can't face an evening without a glass of wine, you are definitely not alone. But have you ever thought about the economics that has made your addiction possible? Who does it profit? And would you want to make some canny investments that take advantage of our human weaknesses?
In this series, Simon Evans looks at the economics, history and health issues behind these oh-so-addictive commodities.

This week it's sugar. Some people say sugar could be the new tobacco - exposed as a health risk that's been knowingly concealed for decades. And the trouble is sugar is in almost everything now - even things that 'look' savoury. What part does economics have to play in how we have got to this point? How do we make sense of what the food industry is doing with sugar? And if we want to invest in this addiction, how do we do it?
With the help of economics guru, More Or Less host Tim Harford and the Queen of investment know-how, Merryn Somerset Webb, plus author David Gillespie, Simon walks us around the economics of this very familiar commodity and pokes fun at our relationship with it.
Presented by Simon Evans, with regular guests Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset Webb.
Written by Simon Evans, Benjamin Partridge and Andy Wolton.
Produced by Claire Jones.

0301Youth20160728
0301Youth20160728

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics behind four commodities. Today, youth.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

0301Youth2016072820160804 (BBC7)
20160805 (BBC7)

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics behind four commodities. Today, youth.

Simon Evans' comedy lecture on four of the big life stages that mark our journey through life and how economics is part of every one of those stages, whether we like it or not.

As always, he is joined by Financial Times columnist and presenter of Radio 4's 'More or Less', economist Tim Harford, and by financial guru and editor of Money Week, Merryn Somerset Webb.

This week Simon looks at Youth - that period in life when the young suddenly disengage from the home unit and plummet from the safety of the family nest.

The programme looks at everything from pocket money and exam subject choice, to university and whether the property ladder still exists.

Baroness Alison Wolf is the guest expert, who shares her views on whether education matters and how that affects the labour markets. Which subjects should you study at school if you want to be a millionaire? Should you go to university? Take a gap year? What are the implications of all these decisions on your future economic standing.

Presenter: Simon Evans, with Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset Webb

Special guest: Professor Alison Wolf, Baroness Wolf of Dulwich

Written by Simon Evans, Benjamin Partridge and Andy Wolton.

Producer: Claire Jones

A BBC Studios Production.

Producer: Claire Jones

0302Marriage2016080420160811 (BBC7)
20160812 (BBC7)

Simon Evans' comedy lecture on four of the big life stages that mark our journey through life and how economics is part of every one of those stages, whether we like it or not.

As always, he is joined by Financial Times columnist and presenter of Radio 4's 'More or Less', economist Tim Harford, and by financial guru and editor of Money Week, Merryn Somerset Webb.

This week Simon looks at Marriage. Is it all romance and flowers and living in harmony? Or is it in fact the most commercial of transactions, riddled with economic calculations from beginning to end. And talking of the end, what are the economic effects of divorce on the ex-happy couple?

Also on stage are Andy and Sophie who are preparing for their wedding. Simon mercilessly picks apart their every decision - from an economics point of view of course.

Special guest is Dr Maria Sironi who talks about her research paper Happiness, Housework and Gender Inequality in Europe.

Presenter: Simon Evans, with Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset Webb

Special guest: Dr Maria Sironi

Written by Simon Evans, Benjamin Partridge and Andy Wolton.

Producer: Claire Jones.

Is marriage all romance and living in harmony, or the most commercial of transactions?

0302Marriage20160804

Is marriage all romance and living in harmony, or the most commercial of transactions?

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

0303Birth2016081120160818 (BBC7)
20160819 (BBC7)

This week Simon looks at Birth.

Also on stage are Andy and Sophie who are thinking about having children. From an economic point of view, should they at all? If they do, how many should they have? And when should they have them?

This week's special guest is Professor James Sefton who talks about the optimal birth rate for the country, economically-speaking.

Presenter: Simon Evans, with Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset Webb

Guests: Professor James Sefton, Sophie Richardson

Written by Simon Evans, Benjamin Partridge, Andy Wolton and Guy Venables.

Producer: Claire Jones

Simon Evans' comedy-economics hybrid - this week about birth.

Simon Evans' comedy lecture on four of the big life stages that mark our journey through life and how economics is part of every one of those stages, whether we like it or not.

As always, he is joined by Financial Times columnist and presenter of Radio 4's 'More or Less', economist Tim Harford, and by financial guru and editor of Money Week, Merryn Somerset Webb.

0303Birth20160811

Simon Evans' comedy-economics hybrid - this week about birth.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

0304Death20160818

From paying for funerals to cryonics, what are the economics of death?

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

0304 LASTDeath2016081820160825 (BBC7)
20160826 (BBC7)

This week in the final programme of the series, Simon looks at (probably) the most final of life stages: Death.

From paying for funerals to the cost of cryonics, and the cheery subject of getting your final finances in order, this inevitably morbid programme will also make you laugh.

Special guest is Louise de Winter, funeral planner and the editor of the Good Funeral Guide.

Written by Simon Evans, Benjamin Partridge and Andy Wolton.

Producer: Claire Jones

Presenter: Simon Evans, with Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset Webb

Special guest: Louise de Winter

From paying for funerals to cryonics, what are the economics of death?

Simon Evans' comedy lecture on four of the big life stages that mark our journey through life and how economics is part of every one of those stages, whether we like it or not.

As always, he is joined by Financial Times columnist and presenter of Radio 4's 'More or Less', economist Tim Harford, and by financial guru and editor of Money Week, Merryn Somerset Webb.

0401Social Media2018011620180123 (BBC7)
20180124 (BBC7)

In this series, Simon Evans examines the concept of the 'free lunch' and shines a light on new ways of making money in the 21st century.

There are many apparently 'free' economic models operating today but what are they and how do they work? Across four episodes Simon and his team will explore Social Media and how we often appear to enjoy it for free. Later on Simon examines the perhaps unfair belief that some multinationals appear to operate tax free. And what about the billions being given away 'for free' by a new breed of philanthro-capitalists? Finally, what can we learn from these operating models to help that beloved yet creaking institution, the NHS, which is also apparently free at the point of use?

As a wise person once said, there's no such thing as a free lunch. If you're not paying, you're the product.

Also featuring Financial Times economics god Tim Harford and Timandra Harkness, author of 'Big Data: Does Size Matter?' with contributions from the Queen of MoneyWeek, Merryn Somerset Webb.

Episode 1: Social Media

From the country-sized economy of Google changing the way we see adverts; to the seemingly free apps like Uber making San Francisco the economic centre of the world and changing the concept of local business; to social media platforms like Facebook redefining us as economic actors... the way we work, shop, meet, and think about money is profoundly changing. Many of these technologies look benign and free - but who is getting rich from them? And how? And how are we 'paying' without realising?

Starring: Simon Evans with Tim Harford and Timandra Harkness
Written by Simon Evans with Benjamin Partridge
Researcher: Andrew Wright
Production coordinator: Toby Tilling

Producer: Richard Morris
A BBC Studios Production.

Simon Evans uses his 'jokenomics' lens to make money funny.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

Starring: Simon Evans with Tim Harford and Timandra Harkness
Researcher: Andrew Wright
Production coordinator: Toby Tilling

Producer: Richard Morris
A BBC Studios Production.

Starring: Simon Evans with Tim Harford and Timandra Harkness
Written by Simon Evans with Benjamin Partridge
Researcher: Andrew Wright
Production coordinator: Toby Tilling

In this series, Simon Evans examines the concept of the 'free lunch' and shines a light on new ways of making money in the 21st century.

Also featuring Financial Times economics god Tim Harford and Timandra Harkness, author of 'Big Data: Does Size Matter?' with contributions from the Queen of MoneyWeek, Merryn Somerset Webb.

Starring: Simon Evans with Tim Harford and Timandra Harkness
Researcher: Andrew Wright
Production coordinator: Toby Tilling

Producer: Richard Morris

0402Tax Free2018012320180130 (BBC7)
20180131 (BBC7)

In this series, Simon Evans examines the concept of the 'free lunch' and shines a light on new ways of making money in the 21st century.

There are many apparently 'free' economic models operating today but what are they and how do they work? Across four episodes Simon and his team will explore Social Media and how we often appear to enjoy it for free. Later on Simon examines the perhaps unfair belief that some multinationals appear to operate tax free. And what about the billions being given away 'for free' by a new breed of philanthro-capitalists? Finally, what can we learn from these operating models to help that beloved yet creaking institution, the NHS, which is also apparently free at the point of use?

As a wise person once said, there's no such thing as a free lunch. If you're not paying, you're the product.

Also featuring Financial Times economics god Tim Harford and Timandra Harkness, author of 'Big Data: Does Size Matter?'

Episode 2: Tax Free

Most individuals who earn money or businesses that make a profit are required to cheerfully wave off substantial proportions of their money to the public good. But as soon as those individuals or corporations achieve a certain critical mass, they just sort of drift off to some mythical island whose co-ordinates are unknown to common folk, where they erect a giant tax-repellant rainbow over them to protect them from the tiresome responsibility of paying their way. Should we in fact find this as grossly infuriating as it appears to be?

Starring: Simon Evans with Tim Harford and Timandra Harkness
Written by Simon Evans with Benjamin Partridge
Researcher: Andrew Wright
Production coordinator: Toby Tilling

Producer: Richard Morris
A BBC Studios Production.

Simon Evans uses his 'jokenomics' lens to make money funny.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

Producer: Richard Morris
A BBC Studios Production.

Starring: Simon Evans with Tim Harford and Timandra Harkness
Written by Simon Evans with Benjamin Partridge
Researcher: Andrew Wright
Production coordinator: Toby Tilling

Producer: Richard Morris

0403Philanthropy2018013020180206 (BBC7)
20180207 (BBC7)

In this series, Simon Evans examines the concept of the 'free lunch' and shines a light on new ways of making money in the 21st century.

There are many apparently 'free' economic models operating today but what are they and how do they work? Across four episodes Simon and his team will explore Social Media and how we often appear to enjoy it for free. Later on Simon examines the perhaps unfair belief that some multinationals appear to operate tax free. And what about the billions being given away 'for free' by a new breed of philanthro-capitalists? Finally, what can we learn from these operating models to help that beloved yet creaking institution, the NHS, which is also apparently free at the point of use?

As a wise person once said, there's no such thing as a free lunch. If you're not paying, you're the product.

Also featuring Financial Times economics god Tim Harford and Timandra Harkness, author of 'Big Data: Does Size Matter?' with contributions from the Queen of MoneyWeek, Merryn Somerset Webb.

Episode 3: Philanthropy

There comes a point in every busy tycoon's life when he or she realises that accruing vast wealth, power and prestige has not brought with it the warm glow they had hoped for. The solution was suggested several hundred years ago, most notably by the Earl of Shaftesbury - philanthropy. Literally - the love of what it is to be human - but more usually meant as, charity, but on a large scale and with your name over the door. But is it as economically straightforward as it seems?

Starring: Simon Evans with Tim Harford and Timandra Harkness
Written by Simon Evans with Benjamin Partridge
Researcher: Andrew Wright
Production coordinator: Toby Tilling

Producer: Richard Morris
A BBC Studios Production.

Simon Evans uses his 'jokenomics' lens to make money funny.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

Producer: Richard Morris
A BBC Studios Production.

Starring: Simon Evans with Tim Harford and Timandra Harkness
Written by Simon Evans with Benjamin Partridge
Researcher: Andrew Wright
Production coordinator: Toby Tilling

Producer: Richard Morris

0404The Cost Of Health2018020620180213 (BBC7)
20180214 (BBC7)

In this series, Simon Evans examines the concept of the 'free lunch' and shines a light on new ways of making money in the 21st century.

There are many apparently 'free' economic models operating today but what are they and how do they work? Across four episodes Simon and his team will explore Social Media and how we often appear to enjoy it for free. Later on Simon examines the perhaps unfair belief that some multinationals appear to operate tax free. And what about the billions being given away 'for free' by a new breed of philanthro-capitalists? Finally, what can we learn from these operating models to help that beloved yet creaking institution, the NHS, which is also apparently free at the point of use?

As a wise person once said, there's no such thing as a free lunch. If you're not paying, you're the product.

Also featuring Financial Times economics god Tim Harford, Timandra Harkness, author of 'Big Data: Does Size Matter?' and Dr Kristian Niemietz

Episode 4: The Cost of Health

While many services are now provided free of charge others continue to be very expensive, despite a widely held view that they should be free. Nowhere more so than in the field of healthcare. Big Pharma, as it is for some reason known (presumably to confuse people that it's all about fields), makes millions out of selling drugs to the poorly. With the economic complexities of healthcare provision growing more and more complex, what are the implications of an industry that thrives on our ill health? Who decides what gets subsidized, and how?

Starring: Simon Evans with Tim Harford and Timandra Harkness
Written by Simon Evans with Benjamin Partridge
Researcher: Andrew Wright
Production coordinator: Toby Tilling

Producer: Richard Morris
A BBC Studios Production.

Simon Evans uses his 'jokenomics' lens to make money funny.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

0404 LASTThe Cost Of Health20180206

Simon Evans uses his 'jokenomics' lens to make money funny.

In this series, Simon Evans examines the concept of the 'free lunch' and shines a light on new ways of making money in the 21st century.

There are many apparently 'free' economic models operating today but what are they and how do they work? Across four episodes Simon and his team will explore Social Media and how we often appear to enjoy it for free. Later on Simon examines the perhaps unfair belief that some multinationals appear to operate tax free. And what about the billions being given away 'for free' by a new breed of philanthro-capitalists? Finally, what can we learn from these operating models to help that beloved yet creaking institution, the NHS, which is also apparently free at the point of use?

As a wise person once said, there's no such thing as a free lunch. If you're not paying, you're the product.

Also featuring Financial Times economics god Tim Harford, Timandra Harkness, author of 'Big Data: Does Size Matter?' and Dr Kristian Niemietz

Episode 4: The Cost of Health

While many services are now provided free of charge others continue to be very expensive, despite a widely held view that they should be free. Nowhere more so than in the field of healthcare. Big Pharma, as it is for some reason known (presumably to confuse people that it's all about fields), makes millions out of selling drugs to the poorly. With the economic complexities of healthcare provision growing more and more complex, what are the implications of an industry that thrives on our ill health? Who decides what gets subsidized, and how?

Starring: Simon Evans with Tim Harford and Timandra Harkness
Written by Simon Evans with Benjamin Partridge
Researcher: Andrew Wright
Production coordinator: Toby Tilling

Producer: Richard Morris
A BBC Studios Production.

0501Adam Smith2019042420190501 (BBC7)
20190502 (BBC7)

Radio 4's premier comedy-economics hybrid is five series old and the time is right to take a step back, and perhaps two steps up, and tackle the big, competing theories of Macro Economics. These are little short of religions to their proponents, and the figures who devised them dominate the intellectual landscape in a way that mere politicians can only dream of. These are the Big Beards, the Glinting Eyes, the Bristling Moustaches and Eyebrows of "Worldly Philosophy" and their insights, calculations and hallucinations remain as contentious today as they were when first inked into place.

In this series Simon Evans, with the help of Undercover Economist, Tim Harford will advance through the modern industrial era using three great beacons as their guide - Adam Smith, Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes - and reflect on how they continue to shape our world today.

In episode 1, Adam Smith is under Simon and Tim's jokenomics microscope. Smith, the author of The Wealth of Nations, the first modern work of economics, is still incomparably influential in Western political and economic thought. His faith and trust in the Invisible Hand remains one of the most misunderstood of all economic paradigms, and in his name to this day are committed all too visibly ham-fisted atrocities, that would make even his pale Presbyterian skin blanche.

A £20 note serves as a handy mutlimedia accompaniment to this episode.

Producer: Richard Morris
Presenters: Simon Evans and Tim Harford
Writers: Simon Evans, Tim Harford, Dan Evans and Robert Ledger

Simon Evans uses his 'jokenomics' lens to make money funny.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

In episode 1, Adam Smith is under Simon and Tim's jokenomics microscope. Smith, the author of The Wealth of Nations, the first modern work of economics and still incomparably influential in Western political and economic thought. His faith and trust in the Invisible Hand remains one of the most misunderstood of all economic paradigms, and in his name to this day are committed all too visibly ham-fisted atrocities, that would make even his pale Presbyterian skin blanche.

A £20 serves as a handy multimedia accompaniment to this episode.

Adam Smith gets the Goes to Market treatment.

0502Karl Marx2019050120190508 (BBC7)
20190509 (BBC7)

Radio 4's premier comedy-economics hybrid is five series old and the time is right to take a step back, and perhaps two steps up, and tackle the big, competing theories of Macro Economics. These are little short of religions to their proponents, and the figures who devised them dominate the intellectual landscape in a way that mere politicians can only dream of. These are the Big Beards, the Glinting Eyes, the Bristling Moustaches and Eyebrows of "Worldly Philosophy" and their insights, calculations and hallucinations remain as contentious today as they were when first inked into place.

In this series Simon Evans, with the help of Undercover Economist, Tim Harford will advance through the modern industrial era using three great beacons as their guide - Adam Smith, Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes - and reflect on how they continue to shape our world today.

In episode 2, from Adam Smith last week, we leap forward a hundred years to Karl Marx. A towering figure in world, let alone economic, history, and endlessly fascinating as much as for his personal foibles as for his vast influence on the course of twentieth century history. Few figures are more divisive. Yet is he fully or even remotely understood by one tenth of those who have strong views on him? Are his central ideas now discredited by history, or are we still waiting for his philosophy to stop merely describing the world, as for many it still does, and instead, as he famously declared, to start changing it? Is Marxism genuinely gaining ground even as his economic predictions gather dust? And what exactly is Dialectical Materialism? All this plus jokes in 28 minutes.

Producer: Richard Morris
Presenters: Simon Evans and Tim Harford
Writers: Simon Evans, Tim Harford, Dan Evans and Robert Ledger

Simon Evans uses his 'jokenomics' lens to make money funny

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

0503John Maynard Keynes2019050820190515 (BBC7)
20190516 (BBC7)

Radio 4's premier comedy-economics hybrid is five series old and the time is right to take a step back, and perhaps two steps up, and tackle the big, competing theories of Macro Economics. These are little short of religions to their proponents, and the figures who devised them dominate the intellectual landscape in a way that mere politicians can only dream of. These are the Big Beards, the Glinting Eyes, the Bristling Moustaches and Eyebrows of "Worldly Philosophy" and their insights, calculations and hallucinations remain as contentious today as they were when first inked into place.

In this series Simon Evans, with the help of Undercover Economist, Tim Harford will advance through the modern industrial era using three great beacons as their guide - Adam Smith, Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes - and reflect on how they continue to shape our world today.

For episode 3 we look at John Maynard Keynes, a figure whose analysis and suggested solutions for the West's economic woes are still argued over as heatedly in Westminster and Washington as if they had been published just last week. Keynes was an extraordinary figure, not only an economic visionary but that rarest of things, one who put his money where his mouth was, and to great effect - his canny investments kept the entire Bloomsbury group afloat and in crayons, though we needn't hold that against him.

Producer: Richard Morris
Presenters: Simon Evans and Tim Harford
Writers: Simon Evans, Tim Harford, Dan Evans and Robert Ledger

Simon Evans uses his 'jokenomics' lens to make money funny.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

05042019051520190522 (BBC7)
20190523 (BBC7)

After three episodes focusing on the lives and theories of Adam Smith, Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes, it's time for Simon Evans and Tim Harford to attempt synthesis and see how these three economic superbrains can help us out of our current economic predicament.

Producer: Richard Morris
Presenters: Simon Evans and Tim Harford
Writers: Simon Evans, Tim Harford, Dan Evans and Robert Ledger

Simon Evans presents a comedy lecture on economics.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.

0504 LAST2019051520190522 (BBC7)
20190523 (BBC7)

After three episodes focusing on the lives and theories of Adam Smith, Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes, it's time for Simon Evans and Tim Harford to attempt synthesis and see how these three economic superbrains can help us out of our current economic predicament.

Producer: Richard Morris
Presenters: Simon Evans and Tim Harford
Writers: Simon Evans, Tim Harford, Dan Evans and Robert Ledger

Simon Evans presents a comedy lecture on economics.

Simon Evans presents comedy lectures on economics.