Tim Harford’s long-running column in the Financial Times, “The Undercover Economist,” reveals the economic ideas behind everyday experiences. His first book, The Undercover Economist, was published in 30 languages and sold…
Gain access to ad-free versions of 20+ podcasts from the Pushkin library along with exclusive bonus episodes and other member benefits.
More than 100,000 families – many of them amongst the poorest in Britain – put money aside for Christmas gifts and other seasonal treats in a savings club called Farepak. It wasn’t a bank, and it wasn’t great value for money… and it went bust. Kids went without toys, and festive dinner tables were left bare.
Why would someone put their hard-earned money into such a scheme? And what does it tell us about how we often view Christmas as a time for frenzied spending?