Where finance and media intersect with reality


Buy or sell the Dy-stopia?

In politics, as in history, they say that sometimes nothing happens for years — then everything changes in a few days. What about an alternative; that nothing is obvious for years, then in a few days, everything becomes clear? In the past week or so we have observed a series of events that make clear […]

Online grocery consolidation is coming

Online grocery shopping feels more efficient. It also looks easier to do. But is it? Is it really? True efficiency adds to productivity. In the classic textbook sense of productivity, that means for every x input you get ever more y output. For supermarket businesses, productivity translates into being able to achieve the exact same […]

ALTIF transcripts: Wirecard and the art of the Potemkin corporation


Wirecard and the art of the Potemkin corporation Wirecard was the rare German startup that seemed primed to become a global player. But it was all too good to be true, as Dan McCrum, financial sleuth at the FT, ultimately discovered. We talk to him about how he unmasked the scam, overcoming spies, mobsters and […]

A London credit whale update

*Update to the update at 1920 UK Time* Last week we brought you news of the possible return of a London whale in the European credit markets. As highlighted at the time this was based on unverified market talk. You could call it double-sourced gossip. Since then talk has widened. It’s hard to know at […]

Excerpt: The EU as a revived medieval empire

This is a free excerpt from our deep dive into an alternative way of viewing the European Union. Rather than seeing this institution from the lens of a classical state, we argue the European Union’s power structure more closely resembles that of a medieval empire; the Holy Roman Empire. When Boris Johnson cheekily suggested this […]