Simon Evans Goes To Market

Episodes

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0104 LASTOil2014060520140612 (BBC7)
20170301 (R4)

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

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 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.

0204 LASTSugar2015072920150805 (BBC7)
20150806 (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.

0301Youth20160728

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.

0302Marriage20160804

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?

0303Birth20160811

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

0304 LASTDeath20160818

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