The Bank of England wants to know what you’re listening to

Or, what Taylor Swift can teach us about economics

Is nothing sacred? The Bank of England is saying that data from companies like Spotify and Netflix could provide it with a good insight into how we're feeling, which might give a more nuanced understanding of how the economy's doing.

What it means: Economists have been banging on for years about different ways to measure economic strength. The current main measure, , tells us a lot about how businesses are doing and how much stuff we're churning out, but it doesn't provide any understanding of what the impact of economics on humans is. Last year, we wrote about this study which asked people how they're feeling, looking at stress, happiness and anger levels.

The Bank's point here is that we actually have a lot of that kind of information at our disposal already – or at least companies like Netflix and Spotify do. They're huge sources of data about what we like and dislike – just think about it, Netflix knows what you want to watch before you do.

So fine, it does feel a little bit like watching your dad dancing to Skepta, but maybe they've got a point.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?