The Economy Team went along to the Financial Times' headquarters in London to speak to its chief economics commentator Martin Wolf and have a bit of a nose around
In our Economy Meets series, we talk to the people behind this thing called economics. We'll meet individuals, businesses, newspapers, government departments, and anyone else who'll let us in!
We thought we'd start right at the top: here's the scoop on the FT's amazing view, their personalized bottled water, and what their chief economics commentator Martin Wolf thinks the most powerful economic idea is.
1. First of all, the FT is a big place
Set on the south bank of the Thames, the FT’s imposing HQ is spread over 50,000 square feet. They've got almost 600 staff in 40 countries, but we're willing to bet most of them are here given the size of this place. They even have their own flag.
2. The reception area is suitably impressive
...and here we are, trying to look sophisticated in order to blend in with the elegance of their marble-paved entrance. To be fair, they've not always been this swanky - the FT started off as a four-page journal describing itself as "the friend of the honest financier and the respectable broker". They're now a global publication with two million readers a day, so they've done pretty well for themselves.
3. They have a totally amazing view
Since moving their offices here in 1989, the FT has provided its staff with a view of the magnificent beauty of St. Paul's Cathedral on one side, and the imposing mass of the City of London on the other (it probably all looks a bit cheerier in the summer... though we might have to face up to the fact that the Thames will always be that color).
4. They have their own bottled water
Crystal clear and obviously not from the Thames. Not too shabby for a newspaper that originally only published on pink paper because it was cheaper not to have to bleach it white.
5. Here's what was on the menu in the cafeteria
Check out this menu. Haggis with tatties and neaps, burgers, moussaka, curry. And yes, they have their own ‘turkey bap bar’ on a Friday!
6. And here's why we came - to meet the FT's chief economics commentator Martin Wolf and ask him about why understanding the economy is so important
Martin Wolf is one of the world's most respected economics commentators. What's more, he's a totally brilliant bloke. We shone bright lights in his face and asked him questions for an hour. But we did give him a biscuit.
7. We asked Martin why he chose to study economics
8. Here he explains what he thinks the most powerful economic idea of all is. Clue: it's called 'opportunity cost'
9. Being British, we soon got to talking about the weather. Martin explained how economics and the study of the weather actually have a lot in common
10. Before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye. "You'll probably want to cut down all that complicated discussion of economics..."