Behind the Money
Behind the Money
Dec 2, 2020
Moderna’s race to the vaccine
Play • 19 min

The Boston-based biotech eschewed a traditional approach to vaccine development, instead pitching its use of mRNA technology to investors. That pitch paid off this year as the company stands to be one of the first to bring a Covid-19 vaccine to market. Hannah Kuchler, the FT’s US pharma and biotech correspondent, reports on Moderna’s race to find an immunisation for the novel coronavirus.  

The FT is making key coronavirus coverage free to read for everyone. Go to to read the latest.

Read more here: Moderna’s Covid vaccine offers vindication of its unconventional approach

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Money Clinic with Claer Barrett
Money Clinic with Claer Barrett
Financial Times
Help! I need to sort out my pensions
Putting all of your pension savings in one place to make it easier to manage your retirement plans sounds like a sensible idea — but it’s not necessarily the right solution for everyone. Claer Barrett meets 51-year-old Tina who has spent lockdown searching for all of her old pensions: some have performed better than hoped, but others have had high charges, and she has a gap in her UK state pension contributions due to working overseas. Experts Sir Steve Webb of Lane Clark & Peacock and Catherine Morgan, a financial planner behind the ‘In Her Financial Shoes’ podcast, provide tips for people of all ages looking to sort out their pension savings. If you would like to talk to Claer for a future podcast episode, email the Money Clinic team with a brief description of your story. Follow Claer on Twitter and Instagram @Claerb and read her weekly Serious Money column in the FT Money section of the FT Weekend newspaper. Further reading: Let’s start with the basics. If you’re struggling to get your head around what a pension is, why you need one, and how they work, then check out this free to read column from Claer, A lunchtime lesson about pensions for millennials. Also Claer has written on the pandemic and pensions planning Tina’s first task was to work out what she had in which pensions, and where. To track down lost pensions, try the UK government’s Pensions Tracing Service, which is free to use - but please do be careful of copycat websites run by commercial firms To check how many years’ worth of UK state pension contributions you’ve made, what you could receive in retirement and if you have any missing years, use the government’s free Check your State Pension service The UK government page Your State Pension Explained contains more information on what counts as a qualifying year  Read this UK government advice page about making extra National Insurance contributions to your UK state pension Contact the Future Pension Centre to find out if you would benefit from voluntary NI contributions  The UK government’s International Pension Centre provides advice and information for those who have lived or worked overseas Want to talk to someone about your pensions options? If you’re over 50, then you can use the UK government’s free Pension Wise service to get detailed guidance from an adviser on your retirement options Emma Maslin, who blogs as The Money Whisperer, wrote this FT column asking self-employed women how good their pensions are Finally, if you need some further pensions inspiration on social media, you can follow Catherine Morgan on Instagram See for privacy and opt-out information.
25 min
New Foundations
New Foundations
The Economist Intelligence Unit
The New Old
Increases in life expectancy and declining fertility are driving growth in both the number and proportion of older people globally. Some fear that ageing populations will put ever greater pressure on health systems, social care, housing and public finances. But should we be thinking differently about ageing? Is there an opportunity in a so-called silver economy? In this episode we explore how technology can support people to age better while reducing the burden on health systems, how longer lives call for a reimagining of our economy and society, and how frontier science is finding ways to further lengthen our life spans. With The EIU's Jeremy Kingsley and Elizabeth Sukkar, Andrew Scott from The London Business School, Lorenzo Chiari from the University of Bologna, and Michael Hufford, chief executive of biotech firm LyGenesis. This podcast is supported by Pictet Wealth Management and includes additional commentary from equity strategist Alexandre Tavazzi. Disclaimer: The findings and views expressed in the podcast are for information only and are not intended as an offer or solicitation or any legal, tax or financial advice. Whilst efforts have been taken to verify the accuracy of this information, neither The Economist Intelligence Unit Ltd., nor its affiliates, nor the Pictet Group can accept any responsibility or liability for the use of, or reliance by any person on, the information contained in this podcast. The findings and views expressed in the report do not necessarily reflect the views of the Pictet Group. The content of this podcast is not intended for persons who are citizens of, domiciled or resident in, or entities registered in a country or a jurisdiction in which its distribution, publication, provision or use would violate current laws and regulations.   See for privacy and opt-out information.
26 min
The Sound of Economics
The Sound of Economics
Green transformation: a Polish perspective
Poland is sometimes characterised as the black sheep of EU climate policy: in 2019, more than 70 percent of the country’s electricity was generated by coal. In the meantime, it is closing down coal mines and discussing building a nuclear power plant in order to diversify its energy supplies. What is Poland’s climate policy and how is it evolving? Is the idea of Poland’s characterisation as a scapegoat of the failure of international climate ambitions misleading? In this episode of the Sound of Economics, Bruegel's Guntram Wolff ( and Georg Zachmann (Georg%20Zachmann) are joined by Michał Kurtyka, the Minister of Climate and Environment of Poland and former President of the COP24 in Katowice, considered by many as a climate champion in the country. They discuss current climate policy in Poland, the social impact of decarbonisation, how the EU’s recovery package can help smooth the climate transition, and the future of international climate diplomacy. Research mentioned: Bergamini, E. and G. Zachmann (2020) ‘Understanding the European Union’s regional potential in low-carbon technologies ( ’, Working Paper 07/2020, Bruegel Wolff, G. (2020) ‘Europe should promote a Climate Club after the US elections ( ’
35 min
Economics Explored
Economics Explored
Gene Tunny, Craig Lawrence
The Circular Economy with Craig Lawrence
The concept of a Circular Economy is increasingly being mentioned in economic and environmental policy discussions. Economics Explored host Gene Tunny chats with Craig Lawrence of Lytton Advisory about what a Circular Economy would look like, and whether it is compatible with rational economic thinking. The takeaway is that there is some merit in the Circular Economy concept, but we need to apply hard-headed economic thinking when it comes to the specifics. Toward the end of the conversation, Craig notes: _I think that there's an opportunity here [with the Circular Economy]. The linear concept, I don't think is sustainable. And so we need to do something different. But I don't think that there's a blanket solution or an easy panacea. And I still think the economist in me wants to analyse and collect data, and look at individual markets and look at specific opportunities and weigh them up…I don't want to be running or pushing a green solution for the sake of a green solution. I want to know that it's something that is actually workable, viable, something that is going to increase economic utility, consumption, and can also engage with business properly as well._ About this episode’s guest Craig Lawrence is the Founder and Managing Director of Lytton Advisory Pty Ltd (2013 – present). He is also a founding Director of UTL Utilities Pty Ltd (2018 – present). He has over 30 years of experience across government and private sector projects, particularly in infrastructure, transport, and tourism. Between December 2018 and September 2019, Craig led the Economic and Social Infrastructure Program as its inaugural Managing Director. This $130m Australian program supports the planning, prioritisation, and delivery of key energy, telecommunications and water infrastructure in Papua New Guinea. Prior to establishing Lytton Advisory, Craig was Director – Infrastructure Policy at the Queensland Government Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning where he led a team of policy and regulatory analysts and economists looking at infrastructure prioritisation and resource region supply chain optimisation. He was previously Director – Economic Policy within the Department. Craig’s previous roles include as a senior consultant in several professional service firms and as an economic analyst in the Queensland and Australian Federal Government systems. His federal government experience includes extended periods in economic analyst and policy roles in the Treasury, Transport and Tourism portfolios during the 1990s. Links relevant to the conversation The Circular Economy in detail Australia’s National Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme 'Right to repair' taken up by the ACCC in farmers' fight to fix their own tractors Crude Oil Prices - 70 Year Historical Chart
1 hr 4 min
The ECB Podcast
The ECB Podcast
European Central Bank
Building a bridge towards economic recovery
How will the coronavirus vaccine affect economic recovery in 2021? Where do we stand after nine months of fighting the crisis? And what is the role of the ECB’s monetary policy? Our host Michael Steen discusses these questions with our Chief Economist Philip R. Lane. The views expressed are those of the speakers and not necessarily those of the European Central Bank. Published on 18 December 2020 and recorded on 11 December 2020. In this episode: 00:23 – What is the assessment of the economic response to the first wave? What the experience was during the first wave, how policy makers have adapted to the new challenges, how monetary and fiscal policy worked hand in hand to mitigate the economic shortfall. 05:53 – How is the ECB building a bridge towards economic recovery? Why the ECB recalibrated its monetary policy in December, what the economic forecasts say about the recovery, how the PEPP and TLTROs work to support economic recovery. 14:08 – What are the challenges that lie ahead in 2021? What the basis for our economic projections is, what difficulties and hopes there are on the path to economic recovery. 19:58 – What else is on the ECB’s agenda? What the strategy review is about, what exactly we’re looking at and how we’re listening to Europeans and gathering their input. Further reading: Overview: The ECB’s response to the coronavirus pandemic Press release: ECB prolongs support via targeted lending operations for banks that lend to the real economy Speech by Philip R. Lane: Monetary policy in a pandemic: ensuring favourable financing conditions Macroeconomic projections European Central Bank You can also listen to The ECB Podcast on SoundCloud, Spotify, Deezer, Stitcher, YouTube, Amazon Music and many more:
22 min
LSE IQ podcast
LSE IQ podcast
London School of Economics and Political Science
What’s the point of social science in a pandemic?
Contributor(s): Professor Laura Bear, Nikita Simpson, Professor Joan Roses, Dr Adam Oliver, Dr Clare Wenham, Professor Patrick Wallis | In this month’s episode of the LSE IQ podcast we ask, ‘What’s the point of social science in a pandemic?’.   On the 23rd March 2020 Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the country’s first national lockdown. In the months since, there has been a seismic shift in all our lives. As we embark on 2021 and, hopefully, the latter stages of the pandemic, now is an apt moment to reflect on how we’ve got to where we are. While the scientific community has taken centre stage in the fight to overcome the virus, how have social scientists helped us navigate – and evaluate –the UK’s response?   In this episode we talk to anthropologists Professor Laura Bear and Nikita Simpson, Economic historians Professor Patrick Wallis and Professor Joan Roses, Assistant Professor of Global Health Policy Dr Clare Wenham and behavioural economist Dr Adam Oliver.   Research   ’A good death’ during the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK: a report on key findings and recommendations, by the COVID and Care Research Group  A Right to Care: The Social Foundations of Recovery from COVID-19, by the COVID and Care Research Group  The Redistributive Effects of Pandemics: Evidence of the Spanish Flu. By Sergi Basco, Jordi Domenech, and Johanne Rohses  Separating behavioural science from the herd by Adam Oliver Reciprocity and the art of behavioural public policy by Adam Oliver What is the future of UK leadership in global health security post Covid-19? By Clare Wenham A Dreadful Heritage: Interpreting Epidemic Disease at Eyam, 1666-2000, by Patrick Wallis Eyam revisited: lessons from a plague village, by Patrick Wallis   Contributors   Professor Laura Bear Nikita Simpson Professor Joan Roses Dr Adam Oliver Dr Clare Wenham Professor Patrick Wallis
45 min
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