The Economist
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs
International relations
International relations is the study of relationships between countries, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations , international nongovernmental organizations , non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations...

 publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson
James Wilson (UK politician)
James Wilson was a Scottish businessman, economist and Liberal politician. He founded The Economist and the Standard Chartered Bank.-Early life:...

 in September 1843. For historical reasons The Economist refers to itself as a newspaper, but each print edition appears on small glossy paper, like a news magazine and its YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

 channel is called EconomistMagazine. In 2009, it reported an average circulation
Newspaper circulation
A newspaper's circulation is the number of copies it distributes on an average day. Circulation is one of the principal factors used to set advertising rates. Circulation is not always the same as copies sold, often called paid circulation, since some newspapers are distributed without cost to the...

 of just over 1.6 million copies per issue, above half of which are sold in North America and English speaking countries.

The Economist claims it "is not a chronicle of economics." Rather, it aims "to take part in a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress." It takes an editorial stance
The Economist editorial stance
The Economist was first published in September 1843 by James Wilson to "take part in a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress." This phrase is quoted on its contents page...

 which is supportive of free trade
Free trade
Under a free trade policy, prices emerge from supply and demand, and are the sole determinant of resource allocation. 'Free' trade differs from other forms of trade policy where the allocation of goods and services among trading countries are determined by price strategies that may differ from...

, globalisation, government health and education spending , as well as other, more limited forms of governmental intervention. It targets highly educated readers and claims an audience containing many influential executives and policy-makers.

The publication belongs to The Economist Group
The Economist Group
The Economist Group is a leading source of analysis on international business and world affairs, delivering information through a range of formats, from newspaper and magazines to conferences and electronic services...

, half of which is owned by the Financial Times
Financial Times
The Financial Times is an international business newspaper. It is a morning daily newspaper published in London and printed in 24 cities around the world. Its primary rival is the Wall Street Journal, published in New York City....

, a subsidiary of Pearson PLC
Pearson PLC
Pearson plc is a global media and education company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is both the largest education company and the largest book publisher in the world, with consumer imprints including Penguin, Dorling Kindersley and Ladybird...

. A group of independent shareholders, including many members of the staff and the Rothschild banking family of England
Rothschild banking family of England
The Rothschild banking family of England was founded in 1798 by Nathan Mayer von Rothschild who first settled in Manchester but then moved to London. Nathan was sent there from his home in Frankfurt by his father, Mayer Amschel Rothschild...

, owns the rest. A board of trustees
Trustee is a legal term which, in its broadest sense, can refer to any person who holds property, authority, or a position of trust or responsibility for the benefit of another...

 formally appoints the editor, who cannot be removed without its permission. In addition, about two thirds of the 75 staff journalists are based in London, despite the global emphasis.


The Economist was founded by the Scottish businessman and banker James Wilson in 1843, to advance the repeal of the corn laws
Corn Laws
The Corn Laws were trade barriers designed to protect cereal producers in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland against competition from less expensive foreign imports between 1815 and 1846. The barriers were introduced by the Importation Act 1815 and repealed by the Importation Act 1846...

, a system of import tariffs. 5 August 1843 prospectus
Prospectus (finance)
In finance, a prospectus is a document that describes a financial security for potential buyers. A prospectus commonly provides investors with material information about mutual funds, stocks, bonds and other investments, such as a description of the company's business, financial statements,...

 for the "newspaper," enumerated thirteen areas of coverage that its editors wanted the newspaper to focus on:
  1. Original leading articles
    An opinion piece is an article, published in a newspaper or magazine, that mainly reflects the author's opinion about the subject. Opinion pieces are featured in many periodicals.-Editorials:...

    , in which free-trade principles will be most rigidly applied to all the important questions of the day.
  2. Articles relating to some practical, commercial, agricultural, or foreign topic of passing interest, such as foreign treaties.
  3. An article on the elementary principles of political economy
    Political economy
    Political economy originally was the term for studying production, buying, and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government, as well as with the distribution of national income and wealth, including through the budget process. Political economy originated in moral philosophy...

    , applied to practical experience, covering the laws related to prices, wages, rent, exchange, revenue and taxes.
  4. Parliamentary
    Parliament of the United Kingdom
    The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

     reports, with particular focus on commerce, agriculture and free trade.
  5. Reports and accounts of popular movements advocating free trade.
  6. General news from the Court of St. James's
    Court of St. James's
    The Court of St James's is the royal court of the United Kingdom. It previously had the same function in the Kingdom of England and in the Kingdom of Great Britain .-Overview:...

    , the Metropolis
    Greater London
    Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

    , the Provinces
    Historic counties of England
    The historic counties of England are subdivisions of England established for administration by the Normans and in most cases based on earlier Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and shires...

    , Scotland, and Ireland.
  7. Commercial topics such as changes in fiscal regulations, the state and prospects of the markets, imports and exports, foreign news, the state of the manufacturing districts, notices of important new mechanical improvements, shipping news, the money market, and the progress of railways and public companies.
  8. Agricultural topics, including the application of geology
    Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

     and chemistry
    Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

    ; notices of new and improved implements, state of crops, markets, prices, foreign markets and prices converted into English money; from time to time, in some detail, the plans pursued in Belgium, Switzerland, and other well-cultivated countries.
  9. Colonial
    British overseas territories
    The British Overseas Territories are fourteen territories of the United Kingdom which, although they do not form part of the United Kingdom itself, fall under its jurisdiction. They are remnants of the British Empire that have not acquired independence or have voted to remain British territories...

     and foreign topics, including trade, produce, political and fiscal changes, and other matters, including exposés
    Investigative journalism
    Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, often involving crime, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing. An investigative journalist may spend months or years researching and preparing a report. Investigative journalism...

     on the evils of restriction and protection, and the advantages of free intercourse and trade.
  10. Law reports, confined chiefly to areas important to commerce, manufacturing, and agriculture.
  11. Books, confined chiefly, but not so exclusively, to commerce, manufacturing, and agriculture, and including all treatises on political economy, finance, or taxation.
  12. A commercial gazette
    A gazette is a public journal, a newspaper of record, or simply a newspaper.In English- and French-speaking countries, newspaper publishers have applied the name Gazette since the 17th century; today, numerous weekly and daily newspapers bear the name The Gazette.Gazette is a loanword from the...

    , with prices and statistics of the week.
  13. Correspondence and inquiries
    Letter to the editor
    A letter to the editor is a letter sent to a publication about issues of concern from its readers. Usually, letters are intended for publication...

     from the newsmagazine's readers.

In 1845 during Railway Mania
Railway Mania
The Railway Mania was an instance of speculative frenzy in Britain in the 1840s. It followed a common pattern: as the price of railway shares increased, more and more money was poured in by speculators, until the inevitable collapse...

, The Economist changed its name to The Economist, Weekly Commercial Times, Bankers' Gazette, and Railway Monitor. A Political, Literary and General Newspaper.

It has long been respected as "one of the most competent and subtle Western periodicals on public affairs."


When the newsmagazine was founded, the term "economism
Economism is a term used to describe economic reductionism, that is the reduction of all social facts to economical dimensions. It is also used to criticize economics as an ideology, in which supply and demand are the only important factors in decisions, and outstrip or permit ignoring literally...

" denoted what would today be termed "economic liberalism
Economic liberalism
Economic liberalism is the ideological belief in giving all people economic freedom, and as such granting people with more basis to control their own lives and make their own mistakes. It is an economic philosophy that supports and promotes individual liberty and choice in economic matters and...

". The Economist generally supports free market
Free market
A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

s, globalisation, and free immigration
Immigration is the act of foreigners passing or coming into a country for the purpose of permanent residence...

, has been described as neo-liberal
Neoliberalism is a market-driven approach to economic and social policy based on neoclassical theories of economics that emphasizes the efficiency of private enterprise, liberalized trade and relatively open markets, and therefore seeks to maximize the role of the private sector in determining the...

 although occasionally accepting the propositions of Keynesian economics
Keynesian economics
Keynesian economics is a school of macroeconomic thought based on the ideas of 20th-century English economist John Maynard Keynes.Keynesian economics argues that private sector decisions sometimes lead to inefficient macroeconomic outcomes and, therefore, advocates active policy responses by the...

 where deemed more "reasonable". Furthermore, the Economist has also long supported government health and education spending . It also supports social liberalism, including legalised drugs and prostitution. The news magazine favours a carbon tax
Carbon tax
A carbon tax is an environmental tax levied on the carbon content of fuels. It is a form of carbon pricing. Carbon is present in every hydrocarbon fuel and is released as carbon dioxide when they are burnt. In contrast, non-combustion energy sources—wind, sunlight, hydropower, and nuclear—do not...

 to fight global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

. According to former editor Bill Emmott, "the Economists philosophy has always been liberal, not conservative." Individual contributors take diverse views.

The Economist has endorsed both the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 (in 2005) and the Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 (in 2010) at general election time in Britain, and both Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 and Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 candidates in the United States. puts its stance this way:
The Economist frequently accuses figures and countries of corruption or dishonesty. In recent years, for example, it criticised former World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz
Paul Wolfowitz
Paul Dundes Wolfowitz is a former United States Ambassador to Indonesia, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, President of the World Bank, and former dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University...

; Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi , also known as Il Cavaliere – from knighthood to the Order of Merit for Labour which he received in 1977 – is an Italian politician and businessman who served three terms as Prime Minister of Italy, from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006, and 2008 to 2011. Berlusconi is also the...

, Italy's Prime Minister (who dubbed it The Ecommunist); Laurent-Désiré Kabila
Laurent-Désiré Kabila
Laurent-Désiré Kabila was President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from May 17, 1997, when he overthrew Mobutu Sese Seko, until his assassination by his bodyguards on January 18, 2001...

, the late president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

; Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980...

, the head of government in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

; and, recently, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Cristina Elisabet Fernández de Kirchner , commonly known as Cristina Fernández or Cristina Kirchner is the 55th and current President of Argentina and the widow of former President Néstor Kirchner. She is Argentina's first elected female president, and the second female president ever to serve...

, the president of Argentina. The Economist also called for Bill Clinton's impeachment
Impeachment of Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton, President of the United States, was impeached by the House of Representatives on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice on December 19, 1998, but acquitted by the Senate on February 12, 1999. Two other impeachment articles, a second perjury charge and a charge of abuse of...

 and later for Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Henry Rumsfeld is an American politician and businessman. Rumsfeld served as the 13th Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, and as the 21st Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. He is both the youngest and the oldest person to...

's resignation after the emergence of the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse
Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse
Beginning in 2004, human rights violations in the form of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse, including torture, rape, sodomy, and homicide of prisoners held in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq came to public attention...

. The Economist initially was a vocal supporter for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, but it has since called the operation "bungled from the start" and criticised the "almost criminal negligence" of the Bush Administration’s handling of the war, while maintaining, , that pulling out in the short term would be irresponsible. In the 2004 U.S. election, the editors "reluctantly" backed John Kerry. In the 2008 U.S. election the newsmagazine endorsed Barack Obama, while using the election eve issue's front cover to promote his candidacy.

The paper has also supported some liberal causes such as recognition of gay marriages, legalisation of drugs, and progressive taxation, criticising the U.S. tax model
Taxation in the United States
The United States is a federal republic with autonomous state and local governments. Taxes are imposed in the United States at each of these levels. These include taxes on income, property, sales, imports, payroll, estates and gifts, as well as various fees.Taxes are imposed on net income of...

 in a recent issue, and seems to support some government regulation on health issues, such as smoking in public , as well as bans on spanking children. The Economist consistently favours guest worker programs, parental choice of school, and amnesties and once published an "obituary" of God. The Economist also has a long record of supporting gun control.

Mission statement

On the contents page of each newsmagazine, The Economists mission statement is written in italics. It states that The Economist was 'First published in September 1843 to take part in "a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress".'

Tone and voice

The editorial staff enforces a uniform voice throughout its pages, as if most articles were written by a single author, displaying dry, understated wit, and precise use of language.

The paper's treatment of economics presumes a working familiarity with fundamental concepts of classical economics. For instance, it does not explain terms like invisible hand
Invisible hand
In economics, invisible hand or invisible hand of the market is the term economists use to describe the self-regulating nature of the marketplace. This is a metaphor first coined by the economist Adam Smith...

, macroeconomics
Macroeconomics is a branch of economics dealing with the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of the whole economy. This includes a national, regional, or global economy...

, or demand curve
Demand curve
In economics, the demand curve is the graph depicting the relationship between the price of a certain commodity, and the amount of it that consumers are willing and able to purchase at that given price. It is a graphic representation of a demand schedule...

, and may take just six or seven words to explain the theory of comparative advantage
Comparative advantage
In economics, the law of comparative advantage says that two countries will both gain from trade if, in the absence of trade, they have different relative costs for producing the same goods...

. However, articles involving economics do not presume any formal training on the part of the reader and aim to be accessible to the educated layman. The newsmagazine usually does not translate short French quotes or phrases, and sentences in Ancient Greek or Latin are not uncommon. It does, however, describe the business or nature of even well-known entities, writing, for example, "Goldman Sachs, an investment bank."

Many articles include some witticism; image captions are often humorous puns and the letters section usually concludes with an odd or light-hearted letter. These efforts at humour have sometimes had a mixed reception. For example, the cover of 20 September 2003 issue, headlined by a story on the WTO
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

 ministerial meeting in Cancún, featured a cactus giving the middle finger
Finger (gesture)
In Western culture, the finger , also known as the middle finger, is an obscene hand gesture, often meaning the phrases "fuck off" , "fuck you" or "up yours"...

. Readers sent both positive and negative letters in response.

Editorial anonymity

The Economist does not print by-lines identifying the authors of articles, other than surveys and special "by invitation" contributions. The editors say this is necessary because "collective voice and personality matter more than the identities of individual journalists" and reflects “a collaborative effort.” In most articles authors refer to themselves as "your correspondent" or "this reviewer." The writers of the titled opinion columns tend to refer to themselves by the title (hence, a sentence in the "Lexington" column might read "Lexington was informed...").

Critics say editorial anonymity gives the publication
To publish is to make content available to the public. While specific use of the term may vary among countries, it is usually applied to text, images, or other audio-visual content on any medium, including paper or electronic publishing forms such as websites, e-books, Compact Discs and MP3s...

 an "omniscient tone and pedantry" and hides the youth and inexperience of those writing articles. “The magazine is written by young people pretending to be old people,” quipped American author Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis (author)
Michael Lewis is an American non-fiction author and financial journalist. His bestselling books include The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, Liar's Poker, The New New Thing, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, Panic and Home Game: An...

 in 1991. “If American readers got a look at the pimply complexions of their economic gurus, they would cancel their subscriptions in droves.” John Ralston Saul
John Ralston Saul
John Ralston Saul, CC is a Canadian author, essayist, and President of International PEN.As an essayist, Saul is particularly known for his commentaries on the nature of individualism, citizenship and the public good; the failures of manager-, or more precisely technocrat-, led societies; the...

 describes The Economist as a "magazine which hides the names of the journalists who write its articles in order to create the illusion that they dispense disinterested truth rather than opinion. This sales technique, reminiscent of pre-Reformation Catholicism, is not surprising in a publication named after the social science most given to wild guesses and imaginary facts presented in the guise of inevitability and exactitude. That it is the Bible of the corporate executive indicates to what extent received wisdom is the daily bread of a managerial civilization."


Each Economist issue's official date range is from Saturday to the next Friday. In the UK print copies are dispatched late Thursday, for Friday delivery to retail outlets. Elsewhere, retail outlets and subscribers receive their copies on Friday or (more often) Saturday, depending on their location. The Economist online posts each week's new content on Thursday afternoon, ahead of the official publication date.

Circulation for the news-magazine, audited by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), was over 1.2 million for the first half of 2007.
Sales inside North America were around 54 percent of the total, with sales in the UK making up 14 percent of the total and continental Europe 19 percent. The Economist claims sales, both by subscription and at newsagents, in over 200 countries. Global sales have doubled since 1997. Of its American readers, two out of three make more than $100,000 a year.

The Economist once boasted about its limited circulation. In the early 1990s it used the slogan "The Economist – not read by millions of people." "Never in the history of journalism has so much been read for so long by so few," wrote Geoffrey Crowther
Geoffrey Crowther, Baron Crowther
Geoffrey Crowther, Baron Crowther was a British economist, journalist, educationalist and businessman. He was editor of The Economist from 1938 to 1956.-Early life and education:...

, a former editor.

The Economist Newspaper Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Economist Group
The Economist Group
The Economist Group is a leading source of analysis on international business and world affairs, delivering information through a range of formats, from newspaper and magazines to conferences and electronic services...

. The publications of the group include the CFO brand family as well as the annual The World in..., the lifestyle quarterly Intelligent Life
Intelligent Life (magazine)
Intelligent Life is a quarterly cultural magazine from the publishers of The Economist. It was launched in September 2007 as a quarterly publication, having previously been a summer annual, and describes its coverage as "the arts, style, food, wine, cars, travel and anything else under the sun, as...

, European Voice
European Voice
European Voice is an English language newspaper owned by The Economist Group. The newspaper gives an account of the activities of the key European Union institutions – the European Commission, European Parliament and Council of Ministers...

, and Roll Call
Roll Call
Roll Call is a newspaper published in Washington, D.C., United States, from Monday to Thursday when the United States Congress is in session and on Mondays only during recess. Roll Call reports news of legislative and political maneuverings on Capitol Hill, as well as political coverage of...

. Sir Evelyn Robert de Rothschild
Evelyn Robert de Rothschild
Sir Evelyn Robert Adrian de Rothschild is a British financier, and a member of the Rothschild family.-Early life:The son of Anthony Gustav de Rothschild and Yvonne Cahen d'Anvers , he was named after his uncle Evelyn Achille de Rothschild who was killed in action in World War I...

 was Chairman of the company from 1972 to 1989.


The Economist frequently receives letters from senior businesspeople, politicians and spokespeople for government departments, non-governmental organisations and lobbies, but well written or witty responses from anyone are considered, and controversial issues frequently produce a torrent of letters. For example, the survey of corporate social responsibility
Corporate social responsibility
Corporate social responsibility is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model...

, published January 2005, produced largely critical letters from Oxfam
Oxfam is an international confederation of 15 organizations working in 98 countries worldwide to find lasting solutions to poverty and related injustice around the world. In all Oxfam’s actions, the ultimate goal is to enable people to exercise their rights and manage their own lives...

, the World Food Programme
World Food Programme
The World Food Programme is the food aid branch of the United Nations, and the world's largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger worldwide. WFP provides food, on average, to 90 million people per year, 58 million of whom are children...

, United Nations Global Compact, the Chairman of BT Group
BT Group
BT Group plc is a global telecommunications services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is one of the largest telecommunications services companies in the world and has operations in more than 170 countries. Through its BT Global Services division it is a major supplier of...

, an ex-Director of Shell
Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell plc , commonly known as Shell, is a global oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the fifth-largest company in the world according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine and one of the six...

 and the UK Institute of Directors
Institute of Directors
The Institute of Directors is a UK-based organisation, established in 1903 and incorporated by royal charter in 1906 to support, represent and set standards for company directors...


Many of the letters published are critical of its stance or commentary. After The Economist ran a critique of Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 and human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 in general in its issue dated 24 March 2007, its letters page ran a vibrant reply from Amnesty, as well as several other letters in support of the organisation, including one from the head of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights
United Nations Commission on Human Rights
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights was a functional commission within the overall framework of the United Nations from 1946 until it was replaced by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2006...

. Rebuttals from officials within regimes such as the Singapore government are routinely printed, to comply with local right-of-reply laws without compromising editorial independence. It is extremely rare for any comment by The Economist to appear alongside any published letter. Letters published in the newsmagazine are typically between 150 and 200 words long (and begin with the ritual salutation "Sir"). Previous to a change in procedure, all responses to on-line articles were usually published in "The Inbox". However, now comments can be made directly under each article.


The Economists primary focus is world news, politics and business, but it also runs regular sections on science and technology as well as books and the arts. Approximately every two weeks, the publication adds an in-depth special report on a particular issue, business sector or geographical region. Every three months, it publishes a technology report called Technology Quarterly or TQ.

Articles often take a definite editorial stance and almost never carry a byline
The byline on a newspaper or magazine article gives the name, and often the position, of the writer of the article. Bylines are traditionally placed between the headline and the text of the article, although some magazines place bylines at the bottom of the page, to leave more room for graphical...

. Not even the name of the editor (from 2006, John Micklethwait
John Micklethwait
John Micklethwait is the editor-in-chief of The Economist.-Biography:Micklethwait was born in 1962 and educated at the independent school Ampleforth College and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he studied history. He worked for Chase Manhattan Bank for two years and joined The Economist in 1987...

) is printed in the issue. It is a long-standing tradition that an editor's only signed article during his tenure is written on the occasion of his departure from the position. The author of a piece is named in certain circumstances: when notable persons are invited to contribute opinion pieces; when journalists of The Economist compile special reports; and to highlight a potential conflict of interest
Conflict of interest
A conflict of interest occurs when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in the other....

 over a book review. The names of The Economist editors and correspondents can be located, however, via the media directory pages of the website.

The publication's writers adopt a tight style that seeks to include the maximum amount of information in a limited space. Atlantic Monthly publisher David G. Bradley described the formula as "a consistent world view expressed, consistently, in tight and engaging prose."

There is a section of economic statistics
Economic statistics
Economic statistics is a topic in applied statistics that concerns the collection, processing, compilation, dissemination, and analysis of economic data. It is also common to call the data themselves 'economic statistics', but for this usage see economic data. The data of concern to economic ...

. Tables such as employment statistics are published each week and there are special statistical features too. It is unique among British weeklies in providing authoritative coverage of official statistics and its rankings of international statistics have been decisive. In addition, The Economist is known for its Big Mac Index
Big Mac index
The Big Mac Index is published by The Economist as an informal way of measuring the purchasing power parity between two currencies and provides a test of the extent to which market exchange rates result in goods costing the same in different countries...

, which it first published in 1986, which uses the price of the hamburger in different countries as an informal measure of the purchasing power
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

 of currencies.

The publication runs several opinion columns whose names reflect their topic:
  • Bagehot (Britain
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

    ) — named for Walter Bagehot
    Walter Bagehot
    Walter Bagehot was an English businessman, essayist, and journalist who wrote extensively about literature, government, and economic affairs.-Early years:...

     (icon), nineteenth-century British constitutional expert and early editor of The Economist. Since July 2010 it has been written by David Rennie
    David Rennie (columnist)
    David Rennie is a British journalist. He is a columnist for The Economist, where he writes the Bagehot column. Before that he used to write the Charlemagne column . He previously worked for The Daily Telegraph and the Evening Standard...

  • Charlemagne (Europe) — named for Charlemagne
    Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

    , Emperor of the Frankish Empire.
  • Lexington (United States) — named for Lexington, Massachusetts
    Lexington, Massachusetts
    Lexington is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 31,399 at the 2010 census. This town is famous for being the site of the first shot of the American Revolution, in the Battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775.- History :...

    , the site of the beginning of the American Revolutionary War
    American Revolutionary War
    The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

    . Since June 2010 it has been written by Peter David.
  • Buttonwood (Finance
    "Finance" is often defined simply as the management of money or “funds” management Modern finance, however, is a family of business activity that includes the origination, marketing, and management of cash and money surrogates through a variety of capital accounts, instruments, and markets created...

    ) — named for the buttonwood tree where early Wall Street
    Wall Street
    Wall Street refers to the financial district of New York City, named after and centered on the eight-block-long street running from Broadway to South Street on the East River in Lower Manhattan. Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, or...

     traders gathered. Until September 2006 this was available only as an on-line column, but it is now included in the print edition. It is written by Philip Coggan.
  • Banyan (Asia) — named for the banyan
    A banyan is a fig that starts its life as an epiphyte when its seeds germinate in the cracks and crevices on a host tree...

     tree, this column was established in April 2009 and focuses on various issues across the Asian continent, and is written by Dominic Ziegler
    Dominic Ziegler
    Dominic Ziegler writes the "Banyan" column for The Economist. The Banyan column focuses on Asian-related issues.Ziegler served as the magazine's China correspondent from 1994 to 2000, and as Tokyo Bureau Chief from 2005 to 2009.- References :...

  • Baobab (Africa & Middle East) — named for the baobab
    Adansonia is a genus of eight species of tree, six native to Madagascar, one native to mainland Africa and the Arabian Peninsula and one to Australia. The mainland African species also occurs on Madagascar, but it is not a native of that island....

     tree, this column was established in July 2010 and focuses on various issues across the African continent.
  • Babbage (Technology) — named for the inventor Charles Babbage
    Charles Babbage
    Charles Babbage, FRS was an English mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer who originated the concept of a programmable computer...

    , this column was established in March 2010 and focuses on various technology related issues.
  • Prospero
    Prospero is the protagonist in The Tempest, a play by William Shakespeare.- The Tempest :Prospero is the rightful Duke of Milan, who was put to sea on "a rotten carcass of a butt [boat]" to die by his usurping brother, Antonio, twelve years before the play begins. Prospero and Miranda survived,...

     (Books and arts) — named after the character from William Shakespeare's play, The Tempest
    The Tempest
    The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1610–11, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone. It is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place,...

    , this column reviews books and focuses on arts-related issues.
  • Game Theory {Sport
    A Sport is all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical fitness and provide entertainment to participants. Sport may be competitive, where a winner or winners can be identified by objective means, and may require a degree...

    ) — named after the science of predicting outcomes in a certain situation
    Game theory
    Game theory is a mathematical method for analyzing calculated circumstances, such as in games, where a person’s success is based upon the choices of others...

     this column focuses on "sports major and minor" and "the politics, economics, science and statistics of the games we play and watch."
  • Schumpeter (Business
    A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

    ) — named for the economist Joseph Schumpeter
    Joseph Schumpeter
    Joseph Alois Schumpeter was an Austrian-Hungarian-American economist and political scientist. He popularized the term "creative destruction" in economics.-Life:...

    , this column was established on September 2009 and is written by Adrian Wooldridge
    Adrian Wooldridge
    Adrian Wooldridge is the Management Editor and 'Schumpeter' columnist for The Economist magazine. Until July 2009 he was The Economist's Washington Bureau Chief and 'Lexington' columnist....


Other regular features include:
  • Face Value about prominent people in the business world
  • Economics Focus: a general economics column, frequently based on academic research
  • An obituary
  • sections on science and the arts

The newsmagazine goes to press on Thursdays, between 6 and 7pm GMT, and is available on newsstand
A newsagent's shop , newsagency or newsstand is a business that sells newspapers, magazines, cigarettes, snacks and often items of local interest. In Britain and Australia, these businesses are termed newsagents...

s in many countries the next day. It is printed at seven sites around the world. Known on their website as 'This week's print edition', it is available online, albeit with only the first 5 viewed articles being free (was only available to subscribers between mid-October 2009–2010)

The Economist also produces the annual The World in [Year] publication. It also sponsors a writing award.

Innovation Awards

In addition, it sponsors yearly "The Economist Innovation Awards", in the categories of bioscience, computing and communications, energy and the environment, social and economic innovation, business-process innovation, consumer products and a special “no boundaries” category.

Notable winners include Niklas Zennström
Niklas Zennström
Niklas Zennström is an entrepreneur best known for founding several high-profile online ventures with Janus Friis including Skype and Kazaa. More recently he founded the investment group Atomico and has become a significant figurehead for entrepreneurs in the tech sector.-Career:Zennström started...



Sections of The Economist criticising authoritarian regimes are frequently removed from the magazine by the authorities in those countries. The Economist regularly has difficulties with the ruling party of Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 (the People's Action Party
People's Action Party
The People's Action Party is the leading political party in Singapore. It has been the city-state's ruling political party since 1959....

), which had successfully sued it, in a Singaporean court, for libel.

The Economist, like many other publications, is subjected to censorship in India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 whenever it depicts a map of Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

. The maps are stamped by Indian Customs officials as being "neither correct, nor authentic". Issues are sometimes delayed, but not stopped or seized.

On 15 June 2006 Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 banned the sale of The Economist when it published a map labelling the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 simply as "Gulf"—a choice that derives its political significance from the Persian Gulf naming dispute
Persian Gulf naming dispute
The name of the body of water separating the Arabian Peninsula from the Iranian plateau, historically and internationally known as the Persian Gulf after the land of Persia , has been disputed by some Arab countries since the 1960s...


In a separate incident, Robert Mugabe's
Robert Mugabe
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980...

 government in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

 went further and imprisoned The Economists correspondent there, Andrew Meldrum
Andrew Meldrum
Andrew Meldrum is an American journalist who has concentrated on Africa and human rights. He worked in Zimbabwe for 23 years. Currently Meldrum is deputy managing editor and senior editor for Africa at GlobalPost...

. The government charged him with violating a statute on "publishing untruth" for writing that a woman was decapitated by Mugabe supporters. The decapitation
Decapitation is the separation of the head from the body. Beheading typically refers to the act of intentional decapitation, e.g., as a means of murder or execution; it may be accomplished, for example, with an axe, sword, knife, wire, or by other more sophisticated means such as a guillotine...

 claim was retracted and allegedly fabricated by the woman's husband. The correspondent was later acquitted, only to receive a deportation
Deportation means the expulsion of a person or group of people from a place or country. Today it often refers to the expulsion of foreign nationals whereas the expulsion of nationals is called banishment, exile, or penal transportation...


Special features

Roughly every two weeks, The Economist publishes special reports (previously called surveys
Survey article
In academia, a survey article is a paper that is a work of synthesis, published through the usual channels...

) on a given topic (list of special reports
The Economist special reports list
Roughly every two weeks, The Economist publishes on a given topic. The five main categories are , , , , and .List of special reports:Jan-11 The Economist Special Report on Global Leaders...

). The five main categories are Countries and Regions, Business, Finance and Economics, Science and Technology, and Other. The reports are series of (byline
The byline on a newspaper or magazine article gives the name, and often the position, of the writer of the article. Bylines are traditionally placed between the headline and the text of the article, although some magazines place bylines at the bottom of the page, to leave more room for graphical...

d) summary and analysis articles. Every three months, it publishes a "Technology Quarterly," a special section focusing on recent trends and developments in science and technology.

Since July 2007, there has also been a complete audio edition of the news-magazine available 5pm London time on Fridays, the day after the print news-magazine's publication. A group of British newsreaders records the full text of the news-magazine in mp3 format, including the extra pages in the UK edition. The weekly 130 MB download is free for subscribers and available for a fee for non-subscribers.


The editors of The Economist have been:
  • James Wilson
    James Wilson (UK politician)
    James Wilson was a Scottish businessman, economist and Liberal politician. He founded The Economist and the Standard Chartered Bank.-Early life:...

     1843–1857 (Herbert Spencer
    Herbert Spencer
    Herbert Spencer was an English philosopher, biologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era....

     was sub-editor from 1848 to 1853)
  • Richard Holt Hutton
    Richard Holt Hutton
    Richard Holt Hutton was an English writer and theologian.The son of Joseph Hutton, Unitarian minister, he was born at Leeds. His family moved to London in 1835, and he was educated at University College School and University College, London, where he began a lifelong friendship with Walter...

  • Walter Bagehot
    Walter Bagehot
    Walter Bagehot was an English businessman, essayist, and journalist who wrote extensively about literature, government, and economic affairs.-Early years:...

    , 1861–1877
  • Daniel Conner Lathbury, 1877–1881
  • Inglis Palgrave
    Inglis Palgrave
    Sir Robert Harry Inglis Palgrave FRS FSS was a British economist.He was educated at Charterhouse School and the University of Cambridge. In 1843, at the age of 16, he joined the bank of Deacon, Williams and Co. He then in 1845 joined Dawson Turner Turner and Gurney in Yarmouth, the banking firm of...

    , 1877–1883
  • Edward Johnstone, 1883–1907
  • Francis Wrigley Hirst
    Francis Wrigley Hirst
    Francis Wrigley Hirst was a British journalist, writer and editor of The Economist magazine. He was a Liberal in party terms and a classical liberal in ideology.-Early life:...

    , 1907–1916
  • Hartley Withers, 1916–1921
  • Sir Walter Layton
    Walter Layton, 1st Baron Layton
    Walter Thomas Layton, 1st Baron Layton, CH, CBE , was a British economist, editor and newspaper proprietor.-Background & education:Layton was the son of Alfred John Layton of Woking, Surrey, and Mary Johnson...

    , 1922–1938
  • Geoffrey Crowther
    Geoffrey Crowther, Baron Crowther
    Geoffrey Crowther, Baron Crowther was a British economist, journalist, educationalist and businessman. He was editor of The Economist from 1938 to 1956.-Early life and education:...

    , 1938–1956
  • Donald Tyerman
    Donald Tyerman
    Donald Tyerman CBE was an English journalist and editor.Tyerman was born in Middlesbrough. He contracted polio at the age of three and was paralysed from the neck down, although over the next ten years he did eventually get back full use of the whole of his body except his legs - he needed splints...

    , 1956–1965
  • Sir Alastair Burnet
    Alastair Burnet
    Sir Alastair Burnet is a British journalist and broadcaster, known for his work in news and current affairs programmes.- Early life :...

    , 1965–1974
  • Andrew Knight
    Andrew Knight
    Andrew Stephen Bower Knight is a journalist, editor, and director of News Corporation.-Career:He joined The Economist Magazine in 1966 on the international business and investment sections...

    , 1974–1986
  • Rupert Pennant-Rea
    Rupert Pennant-Rea
    Rupert Lascelles Pennant-Rea is a British businessman, journalist, and former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. The son of Peter and Pauline Pennant-Rea, he was educated at the Peterhouse School, an Anglican church boarding school near Marandellas, Rhodesia , before attending Trinity...

    , 1986–1993
  • Bill Emmott
    Bill Emmott
    Bill Emmott is an English journalist.Emmott was educated at Latymer Upper School in London and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he attained a First Class Degree in PPE . After graduation, he worked for The Economist newspaper in Brussels, Tokyo and London, becoming editor in March 1993. He...

    , 1993–2006
  • John Micklethwait
    John Micklethwait
    John Micklethwait is the editor-in-chief of The Economist.-Biography:Micklethwait was born in 1962 and educated at the independent school Ampleforth College and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he studied history. He worked for Chase Manhattan Bank for two years and joined The Economist in 1987...

    , 2006–present


During the 1970s, the Economists reports on South Africa were written by South African journalist Allister Sparks
Allister Sparks
Allister Haddon Sparks is a South African writer, journalist and political commentator. He was the editor of The Rand Daily Mail when it broke Muldergate, the story of how the apartheid government secretly funded information projects.Sparks later wrote a number of critically acclaimed books on...

. Business reports were written by Graham Hatton and other reports by Benjamin Pogrund
Benjamin Pogrund
Benjamin Pogrund is a South African-born author currently living in Israel.Brought up in Cape Town, he began a career as a journalist in 1958, writing for the Rand Daily Mail in Johannesburg, where he eventually became deputy-editor. The Rand Daily Mail was the only newspaper in South Africa at...

. All articles were edited (but not rewritten) by an Africa editor in London. This was John Grimond during the first half of the 1970s. The magazine's "Foreign Report", also published during the 1970s, was edited by Robert Moss
Robert Moss
Robert Moss, born in Melbourne in 1946, is an Australian historian, journalist and author and the creator of Active Dreaming, an original method for working with dreams and imagination.-Early life and education:...



In 1991, James Fallows
James Fallows
James Fallows is an American print and radio journalist. He has been a national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly for many years. His work has also appeared in Slate, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker and The American Prospect, among others. He is a...

 argued in The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

 that The Economist suffers from British class snobbery, pretentiousness, and simplistic argumentation, and "unwholesomely purveys smarty-pants English attitudes on our [US] shores". He also accused it of an editorial line often contradicted by the news stories. Andrew Sullivan
Andrew Sullivan
Andrew Michael Sullivan is an English author, editor, political commentator and blogger. He describes himself as a political conservative. He has focused on American political life....

 complained in the New Republic
The New Republic
The magazine has also published two articles concerning income inequality, largely criticizing conservative economists for their attempts to deny the existence or negative effect increasing income inequality is having on the United States...

 that it uses “marketing genius” to make up for deficiencies in analysis and original reporting, resulting in “a kind of Reader's Digest
Reader's Digest
Reader's Digest is a general interest family magazine, published ten times annually. Formerly based in Chappaqua, New York, its headquarters is now in New York City. It was founded in 1922, by DeWitt Wallace and Lila Bell Wallace...

” for America’s corporate elite. While Sullivan did acknowledge that the magazine's claim about the dotcom bursting would probably be accurate in the long run, the bubble would not burst in the US market until 2001. Sullivan also pointed out that the magazine greatly exaggerated the danger the US economy was in after the Dow Jones fell to 7,400 during the 1998 Labor Day weekend and noted that the magazine's claim that the US economy was at a high risk of entering a recession was far from clear. He also said that The Economist is editorially constrained because so many scribes graduated from the same college at Oxford University, Magdalen College
Magdalen College, Oxford
Magdalen College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. As of 2006 the college had an estimated financial endowment of £153 million. Magdalen is currently top of the Norrington Table after over half of its 2010 finalists received first-class degrees, a record...

, which he described as "a somewhat ineffective system for correcting internal flaws in a global magazine." The Observer
The Observer
The Observer is a British newspaper, published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum as its daily sister paper The Guardian, which acquired it in 1993, it takes a liberal or social democratic line on most issues. It is the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.-Origins:The first issue,...

 wrote that "its writers rarely see a political or economic problem that cannot be solved by the trusted three-card trick of privatisation, deregulation and liberalisation."

The former editor of Newsweek Jon Meacham
Jon Meacham
Jon Meacham is executive editor and executive vice president at Random House. A former editor of Newsweek and a Pulitzer Prize winning bestselling author and a commentator on politics, history, and religious faith in America, he is a contributing editor to Time magazine and editor-at-large of WNET...

, although he still described himself as a "fan", criticises The Economists focus on analysis over original reporting.

In 2011, the Hindu American Foundation
Hindu American Foundation
The Hindu American Foundation is an American Hindu human rights group advocating on behalf of the Hindu community in the United States. Dr...

 criticized an article on India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 in The Economist for ignoring the religious sensitivities of Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

s and depicting Hindu religious icons
Hindu iconography
Over the millennia of its development Hinduism has adopted several iconic symbols, forming part of Hindu iconography, that are imbued with spiritual meaning based on either the scriptures or cultural traditions. The exact significance accorded to any of the icons varies with region, period and...

 in a negative and demonizing light. The editors of the Economist have been dismissive of HAF's request to address the issue. In the same year, the government
Politics of Bangladesh
Politics of Bangladesh takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister of Bangladesh is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the...

 of Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 criticized another South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

-related article by the Economist for "irresponsible journalism" and "blatant lies" for claiming that the secular Awami League party was covertly funded by India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, and that relations between India and Bangladesh were combative and hostile, an assertion that was strongly disputed in a communication sent to The Economist by the government.

Appearance in popular culture

The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

 episode "Catch 'Em If You Can
Catch 'Em If You Can
"Catch 'Em If You Can" is the 18th episode of The Simpsons fifteenth season, first broadcast on April 25, 2004.-Plot:Bart lectures the other students on the bus on the topic of water balloons. After hitting Lisa with one he fights with her all the way home. Marge stops them and tells the pair that...

" alluded to the snob appeal of The Economist in an exchange between Homer
Homer Simpson
Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons and the patriarch of the eponymous family. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...

 and Marge Simpson
Marge Simpson
Marjorie "Marge" Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons and part of the eponymous family. She is voiced by actress Julie Kavner and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...

 while they are travelling first-class aboard an airplane:

Homer: "Look at me, I'm reading The Economist! Did you know Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 is at a crossroads?"
Marge: "No!"
Homer: "It is!"

Four days later, The Economist alluded to the quote, and published an article about Indonesia referring to the "crossroads". The title of the issue was "Indonesia's Gambit", as in The Simpsons episode. About seven months later, The Economist ran a cover headline reading "Indonesia at a Crossroads." In April 2009, The Economist published an article on Indonesian democracy with the title "Beyond the crossroads". The show returned to the joke in a much later episode, "Million Dollar Maybe
Million Dollar Maybe
"Million Dollar Maybe" is the eleventh episode of the twenty-first season of the animated comedy series The Simpsons. It first aired on Fox in the United States on January 31, 2010. In this episode, Homer wins $1 million in the lottery...

". In return for a favour Homer
Homer Simpson
Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons and the patriarch of the eponymous family. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...

 offers another character, Barney Gumble
Barney Gumble
Barnard "Barney" Gumble is a fictional character on the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. The character is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared in the series premiere episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". He is the town drunk and Homer Simpson's best friend. His capacity for...

, the contents of a tree containing his stash of "adult magazines". These turn out to be issues of The Economist, one of which features the headline "New challenges for Indonesia".

In 2006, Indian actor Abhishek Bachchan
Abhishek Bachchan
Abhishek Bachchan is an Indian actor and producer. He is the son of Indian actors Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan and is married to actress and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai....

 starred in a Motorola KRZR advertisement where one flight attendant asked if he wanted anything to read. He said "The Economist, please", which resulted in the young lady sitting next to him rolling her eyes and his mirror image called him a "fraud". He settles for Stardust
Stardust (magazine)
Stardust is an Indian monthly Bollywood news and gossip magazine published in English and Hindi. It also sponsors the Stardust Awards.-History:...


Further reading

  • Edwards, Ruth Dudley (1993) The Pursuit of Reason: The Economist 1843–1993, London: Hamish Hamilton, ISBN 0-241-12939-7

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.