Steerpike Steerpike

Is the Financial Times ashamed of capitalism?

SHAUN CURRY/AFP via Getty Images

It seems no-one has a good word to say about capitalism these days. For now, even the Financial Times – that bible of our captains of industry – seems to have gone off the filthy rich. Once, the newspaper’s ‘How To Spend It’ supplement was an unashamed paean to conspicuous consumption; a veritable smorgasbord of plutocratic excess. The FT itself still describes it in near-orgastic terms, writing that the 28 year-old pull-out is ‘the benchmark for luxury lifestyle magazines’ with an ‘affluent readership’ of whom one in five ‘has or would consider using the service of a private jet’.

But it seems such tributes to the tastes of the rich and powerful are now somewhat déclassé in these times of economic hardship. For – with inflation on the march and the cost-of-living crisis starting to bite – the Pink ‘Un has today announced a rebrand of its section. ‘How To Spend It’ has instead been rechristened as the acronym ‘HTSI’, a move which is presumably intended to make the typical FT reader sound less like Mr Monopoly. One disgruntled hack points out that ‘HTSI’ in text speak stands for ‘Hate To See It’ – a sentiment which sums up their thoughts on the move. ‘Woke capitalism at its worst’ remarks another…

The Financial Times on their magazine’s readership

According to the FT’s own press release: ‘By leading with the HTSI acronym the magazine will allow readers freedom to interpret the “S” in line with their own deeper interests, whether that be how to style it, how to save it, or how to steer, surf or savour it.’ The magazine’s editor adds that ‘How To Spend It has always been about how we spend our time.’ A sentiment which, presumably, Colonel Gaddafi shared given that a well-thumbed copy of the mag was found in his Bab al-Aziziah stronghold shortly before his fall from power…


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