It seems a long way off but you may wish to register now for our 2021 “Year-ahead webinar” on Monday, 11 January, at 12:00 GMT. I will be joined by Deloitte’s CEO for North and South Europe, Richard Houston, to examine prospects for the global economy and the many ways in which the pandemic will reshape business and society.
Register here:

We are publishing our annual Christmas reading list today. It aims to offer a break from the rigours of Christmas with an eclectic mix of free, online articles. You can save these articles on your smartphone's or tablet's reading list. To print any use the print icons, where available, to ensure the whole article comes out.

Moderna and BioNTech have been at the forefront of public attention this year as they both raced to bring a vaccine based on the cutting-edge mRNA technology to market. However, each company trod a different path. This piece tells the story of the development of synthetic messenger RNA and the two very different companies who have brought the idea to fruition.

Despite Brexit, English will remain the lingua franca of the EU. This Euronews article examines the curious form of ‘Euro English’, spoken by the people who work in EU institutions, borrowing expressions and grammar from other languages. This results in amusing confusions among native English speakers, with Euro English terms like “home office” to refer to someone’s literal home office.

The aviation sector was among the hardest hit by the pandemic. This article from The Guardian looks at KLM’s experience in weathering the downturn and how it manages its idle planes and pilots. The aviation sector has changed remarkably over the decades, adapting to oil price shocks and economic crises. Observers expect more consolidation, smaller planes and more point-to-point flights along with a growing focus on reducing emissions.

The BBC World Service shares the lessons learned by John List, the former chief economist at Uber and current chief economist at Lyft. He used ridesharing data to discover the best way to apologise to a customer. The article also delves into the gender disparity in ridesharing earnings and driver tipping tendencies.

This profile of Jay Powell examines his tenure as head of the US Federal Reserve. Mr Powell is, unusually for this role, not an economist. He has shown a determination to engage with Congress and the public at a time when many technocratic institutions have been under pressure. The Fed’s swift and radical policy moves at the start of the pandemic helped avoid a deep financial crisis. In his tenure Mr Powell has edged the Fed towards placing greater emphasis on full employment as a policy goal.

This joint-reporting project by The Washington Post and German broadcaster ZDF covers the astonishing story of how West German and US intelligence controlled a Swiss encryption device manufacturer, Crypto AG, for over half a century. Crypto sold equipment to over 120 countries, allowing its secret owners to read the encrypted messages sent by these countries, directly providing intelligence on events ranging from the Iran hostage crisis to the Falklands War. (limited number of free articles a month)

For the latest charts and data on health and economics, visit our COVID-19 Economics Monitor: