Interview by Kati Krause
Photographs by Tom Jamieson
Forget those shiny magazine spreads full of attractive and mysteriously wealthy “creatives.” Forget the websites that parade around somebody’s highly-curated life to you, but won’t tell you how they pay their mortgage. And definitely forget the lifestyle porn stuffed with beautiful objects and artwork that requires deep pockets — or masses of debt — to acquire.
Money remains one of the biggest taboos — bigger than sex — and yet we spend more time earning it, spending it, and thinking about it, than almost anything else. We’re bored with people showing you the seemingly effortless, purposely enviable side of things—instead of the messy reality of their financial lives. So, here’s our attempt to turn it inside out: People, talking honestly, openly, and realistically, about the role of money in their lives. First up: Writer and broadcaster Ben Hammersley.
Hammersley is 38, lives in London, and has spent most of his adult life thinking, writing, and speaking about technology. He’s a fellow and advisor at more institutions than could possibly fit on a business card, including Goldsmiths University, the Brookings Institution, and Condé Nast. He recently finished a TV series on cybercrime for the BBC. He’s preparing to run an ultra-marathon. He’s just had a baby. He has a magnificent moustache. He makes the rest of us feel slightly insufficient.
How much money is currently in your bank accounts?
About £2,000 ($3,000) in my private UK account, $100 in my US account, €100 ($120) in my EU account, and £30,000 ($45,000) in my business account.
Do you own any other assets or investments?
No. Well, I own a boat. That’s worth about £10,000 ($15,000).
What’s your annual income?
It changes radically. In 2014 I made between £80,000…