Robert Autumn is the host of the morning finance show on TV. He is a former academic but moved into the media after his promotion prospects dimmed due to his lack of published output and his relentless consulting activities away from the university.
He sounds like a mainstream macroeconomics textbook on fast repeat when he talks. His favourite phrase, which he repeats often on the show, is: "Taxpayers' money is being wasted".
Mary pursued journalism at university with an economics major, hoping to help bring about change in society to address inequality and the challenges of climate change. She is articulate but is constantly put down by Robert when she expresses her opinion.
She does all the research for the morning finance show and notices that Robert often changes the text on the auto-cue at the last minute to alter the meaning of the story to suit his own prejudices.
She thinks Professor Noitawl, who is a good mate of Robert is full of 'hot air' but has to arrange his appearances as part of her job.
Professor Noitawl, holds an economics chair at a prestigious university and regularly appears in the media both through his frequent appearances on the morning TV finance report and also through his Op Ed columns in one of the leading newspapers.
He has a pathological hatred for government spending, unless it is providing support for his pet interests in mining and the military.
He is continually predicting that governments will go bankrupt because they are overspending but so far his predictions are never close. One would have thought that would have tempered his propensity for hubris.