Money Talks

The Pandemic Has Turned Us All Into Hoarders

Why we keep panic shopping even when the store shelves are stocked

James Surowiecki
Published in
5 min readDec 15, 2020


An illustration of hundreds of toilet paper rolls stacked up in a single shopping cart.
Illustration: Pablo Delcan

Money Talks is a column that explores what happens when business, the economy, and culture collide.

Crises have a way of reshaping behavior in ways that endure long after the trouble has passed. The stock…



James Surowiecki
Writer for

I’m the author of The Wisdom of Crowds. I’ve been a business columnist for Slate and The New Yorker and written for a wide range of other publications.