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  • The Economist speaks German.
  • The economist is tracking down Sayid and/or Ben
  • The economist employs a network of assassins.
  • Elsa said he is old-fashioned if it comes down to technology. She doesn't really know what her boss does and he is not very often in town.

The Economist is Alvar Hanso

  • Much like Charles Widmore he can be classified as an "economist".
  • Alvar Hanso funded the creation of the Dharma Initiative. Ben helped slaughter the contingent of Dharma on the island. Ben could not get to Hanso at the time because he wasn't on the island. The opportunity to kill the mysterious Alvar Hanso may have only recently presented itself.
  • Hanso's agenda may conflict with both Widmore AND Ben's.
  • Ben may not be able to kill his worst enemy Widmore but he may be able to kill #2...Alvar Hanso.
  • Alvar Hanso is Danish, and so would not necessarily speak German.

The Economist is a character unknown at this time

Elsa (the Economist)

  • The Economist is R.G. as Elsa and Naomi have very similar bracelets.
    • Darlton have stated that the bracelets are unrelated, except for the fact that the former may have caused Sayid to recall the latter.
  • Elsa speaks in German to her boss, implying that the Economist speaks German. Based on the current characters, this is not someone we know.
    • There isn't a single character in the Lost universe, for whom we have a strong proof that he/she doesn't speak German.
  • The Economist is a "supernatural entity" (similar to Jacob and Richard) who exists as the major rival to Jacob and his cult/society. This would explain Ben's desire to find him and kill his associates. The Economist may have been kicked off the Island at some time, displaced by Jacob. Ilana and Bram work for him currently and flew on Ajira Flight 316 to deliberately land on the Island. Charles Widmore, after being kicked off the Island by Ben, may have defected to The Economist's cult.
    • note that the people on Ben's list -- presumably all associates of The Economist -- are extremely wealthy. This might indicate that The Economist endows his devotees with great wealth to accomplish his cult's goals. His name, of course, is a giveaway that he deals with and has influence over money. Other rich men we've seen, notably Charles Widmore and Mr. Paik, may be working with him.

The Economist is on the Island

  • The Economist is Elsa herself, in a "Keyser Soze" sort of way.
    • An anagram of "The Economist" is "Tom's Hot Niece."
  • The Economist is dead. Sayid killed him after he killed Elsa, which was why Ben had a new "name" for him to move onto.
  • The Economist doesn't exist. He is a fictional character invented by the "other side" to flush out would-be assassins like Sayid.
  • The Economist is a MacGuffin, whose existence was solely to motivate this episode's plot.
  • The Economist is John Locke whose namesake was a famous philosopher and economist.
    • Very Feasible as the Locke and Linus relationship unfolds
  • The Economist is Jacob who hates technology.
    • Both Jacob and the Economist are averse to technology (Jacob, artificial light; the Economist, modern forms of communication)
  • A pager, while outdated now, is still a fairly advanced piece of technology; Jacob doesn't even like flashlights.
  • The Economist is Mr. Avellino, and the scene on the golf course takes place after Sayid kills Elsa. This might explain why Avellino becomes afraid once he learns Sayid's identity, since after Elsa's death, the individuals on Ben's List are now aware that Sayid is coming for them.
    • Mr. Avellino is Italian, not German, creating a weak link in this theory.
      • There is no reason the Economist must be German:
        • Because Elsa only gets paged two or three times a year, the Economist might only come to Berlin on business, and actually resides in another place.
        • There is certainly no reason that you have to be German to speak German. He might do this either because Elsa doesn't know Italian, he doesn't want to blow his cover, or because they know (or think they know) that Sayid doesn't know German. For that matter, we don't know that the person on the other end of the line was actually speaking German.
        • No one ever said that Elsa was actually talking to the Economist on the phone, someone else could have paged her in his name.
        • The producers have said that all flashforwards take place in chronological order. Therefore, the death of Avellino happened before Elsa's.

The Economist was on the Island

  • The Economist is not on the Island currently, but was previously. He left or was forcibly removed from the Island shortly after Ben banished Charles Widmore, due to conflict of interest with Ben and his leadership. He was most likely working alongside Charles Widmore in covering up the crash of Oceanic 815 and had contributed to efforts to find the Island again. This will explain why Ben targeted him once it became apparent he was as much as a threat to the Island as Widmore. He shares this role along with Peter Avellino and Ivan Andropov.

The Economist is Thomas Mittelwork

  • We know he speaks German.
  • Also looking for The Island, Ben could be eliminating competition.
  • Mittelwork was searching for a personal assistant via the website. This may be to hire Elsa or to replace her after her death.

The Economist is Ivan Andropov

  • After killing Andropov, Ben tells Sayid that he has successfully killed everyone on the list. Andropow may have been the economist.

The Economist does not exist

  • Elsa was the intended target since Ben was content in discovering her death. She is working closely with Widmore herself. The pager going off was staged since Elsa had no economist employer needing her.

Why he uses a pager

  • It's simply more reliable than a cell phone. He didn't want to risk being unable to reach Elsa if she happens to be out of range of cell phone towers.
  • It's just a precaution if Elsa was to be killed or captured no one else could answer the phone and possibly recognize their voice.
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