Felix Salmon

Chart of the day: Stocks vs unemployment

May 25, 2009


Received opinion has it that stock prices are a leading indicator of economic conditions — they price in expected future events — while the unemployment rate is a lagging indicator, since it reflects the outcome of decisions made in the past, and businesses only just beginning to come out of a recession are generally hesitant to start hiring again.

Twitter poll: The results

May 25, 2009

On Friday I asked, both here and on Twitter, whether I should auto-publish my blog entries to my Twitter feed. The results, where “no” includes people who say “start a new Twitter account for that”:

Something else which was meant to rise forever

May 25, 2009

Another company defaults on its obligations because its chairman thought his market would simply rise forever:

The NYT ombudsman’s blogophobia

May 24, 2009

The good news: the NYT’s ombudsman, Clark Hoyt, has weighed in with uncommon speed on l’affaire Andrews. But he’s done so in a most peculiar way: he spends 11 paragraphs on whether or not Andrews should be covering his own personal housing crisis at all, given his job, and then moves on to Megan McArdle’s bombshell with one final tacked-on graf, in which he can’t even bring himself to mention McArdle by name. (She’s first “a blogger for The Atlantic”, and then just “the blogger”. You’ll excuse me for reading that language pejoratively: if a newspaper columnist had written the same thing, I doubt they would have just been “a columnist” and “the columnist”.)

Credit cards: An exchange

May 24, 2009

I got a very smart email from Zoltan, one of my readers, yesterday, on the subject of credit cards:

Friday links don’t look very encouraging

May 22, 2009

A long-overdue tab dump which will make me feel much freer over the long Memorial Day weekend:

Why academics make better bloggers than journalists

May 22, 2009

I just found this, from Brad DeLong:

One reason that we academics tend to judge journalists harshly is because of their… excessive claims of originality. We tend to believe strongly that situating your work and your contribution in the ongoing discussion is one of the very first duties of a writer–and a duty that is absolutely essential to any attempt to inform or educate readers.

The next asset classes to default

May 22, 2009

I had an interesting lunch with Vipal Monga of The Deal this afternoon, and he came out with a rather startling datapoint: apparently there’s roughly $500 billion of leveraged loans out there which mature between 2012 and 2014. Is there any conceivable way those loans will be able to be refinanced?

Bloomberg’s webophobia

May 22, 2009

Ryan Tate is quite right that there’s no way Bloomberg is going to be able to enforce the attempted ban on its journalists so much as linking to a news story from their Facebook page — although the ban is entirely in line with the company’s longstanding webophobia. Bloomberg killed its RSS feeds as long ago as 2006, and Mike Bloomberg told me as far back as 1995 that he had no interest whatsoever in going onto the web. He was always much happier being in complete control of the Bloomberg space, banning rude words on the messaging system, and so forth.