Felix Salmon

The distant and painful recovery

Julia Ioffe’s TNR profile of Nouriel Roubini is better than most, if a little bit on the fawning side; it’s noteworthy for delving more into his biography and background than other profiles of Nouriel that I’ve seen. It also ends with a glimmer of optimism:

More free goodies from credit card companies?

Will the new credit-card regulations harm people who pay their balance in full every month? Quite the opposite, says Ron Lieber:

Are we bailing out GMAC’s bondholders?

Amid all the noise about the government doing unspeakable things to Detroit bondholders, it looks very much to me as though in fact we’re shamelessly bailing them out:

Bank governance datapoint of the day

David Reilly reckons we should have bankers overseeing banks:

Only about 15 percent of directors have banking experience at the 10 largest U.S. commercial banks by assets, according to my own analysis. Include directors with investing, accounting, insurance or real estate backgrounds and the rate creeps up to only 33 percent…

More squabbling at the WTC site

Depressing news from Christina Lewis today: we’re entering yet another round of unhelpful bickering between the Port Authority and Larry Silverstein over the future of the World Trade Center site. What we desperately need is a strong New York governor willing to knock heads together — but we didn’t have that in George Pataki, and we certainly don’t have it in David Paterson.

The new regulatory structure begins to emerge

The WaPo all-star team of Zachary Goldfarb, Binyamin Appelbaum and David Cho broke the news this evening that Elizabeth Warren’s dream of a Financial Product Safety Commission is likely to become reality, thanks to the Obama administration. The WSJ’s Damian Paletta then did a fantastic job with his follow-up (although weirdly Warren’s name is nowhere to be seen):

Chart of the day, contemporary art edition

From Maneker:


The neg-am credit card

Remember those negative-amortization mortgages, where you could pay less than the interest rate and see your total amount owed go up from one month to the next? Those worked so well, now the credit-card companies are following suit!

Where are Ecuador’s bondholders?

According to Ecuador’s finance minister — and there’s no reason not to believe her — there’s been “excellent” take-up of her offer to buy back Ecuador’s 2012 and 2030 bonds at somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 cents on the dollar. As Reuters’s Maria Eugenia Tello notes,