Felix Salmon

Rortybomb’s run-your-own-stress-test spreadsheet

Mike at Rortybomb has the blog entry of the year I think; the background is here. Essentially he’s found a Rosetta-stone like table on page 6 of the stress test results, and has used it to create a fabulous spreadsheet which allows you to plug various different unemployment rates into a cell at the top and see what kind of capital needs result.

Revisiting the Merrill acquisition

All eyes are on Ken Lewis today: he’ll be testifying to Congress, and, according to the Reuters news planning email this morning, “Lewis is a fiery character and we will be looking for any departure from his script.”

Preservation and zoning

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These houses are going to be demolished to make room for a parking lot. Says Ryan:

Wednesday links are largely mistaken

The first Stanford book arrives. But only in Spanish, so far.

Kai Ryssdal interviews Anna Schwartz

How Holman Jenkins joined the “How wrong can you get it?” tour:

The Wall Street Journal’s strange, and somewhat terrible, case against health care reform.

A visit to Art Capital Group

I had a very interesting chat with Ian Peck, the CEO of Art Capital Group, this afternoon, trying to learn a bit more about his business and how it works. Art Capital is a business which specializes in lending money to liquidity-constrained art owners; business, says Peck, is booming these days, since most other lenders in the market (private banks, the auction houses) have pretty much closed up shop.

Natty bikewear

Last week, I had a rather miserable bike ride home in the rain, and tweeted as much when I’d managed to dry off a little. A few hours later, I got an email from Abe Burmeister, the CEO of Outlier, telling me about his office-friendly and water-resistant bike trousers. Would I like to try a pair? I would — and in fact I’m wearing them today. I rode them in to work in the drizzle this morning and my legs stayed nice and dry; I then rode up to a meeting with Art Capital Group on the Upper East Side and back through Central Park. They’re certainly comfortable — and they’re more presentable than the jeans I usually wear. If you didn’t know they were bike trousers, you probably wouldn’t guess.

What is Thomas Lauria playing at?

The Detroit News today bellyaches about how the Chrysler bankruptcy deal “may make raising cash more difficult for companies”. I have no idea where they got this idea, but it’s ludicrous. As the WSJ story on gadfly lawyer Thomas Lauria notes, Chrysler’s secured creditors are getting significantly more out of the existing bankruptcy deal than they would without the government throwing in its billions.

Powerful software

I’m quite excited about getting access to Datastream, Thomson Reuters’s flagship data product, which should allow me to go swimming in all manner of information. Just how powerful is this software? Well, for one thing, before I’m allowed to download it I need to confirm that I’m not going to use it for proliferation activities. I promise!

The fight between the buy side and the sell side

The age-old fight between the buy side and the sell side is flaring up again:

In the US, William Dudley, president of the New York Federal Reserve, is trying to give investors a louder voice. The Fed used to garner almost all of its market feedback from the sell side – groups such as JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs or Merrill Lynch. But in recent months the New York Fed has started including asset managers in advisory committees and created an informal advisory group of hedge fund, private equity and asset managers. “Our aim in this is not to disenfranchise the dealers but to enfranchise the buy side. We want the whole market to be part of the decision-making process,” says Mr Dudley.