Felix Salmon

How transit investments pay for themselves

June 22, 2009

Kaid Benfield has a great wonky post on the connection between carbon emission reductions and land-use regulations. It turns out that the latter can have an enormous effect on the former: in a number of cities and states, the cost of implementing things like transit-oriented development and growth boundaries can actually be negative, thanks to the resulting reduction in vehicle miles driven. (And that’s not even including the fact that household carbon emissions, as opposed to vehicle emissions, are much lower in high-density developments.)

Regulatory arbitrage anecdote of the day

June 22, 2009

Connie Bruck has a profile of Angelo Mozilo in the latest New Yorker, which annoyingly isn’t freely available online. There’s lots of interesting material in it, but I was particularly struck with Countrywide’s regulator-shopping:

The welcome hike in bankers’ salaries

June 22, 2009

I don’t know whether bankers’ pay is really “soaring” or not, as the FT would have it. But this I think is a positive development, and doesn’t for a minute mean that pay is actually going up:

Cap-and-trade datapoint of the day

June 22, 2009

I am very happy that the CBO has finally gotten around to costing out Waxman-Markey, so that we don’t have to put up with pseudoscientific scaremongering any more.

When anonymous sources disappear entirely

June 21, 2009

John Gruber notes the weird lack of sourcing in the WSJ’s article about Steve Jobs’s liver transplant:

Wine datapoint of the day

June 20, 2009

From the WSJ wine column:

In the first four months of the year, Argentina’s imports rose yet another 31% by volume, overtaking imports from France, which dropped more than 8%.

Friday links take leave of their senses

June 19, 2009

If you want a job with the City of Bozeman, you’ll need to fork over your Facebook and Google passwords.

Crap marketing campaign of the day, Merrill Lynch edition

June 19, 2009

This is the new branding campaign for Merrill Lynch, and it’s stunningly crap. First an old-fashioned fountain pen flies in from the right, to be met by a mirroring BofA logo (the Merrill logo seems to have been ditched) coming in from the left. The fountain pen then does a weird auto-rotate thing, only to start writing in a bold, modern, san-serif font! (I think it might be Benton Sans.)

Thomas Kinkade: Bad, not evil

June 19, 2009

Hamilton Nolan is snarking gleefully over the fact that Thomas Kinkade, whom he calls “Painter of Darkness”, has lost a round of the endless litigation he’s been involved in for years now, ever since he took his company private in 2004. Now I’m no fan of Kinkade. But the plaintiffs in this case are trying to make a pretty astonishing case: that they’re owed damages on the grounds that Kinkade talked a lot about God, and thereby fraudulently persuaded them to place their trust in him.