Felix Salmon

Too big to rescue

June 19, 2009

Paul Krugman is surely right about this:

I think of the pursuit of a world in which everyone is small enough to fail as the pursuit of a golden age that never was. Regulate and supervise, then rescue if necessary.

Reverse converts and Vincent Fernando’s straw man

June 19, 2009

How long can this debate over reverse converts go on? I’m not sure, but I’m willing to put up one more blog entry on the subject, since Vincent Fernando is both misrepresenting my views and giving me the opportunity to make an important broader point.

What’s Citi doing to Pandit?

June 19, 2009

Breakingviews today has a very odd column saying, essentially, that Vikram Pandit should keep his job despite the fact that since he took over at Citigroup, he’s made a large number of serious mistakes and has done almost nothing right.

Thursday links stick their head in the sand

June 18, 2009

Jonah Lehrer on why investors should ignore the markets and the financial press

Paul Smalera comprehensively demolishes the idea that micropayments might ever save Time Inc

Unemployment datapoint of the day

June 18, 2009

Brad DeLong reminds us, in case we’ve forgotten, how much worse things are now than we feared they would be last December:

How ETF investors fare

June 18, 2009

John Bogle’s mutual fund vs ETF analysis has now appeared, and it seems I was right: Bogle makes no attempt whatsoever to distinguish between buy-and-hold ETF investors, on the one hand, and ETF noise traders, on the other. (Or, to put it another way, he makes no attempt to restrict the ETF investors he’s looking at to those who would otherwise buy mutual funds.)

Dean Starkman loves Gretchen Morgenson

June 18, 2009

Dean Starkman has a 4,148-word love letter to Gretchen Morgenson in The Nation; it’s far from clear that his feelings are reciprocated, despite the fact that he calls her “the most important financial journalist of her generation”, and dismisses her critics as trying to start “arguments about wallpaper design in a burning house”.

Rant of the day: Taibbi on Blankfein

June 18, 2009

Remember Lloyd Blankfein’s kindasorta apology for his role in the financial crisis? It went like this:

Putting an end to too-big-to-fail: An IM exchange

June 18, 2009

The central banks in both the UK and Switzerland seem to be utterly fed up with the fact that their banking systems are full of too-big-to-fail banks. What can they do about it? I asked Peter Thal Larsen, in London: