Felix Salmon

Financial Intelligence at Harvard Business School

July 16, 2009

Harvard Business School has a blog called Financial Intelligence, where you can find this:

The price of suicide

July 16, 2009

Annie Lowrey says that €4,000 is expensive, if you’re pricing out suicide, and is therefore available “only to the wealthy”. Seems positively cheap, to me. Most anyone can rustle up that kind of money somehow, especially if they’re safe in the knowledge that they’ll never need to pay it back. And it’s a good order of magnitude cheaper than dying in hospital.

The next Goldman acquisition

July 16, 2009

Every so often, Andy Borowitz nails it:

In what some on Wall Street are calling the biggest blockbuster deal in the history of the financial sector, Goldman Sachs confirmed today that it was in talks to acquire the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Credit card interchange fee datapoint of the day

July 16, 2009

Andrew Martin reports:

At Target, for example, interchange fees represent the second-largest store-level expense, behind payroll. The costs are similarly eye-popping at Home Depot, where officials say they top the price of health care insurance for employees. “The amount of money we’re spending on interchange would put 10 associates in each of our stores,” Dwaine Kimmet, vice president of financial services for Home Depot, said at a recent conference on credit card fees.

Bair wants a bank-size tax

July 16, 2009

Sheila Bair and Ben Bernanke are on board with the idea of taxing banks to give them an incentive to shrink:

Schumer signs on to the Baker-Samwick own-to-rent proposal

July 16, 2009

Great news: Chuck Schumer has signed on to the Baker-Samwick proposal which would allow people living in foreclosed-upon homes to be able to continue renting at the market rate.

The NYT will stay free

July 16, 2009

FT editor Lionel Barber isn’t content with charging for his own content, he also reckons that every other news organisation is going to follow suit. Here are some quotes from a speech he gave last night:

Ben Stein, predatory bait-and-switch merchant

July 16, 2009

How far has Ben Stein sunk? Far enough that I feel compelled to resuscitate the Ben Stein Watch, just to share this unfunny and positively harmful TV ad which is now being aired:

China datapoint of the day

July 16, 2009

Andrew Baston reports on China’s 7.9% GDP growth in the second quarter:

China’s government only reports year-on-year growth estimates. But when measured in the same terms as other major economies—an annualized quarter-on-quarter comparison—China’s growth in the second quarter could be on the order of 15%, some private economists estimate.