Felix Salmon

Why I think Reuters won’t buy Breakingviews

Cyrus Sanati confirms that my very own employer “is in preliminary discussions” about buying Breakingviews. Needless to say, I have no first-hand, or even second-hand, knowledge of such matters — nobody tells me anything, and nor should they. But I can say that this smells of desperation on the part of Breaking Views, and I will also confidently predict that the deal is not going to happen.

Is Baker-Samwick finally getting traction?

Remember the Baker-Samwick proposal which I resuscitated in the Atlantic this month? Well, it seems to have got some traction:

When TALF displaces TARP

Dealbook is making a big deal out of the fact that Chrysler Financial has repaid its TARP loan. But read down to the bottom of the press release, and you find this:

Can we hope to abolish debt-related tax incentives?

Kevin Drum says that although we should get rid of debt’s tax advantages, we won’t:

The unsustainability of debt-for-equity conversion

According to its earnings release today, Goldman Sachs posted a loss of $500 million on its “real estate principal investments”. On the conference call, CFO David Viniar said that was based on a loan book of about $6.4 billion, which is now being marked “in the low 50s”.

DC taxation datapoint of the day

Ryan Avent quotes Alice Rivlin:

The CFO’s office estimates that if DC were able to tax non-resident income at its current tax rates it could raise more than $2 billion additional revenue, more than doubling the current yield of the District’s individual income tax of about $1.3 billion.

How to reduce the mountain of debt

Nassim Taleb is right that there’s too much debt in the world, and he’s also right that debt=denial:

Monday links get lost

In a survey of 12,500 people in 13 countries, almost half of respondents admitted to giving wrong directions on purpose