Felix Salmon

Ivory Coast’s complicated new bond

This is big news, in the world of sovereign debt restructuring: Ivory Coast, which defaulted on its Brady bonds in 2000, has come to a deal with the London Club of private creditors to restructure them.

Tying the Fed’s hands

Joe Stiglitz’s high-level UN report on regulatory reform says that sometimes regulators need to have their hands tied:

Dangerous hybrid datapoint of the day

These tables come from a study organized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and they’re sobering: they show that hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are in some times twice as likely to be involved in pedestrian and bicyclist crashes as their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts.

What’s happened to Nairu?

Rich Miller reported yesterday that a number of luminaries have diagnosed a significant upwards move in Nairu, the rate of unemployment below which inflation starts kicking in — or, to put it another way, the level of unemployment which the Fed should consider to constitute “full employment”. They include JP Morgan’s chief economist Bruce Kasman; Harvard’s Lawrence Katz; and Ned Phelps, who got his Nobel for looking at such things.

Felix Salmon smackdown watch

Matthew DeBord takes aim and fires:

Salmon also makes it sound as if the average American eats primarily at off-the-freeway fast-food joints in between trips to the supermarket to fill their car with huge amounts of groceries. They nourish themselves by “absent-mindedly shovelling down an unknown quantity of something random while watching the TV.”…


Das: “self-regulation bears the same relationship to regulation that self importance does to importance” — Kedrosky

A quick note on notional derivatives exposure

Vincent Fernando has a blog entry today headlined “It’s Time To Stop Being Scared By Derivatives’ Trillion Dollar Notional Values”. Which is a bit like saying “It’s Time To Stop Being Scared By The $6 Billion Budget Deficit”: both of them are off by a factor of 200 or more.

Overpaid philanthropists

One of the Philanthrocapitalists (I believe it’s Michael Green, unless Matthew Bishop is prone to referring to himself in the third person) attempts a defense today of the $1 million salary being paid by the Gates Foundation to its new CEO, Jeff Raikes. It’s pretty weak stuff:

Why the Fed can’t protect consumers

Why did the Fed refuse to police predatory subprime borrowers, as detailed in Binyamin Appelbaum’s wonderful WaPo story? Well, you could start by asking Alan Greenspan: