Felix Salmon

Gone fishing

This is getting a bit surreal: both Clusterstock and Dealbreaker are now phoning up Charlie Gasparino asking for his reaction to my tweets. It’s clearly time for me to go on holiday. So I’m off to Spain, back November 4. If you don’t expect any blogging between now and then, you won’t be disappointed.


The Fed’s pay proposals are out: a whole lot of nothing? — Federal Reserve

Unemployment datapoint of the day

The length of time the average unemployed person has been without a job has been hitting new record highs for a while; it’s now managed to pass the 6-month mark. That’s much higher than any previous peak in this data series. And I fear that the only way it’s likely to come down any time soon is as these people become so demoralized that they take themselves out of the labor force altogether.

Analyzing Galleon’s returns

The Pragmatic Capitalist gets his hands on Galleon’s monthly returns, and finds them very suspicious:

Ethics laws can’t work

Richard Painter, who drafted and approved the ethics agreement signed by Hank Paulson when he became treasury secretary, has come to the conclusion that such agreements can never really work as intended:

When failed genius is rewarded

The reaction to the news that John Meriwether is setting up a third hedge fund has been entirely predictable, especially when Sam Jones’s story deadpans that “the fund is expected use the same strategy as both LTCM and JWM to make money”. (Meriwether’s first two funds, of course, were spectacular failures.)

Gold-denominated hedge funds

For a while now, hedge funds have been creating share classes denominated in gold. By far the biggest fish in this pool is John Paulson, and as a result he’s been buying gold, literally, by the ton. (With gold at $1,050 an ounce, and 29,167 ounces per ton, Paulson’s $4.3 billion gold investment would buy him 140 tons of gold.)

The mortgage-servicing writedowns

Bloomberg’s Michael Moore has lots of detail today on the treatment of mortgage servicing rights in banks’ earnings reports. No, wait, it’s actually interesting! Especially when you look at the numbers involved.


Stop looking at charts! — Abnormal Returns

Why you should never buy a commodity fund — Reuters

How to feed the world’s hungry: food bonds; forwards; call options; tax credits. Yes, that’s the Milken Institute — MI