Felix Salmon

Goldman’s image problem

October 5, 2009

Bloomberg and the FT have almost-identical headlines this morning, saying that Goldman Sachs stands to make $1 billion if CIT declares bankruptcy. Neither of them is long on specifics, and both seem to be based on information from a single anonymous source, which is then promptly denied by Goldman itself. Here’s Bloomberg:

Why we were right not to nationalize the banks

October 5, 2009

Normally, when I admit that I was wrong, I don’t get a lot of responses basically saying “no, you were right the first time round”. But this time, when I admitted I was wrong about bank nationalization, I’ve received a lot of pushback along those lines. Charles’s comment is representative:

When Morgan Stanley almost died

October 5, 2009

It’s a day for long readings: not only Ryan Lizza in The New Yorker, but also Andrew Ross Sorkin, whose book excerpt in Vanity Fair — all 12,000 words of it — is now online in full.


October 5, 2009

Did you know the pata negra iberico pig originated in the US? — Feedbag

Olivia Judson with a good short explanation of what’s happening to Simon Singh in the UK — NYT

The good things about Larry Summers

October 5, 2009

Yikes the Ryan Lizza piece on Larry Summers is long — over 11,500 words. And even then it manages to say absolutely nothing about some key issues, such as the $5.2 million he was paid by DE Shaw to work one day a week in 2008; or the allegations of Summers actively working to marginalize the influence of Paul Volcker; or l’affaire Shleifer. But Lizza does get Summers to admit to mistakes during his tenure at Treasury, at least as regards the subject of derivatives:

Why give Ken Lewis a break?

October 3, 2009

Tom Lindmark says I should give Ken Lewis a break:

Felix Salmon made a good point in a post yesterday when he said that running a mega bank was not something that any individual was capable of doing…

The humbling of Robert Parker

October 2, 2009

Spending a couple of high-intensity days in Washington, as I’ve just done, is enough to send anybody dreaming of booze. And so it’s quite lovely to read Dr Vino’s missive from the latest Executive Wine Seminar, which featured not only 15 spectacular 2005 Bordeaux wines, but also Robert Parker, tasting them blind.

Everything is OK

October 2, 2009

Via Paul comes this montage of highlights from the people who brought you the Everything is OK series. What makes it especially fabulous for me is the fact that a  large chunk of it takes place right outside Reuters HQ in Canary Wharf. Obviously, you shouldn’t watch it. Do your job instead. Or go shopping. One or the other.

Chart of the day, hours-worked edition

October 2, 2009

Jake is on fire with employment charts this morning in the wake of the atrocious payrolls report. This one in particular is new to me, and extremely sobering: