Felix Salmon

Counterparties

Please let this be the final word on ridiculous Zero Hedge monetization conspiracy theories — Accrued Interest

Improving your credit vs paying down debt

Mitra Kalita profiles Karen King, who has debts of $36,000 and a credit score of 576. King wants to get the former down and the latter up, but sometimes those two impulses work against each other:

Pledge now, pay later

Given that the government (despite my urging) isn’t going to significantly increase its arts funding, creative types are naturally going to look online for alternative sources of funds. And a new model is springing up across the web which I like a lot.

The semiotics of Larry Summers’s neckwear

Ryan Lizza’s New Yorker profile of Larry Summers was very good, but in many ways it’s the accompanying photograph, by Martin Schoeller, which is even more intriguing: it shows the key members of Barack Obama’s economic team striding purposefully away from the White House, with intense lighting from both front and back. There’s a certain Reservoir Dogs feeling to it, with Christy Romer playing the Chris Penn odd-man-out role.

Counterparties

Another attempt at movie derivatives. Any particular reason to believe this one will succeed where so many have failed? — FT

Corporate bully of the day: Hertz

Good on Audit Integrity for fighting back against the blatant bullying being perpetrated on it by Hertz.

Bicycle accident datapoint of the day

In the UK, men account for 72% of bike journeys, 84% of fatalities, and 81% of recorded injuries. That makes a certain amount of sense: men tend to be more aggressive cyclists, and that means their chances of having an accident rise.

Loan-modification datapoint of the day

Shahien Nasiripour has an interesting datapoint, when it comes to the government’s HAMP loan-modification program:

Chart of the day: FHA delinquencies

FHA-delinq-&-Mother-of-All-.jpg

Whitney Tilson passes on this chart, showing delinquencies at the FHA. He notes that the FHA is a crucial source of support for the housing market right now, providing a whopping 23% of all mortgages. If you have a subprime credit rating of 600, you only need to put 3.5% down to get an FHA loan; even if you have a positively wrecked credit rating of 500, you can still get a mortgage with only a 10% downpayment. And the people brokering a lot of these loans are often the selfsame shady characters who represented the worst face of the subprime bubble.