Felix Salmon

Overdraft opt-in messages: Brace yourselves

It’s good that we’re moving to an opt-in system for debit-card overdrafts. But in order to get there from here I have a feeling that we’re going to have to dodge a lot of, um, personalized communications from our banks:

How to slow down foreclosures

Buried in Peter Goodman’s 2,300-word tale of Christopher Hall’s foreclosure woes is a gem of a program in Philadelphia:

Navigating the news

The indispensable Abnormal Returns has a smart post up on aggregation:

Aggregators, investment or otherwise, are not the cause of the downfall of traditional news gatherers like newspapers. They are simply a sign that people are hungry for information and analysis presented in an efficient manner. For better or worse, that instinct to seek out order in an increasingly complex world is here to stay.

Fire the lot of ‘em!

John Hudson has an interesting round-up of responses to the signs of humanity from Goldman Sachs on Tuesday: I’m definitely the outlier in a sea of commentators saying that they’re tiny, meaningless, and an attempt to deflect attention from the bigger issues surrounding the bank.

Counterparties

Everything you ever wanted to know about delta-hedging and options vs cash equities strategies — TITGR

Democratizing art

I had a very interesting lunch with Jen Bekman of 20×200 last week — a woman who has just raised $825,000 in venture funding to help expand her project of bringing art to everybody. “I want anyone who’s educated and even remotely affluent to feel self-conscious if they don’t have an art collection that they can talk about,” she says, and to that end she’s selling limited-edition art starting at just $20 for an 8″x10″ C-print in an edition of 200. (Hence the name.)

Kicked out of finance, and into journalism

whitney.jpg

Up until yesterday, Michael Whitney was a presenter on Bloomberg TV; he would occasionally get his byline on Bloomberg News stories. Whitney was fined $55,000 last year by the CFTC and is subject to a permanent injunction, after being charged with false reporting and attempting to manipulate natural gas prices.

How US investors can play the carry trade

When I wrote my blog entry on currency ETCs yesterday, I wasn’t aware of the various carry-trade products available on US exchanges. But after a very informative conversation with Morningstar’s Bradley Kay this morning, I’m now much more up to speed. And while there’s nothing in the US quite like the UK products, there are still a fair few carry-trade vehicles to choose from.

Providing credit to the poor

Megan McArdle is cutting up her credit cards, but she doesn’t want to force anybody else to do the same thing. She responds to my sentiment that credit should come from loans, not cards, thusly: