Felix Salmon

Counterparties

December 2, 2009

Stephen Fry, debater extraordinaire — YouTube, 2

Gladwell responds to Pinker’s response to Gladwell’s response to Pinker’s response to Gladwell — Gladwell

The economics of credit card debt

December 1, 2009

You’re a bank, and one of your customers owes you $2,000 on her credit card. You have two choices:

Whither the overdraft bill?

December 1, 2009

Whither overdrafts? The Fed is cracking down on some of the most egregious practices, but there’s still a lot more to be done on the overdraft front, including limiting the number of overdraft fees that any bank can assess per day; extending the Fed’s protection to bounced checks as well as debit cards; and capping overdraft fees at a reasonable level.

Illegal alpha

December 1, 2009

Here’s an interesting twist on the efficient markets hypothesis: if you can’t generate alpha in an efficient market, then all excess returns must be illegal! Christopher Holt has been talking to some anonymous types:

Goldman’s hubris

December 1, 2009

Bethany McLean has a big 8,500-word profile of Goldman Sachs in the latest Vanity Fair, in which she somehow manages to get Lloyd Blankfein to recapitulate the famous words of GM president Charlie Wilson:

The morals of bailouts

December 1, 2009

Sudip Roy has gone me one further today. I pointed out the contrast between the expected actions of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum in Dubai, on the one hand, with those of normal homeowners in the US, on the other: while American individuals are ceaselessly told that they have a moral obligation to pay their debts, the ruling family in Dubai is simply defaulting on its non-recourse underwater loans in accordance with the amoral principles of capitalism.

Counterparties

December 1, 2009

Beware sleazy broker David B. Lerner and anything he sells, especially if it’s called “Apple REIT” — Harry Hat, Kurtis Ward, Investimonials

Buiter comments

December 1, 2009

I am pleased, proud and honoured that Willem Buiter has chosen the comments section of my blog to make what is as far as I know his first public statement since being appointed Citigroup’s chief economist: