Felix Salmon

Giving cash or gift cards

Go read Barry Ritholtz’s attack on gift cards, and then read Andrew Leonard’s response. Actually, don’t do either: you should instead take advantage of the fact that absolutely nothing seems to be going on today to go out and buy a proper present or two instead.


So you’ve caught a pirate. Now what? — Miller-McCune

Me, on financial journalism — BNN

Darth Vader rings the opening bell at the NYSE. Avoids cackling — Clusterstock

Berkshire’s repellent shareholders

Warren Buffett probably won’t be particularly happy with Mattathias Schwartz’s cover story in the latest Harper’s, behind a subscription firewall here. It’s another pilgrimage-to-Omaha story, but this one has a twist: Schwartz finds that Buffett’s folksy wisdom really isn’t the slightest bit contagious.

How to choose a hedge fund manager

You’ve heard by now about Steve Cohen’s appearance on a UK daytime talk show in 1992. The Post seems to think that the story is that he was sleeping with both of his wives at the same time; the first reaction from the rest of us was sheer astonishment that he went on a talk show at all.

The ontological status of gold

I was pleasantly surprised by the volume of email response I got to a passing reference to Kripkenstein on this blog — clearly quite a lot of you enjoy a bit of analytical philosophy! I went out to lunch today with a couple of philosophically-inclined finance types as a result, and, since I’m still high on Sichuan peppercorns and it seems to be something of a slow news day, I thought I’d put up a poll.

Authentic art by telephone

John Quiggin reminds me of Richard Dorment’s wonderful NYBR essay on Andy Warhol and the authenticity of his 1965 Red Self Portraits. While my blog entry on the essay was basically about non-profit politics and the art market, the essay itself was largely about the way in which Warhol reinvented authenticity:

The PhD in financial journalism

Did you know that it’s possible to get a PhD in financial journalism? Lennie Fuller does — he’s a former Lehman executive who’s now thinking of doing exactly that at Stirling University. He asked me if I had any ideas about possible thesis topics, and I thought in my bloggy way that throwing the question open might be interesting. So what do you think the big open questions in or about financial journalism are?


Alicia Keys and Stephen Colbert. Oh yes — Hulu

There are 4.22 Citi shares for every person in the world — BIG

The bizarre story of CommuterOutrage.com – complete with Pentagon connection! — Streetsblog

Reducing the shame of default

Steve Waldman has been doing a spectacularly good job of teasing out the moral and financial implications of homeowners walking away from their mortgage obligations, and delivers another great post today: