Felix Salmon

Be careful what you wish for, Vikram

The WSJ adds color to the story of Citigroup’s flop of a stock offering on Wednesday. Citi, it seems, is deciding to blame the government, which allowed Wells Fargo to do its own TARP-exit stock offering at the same time. Treasury, of course, is having none of it:

Weakening derivatives’ super-priority

Thanks to Brad Miller for pointing me to Mark Roe’s excellent column on super-priority for derivatives in bankruptcy:

The Fiscal Times

There’s the serious, and then there’s the frivolous. The epitome of serious grappling with complex issues is Pete Peterson, and his crusade against fiscal excess. Frivolous, meanwhile, would be someone like Jackie Leo, who made a career of simplification as editor-in-chief of Reader’s Digest, and whose new book is characterized by Amazon thusly:

Counterparties

Hermitage’s short documentary video on the Magnitsky case — YouTube

The latest investor letter from Howard Marks — Oaktree (PDF)

What do the Copenhagen protestors want? And just how counterproductive are they being? — Foreign Policy, FT

California issuing

Who does Bloomberg think has the appetite to wade through 4,000 words on a single Californian bond deal in October? The answer is “probably no one” which means that most of the people reading Michael Marois’s article will read the first five paragraphs, conclude that California got royally ripped off by the troika of JP Morgan, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs, and move on.

Media relations emails of the day, Interoil edition

On Monday, Barry Minkow put out a press release accusing a NYSE-listed company, InterOil, of being “nothing more than hype”. InterOil has had a large short interest for some time, and it seems that Minkow touched a nerve, because InterOil’s senior manager for media relations, Susuve Laumaea, went borderline insane via email in response:

Which blogs does Jim Bunning read?

The NYT quotes Jim Bunning quoting “a blogger”:

On Thursday, Mr. Bunning, who has one of the most conservative voting records in the Senate, remained a thorn in the chairman’s side. He quoted a blogger in delivering his criticism: If the Senate confirmed Mr. Bernanke, the senator said, it would be like rewarding the captain of the Titanic for piloting the ship into an iceberg, not for getting everyone off safely.

Flyglobespan, holdbacks, and E-Clear

What was the proximate cause for the overnight failure of Flyglobespan airlines, which has stranded thousands of passengers far from home as Christmas fast approaches? Douglas Fraser explains:

Don’t invest in art funds

File this one under “you could see that one coming a mile off. The Art Trading Fund, which was doomed before it launched, doomed at launch, and even more doomed a year later, has finally failed: its liquidators are holding a creditors’ meeting in January.