Felix Salmon

Lehman liquidation datapoint of the day

Linda Sandler reports:

Fourteen months into the bankruptcy, Lehman had paid its bankruptcy advisers $533.5 million, with $202.4 million going to Alvarez & Marsal.

The too-big-to-fail tax

Barry Ritholtz knows what he’d like to see in terms of a new bank tax, and I like the way he’s thinking:

The Sith Lord revealed!

Thousands of people have wondered over the years who on earth Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne was talking about when he started muttering darkly about a “Sith Lord” orchestrating a devious conspiracy of short-sellers. Well, Max Abelson has finally found out who it is, from Byrne’s lieutenant Judd Bagley:


Me, on NewsHour, on bank taxes. Complete with TBTF BofA pre-roll. — PBS

Windmill gone wild — Discover

RBS executives who have never earned more than £1m have this year been told they’ll be pocketing over £5m — BBC

Will banks pass on any new fee?

If and when the Obama administration unveils its new tax on banks, will the banks just turn around and pass that extra cost onto consumers? Matthew Yglesias and Ryan Avent both make the case that if big banks raised the cost of banking with them, that would be a feature rather than a bug. We want the big banks to get smaller, and if they become more expensive, then that will help shrink their market share.

Why do AIG’s executives suddenly covet its stock?

Paul Smalera asks — but, sadly, doesn’t answer — the big question surrounding AIG’s bonus compensation: why on earth are the company’s executives specifically asking for it to be paid in worthless AIG stock, when they already got permission from the special paymaster to pay bonuses with a special “basket” of stock that reflected the value of four profitable AIG divisions?

The Dubai mess

If you think that the Dubai situation has pretty much been resolved with that cash infusion from Abu Dhabi, think again. Paul Whitfield and Vipal Monga explain that nothing really has been cleared up at all, and that there are far more — and far bigger — uncertainties surrounding the emirate’s finances than most of us had suspected.

House-price chart of the day

This is my new favorite toy: a fabulous interactive house-price charting tool from the Economist.


Why iPhone OS is better than Android: coders aren’t designers. — Boy Genius