Felix Salmon

Counterparties

Does Mexico make more from illegal drugs than it does from oil? I’d love to see where these numbers are coming from — Reuters

Where we went wrong in housing

Go read this interview with Steve Waldman, one of the econoblogosphere’s most thoughtful and intelligent writers. Here he is on the morals of walking away from your mortgage:

Moral hazard datapoint of the day

In order to believe that there was a connection between moral hazard and the financial crisis, says Jim Surowiecki,

More NYT paywall math

Gabriel Snyder does his own math, and comes to exactly the same conclusion as both me and Erick Schonfeld: optimistically speaking, the NYT is likely to make no more than about $35 million a year from a nytimes.com paywall — a small fraction of its digital advertising revenues. Has anybody come up with a bigger number than that?

Who values big banks?

The Epicurean Dealmaker has some stern words for those — Andrew Ross Sorkin springs to mind — who would say that there are some things only big banks can do:

A big change at Lending Club

Lending Club CEO Renaud Laplanche said something very interesting in his response to my most recent post on peer-to-peer lending. “Currently, the platform is ‘demand constrained”, meaning that we have more investors willing to invest in these loans than loans available,’ he wrote.

The US and UK regulators try to play better together

There’s a lot of blame to go round for the chaotic implosion of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. But very high up the list is the utter lack of communication and cooperation between authorities in the US and the UK: while panicked all-nighters were being pulled at the New York Fed offices, no one attempted to bring the Brits into the loop until it was too late. And given that the only solution was an acquisition by a British bank — Barclays — the failure to have UK regulators on board proved fatal.

Is the NYT meter really a navigation fee?

Jay Rosen says he’s “uncommitted” in terms of passing judgment on the NYT metering plan, but the broad outlines of his take seem clear: insofar as it’s a metering plan as that term is commonly understood, it’s not a good idea. But it isn’t, and we still don’t really understand what it is, so it’s still too early to judge.

A closer look at the Volcker rule

There are two big questions overhanging the Volcker/Obama announcement yesterday: will it be enacted, and if it is, will it make any difference.