Felix Salmon

How JP Morgan treats its clients: scandalously and in bad faith

By Felix Salmon
February 18, 2010

Judge Jed Rakoff’s January 29 ruling in the case of Empresas Cablevisión vs JP Morgan Chase Bank has barely been reported, which is a shame, because it sheds some much-needed light on how banks like JP Morgan really operate — and, for that matter, on the kinds of methods by which Carlos Slim has made his multi-billion-dollar fortune.

Counterparties

By Felix Salmon
February 18, 2010

Taibbi’s latest: Wall Street’s Bailout Hustle — Rolling Stone

Do you really want a smartmeter? — Berkeleyside

The Epicurean Dealmaker on Lucas van Praag. Nails it. Skip the NYO piece, go straight to this — TED

How the government fudges job statistics

By Felix Salmon
February 17, 2010

In the Marketplace letters segment yesterday, Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) took issue with me saying that infrastructure investment is an extremely expensive way of creating jobs and “costs a good $200,000 per job”. Just as well I didn’t use the $1 million figure here, which I stand by, and which was fact-checked by the Atlantic!

High-cost, low-return bank capital

By Felix Salmon
February 17, 2010

William Wild has a great little paper up, disputing the widely-accepted idea that the best form of regulatory capital, for banks, is common equity. It isn’t, he explains: shareholders have a strong incentive to maximize leverage and risk. They don’t make banks safer, they make them riskier.

Will the NYT paywall be set at $10/month?

By Felix Salmon
February 17, 2010

Ryan Tate has an interesting piece of gossip about a turf war at the NYT over iPad pricing:

Counterparties

By Felix Salmon
February 16, 2010

“Since 1979, mortgage brokers in California have had a fiduciary duty to the people they’re providing with home loans” — Time

The problems with hardship letters

By Felix Salmon
February 16, 2010

Planet Money got a letter from a correspondent worried about the hardship letter which is required as part of the loan-mod process:

Why market reporting should be ignored, part 912

By Felix Salmon
February 16, 2010

If you search the NYT for the phrase “Wall Street Follows European Markets Higher”, you’ll find this morning’s stock report at the top of the results list. Follow the link, and you’ll find the latest version of the report; the headline has changed to “Shares Rise as Worries Over Greece Ease”. But go back to that search-results page, and see how the story is described there:

Dead Bankers

By Felix Salmon
February 16, 2010

I was off the grid for most of the long weekend, which allowed me to curl up with a pulpy thriller for the first time in many, many years. I’m by no means an expert on the genre, but if you’re a reader of this blog and you like such things then there’s a good chance that Dead Bankers, a novel by Philip Delves Broughton, might be exactly for you; there’s a paperback version here if you don’t have a Kindle.