Felix Salmon

How the Fed slept through Lehman

March 16, 2010

Andrew Ross Sorkin today notes that the Fed and the SEC didn’t do anything about Lehman Brothers, despite the fact that they knew full well that there were problems.

Will consumers be protected?

March 16, 2010

Color me happily surprised by the consumer-protection rhetoric yesterday of both Chris Dodd and Barack Obama. HuffPo has the best single overview of the bill, along with Dodd’s reasonably compelling explanation of why housing the agency in the Fed doesn’t mean it isn’t independent — and in fact helps to insulate it from the kind of regulatory capture which is endemic to regulators who are funded by those they regulate.

Magazines on the iPad

March 15, 2010

Wired’s design director, Scott Dadich, unveiled what the magazine’s iPad app is going to look like at a packed SXSW session this morning which was sold as an introduction to the “digital rebirth” of Wired in particular and of magazines in general.

The Big Short

March 15, 2010

After my review of Michael Lewis’s new book was posted on Friday, Sandrew asked for a bit more detail on this bit, about the people who shorted the subprime mortgage market:

Personal finance online

March 14, 2010

I attended a predictably utopian Banking 2.0 panel at SXSW yesterday; is it normal that most interesting discussion at these events tends to take place in the Twitter backchannel? Still, two interesting questions did arise, around the cool’n’webby financial services companies like Smarty Pig and Mint and Credit Karma which were on the panel: are they basically engaging in regulatory arbitrage, and are they also helping to entrench the too-big-to-fail banks in their existing market positions?

Whither Ernst & Young and Linklaters?

March 12, 2010

Blogging’s going to be light-to-nonexistent today, since it’s a travel day for me. But with all the renewed attention on Lehman Brothers (be sure to check out Antony’s piece on the report), it’s worth wondering what might happen to Ernst & Young, in the US, and to Linklaters, in the UK.


March 12, 2010

Kate Kelly and Dennis Berman to CNBC? — Mediabistro

The RSS debate, cont: Jack Shafer piles on — Slate

The full Lehman report — Jenner

The Breslin’s forkage fee — NYT

Was the runaway Prius a fake? — Jalopnik

NYU Law Professor Charged With Criminal Libel in France for Refusing to Take Down Critical Book Review — CIT Media Law

What’s the instability risk of CDS markets?

March 12, 2010

Kevin Drum has a couple of good questions about credit default swaps, and the final link in his post literally made me laugh out loud, so I’ll do my best to answer him.

Whither financial reform?

March 11, 2010

Many thanks to Tim Fernholz, of The American Prospect, and Taylor Griffin, of Hamilton Place Strategies, for helping me out via IM this afternoon to explain to me what on earth is going on with Chris Dodd and the financial regulatory reform bill. The Reuters headline says that talks have failed, and that Dodd is going solo, but in fact it’s not quite as bleak as that.