Felix Salmon

Still looking for a climate-change strategy

Initial reaction to my Climate Desk bleg has been pretty interesting. I’m looking for companies which are taking a serious strategic look at managing the risks of climate change, and so far I haven’t really found any. The on-topic responses I have received have generally fallen into two categories: “look at the reinsurers”, and “look at us, we’re doing a great job reducing our carbon emissions”.

It’s OK to close expensive credit cards

I’m a big admirer of David Lazarus, of the LA Times, but I think he was a bit credulous on Monday when he complained about the downside of closing credit cards.

Why inflation is worse for investors than default

Turan Bali, Stephen Brown, and Mustafa Caglayan have a new paper out with an interesting result:

Twitter datapoint of the day

Is Twitter becoming less social and more of a news feed, where people just follow celebrities rather than interacting with their friends? Julianne Pepitone of CNN Money would have you think so:

The payday lender CFPA carve-out

Binya Appelbaum has the latest news on the shape of the consumer financial protection legislation which is likely to come out of the Senate:


Carlos Slim is #1 on the Forbes wealthiest list, with $53.5 billion, up $18.5 billion in 12 months — Forbes

Why did Nick Denton truncate Gawker’s RSS feeds?

Yesterday, Gawker Media truncated its RSS feeds, and former Gawker editorial honcho Lockhart Steele immediately tweeted that “the only thing that excited me about Gawker’s RSS truncation was picturing @felixsalmon’s head explode when he heard the news”. I’m well known as a vocal defender of full RSS feeds, largely because of a 1,500-word blog entry I wrote on the subject back in October 2007. And so I asked Gawker’s owner, Nick Denton, what he was doing.

That stubbornly high credit card debt

Total credit-card debt outstanding dropped by $93 billion, or almost 10%, over the course of 2009. Is that cause for celebration, and evidence that U.S. households are finally getting their act together when it comes to deleveraging their personal finances? No. A fascinating spreadsheet from CardHub breaks that number down by looking at two variables: time, on the one hand, and charge-offs, on the other.

The perfect overdraft

What to make of BofA’s decision to abolish overdraft fees on debit-card purchases? Josh Duboff says it’s “kind of undeniably great”, James Kwak says it’s a good thing, and the Center for Responsible Lending says that it’s a GOOD thing. Only Kevin Drum spies a fly in the ointment: