Felix Salmon

Linking would have prevented Sorkin’s errors

Joe Weisenthal is right to adjudicate the beef between Paul Krugman and Andrew Ross Sorkin in favor of Krugman, who clearly never said what Sorkin says he said. And that’s not the only error in Sorkin’s column. For instance:

Unsafe security

Matt Yglesias reacts to the tone-deaf military reaction to the horrific crushing-to-death of a 68-year-old woman by a five-ton military truck on Monday:

Security theater online

Mark Pothier has a well-written and compelling write-up of a great paper by Cormac Herley of Microsoft, which demonstrates that most of the things we do on the instruction of various IT departments are a waste of time. My favorite datapoint is that fully 100% of certificate error warnings — those roadblocks you get sometimes when you try to visit a secure website — are false positives.

Counterparties

Does incarceration make people black? — MR

Matija Grguric spent 7 months building Falling Water out of lego — Apartment Therapy

Why the Greek recovery rate hasn’t fallen

Peter Boone and Simon Johnson have an interesting take on the EU’s bailout of Greece: that it doesn’t in fact bail out Greece’s bondholders at all, since any reduced probability of default is more than made up for by an increase in bondholders’ loss if and when there is a default.

What was Lehman doing with Hudson Castle?

There’s one thing that newspapers can do and bloggers can’t, and that’s splash a big story all over the front page and just by doing so make it news. Newspapers like the NYT and WSJ have built up very good reputations over decades, and so if they tell you something then they’re trusting you to trust them:

Adventures in financial literacy

This is one of the silliest things I’ve read in ages:

As economists, elected officials and the American public ponder how to strengthen the U.S. economy by rebalancing the nation’s spending and consumption with savings and investment, an alarming majority of U.S. teens say they lack the knowledge to understand and effectively reconcile the two, according to the eleventh annual “Teens and Personal Finance Survey” conducted by Junior Achievement (JA) and The Allstate Foundation.

Ivory Coast’s bond exchange gets it exactly right

It’s sheerest coincidence that the UK’s new anti-vulture-funds law came into force just as the Ivory Coast was concluding its astonishingly successful debt swap. The Republic took all of its six defaulted Brady bonds, and swapped them for one brand-new $2.3 billion global bond due in 2032. And it got well over 99% of bondholders to tender their bonds into the exchange: this has to count as one of the most successful sovereign distressed-debt exchanges ever.

The search for Basel III loopholes begins

Patrick Jenkins of the FT has two great articles today following the maneuvering around Basel III. The big-picture story is clear: banks around the world are ganging up to try to weaken and/or delay Basel III’s implementation.