Felix Salmon

Goldman’s Abacus fee

A reader writes in with an extremely good question — does anybody know the answer?

Did ACA know Paulson was going short?

Steve Liesman has got his hands on Paolo Pellegrini’s testimony to the SEC, and you can see why the Goldman case seems to be building up to the conclusion that ACA did know Paulson was going to short the deal:

Revisiting rent vs buy

David Leonhardt today revisits the great rent vs buy debate — something I was talking about on All Things Considered just this weekend. He’s also updated the excellent NYT rent vs buy calculator, which he uses to agree with Dean Baker that the point at which it makes more sense to buy than to rent is probably closer to 15 than to 20, if you’re looking at the ratio of house price to alternative annual rent.

Zuckerman defends Paulson

Bess Levin has a Q&A today with John Paulson’s biographer Greg Zuckerman:

Do you think even if Goldman had disclosed what the S.E.C. says it should have, regarding Paulson’s role, the investors would’ve made the same decision on it?

The Paulson letter

Both the WSJ and the FT have got their hands on a letter from John Paulson to his investors, but infuriatingly neither of them have seen fit to share it with their readers. So we’re left with a few snippets of direct quotes, and we have to simply guess at the overall tone of the note.

Counterparties

What on earth is Bloomberg doing hiring Ben Stein to write for them? — Bloomberg

Revisiting the Magnetar Trade

In the wake of the SEC charges against Goldman Sachs, a lot of people have been wondering whether Magnetar, or its bankers, might be next up in the SEC’s crosshairs. Moe Tkacik has been looking into Magnetar for a couple of months now, and I spent a lot of time on IM with her today, learning just what it is about Magnetar which seems to drive people crazy — to the point at which they’ll happily spend seven months on a journalistic investigation of the company.

Goldman’s unwanted super-senior position

Kate Kelly has the obvious answer to the question of what on earth Goldman Sachs was doing with that 45-50% super-senior tranche:

How the SEC cracks down on unethical behavior

Emanuel Derman has a fantastic two-line blog entry on the SEC/Goldman affair, which I can’t really help but quote in full: