Felix Salmon

Bite-sized video

I’m experimenting with adding a bit of video to this here blog, do you think it’s a good idea? Here’s a couple of bite-sized snacks I recorded this afternoon: the first one’s on why it’s a good idea to get out of the stock market right now, and the second one’s on Greece, and how it’s a harbinger of other sovereign debt crises to come.

El-Erian on Greece and its consequences

Mohamed El-Erian is fast becoming the biggest and most important bear in the world when it comes to the consequences of the Greece crisis:

Deconstructing the crash

Bloomberg’s Nina Mehta and Chris Nagi have an excellent explanation of the role of fragmented exchanges in yesterday’s market crash. The upshot is that something which was meant to make trading safer in fact made it more dangerous, just like portfolio insurance in 1987. And the background is the way in which the big two exchanges just aren’t as big as they used to be, at least on a relative basis:

Jobs come back, along with unemployment

The payrolls report this morning was good: it feels churlish to throw cold water on the news that 290,000 more people are working now than a month ago.


Update on tape revelations of stormy Copenhagen leader smackdown — now with Obama Admin response — NYT

How a market crashes

How can the market go, on a random Thursday afternoon, completely insane? The story which is emerging centers on old, boring Procter & Gamble, as can be seen in the PG chart from this afternoon.

Volatility returns

Ah, volatility. Suddenly, at 2:30pm this afternoon, the US stock market decided it was going to fall off a cliff, and the Dow promptly proceeded to drop about 700 points in the space of mere minutes, before bouncing back up. This is pure market craziness: if any journalist tries to blame “worries about Greece” or anything like that, ignore them — insofar as there’s a simple explanation, it’s probably something to do with a dodgy feed on Procter & Gamble’s stock price, which fed directly into the Dow, and caused a brief spell of utter panic.

The Goldman Wells puzzle

I can understand the trading-desk mentality which went into the Abacus deal. What puzzles me more is Goldman’s incredible secrecy when it came to disclosure that it had received a Wells notice:


Goldman’s outside directors got an average of $298,000 each in 2008. How much would a non-executive chairman make? — Reuters