Felix Salmon

Those panicky markets

Alphaville has most of the datapoints you need this morning. There’s the European bourses, which started off low and basically haven’t moved all day; the FTSE 100 is now pretty definitively below 5,000 for the first time since September. There’s the flight-to-Germany trade: 10-year Bunds are now below 2.86%. There’s Libor, which is looking ugly and getting worse. There’s the euro, of course, which is now at 1.22. And, in case you want policymaker panic rather than market panic, there’s the proposed German short-selling ban.

NYT side door opens up again

Peter Kafka actually bothered to ask the NYT about how traffic from side doors (as opposed to the “front door”, which is the home page) would be treated once the paywall goes up. And he got a pretty unambiguous answer:


Murdoch, online: “Non-members who reach a story page are greeted by a Times+ sign-up and login overlay, obscuring the article; there’s no taster, no excerpt and no way that anyone will find those articles via search sites.” — PaidContent

Loebs and blogs don’t mix

Back in November, I had some advice for the Loeb judges: don’t start up a blogging award, it won’t work. They responded by making me a judge — not of the blogging award, but of the Magazines category. The preliminary judging was held in Los Angeles in March, where the shortlists were decided. Today, the shortlists were announced and I believe that the winners have now been decided.

Youthful swearing, cont.

Remember the Global Business Oath of the Young Global Leaders at Davos? Let me remind you: it’s a terribly silly and earnest document which begins with “As a business leader I recognize that” and ends with “This pledge I make freely and upon my honor.” In between is a bunch of do-goody pablum. But thanks to Ben McGrath’s wonderful Talk piece in the latest New Yorker, I now know that the Global Business Oath has a rival: the MBA Oath. This one has a few small differences — it starts with “As a business leader I recognize my role in society” and ends with “This oath I make freely, and upon my honor.” But it also has a big difference: it’s a book, which can be bought at places like 800 CEO READ.com.

Dangerous strips

It’s the headline which strikes you first: “Strippers Declare Inflation Dead as Dealers Revive Zero-Coupon Treasuries”. Ha, strippers. Geddit? But behind the headline is a very long and dry article about the market in long-dated zero-coupon Treasury bonds, which apparently are all the rage right now:

Chart of the day: The NYT and the econoblogosphere

Jeff Bercovici finds a new study which shows just how important the NYT’s business section is to its online franchise. Here’s the chart:

The politics of finance

It’s politics-of-finance day today, with The Big Money running an excerpt from Jonathan Alter’s new book, about Paul Volcker and Larry Summers, while John Heilemann has a big New York cover story on the relationship between Obama, Geithner, and Wall Street.

Preparing for bank downgrades

Mark Gongloff goes out on a limb today, saying that if the final financial regulatory reform bill passes in anything like the form passed by the Senate, “the rating companies will almost certainly lower credit ratings for some of the biggest banks”.