Felix Salmon

Regulation by litigation

Nelson Schwartz and Eric Dash win the Cryptic Anonymous Quote award for the kicker to their story on a possible Wall Street settlement which would include, essentially, everyone:

How PR people break the blogosphere

Mike Arrington has a classic Arrington rant today, directed at Fortune.com and entitled “You’re Welcome, You Bastards”. To cut a long story short, Fortune’s PR people got in touch with Arrington to flack a couple of excerpts they were running from David Kirkpatrick’s new book. Arrington agreed to all their preconditions (embargo, mentioning Fortune, linking to where the posts were excerpted on Fortune.com, etc) — and then got chewed out by both Fortune and Simon & Schuster, threatening to sue him for copyright infringement.

In search of an everything bagel

This morning I worried that a set-it-and-forget-it buy-and-hold investment strategy of any description is prone to failure — but at the same time it’s fair to say that the track record of people trying to do anything more active is unimpressive. So, in a world where stocks look far too risky to invest in, what should people do with their money?

How much information does Cuomo have?

Joe Weisenthal points out that we’ve diverged in unusual directions when it comes to the story about Andrew Cuomo investigating the banks over providing misleading information to the ratings agencies. He’s normally the libertarian caveat-emptor guy, but thinks this could be a big deal:

Pimco’s risk-filled global outlook

Mohamed El-Erian has released his 8-page summary of the medium- and long-term outlook for the global economy, and while there are few surprises, it makes for a most worthwhile read.

Counterparties

Jamie Galbraith explains that govt debt and deficits are a good thing, not a bad thing — Wapo

The CDO-prosecution bandwagon gathers more steam

Louise Story says that Andrew Cuomo, NY attorney general and would-be governor, is piling onto the CDO bandwagon, sending subpoenas to eight (count ‘em) banks, asking if they misled the ratings agencies when they were putting together their structured products. It’s a long article, and notably the substance of Cuomo’s investigation is left until the very last paragraph:

Negative equity datapoint of the day

NegEqQ12010.JPGCalculated Risk has the latest First American CoreLogic negative-equity numbers, and a scary chart to boot:

Should you be trying to pick stocks?

Tadas Viskanta reckons that we might be entering a “golden age of stock picking”. Why?