Felix Salmon

BP: Still not as evil as Goldman Sachs


I love this chart from BrandIndex, showing responses to the question “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, was it positive or negative?”.


North Korea: “If you don’t trade, you die.” — NYT

BP Spills Coffee — YouTube

“Something remains broken in America’s attitude toward wealth” — Economist

The credit unions’ fight against interchange regulation

Yesterday saw an enormous lobbying effort from the credit union industry; John Magill, the chief lobbyist for the Credit Union National Association, told me that there were over 400,000 “contacts” with Congress this week. He was on the phone with Harriet May, the CEO of a big El Paso credit union, GECU, and the chairman of the CUNA board. She was trying hard to persuade me that credit unions are implacably opposed to regulating interchange fees, which she was prone to characterize as “government price fixing”.

New Jersey’s crazy war on oysters

In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, we’ve heard a great deal about how companies and regulators are bad at preventing things which are very unlikely to happen. One only wishes that was true of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection — which seems to have transformed itself into the New Jersey Department of Completely Bonkers.

The FT’s experiment with paywalled blogs

Thanks to JDB for alerting me to the fact that the FT is now moving its blogs behind its paywall, starting with Money Supply:

Is Basel III already prompting bank sales?

The WSJ cites an interesting reason why BofA sold its stake in Santander Mexico:

People close to the bank say the decision to sell its stake in the business was driven in part by concerns over a proposed rule under the so-called Basel regulatory accord, which would increase the capital requirements associated with holding minority stakes in other institutions. The banking industry is fighting against the proposal, arguing it would make such arrangements prohibitively expensive…


Lindsey Graham’s climate-change U-turn (see update) — TNR

Nigerian spammers aren’t remotely this clever. But it’s still funny — Bronte Capital

Crossposting isn’t spamdexing

A rather angry commenter named IbexSalad reacted quite angrily to my post on Edward Hugh:

The ever-falling BP share price

With its latest stock-price plunge today, BP has broken three important psychological levels: it’s below book value, it’s trading at less than half of its 52-week high, and it’s worth less than $100 billion. The culprit this time around would seem to be the dividend. The company has been paying out a steady 84 cents per share per quarter, and that payment is now in jeopardy; as recently as last week, it seemed to be safe.