Felix Salmon

Why did Nafta have no effect on banking?

When Bank of America bought 25% of Santander’s Mexican operations in 2002, it said that it was making a long-term strategic investment, both in Mexico and in the Latino market in the U.S.:

The interchange fee panel

This morning’s panel on interchange fees was a little bit frustrating, for me: there were lots of arguments, but everybody seemed to be talking past each other to a large degree. I particularly wanted to get into the argument, which was made by Todd Zywicki in his paper and also by Geoffrey Manne on the panel, that interchange fees were an important way of banks passing on credit losses to merchants. Here’s the comment that Zywicki left on my blog:


Twitter Links Won’t Count Against the 140 Character Limit — Mashable

If fancy words are so easy to look up, maybe the NYT should use more of them! — NYT

The demographics of housing bubbles

I like Landon Thomas’s profile of Ed Hugh, who has been blogging for as long as I can remember, and who is an indispensable voice in the econoblogosphere. Hugh’s blog entries can be quite long, and I love the way that Thomas distilled one key argument:

World Cup betting pools: The price of entry

SOCCER-WORLD/As the World Cup approaches, I’m sure that Reuters isn’t the only place where betting pools are being filled out. Yahoo has quite a tool for such purposes, although it does require that everybody has a Yahoo account.

Why the payments system should be regulated

I’m about to head down to DC to appear on an interchange-fees panel sponsored by the libertarian types at GMU. I hope they read Mike Konczal’s blog entry (and mine, of course), but at heart I think the disagreement is simply philosophical.

Corporate arrogance datapoints of the day

John Carney notes that Goldman Sachs is being much quieter in response to the FCIC’s subpoena than it was in April:

How mortgage default could get much worse

Brent White, in his tour de force paper on how homeowners are guilt-tripped into remaining current on their mortgages even when doing so makes no financial sense, notes that non-profit organizations setting themselves up as friends of the consumer are in fact part of the problem:

How Goldman deals with the government

Comment of the day comes from HBC, on the subject of the FCIC’s Goldman subpoena: