Felix Salmon

How to solve the fiscal dilemma

How should governments deal with enormous budget deficits? In Europe, the playbook seems to be clear: announce enormous budget cuts (see Germany, UK) only to be told that they’re still not big enough.

Counterparties

The silly and pointless lengths to which “airport security” will go — Nature

Interchange fees: The latest salvo

Tyler Cowen and Matt Yglesias have not had time to read Todd Zywicki’s 63-page paper on interchange fees; it certainly doesn’t need to be nearly as long as it is. But the fact is that you don’t need to read all that far past the abstract to realize how silly and contentious it is.

Goldman’s Washington relations hit a new low

Goldman Sachs has lost another $2 billion in market capitalization today, as the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission lashes out at its “you want documents? We’ll give you documents” approach to cooperating with the government:

Helen Thomas, Christopher Hitchens, and being wrong

The forced retirement of Helen Thomas is further proof, if any were needed, that it’s still unacceptable, in public discourse, to be wrong in one’s opinions. I find that sad.

Hungary: The Hungarian view

Was the Hungary-related market swoon on Friday the result of misguided naivete on the part of investors who really have no idea how to parse statements from Hungarian politicians? Erik D’Amato, in Budapest, certainly thinks so:

How Sequoia forced Tony Hsieh to sell Zappos

I just found Tony Hsieh’s astonishing book excerpt in Inc, entitled “Why I Sold Zappos“. It makes for very sad reading. Hsieh starts by explaining that he never wanted to sell to Amazon:

Some answers from AT&T on data pricing

I sent AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel some questions this morning:

1. Will you have “rollover megabytes”? If not, why not?

2. Why do the plans have to be chosen ex ante, rather than ex post? Wouldn’t the plans be much more convenient for consumers if they just automatically paid for the Data Pro plan when they went over 200 MB, but paid only for Data Plus if they consumed less than 200 MB?

Counterparties

Huge spelling bee controversy — WaPo

Company which refuses to hire the unemployed says it wants “to rifle-shoot the folks we’re interested in” — HuffPo