Felix Salmon

Volatility on no news

What do you call a market which rises on bad news and panics — as it’s doing today — on no news at all? The 10-year Treasury is now yielding less than 3%, the Dow’s back below 10,000, the VIX is over 30, and the Nasdaq is down 2.4% in a matter of minutes; French stocks have fallen more than 3% today, and in general the global risk-aversion trade seems to be back on.

Counterparties

Find out the interchange fee on your credit card — True Cost of Credit

ESPN.com traffic is up 70% over its traditional annual peak of online mania during the NCAA basketball tourney — NYT

The double-edged sword of low mortgage rates

Long-term interest rates are tumbling further today: 10-year Treasury yields are now a hair’s breadth away from breaking the 3% barrier. And where long-term interest rates go, mortgage rates are bound to follow. So it’s easy to see why the purple line is falling on this chart, which comes from Barry Ritholtz and which is doing the rounds today:

Holding corporate tweets to a higher standard

“NO,” shouts Joe Weisenthal today at Clusterstock, “The Supreme Court Did Not Just Strike Down Sarbanes-Oxley.” Well, of course it didn’t: it’s just an obscure auditing board which was deemed unconstitutional. So why would anybody think otherwise? Maybe because of this:

The G20 tees up another crisis

I’ve rarely seen as much unanimity regarding an important communiqué as I have around this one — an interminable 27-page effort from the G20 which only serves to underscore the fact that when they can’t agree on what to say, bureaucrats are very good at making up for it with astonishing quantities of sheer blather:

Counterparties

I review Ace Greenberg and Suzanne McGee — NYT

Scott Brown may kill Fin Reg bill — Reuters

Imagine CNBC in play — Philly

Must-read article on Reykjavik’s new mayor — NYT

Still asking: Who Smeared Dave Weigel? — VV, see also MR

Counterparties

Three takes on David Weigel — Ross Douthat, Foster Kamer, me

Alex Williams on the life and tragic death of Tobi Wong — NYT

Carried interest tax appears to be dead (for now) — WSJ

AIG’s Joe Cassano goes up in front of the FCIC June 30. Mark your calendars! — FCIC

The holy grail of high growth with low spending

In the ongoing debate over whether or not this is the right time for fiscal austerity, everybody seems to be able to agree on one thing: the holy grail is to be able to have your cake and eat it, by reducing deficits while at the same time accelerating economic growth. Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, calls this “expansionary fiscal consolidation” — but is it a chimera, or does it actually exist?

The good and the bad of Basel III

It’s looking as though the FT was, thankfully, a little over-hasty when it led today with a big story saying that the banks have won the Basel battle over liquidity requirements. A BIS spokesman (the BIS is the organization hosting the Basel III negotiations) says that weakening liquidity requirements hasn’t even been discussed, let alone agreed to. Yes, it’s likely that the banks will win some concessions at some point, but there’s a long way to go before then.