Felix Salmon


June 17, 2010

In which Seth Godin explains the Ace Hotel lobby — Godin

Yahoo Finance hiring “a small team of professional bloggers” — Yahoo

White House Fact Sheet on BP Escrow Fund — iMarketNews

Chittum on the FT on Litton — CJR

It’s broken to say “I’m broke” — Amanda Clayman

A 5,000-word Slate investigation into wine forgery — Slate

“What motivated him to throw a puppy at the Hell’s Angels is currently unclear,” said a spokesman for local police — Orange

Elliott Associates goes to Albany, again

June 17, 2010

Back in the late 1990s, Elliott Associates was embroiled in litigation with Peru. And it went to extreme lengths to try to collect as much money from the Latin country as it possibly could:

CEO succession planning: broken

June 17, 2010

If you make it to CEO of a major public company, chances are you’re pretty competitive. And if you’re that competitive, chances are you’re not going to stop being competitive just because you’re CEO. And if you’re CEO, there’s a very good chance that you’re chairman of the board as well. Put that all together, and you get one of the biggest problems when it comes to principal-agent disconnect: a lack of succession planning.

The FT talks up its paywalled blog

June 17, 2010

Robert Shrimsley, managing editor of FT.com, gave an interesting quote to Laura Oliver about the FT’s Money Supply blog moving behind the paywall:

The BP downgrade cycle

June 16, 2010

Quote of the day comes from Fitch’s Jeffrey Woodruff, in the wake of downgrading BP by a whopping six notches, to BBB from AA:

The stock-market panic abates

June 16, 2010

Here’s the S&P 500 over the past five days — days which have included not only the massive Greece downgrade by Moody’s, but also big new developments on the BP front: the oil spill might be up to 60,000 barrels a day, it’s setting up a $20 billion fund for claims, and is suspending its dividend.

Fixing bankers’ pay

June 16, 2010

I’m at a conference on the Squam Lake Report this afternoon, where Harvard’s Jeremy Stein has just given a very compelling presentation on the subject of executive compensation at banks. His bright idea is that you don’t regulate the level of pay at banks, and that you certainly don’t try to convert pay into stock, for reasons similar to those glossed by Justin Fox at HBR:

Fannie Mae’s unneccessary evictions

June 16, 2010

Last month, I badgered Goldman Sachs about the unhelpful, self-defeating, and cruel attitude of its Litton subsidiary towards homeowners offering an everybody-wins way of staying in their homes. That story had a happy ending. So if the Vampire Squid can do the right thing in these situations, what are the chances that Fannie Mae might be able to follow suit? I’m not optimistic: so far Fannie’s flacks haven’t even managed to respond to multiple voicemails and emails. And Goldman can surely move a lot faster than Fannie can, when it puts its mind to it.

Who’s going to pay for deposit insurance?

June 16, 2010

Tim Fernholz has the details on the new FDIC deposit-insurance cap: it looks like the temporary $250,000 limit is not only going to be made permanent, but will also be made retroactive, to cover uninsured depositors in IndyMac. And then there’s this: