Felix Salmon


The Time Mag paywall: it’s back, and higher than ever — Nieman Lab

Robert Sullivan’s fantastic story on bringing bus rapid transit to NYC. This can really happen, people! — NYMag

Why admire RenTech?

Memo to John Ioannidis: you’re popular with some extremely rich and important people! Sebastian Mallaby reports on RenTech:

Entering the age of default

James Saft today quotes the “six ways to dig oneself out of a debt hole” of Jeffrey Gundlach. Boiled down, they are

Sovereign default datapoints of the day

CMA Datavision has released its sovereign risk report for the second quarter of 2010. It’s based on CDS prices, and it makes for fascinating reading. It was a bad quarter for sovereign credit: 93% of sovereigns widened, and they widened a lot — by 30%, on average. Spreads in France, Portugal, and Spain all more than doubled, while Greece soared from 346bp to 1,003bp, at one point becoming the riskiest sovereign in the world, trading slightly wider than Venezuela. Only one country saw its CDS spreads tighten in significantly over the second quarter: Iceland tightened in by 17% to 330bp, making it riskier than Ireland but safer than Portugal.

Towards a Google Bank

Adam Ozimek has a bright idea:

Allow any company to become a bank with a very minimal regulatory barrier if they do 100% reserves on deposits. This means people will know their money is there whenever they want it, which will make the “bank” safe from runs, which will eliminate the need for FDIC insurance or heavy handed regulation.

Truth and lies in oil-skimming statistics

Kimberly Kindy has an excellent and very sobering report on the monstrous discrepancies between the various numbers being bandied around when it comes to the amount of oil that BP is able to skim off the Gulf of Mexico every day.


Quiggin’s Zombie Economics is available for pre-order — Amazon

How Citi “structured their business so that no agency knew what they needed to effectively regulate the company” — American Banker

The more you know, the better it tastes

Patrick LaForge was underwhelmed by his visit to McNulty’s Tea & Coffee:

I inquired about the roaster and was told with a shrug that the shop used an unnamed roaster in Long Island City, Queens. Presumably the beans had been roasted recently.

The ethics of owning BP stock

Value investor Whitney Tilson is long BP, and answered my ethics question in a Q&A sent to his investors: