Felix Salmon

Ted Stevens, Alaskan to the end

Ted Stevens has died at age 86, and the news is getting a lot of play this afternoon because of the very Alaskan cause of death: a plane crash. Stevens reportedly had a premonition that he would die in such a manner, and at the same time was instrumental in keeping the regulations concerning flying in Alaska as light as possible.

The Fed gives up on tightening

The big market reaction following today’s FOMC statement took place in the 10-year Treasury bond, where yields sank to 2.77% right after the statement came out, from 2.82% beforehand. That’s a big move by Treasury-bond standards, and constitutes the continuation of a longer trend: the yield was above 3% as recently as July 29, and we’re now well into yields not seen except during the very worst part of the financial crisis, when the flight-to-quality trade was in full force.

When urban broadcasters go prospecting for gold

Otto Rock, over at IKN, has uncovered one of the more bizarre prospectuses I’ve ever seen. It’s an attempt to raise up to $370 million in 8% bonds, with the money ostensibly being used to develop a gold mine in California. The mine will make lots of money, we’re told, because there’s a “proprietary process” involved, which “allows us to extract approximately 98% of the metals, compared to the paltry 20% by current day standards”.

Picking on Pyxis

Louise Story continues to talk to the SEC, and it seems that Merrill Lynch is now in the spotlight, and specifically a vehicle it underwrote named Pyxis. I wonder whether Merrill/BofA, like Goldman before it, has received a Wells notice and hasn’t bothered to disclose the fact.

Back on the grid

So I’m back from holiday — what did I miss? I even caught a fish, although it wasn’t a very big one; I can certainly recommend Arctic Wild and the Lodge at Black Rapids if you’re headed to Alaska any time soon.