Felix Salmon

How Obama wants to cut taxes on million-dollar incomes

8-12-10tax-f1-infocus2.jpgWhat happens to people on seven-figure incomes when they pay lower taxes on their first $250,000 income, but higher taxes on the rest, as the Obama administration is proposing? It turns out that they end up paying fewer taxes altogether: $6,349 less per year, on average. (See Thoma, Klein, Marr.)

The huge obstacles facing Murdoch’s new tablet newspaper

Rupert Murdoch is launching a new national newspaper, which will be “distributed exclusively as paid content for tablet computers such as Apple’s iPad and mobile phones”.

Regulatory arbitrage of the day, CRA edition

National People’s Action have a fascinating report out today about America’s big four banks — Citi, JPM, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America — and how they all seem to be able to easily obtain “outstanding” ratings on their CRA exams.


Teenager-backed bonds — Alphaville

The Problem With Financial Journalism — HuffPo

“Somehow, so far, Apple has gotten away with it, maybe because nobody’s even realized this feature is in there” — NYT

The limits of government debt statistics

The Economist finds some interesting common ground between Larry Kotlikoff, who thinks that America’s fiscal situation is worse than Greece’s, and Jamie Galbraith, who thinks that it’s really nothing to worry about:

Why museums need more art lending

Eli Broad hasn’t given up on his rallying cry, which I first wrote about two years ago:

Goldman’s gym tax

Social Workout has photos from inside Goldman’s spanking-new 54,000-square-foot gym, but leaves the most interesting factoid in the comments. It turns out that being a Goldman employee might be necessary to gain entrance to the gym, but it’s not sufficient: you also need to cough up a monthly membership fee in order to gain access to those standard-issue Russell Athletic t-shirts and gray shorts. If you’re a managing director or higher, the fee is $132 a month; vice-presidents pay $75 a month; and everybody else pays $51 per month.

Getting the housing market back on track

David Streitfeld’s NYT piece on home-equity defaults is so aggressively anecdotal, rather than quantitative, that he even says at one point that “the amount of bad home equity loan business during the boom is incalculable”. I really don’t think that’s true: a lot of very smart analysts have done a lot of pretty accurate work on that front. And Streitfeld himself belies the statement by including a pretty illuminating chart with his story.


Jeff Skilling’s legal fees might reach $150m, while Lehman execs are racking up fees at a rate of $5m/month — NYT