Felix Salmon

Why regulators should be tough on bank capital

September 7, 2010

John Carney today writes about what he calls “the deeper problem” behind the Basel III negotiations: “how regulators can assess capital requirements without a functioning market process”.

Why is HP suing Hurd?

September 7, 2010

What on earth is the point of Hewlett-Packard suing Mark Hurd? The mutual mudslinging has been decidedly unedifying to date, and now it’s certain to get much worse — and to take place in open court, to boot. With a market capitalization of over $90 billion, suing its former CEO certainly isn’t going to move the needle financially. And it’s going to take up a large amount of the valuable time not only of HP’s executives but of HP’s board members too.

Are hedge funds abusing bankruptcy?

September 7, 2010

Mike Spector and Tom McGinty have a big piece in the WSJ looking at the role of hedge funds in bankruptcy negotiations. They’re not fans:


September 7, 2010

Soros gives $100 million to Human Rights Watch — NYT

Diamond to be CEO of Barclays — NYT

“He says he can’t decide which is more unbelievable, the fact that there was a horse in the Apple Store, or that he didn’t notice it.” — Chimero

Will Basel III really deliver?

September 7, 2010

I very much hope that Die Zeit is right about the Basel III capital requirements: the numbers being mooted there are definitely at the top end of what anybody expected.

It’s a bad idea to regulate the art market

September 7, 2010

Anybody remotely attracted by this must be out of their minds:

The world lacks regulation of art securitization and art funds. With an exception of perhaps only India no country of any significant domestic investment market has a well defined regulatory framework for art funds… Well, as of this summer Russia not only has this framework but it already has the first pilot art securitization project on the way.

How the NYT sees bikes on Broadway

September 6, 2010

If you wanted proof that New Yorkers think of bicyclists more as pedestrians than as vehicles, all you need to do is look at this graphic in the NYT, which shows how Broadway is used between 59th Street and 17th Street. The lanes are labeled with only two colors: orange and green. Orange is vehicles: dotted means parked cars, while solid means they’re moving. Green is, well, pedestrians, or that conceptual combination of pedestrians-and-bicyclists: dotted means on foot, while solid means they’re moving, ie they’re on a bicycle.

How the US failed Afghanistan, finance edition

September 6, 2010

Bill Black has a detailed round-up of what we know about Kabul Bank, and where the US went wrong. He’s particularly scathing about this quote from Stephen Biddle:

When short sellers fund journalists

September 5, 2010

I’m as much of a fan of insidery media navel-gazing as anybody, but Cary Spivak and the AJR have gone way too far with their 3,200-word thumbsucker on the ethics of funding investigative journalism with the proceeds from short-selling.