Felix Salmon

Larry Robbins’s bridge-traffic arbitrage

Bess Levin has got her hands on a spectacular letter to investors from hedge fund manager Larry Robbins, in which he explains what alpha is by means of an analogy to traffic on the George Washington Bridge:

Volume-based stock chart of the day, flash crash edition

Here’s the volume-based stock chart you’ve all been waiting for: the one for May 6, the day of the flash crash. Since the big spike in volume was concentrated at the end of the day, in the final hour of trading, the time-based chart squeezes a huge amount of activity into a relatively small horizontal space. The volume-based chart gives the crash a bit more space.

Those unpredictable bank fees

As Elizabeth Warren starts building the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, there’s never been more uncertainty and upheaval surrounding the costs and fees associated with consumer finance.

Counterparties

Gothamist blogs my bike-lane episode today so I don’t have to — Gothamist

Adventures with otiose trustees, RMBS edition

Carrick Mollenkamp writes today about Talcott Franklin, a lawyer in Dallas who has taken it upon himself to wage war against trustees — those impossible-to-find people buried deep within big banks who technically work on behalf of bondholders but who in practice do absolutely nothing.

More bikes means slower bikes

Rachel Brown has a fantastic little 5-minute film about biking up First Avenue to work:

The FSA’s foolproof method for preventing M&A leaks

The UK’s FSA has conducted an investigation into the way that big M&A transactions can get leaked before they are formally announced. Its conclusion might shock you, so make sure you’re sitting down for this:

The WSJ’s Goldman non-story

I’m generally plugged-in enough to various news streams that if there’s a big story one day, I’ll notice it before it gets splashed across the front pages of the newspapers the following morning. So I was surprised to see today’s WSJ, with its huge headline running across the top of the front page: “SEC Blasted on Goldman“. The story itself is a long one, and is the work of no fewer than four reporters, with a fifth writing an associated blog entry.

Zuckerberg starts giving away his billions

I’m with Henry Blodget on this one: whatever the timing-related motivations behind it, Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to donate $100 million to Newark’s public schools is wholly admirable — the best possible way to celebrate the news that you’re now richer than Steve Jobs. Silicon Valley is full of billionaires like Jobs or Larry Ellison who have been dynastically wealthy for a very long time and who have evinced little if any interest in philanthropy. So it’s fantastic news that Zuckerberg is starting out so young.