Felix Salmon

Elizabeth Warren’s new job

September 17, 2010

Elizabeth Warren had a conference call with left-wing bloggers this afternoon, just after being introduced to the public by Barack Obama in the White House Rose Garden. She said that she first started talking to Barack Obama about a consumer financial protection agency in December 2006 — before even her Democracy article came out.

Teaching journalists to read

September 17, 2010

Every six months or so, The Audit, CJR’s financial-journalism blog, holds a breakfast to update interested parties on how the blog is doing. Each breakfast has an invited speaker, and so it was that I found myself at 7:45 this morning in a very posh Upper East Side club, being offered an array of ties to choose from before being allowed upstairs to take my seat between Nicholas Lemann and Victor Navasky.


September 17, 2010

Some Unsolicited Advice for Regulators — Economics of Contempt

There are 43.6 million Americans living in poverty — Reuters

The Bloomberg terminal wedding cake — YouTube

The stupidity of Comic Sans, it’s contagious! — The Atlantic

Flavorwire on author photos: “Who wouldn’t trust someone who likes a good couch sitting now and then?” — Flavorwire

Appointing Warren

September 16, 2010

It’s weirdly depressing watching everybody scramble around trying to work out what on earth the kindasorta appointment of Elizabeth Warren to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau actually means. As Ryan Chittum notes, the WSJ certainly can’t make up its mind: David Weidner says that Warren is being sidelined and that “someone else will make the final decisions”; the paper’s news story, by contrast, says that she will have broad powers.

Americans get more sensible about housing

September 16, 2010

Remember Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey? Well, Fannie has repeated the exercise, just six months later, and chief economist Doug Duncan tells me it might even become more frequent than that, in future.

The problem with investing in hedge funds

September 16, 2010

I had a fun time last night sparring with Cathleen Rittereiser, who brought along a couple of copies of her new book, “Top Hedge Fund Investors.” (Wiley, $60, but only $37.80 at Amazon.) Her elevator pitch was a good one: a lot of books have been written about top hedge fund managers, but this is the first to be written about the people who actually invest in hedge funds.


September 16, 2010

The Chase online-banking fiasco is continuing into this morning, at least according to Twitter chatter. The bank’s website went down on Monday night, was completely offline until Wednesday, and has been unreliable since then. And the response from the bank has been laughable:


September 16, 2010

Obama to name critic Warren to consumer job — Reuters

The razors and blades myth — SSRN

Not going to Eleven Madison for my anniversary this year — Black Von

US 10-year returns by asset class. Sobering — TBI

James Kelleher profiles a long-term unemployed worker who’s voting Republican and doesn’t want his benefits extended — Reuters

Blogonomics: moving markets

September 15, 2010

What’s the best way to monetize a blog? I don’t know how much John Hempton has made off this blog entry, but it’s surely up there in the annals of the most lucrative posts of all time.