Felix Salmon

The quiet victory of Basel III

September 14, 2010

With a full news cycle now having been and gone since the Basel III accord was announced, a few things have come into more focus.

Adventures in information design, WSJ edition

September 13, 2010

Last week, Justin Lahart presented an interesting thesis in the WSJ:

For American business, it has become a two-track economy.

While global players like industrial conglomerate 3M Co. and burger giant McDonald’s Corp. are getting ever-bigger boosts from their operations in fast-growing economies like China and Brazil, companies dependent on the U.S. market are hemmed in by recession-scarred consumers who are hesitant to spend.

The politics of pay on Wall Street

September 13, 2010

London fund manager Barry Olliff seems to be on the same page as Silicon Valley venture capitalist Ben Horowitz when it comes to paying employees.

Should we worry about the Basel delay?

September 13, 2010

Two of the smartest people I’ve met are coming out this morning with an unexpected (to me, at least) criticism of the Basel III rules.


September 13, 2010

Even in New York City, $250,000 is rich — WaPo

Woman doors & kills cyclist, then tries to leave for a baby shower. NYPost commenters pile on, blaming… the cyclist — NYP

How the WSJ magazine fails its readers

September 13, 2010

Lucas Conley’s piece on Ugg for the WSJ’s magazine is a perfect example of why the WSJ shouldn’t have a glossy, fashion-friendly magazine.

Basel III arrives

September 12, 2010

Basel III has arrived! The official BIS press release is here, with a wealth of information inside it. But they conveniently also supply this table, which gets to the core of the matter:

Let’s not bail out more subprime lenders

September 12, 2010

Gretchen Morgenson is absolutely right, in the words of her headline, that “Housing Doesn’t Need a Crash. It Needs Bold Ideas.” The problem is that the bold idea she’s pushing is not the kind of bold idea that housing needs. Meanwhile, she sidles up to a genuinely good, if not particularly bold, idea, but fails to connect her own dots:

Value vs momentum chart of the day

September 10, 2010

Chart of the day comes from the Bank of England’s Andrew Haldane:


What you’re seeing here is the result of two different investing strategies. The red line is momentum: every month, you do one of two things. You go long the market when the market rose the previous month; or you go short the market if it fell the previous month. The blue line, by contrast, is value: you use a dividend discount model, and buy the market when it’s cheap, and sell it when it’s expensive.