Felix Salmon

The UK press vs the FSA

Remember the FSA’s hilarious attempt to stop M&A leaks coming out of investment banks? Well, the UK press certainly does. The editors of the FT, Times, and Guardian, as well as Reuters’s very own David Schlesinger, have written a “we, the undersigned” letter to the FSA expressing “profound concerns” with its recommendations and asking the agency “to reconsider and revoke” them:

Gasparino vs Roubini

Charlie Gasparino takes a swing at Nouriel Roubini today; I’m not sure why, beyond general unhappiness at the fact that Nouriel still gets a lot of respect both inside and outside Washington.

Sifma’s unhelpful take on the foreclosure mess

Sifma CEO Tim Ryan released this statement today:

“It would be catastrophic to impose a system wide moratorium on all foreclosures and such actions could do damage to the housing market and the economy. It must be recognized that the mortgage market, investors and the health of the economy are all inter-related. Investors in the housing market—including American workers with pension funds, 401k plans, and mutual funds—would unjustly suffer losses in their savings from these actions. Increased uncertainty in the securitization market would further constrain consumer credit and spending, dampening our already unhealthy economic situation. If mistakes have been made in relation to foreclosure processing, SIFMA firmly believes such mistakes should be corrected. It is imperative, however, that care be taken in addressing these issues to ensure that no unnecessary damage is done to an already weak housing market and, in turn, that there is no further negative impact on the economy.”

Gawker’s numbers

Ben McGrath’s long-awaited New Yorker profile of Nick Denton is out, and it has (unsourced) numbers:

The Congressional insider-trading non-story

inside.jpg The WSJ splashes the results of a major investigation on its front page today — so major, indeed, that it has its own ominous “On The Inside” logo. Clearly, a lot of work went into this:

Counterparties

More than two thirds of state attorneys general plan to launch a joint probe into fraudulent mortgage paperwork — Reuters

The bumpy New Normal

Mohamed El-Erian delivered this year’s Per Jacobsson lecture at the IMF annual meetings, and was very clear that the international community has failed in its job over the past year or so:

Horowitz defends HP

Ben Horowitz has published his first Siwoti post! That’s where you read something on the internet that is so wrong and misguided, you have no choice but to sit down and set the record straight.

The solution to the mortgage mess

As people like Mike Konczal and Annie Lowery try and explain the foreclosure mess, it’s worth stopping to think about a possible long-term solution to the crisis. And given the sheer quantity of insufficiently-documented loans, the only sensible and scalable solution I can think of is to swap out those bad loans for good new ones.