Felix Salmon

Does more economic activity mean more driving?

Mark Perry is convinced that the recent uptick in vehicle miles is a good sign, economically speaking; Calculated Risk is not as convinced. Both, however, are working on the assumption that vehicle miles are an excellent proxy for economic activity as a whole, and that the more they rise, the better the economy is doing.

Opposing QE2

Jim Surowiecki has a spirited defense of QE2, and specifically calls me out as one of its “hysterical” opponents:

Why European debt defaults are necessary

Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs is now going around saying that the eurozone needs “solidarity,” and that Germany in particular needs to get with the all-for-one-and-one-for-all program, after getting itself into this mess by encouraging far too many countries to join the euro in the first place. At the same time, the survival of the euro, he says, “requires Germany to be not so noisy and aggressive about how other countries should run their economies.”

Counterparties

Early next year, a major American bank will suddenly find itself turned inside out. Tens of thousands of its internal documents will be exposed on Wikileaks — Forbes

The user-hostile AFR

Think of this as the web-publishing equivalent of Joseph Kosuth’s One and Three Chairs.

Goldman’s CELF-interest

The Epicurean Dealmaker has a very smart gloss on the CELF transaction I wrote about on Friday:

The president’s market report

One of the silliest yet most ubiquitous things in financial journalism is the daily market report. The Dow did this, the Nasdaq did that, lookee the dollar, or Gold, or the Hang Seng. Invariably a word like “as” or “after” is used to connect the market move to some news item of the day without quite coming out and saying that there’s a causal relationship.

Counterparties

Europe Approves Irish Rescue and New Rules on Bailouts — NYT

Can’t read the recap of the Spider-Man musical preview without wincing — NYT

The lessons of CELF

Jesse Eisinger has the story of CELF, which has some interesting implications. Essentially, Goldman Sachs took a bunch of leveraged loans it had lying around on its balance sheet, and bundled them into a CLO called CELF which it sold in July 2008.