Felix Salmon

Germany’s beef with QE

Dominic Lawson has a good column on the way the rest of the world sees quantitative easing, and in particular German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Two quotes in particular from Schäuble stand out. Here’s the first:

What is Dealbook?

The NYT is putting a lot of effort into pushing the newly-relaunched Dealbook, or Dealb%k as it seems to have become. The site certainly looks very clean, an open-sided design with the same acreage of white space that can be seen in the NYT’s similarly-relaunched op-ed section.


The Oracle/HP feud turns utterly farcical — Reuters

Three great writers take on Facebook: First Aaron Sorkin, then Zadie Smith, now Alexis Madrigal

QE: Greg Ip answers my questions

Are you still confused about quantitative easing, what it is and how it works? I certainly was, and so I asked a genuine expert on the matter — Greg Ip, the author of The Little Book of Economics: How the Economy Works in the Real World — whether he could answer a few questions for me. Greg’s been writing some great blog entries on this subject at the Economist, like the one I linked to this morning, but sometimes you need to take a few steps back to clear up some very basic questions first. Thank you, Greg, for these fantastic answers! If you like them, go buy his book!

Disclosing economists’ conflicts

Gerald Epstein and Jessica Carrick-Hagenbarth have a 41-page paper out which gets boiled down quite effectively to its title: “Financial Economists, Financial Interests and Dark Corners of the Meltdown: It’s Time to set Ethical Standards for the Economics Profession”.

Why you can’t buy a unique house

It’s hard to sell a circular house: over the past year, the palindrome-friendly realtors at Weichert have tried and failed to move 300 Farmington Road at $524,425; $499,994; and most recently $449,944. But it’s still on the market, and the banks are to blame. Mae Ngai and John New wanted the house, had the 20% down-payment ready, and were pre-qualified for a loan. But it wasn’t enough for the lenders:

Did a rising savings rate kick-start the recession?

John Carney arrives at all manner of improbable conclusions after staring far too long at this chart:

Is the Fed engaging in currency war?

After the Fed formally announced its new bout of quantitative easing, the CFR’s Sebastian Mallaby lost little time in declaring the move a “foreign policy misstep”:

How to buy your way out of a felony charge

One of the main contributing factors to the financial crisis was the feeling of impunity and omnipotence which pervaded Wall Street. No matter how egregious their behavior, financiers knew that they would end up wealthy and comfortable. That, in turn, made it much easier to overcome their natural risk aversion.