Felix Salmon

How Tina Brown is like quantitative easing

Nick Summers has found one reason for Tina Brown to shutter Newsweek.com:

There will be layoffs as the two staffs merge. (The incentive is to make those cuts from the Newsweek side of things, as the Washington Post Co. has agreed to cover some of those costs for up to one year.)

QE2 and the undead homicidal zombie market

I know this blog has been way too heavy on the QE of late; apologies for that. But Baruch has a fantastic new post up, which nails what I’m really worried about when it comes to quantitative easing.

Felix TV: Why QE isn’t working

There are things which could go right with quantitative easing. But on the other hand, there are big things which could go wrong too. And right now corporate America seems to be more worried about the downside than it is certain about the upside. Which is why there’s a real risk that QE is going to cause more harm than good.

Who deserves the credit for GM?

Andrew Ross Sorkin loves private equity.

Sorkin finally get around to responding to Malcolm Gladwell today, and he’s unimpressed. Here’s how he frames the question:

The rhetoric of tuition inflation

Let’s say I earn $50,000 a year, and a widget costs $1,000. Then my pay goes up 3%, while the cost of the widget goes up 10%—year after year. Would you say that the widget has been getting more affordable over time? Stanley Fish would. Fish is approvingly citing a new book from Robert Archibald and David Feldman, which he quotes saying that “for most families higher education is more affordable than it was in the past”:

The politics of QE2

Allan Sloan has a good point today: by implementing QE2, Ben Bernanke has become a politician. It’s an important development: for reasons I don’t fully understand, the debate over QE2 has divided along party-political lines, with the Republicans lining up against it and the Democrats attacking them. Globally, too, as we saw in Seoul, the QE2 debate is conducted at summit level, and this time the dividing lines are even starker: it’s essentially the U.S. vs the world.

Counterparties

Tina Brown is a hagfish — Gawker

“I’m wondering how much of the online audience is Walking Dead” — Jon Steinberg

The value of OpenTable

I’m a big fan of OpenTable as a service. I’ve made 60 OpenTable reservations in total, using both the website and their iPhone app, and I haven’t had a single bad experience: the resy has never been lost, I’ve never had an inordinate wait for a table, and it’s extremely easy to share the reservation information with my fellow diners. There’s a few things I’d like to see added, like reservations I’ve been invited to showing up on my upcoming-reservations page, but in general OpenTable does one thing from the diner’s perspective and it does it extremely well.

Video: Ben Bernanke, bubble blower