Felix Salmon

The Winklevoss delusion

Jay Yarow is absolutely right when it comes to the Winklevoss twins: they’re arrogant, delusional hypocrites. According to this morning’s NYT piece, they want to relitigate their $65 million Facebook settlement because the $45 million in Facebook shares that they received are now worth only $120 million rather than somewhere north of $500 million.

18 questions for Martin Erzinger

M Schuler of Colorado leaves a blistering comment on my post about Martin Erzinger, the Morgan Stanley broker who bought his way out of a felony charge. It’s required reading for anybody who is inclined to believe Erzinger’s defense, that he fell asleep at the wheel, drifted off the road, and never had a clue that he’d hit anybody.

Manhattan’s rent-vs-buy divergence

You might be surprised by this: it’s counterintuitive, and acts as useful corrective to people who simply assume, when they buy an apartment, that the alternative is ever-increasing rent payments.

The behavioral economics of Mexican central heating

I love Damien Cave’s dispatch from Mexico City (elevation: 7,350 feet), which gets very cold in the winter, inside and out:


NYC should have declared, but didn’t declare, a snow emergency: “if they said we were getting a blizzard, it was a no-brainer.” — NYT

The evanescence of Twitter debates

Rob Beschizza has a very good post on the dynamics of the spat between Wired.com and Glenn Greenwald. For an excellent overview of the fight and what it’s about, I recommend Blake Hounshell. But Rob picks up on something else:

Housing: Ackman vs Shilling

It’s Housing Day over at Business Insider today, which is running duelling slideshows from Bill Ackman and Gary Shilling in the wake of yesterday’s dreadful home-price numbers. Both of them are a little dated—Ackman’s is from November 3, while Shilling’s seems to be from October, although it’s not entirely clear. Since then, prices have fallen, which would do little to change either of the analyses, but also interest rates have risen significantly, which puts a substantial dent in Ackman’s math.


Evan Hansen and Kevin Poulsen respond to Glenn Greenwald — Wired

Pork bellies are going the way of onions — Points and Figures

Wherein Nouriel Roubini, proud owner of a new $5.5M apartment, says that ‘Housing Prices Can Only Move Down’ — CNBC

Sob story of the day, Cat Rock edition

Today’s WSJ features the sad, sad story of retired churchman Fred Osborn, who might have to sell his family home. It only has single-pane windows, making it expensive to heat in the winter. And even after renting it out in the summer, Osborn ends up losing money on the old place. On top of that, his son has moved in, along with his four kids. If it got sold, three generations of Osborns would be kicked out at once.