Felix Salmon

Rattner’s rabbi

At the bottom of the NYT‘s long and fascinating account of the feud between Andrew Cuomo and Steve Rattner, there’s a startling kicker:

Quantifying the second stimulus

Michael Linden and Michael Ettlinger have a good overview of the cost in dollars of the tax-cut compromise, and its benefit when it comes to employment numbers:


Looking forward to seeing the video of the Mike Lazaridis interview at AllThingsD. I love trainwrecks — AllThingsD

Why banks don’t write in English

This is why I can’t wait for the arrival of BankSimple, or at the very least for some kind of concerted effort to require banks to communicate in English. It’s a letter I just got in the mail from Citi:

Should states be able to go bankrupt?

Jimmy P has discovered a secret GOP plan to push states to declare bankruptcy in order to avoid bailing them out. Like most secret plans, it was splashed all over the Weekly Standard in a piece by David Skeel, and it does make a certain brutal sense:

The NYT toughens up its paywall

Martin Niesenholtz, the head of digital at the NYT, clearly hasn’t been taking my advice when it comes to how to build a paywall. Instead, he’s pre-emptively cracking down on a tiny and financially meaningless minority of hypothetical readers who might want to find ways around his wall:

Chart of the day: California taxes

ARJTurgot2 left this comment on my chart of US taxes:

You are, of course, going to follow up this chart with a second one that comprehensively reflects the changes in State and Local taxes, especially including sales taxes, that have changed since 1950. And that data is going to include things like registration and usage fees, especially gasoline, telecommunications and sin taxes on things like liquor and cigarettes. I understand that is going to vary widely from state to state, so two, perhaps, should be instructive: say New York and California?

Why employees got the payroll tax cut

Greg Mankiw discusses the economics of the payroll tax cut, and raises the question of whether it might have been better used to cut employers’ share of payroll taxes, rather than employees’ share:

The $100 hamster wheel

Back on October 1, the Fed put out a short, bland press release announcing “a delay in the issue date of the redesigned $100 note.” Sometimes, there’s a great little story hidden behind such news, and in this case it was CNBC’s Eamon Javers who found it: