Felix Salmon


Chart of the Day: Who Votes, Who Counts — MoJo

“She offers no apologies for not paying her mortgage for 25 years, saying that when a foreclosure is in dispute, borrowers are entitled to stop making payments until the courts resolve the matter” — WSJ

Tax cuts, Oprah-style

The outlines of the tax-cut negotiations have finally come into focus: basically, it’s a kitchen-sink approach where Republicans and Democrats all get the tax cuts they want. The Bush tax cuts get extended for people earning more than $250,000 a year — and unemployment insurance gets extended, along with various tax credits. On top of that, there’s a 2% cut in payroll taxes, and the reintroduction of the estate tax at the Republicans’ preferred level: 35% of estates over $5 million. There’s even a nice new tax deduction for businesses making new investments. This is tax cutting, Oprah-style: you get a tax cut! And you get a tax cut! And you! And you! You all get a tax cut!

Can Rolling Stone claim Blankenship’s scalp?

Can Rolling Stone claim another scalp? Six months after ending the career of Stanley McChrystal, Rolling Stone published Jeff Goodell’s blistering, 7,600-word profile of Don Blankenship, the CEO of Massey Energy. Entitled “The Dark Lord of Coal Country,” it’s powerful stuff:

BNY Mellon’s massaged earnings reports

With Peter Eavis having left the WSJ, who will take on the job of poring over banks’ balance sheets to expose their crazy accounting? Aaron Elstein, that’s who! He pulls no punches today:

Chart of the day: U.S. taxes

Stephen Culp has another striking chart today:


This chart should be ingrained in the mind of anybody who cares about fiscal policy. The main things to note:

Bernanke turns obfuscatory

When Ben Bernanke appeared on “60 Minutes” in March 2009, he was immediately embraced by middle America and overnight became considered the foremost explainer of economic concepts to the nation. This time around, Bernanke’s much more embattled. And his answers are much less clear, much more political, and much more contentious. This is not how impartial technocrats should speak:


“The annual subsidy to the largest commercial banks is $4.71 billion per bank in 2005 dollars” — NBER

The NYT loves Jamie Dimon

I’m not a huge fan of Roger Lowenstein’s NYT Magazine piece on Jamie Dimon, which comes complete with a positively glowing cover photo. It seems altogether too sympathetic to the man — who is, it must be said, a good banker — while failing to make the point that we can’t regulate a banking system on the assumption that the biggest banks will always be run by good bankers.


Groupon/Google Talks End — AllThingsD

Craig Gurian vs the NYT’s coverage of the US political economy — Remapping Debate