Felix Salmon

Counterparties

Apple and Google likely in the bidding for Nortel’s patents, which could fetch $1 billion — Reuters

The NYT takes on the derivatives cartel

Back in September, the Chicago Fed hosted a symposium on OTC derivatives clearing. (Bear with me, don’t fall asleep just yet.) The luncheon keynote was given by Ken Griffin, and summarized by Craig Pirrong, who was there:

Gawker Media gets hacked

There’s some easy fun to be had with the information in the Gawker Media hack. It’s interesting to know that Nick Denton used the same password across various different sites like Google Apps and Twitter and that it’s an all-digit code which makes a pretty pattern on a standard number pad. On top of that, one user with a usdoj.gov address uses the password “parasite”, while another uses the password “Princess”; meanwhile, a NASA user has the password “pervert”.

New Jersey’s stupid parking-privatization plan

In cases like that of the Chicago parking meters, I have a certain amount of sympathy for the privatization argument. But New Jersey Transit parking spaces aren’t Chicago parking meters, and so I’m entirely in agreement with Yonah Freemark that privatizing NJ Transit’s parking lots is a very bad idea.

OpenTable and its discontents

There’s a very swanky restaurant in San Francisco called Coi (pronounced kwa). Its owner isn’t a fan of OpenTable:

Examining Larry Fink

blackrock.pngPaul Kedrosky loves playing around with word clouds, and generated this one from the new Bloomberg Businessweek profile of Larry Fink. It’s cute, as Paul notes, that Goldman and government seem to intersect. But it’s also interesting to see how prominent Goldman Sachs is — it’s the only bank in the cloud.

Mortgage modifications done right

David Bornstein has a great post about ESOP, an Ohio non-profit which acts as a middleman between homeowners and lenders, and which does a much better job of getting modifications done than banks and borrowers are if left to their own devices. He writes:

Restructuring European debt

Are we going to see debt defaults in Europe? Yes—and Barry Eichengreen has a positively crystalline explanation why. It’s a first-rate example of economic concepts being explained in plain, easy-to-understand English:

Annals of CDS manipulation, Goldman Sachs edition

A politician whipping up a storm over artificial manipulation of the CDS market? So far so boring. But this time it’s different: the politician in question is Senator Carl Levin, and he has explicit emails from Goldman Sachs (oh yes) which show bond trader Michael Swenson trying to engineer a short squeeze in CDS: