Felix Salmon


“I wonder what a company would look like if you optimized around creating as many jobs as possible, instead of as few” — Noah Brier

The false promise of compound interest

A loyal reader on the sell side emails to object in strenuous terms to my contention that, when it comes to saving for retirement, “by far the most important number is the total sum of dollars that you’ve put into your retirement funds over time; the annualized rate of return on those dollars is secondary”.

The for-profit microfinance debate

In which Matthew Bishop of the Economist schools me on the benefits of for-profit microfinance. For background, start with my post on why you shouldn’t invest in microfinance, and then my more recent post on what’s going on in Andhra Pradesh. Then check out Matthew’s post defending for-profit microfinance, my reply to Matthew, and — if you want more still — his reply to my reply. Matthew hasn’t succeeded in changing my mind, but he does give the best argument against my position that I’ve heard.

The muni loan market emerges

When I was worrying about munis last week, I said that “the amounts here are far too big for states to go to the loan market instead: if investors won’t buy bonds, banks won’t lend the states the money they need.”

Kabulbank datapoint of the day

Back when we last checked in on Kabulbank, no one really knew how big the hole there was, and the government was still saying that it was solvent. But now Dexter Filkins has some concrete numbers, and they’re insanely huge:


Wherein Chris Harris burns his bridges with Ferrari in a most entertaining manner — Jalopnik

Bankruptcy charts of the day

This chart comes from the official news release on US bankruptcy filings in 2010:

Duncan Niederauer’s English-German phrasebook

NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer doesn’t speak German, despite the fact that he was a Grand Marshal in the 2008 German-American Steuben Parade of New York. So we at Reuters (with many thanks a certain very senior editor who shall remain nameless) thought we’d help him out with a few phrases which might come in handy:

Art as an investable asset class

I sat down last week with Noah Horowitz and Marion Maneker to talk about art as an investable asset class.