Felix Salmon

What the decline of stocks means for you

Tim Duy asks me whether “the public is being pushed into a retirement dead end,” and “how the average investor should manage their 401k plans in this environment.” I have two answers to this; one’s facile and the other’s quite important.


Is it true that the South Street Seaport Museum has closed down Bowne & Co after 182 years? I very much hope not.

Why you can’t see great video

I spent a large chunk of Saturday looking at The Clock. Christian Marclay’s video masterpiece is currently on show at the Paula Cooper gallery in New York, and is also part of the British Art Show, which is touring the UK and will open in London on Wednesday.

Pimco datapoints of the day

Pimco’s $240 billion Total Return Fund is, by most measures, the largest fund in the world. A handful of sovereign wealth funds are larger, but none of them trade nearly as actively or aggressively as Bill Gross. Check out these two datapoints: in August 2010, the fund was 51% invested in US Treasuries. By January 2011, that number had declined to 12%. Which means that the Total Return Fund on its own liquidated over $90 billion in Treasury securities over the space of five months.

Why the stock market is increasingly irrelevant

I’m sad that my NYT op-ed on the decline of stock exchanges went to press too late to include the bonkers rhetoric emanating from Chuck Schumer:


Nathan Myhrvold’s 30-course tasting menu — WSJ

About 6.2% of potential female births are aborted in India because ultrasound reveals the sex. That’s 480,000/year — Bristol University [PDF]

The decline of the public stock market

That was quick! Barely had my NYT op-ed on the decline of public stock exchanges hit the web this evening than Ira Stoll was ready with a trenchant reply.

Should bankers fly to China?

The advantage of being pseudonymous is that you can be honest. Here’s TED:

The most egregious example was the time I had to fly 18 hours, on short notice, from a mid-sized European city to Beijing for a two-hour pitch and fly right back to London for business the next day. In terms of cost-effectiveness, best use of senior bankers’ time, and sheer expense, this was pretty ludicrous.

How an investment banker thinks about cricket

Anshu Jain — yes, that Anshu Jain — has filed a lovely column for Newsweek on the subject of the cricket World Cup. Even as a magazine writer, he still behaves like the investment banker he is: