Felix Salmon

Nick Denton’s paradoxes

I enjoyed my chat with Nick Denton at PaidContent 2011 today. He wasn’t shy about ducking questions he didn’t want to answer — he wouldn’t put a number on Gawker’s revenues, for instance, and he wouldn’t say why Gawker refused to publish that Scientology story. And to nobody’s great surprise he was still very bullish about the Gawker redesign — even after admitting to having made big mistakes in rolling it out, and even with the site far from being fixed, three weeks after the launch. I asked him about his bet with Rex Sorgatz; Denton said he’d recently offered to double the stakes.

Counterparties

Wherein I talk to Amy Eddings about LCD Soundystem tickets — WNYC

Is McKinsey & Co. the Root of All Evil? — Ritholtz

“Advice to Galliano’s lawyer: Tell the press your client was referring to another Hitler, maybe a hitherto-obscure designer of hats” — Atlantic

Roubini’s big muni report

The RGE report on muni bonds is very good, and I’m sad I’m not allowed to share it with you. (On the other hand, according to former CEO Camille LeBlanc, “pick a bank, pick a hedge fund—they’re probably a client.” So if you know anybody on Wall Street, they might well have a copy lying around somewhere.)

Tail risk in microfinance, Muhammad Yunus edition

On Monday, it looked like Muhammad Yunus was going to survive as head of Grameen; today, it looks as though he’s out. As David Roodman explains, it’s all very complicated and murky, but the base-case scenario is that everything will be decided in court, and that the courts will side with the Bangladeshi government.

When bonds lose their bid

A couple of big names are out with cautious bond market views this week. For the big picture, turn to Bill Gross, who’s worried about what’s going to asset prices — both bonds and stocks — when QE2 comes to its scheduled end on June 30. He has two main points:

Counterparties

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New paper suggests JPM’s Madoff profits almost double what was previously thought, $907m — SSRN

Be careful who you show off to, Rajat Gupta edition

John Carney asks why Rajat Gupta might have done what he’s accused of doing:

When Goldman’s board meetings leaked

Back in April of last year, I was indignantly informed by Rajat Gupta’s PR people that he wasn’t being investigated by the SEC, just examined. “This is an important distinction,” they told me. Well, it seems that either the examination subsequently turned into an investigation, or else that the distinction wasn’t that important after all:

Why states shouldn’t adopt defined-contribution pensions

Steven Greenhouse has a long article in today’s NYT about an attempt by the states to deal with their “strained” pension funds by moving to defined-contribution pension plans. Here’s the lede: