Felix Salmon

The fraught politics facing Lagarde

By Felix Salmon
May 24, 2011

To get an idea of the job facing the new head of the IMF, check out Patrick Wintour’s interview with Vince Cable, a UK cabinet minister who, perfectly sensibly, says that Greece is going to have to restructure its debts. Cable puts a positive spin on the idea: a “soft restructuring”, he says, with Greece staying in the euro zone, could lead to a closer political union.

Felix TV: The Ira Sohn conference

By Felix Salmon
May 24, 2011

It’s the Ira Sohn conference tomorrow, with well over a thousand people paying four-digit sums, and sometimes more, for the privilege of listening to boldface fund managers talk about their investment ideas. The conference gets a lot of press, not least from Reuters, but these presentations are not the kind of thing that individual investors — or even financial journalists — are really qualified to judge.

Counterparties

By Felix Salmon
May 24, 2011

Ryan McCarthy to Reuters.com! VERY excited about this — Romenesko

On McKinseyites, bullet points, and interview technique — Tumblr

Twitter acquires TweetDeck — CNNMoney

NYT social-media guidelines: “use common sense and don’t be stupid” — TBI

Are Warhol auctions being gamed?

By Felix Salmon
May 24, 2011

I’ve been puzzling over Sarah Thornton’s post on the Warhol market, especially as I recently had drinks with someone expressing a very similar view. There’s something here, but I’m having difficulty putting my finger on exactly what it is:

How to ethically improve your customer reviews

By Felix Salmon
May 23, 2011

David Segal’s Haggler column this week concentrated on companies which use Mechanical Turk to plant fake reviews — both positive and negative — on Yelp. “This is very sneaky,” he writes, “and it’s a continuing problem for Yelp, which is locked in a “Spy vs. Spy”-style contest with fake reviewers.”

Hidden bank fee of the day, wholesale FX edition

By Felix Salmon
May 23, 2011

The WSJ has done a great public service today with its analysis of BNY Mellon’s forex pricing, nicely summed up in this chart:

Ben Stein Watch, penny-stock edition

By Felix Salmon
May 23, 2011

In 2004, Ben Stein wrote a thin book called How to Ruin Your Financial Life, a collection of short sarcastic chapters giving extremely bad advice. Chapter 32 is entitled “Invest in Penny Stocks”, and it aims directly at the purveyors of “advice” about the same:

Counterparties

By Felix Salmon
May 23, 2011

Business Insider now doing 2,380 posts per week — Covestor

“City Hall admits to the mistake, and adds that there are no plans to bring porta-potties to the 9/11 memorial site” — Gothamist

The LinkedIn IPO debate

By Felix Salmon
May 23, 2011

In the blue corner, we have Joe Nocera and Henry Blodget (twice). In the red corner, there’s The Epicurean Dealmaker (twice), with The Analyst as cornerman. The debate centers on the fact that the shares LinkedIn sold Thursday are worth hundreds of millions of dollars more than LinkedIn received from its bankers. To Nocera and Blodget, the conclusion is clear: LinkedIn’s bankers screwed the company out of that money, giving it instead to their favored buy-side clients.