Felix Salmon

The NYT paywall is working

Back in April, I was very skeptical that the NYT would achieve its leaked goal of getting 300,000 paying digital subscribers, and I put my money where my mouth was, entering into a bet with John Gapper. John wouldn’t bet me that the NYT would get to 300,000 within a year, so we pushed it out to two years instead. But he needn’t have worried, as Seth Mnookin explains:

Is it time to abolish the triple-A rating?

It’s looking increasingly likely that the US is going to lose its triple-A credit rating at some point in the next 12 months or so, whatever happens to the debt ceiling. And right now, nobody knows what the consequences of that would be: it’s never happened before. Paul Krugman is trying to put a brave face on things and point out that hey, sovereign borrowing costs didn’t rise in Japan. (Not, of course, that turning out like Japan is exactly desirable.)

How we got into this fine mess

For a clear, powerful, and erudite short take on the current debt debacle, there’s no better place to go than Jim Surowiecki. His main thesis is pretty much impossible to argue with: that the debt ceiling should be abolished. If Congress wants to cap the government’s borrowing, it can and should do that in the budgeting process, not with a saber-toothed ceiling which risks devastating the entire global economy.

Counterparties

DSK Maid Tells of Her Alleged Rape by Strauss-Kahn — Newsweek

The Norwegian shooter’s 1500-page manifesto — Scribd

All Gawker content is Creative Commons — Gawker

Hacking was endemic at Piers Morgan’s ‘Mirror’, says former reporter — Independent

Why tech stocks deserve to be cheaper than industrials

Many thanks to commenter buysidemetrics for finding this very smart quote from Bill Gates, which actually comes from a discussion he had with Warren Buffett in 1998:

The cost of patent trolls

I love This American Life’s investigation into patent troll Nathan Myhrvold and his company Intellectual Ventures. You should go read — or listen to — the whole thing, but in a nutshell, they explored what happened if they took Intellectual Ventures at its word.

Felix TV: The triple-A bond chart

I still haven’t been able to get an updated version of the triple-A bond chart, but I did manage to blow it up to six feet tall and do my best weatherman impression in front of it at the Nasdaq Marketsite in Times Square.

Chart of the day: Techs vs industrials

Techindustrial.jpg

Thanks to Larry Summers for suggesting that I take a look at this chart. It wasn’t particularly easy to find, but it’s quite striking all the same. (And thanks very much to Roy Strom and Van Tsui, here at Thomson Reuters for putting it together.)

The CDS market and Greece’s default

ISDA has made the right decision: the Greek bond default does not and should not count as a “credit event” for the purposes of whether Greek credit default swaps will get triggered.