Felix Salmon

Media buyer of the day, Gates Foundation edition

I’ve been thinking a lot of late about brands and media — as have people like Noah Brier. If you want to build your brand online, the best way of doing so is not to rent media, but rather to own it. To use Noah’s distinction, you want a sustained product, rather than a temporary campaign. Here’s Noah:

Child poverty charts of the day

These charts come from the Census Bureau’s new report on child poverty in America. The first one shows how it has been increasing rapidly since the recession hit — the crisis might have been caused by Wall Street, but it has had its most devastating effects among poor and blameless children.

The return of obvious graft

It’s almost comforting to find a spate of financial scandals which involve simple, easy-to-understand illegal and unethical behavior, after all these years rummaging around in synthetic mezzanine collateralized debt obligations and the like. Three have particular salience right now:

Counterparties

Banks “are devising complex and potentially risky” deals to keep borrowing from the ECB — WSJ

California’s unemployment debit cards

On Monday, I wrote about the unemployment debit-card scandal, based on articles by Janelle Ross and Kate Berry. But Berry’s article has been down since Tuesday, replaced by a placeholder saying only that “an updated version of this story will appear soon”. And the state of California, in particular, was extremely unhappy with Berry’s coverage. So today I had a long conversation with the Californian department of employment development, trying to understand exactly what’s going on there.

Parking datapoints of the day

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Emily Badger has found a fantastic paper (not online, sadly) from the University of Connecticut. Authors Chris McCahill and Norman Garrick took aerial photographs of New Haven, Hartford, and Cambridge, and started counting up the number of off-street parking spaces over time.

Charts of the day, corporate income-tax edition

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This is a chart of corporate income tax as a percentage of total corporate profits, and it’s the main thing you should bear in mind when people start saying that the US corporate income tax is too high. And while you’re at it, you should remember this chart, too, showing corporate income tax as a percentage of GDP.

Counterparties

Evans-Pritchard: EU leaders are bypassing democracy to save the Euro — Telegraph

Ed DeMarco’s obstructionism

Representative John Tierney of Massachusetts is one of those politicians whose questions tend to be substantially longer than the answers they elicit. But that doesn’t mean the questions, pared to their essence, aren’t good ones. Here he is grilling FHFA head Ed DeMarco, asking why he’s refusing to consider principal reductions on mortgages.