Felix Salmon

Should we care about euro/dollar?

By Felix Salmon
December 14, 2011

There’s a lot of chatter right now about the euro, which is now worth less than $1.30. That’s a reasonably big fall: it was as high as 1.3385 on Monday. But it’s worth keeping things in perspective. Here’s a five-year chart of EURUSD, or the value of one euro in dollars:

The dangers of De-Occupy Your House

By Felix Salmon
December 14, 2011

I agree wholeheartedly with Jim Surowiecki’s sentiments this week about strategic default and the way in which it’s entirely rational for homeowners to walk away from their underwater mortgages. But I think he soft-pedals the consequences of what he calls “a De-Occupy Your House movement”:

CDS fight of the day, Seat edition

By Felix Salmon
December 13, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, Floyd Norris had a column about an obscure European CDS dispute which — just for a change — didn’t involve sovereign debt at all. Instead, it involved Italian yellow-pages publisher Seat Pagine Gialle. Here’s how Norris saw the dispute:

Counterparties

By Nick Rizzo
December 13, 2011

Turns out Italians work more hours than Germans, the Japanese, or Americans — Ritholtz

How Alice Walton has improved America

By Felix Salmon
December 13, 2011

Jeffrey Goldberg is on something of an anti-Walmart campaign — and there’s nothing particularly wrong with that. There’s a lot of things to dislike about Walmart, including the fact, as Goldberg notes in his latest Bloomberg View column, that its stores don’t have windows. But having decided that he doesn’t like Walmart, Goldberg is attacking the company and its founding family on grounds which don’t stand up to scrutiny.

Counterparties

By Nick Rizzo
December 13, 2011

New rules may force Euro banks to borrow from their own governments — Bloomberg

How Vogue monetizes old content

By Felix Salmon
December 12, 2011

Conde Nast, fresh off its success with monetizing old New Yorker articles, is getting much more ambitious with Vogue, as Charlotte Cowles reports:

Central bank secrecy datapoint of the day

By Felix Salmon
December 12, 2011

I’ve moaned on many occasions about the secrecy of the Federal Reserve, which can and should be much more transparent than it is. But Bloomberg’s latest story on secretive Fed lending is a helpful reminder that while the Fed is opaque by US government standards, it’s positively crystalline by global central-banking standards.

Jon Corzine, rogue trader

By Felix Salmon
December 12, 2011

Dealbook has a big piece on what went wrong at MF Global today, which removes any doubt about the way in which the firm’s sudden death was entirely the fault of Jon Corzine. The idea that Jon Corzine was a “rogue trader” has been raised in the past by the likes of Bill Cohan and John Carney, just on the basis of the size and riskiness of MF Global’s $6.3 billion bet on European sovereign debt. But now it’s looking increasingly as though Corzine demonstrated virtually all of the pathologies of the rogue trader more generally.