Felix Salmon

Germany, Greece, and the conspiracy of the technocrats

January 31, 2012

Der Spiegel has a long and meticulously reported piece on the state of affairs as it exists right now between Germany and Greece, naturally concentrating on attitudes within Germany. Meanwhile, Yanis Varoufakis has a much more Greek take on the same subject at CNN. And by far the most striking thing, here, is how similar the two pieces are.

Udacity’s model

January 31, 2012

Robert Reich has three very good questions about Sebastian Thrun’s new online university, Udacity, which I wrote about last week. I spoke to Thrun yesterday, so I took the opportunity to clear them up.

Freddie Mac gets paid to obstruct refinancings

January 31, 2012

Jesse Eisinger and Chris Arnold have a really good story about Freddie Mac today, a company which is preventing mortgage refis at the same time as it’s making enormous prop bets that homeowners are going to continue to find it hard to refinance.

Jackie Ramos vs Bank of America, part 2

January 30, 2012

[youtube width=”600″ height=”486″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=newQV-8cuTE[/youtube]

The Troika vs Greece

January 30, 2012

Are you worried about Greece failing to come to some kind of agreement with its bondholders? If so, you’re far behind the curve. Because the new big worry is that Greece will fail to come to some kind of agreement with the Troika — the official-sector entities which are going to fund its deficits for the foreseeable future.

Job creation in Davos

January 30, 2012

Many thanks to Vikram Pandit for so perfectly encapsulating the hypocrisy of Davos with a pair of big announcements, seven weeks apart.

Summers: “Inside Job had essentially all its facts wrong”

January 27, 2012

In mid-2009, I went on a search for apologies, from the people who laid the intellectual and regulatory foundations for the financial crisis. I wondered whether and when Larry Summers, in particular, would apologize for what he did at Treasury, and I was heartened when Bill Clinton came out and said that, with hindsight, he was wrong about derivatives regulation.

Why Davos is ignoring Occupy

January 26, 2012

If you’re Europe, and your struggling people are called “Greeks”, and your rich people are called “Germans”, then the World Economic Forum will spend pretty much limitless amounts of time and effort on attempts to understand the dynamics between the two and (doomed) plans to try to prevent it from turning into a fully-blown crisis.

Why Europe’s crisis can’t be averted

January 26, 2012

I got a glimpse this morning of what Lance Knobel calls Davos’s “class distinctions, even if you have a white badge” — I was invited to a breakfast meeting under the auspices of something called the Industry Partnership Meeting for Financial Services. Which reminds me of that great line from In the Loop :