Felix Salmon

Suze Orman’s bad investment newsletter

January 22, 2012

Jason Zweig has managed to get one of the weirdest quotes ever from a would-be investment guru:

ETF datapoints of the day, market-share edition

January 20, 2012

Conceptually, it makes sense that ETFs would be a winner-takes-all phenomenon. Expenses rise much more slowly than assets, which means that the bigger a fund gets, the cheaper it can be. And given that ETFs compete first and foremost on expense ratio, money is likely to pour into the cheapest-and-biggest funds, which allows them to get even cheaper. And so on.

How the taxi-medallion bubble might burst

January 20, 2012

Remember the sharp rise in taxi medallion prices over the past few years? I thought that the price was pretty justifiable back then, in October, although I did have my concerns:

Why Greece has the upper hand

January 20, 2012

Stephen Fidler makes a good point today: the difference between a “voluntary” exchange and a “coercive” exchange, when Greece finally puts an offer to its creditors, is largely semantic. Or, to put it another way, the only real difference is that in a voluntary exchange, you have the IIF’s Charles Dallara saying nice things about the Greeks, while in a coercive exchange, you have the IIF’s Charles Dallara saying nasty things about the Greeks. But the fact is that precious few bondholders who are going to change their vote based on what Charles Dallara thinks.

The hot-young-artists league table

January 20, 2012

Many thanks to Amy King at Artnet, who put this league table together for me, showing the artists who have grossed the most money at auction before their 30th birthday. (Technically, it’s total auction revenue up to and including the full year in which they turn 30.)

Chart of the day, FOMC laughter edition

January 20, 2012

FOMC Funnies v2.0.jpg

I was hoping someone would do this — and now The Daily Stag Hunt has come to the rescue. All I can say is, thank you. It turns out that if you’re on the FOMC, then being in a credit bubble is really funny!

Contingent liability of the day, force-placed insurance edition

January 19, 2012

The wheels of justice grind slowly — it’s well over a year since Jeff Horwitz’s stunning report on the force-placed insurance scandal, and only now does it seem like the other shoe might be beginning to drop, with the enormous monetary settlements that probably implies.

How much do Apple employees earn?

January 19, 2012

Adam Lashinsky, in an excerpt from his new book, says that Apple employees aren’t paid particularly well:

We’re in the dark about Wall Street pay

January 19, 2012

Today is a very big day at Goldman Sachs.

It’s bonus season on Wall Street and Goldman’s employees are about to learn their “number,” the annual object of obsession that makes up the bonus portion of their compensation. Depending on the number of zeros attached to that number, Wall Streeters will rejoice, buy big homes or quit in a huff.