Felix Salmon

Why bank deposits shouldn’t be an asset class

January 5, 2012

Amar Bhidé has responded to my piece about his proposal to guarantee all bank deposits.

Adventures with consumer lending, Missouri edition

January 5, 2012

When I wrote last month about payday lending in Missouri, I posed two questions to Stand Up Missouri, a lobbying group representing loan shops opposed to a 36% cap on interest rates in the state.


January 5, 2012

Bill Gross thinks we’re beyond the new normal and into the “paranormal” — Pimco

There’s a 25% chance Santorum won Iowa

January 5, 2012

Lost in all the press coverage of Mitt Romney’s victory in Iowa is that election results as close as these — indeed sometimes less close — are often overturned in a recount. For the Iowa Caucus, however, there will be no recount.

Why we shouldn’t guarantee all bank deposits

January 4, 2012

Amar Bhidé is a smart man with a very stupid idea:

We need to take away the reason for any depositor to fear losing money through an explicit, comprehensive government guarantee. The government stands behind all paper currency regardless of whose wallet, till or safe it sits in. Why not also make all short-term deposits, which function much like currency, the explicit liability of the government?


January 4, 2012

Hi guys, it’s great to be back! I missed you. Apologies for the extremely late post: I’ve been blogging the Iowa Caucus, which was just like Florida in 2000 but ultimately meaningless. Onto the links!

The richness of Twitter

January 4, 2012

I’m with Megan McArdle on the scourge that is infographics, especially ones where the sources are in tiny type at the bottom and basically impossible to follow. As Lloyd Alter says,

Uber and the cognitive zone of discomfort

January 3, 2012

If you spend a fair amount of time among privileged dot-com types, you’ll probably be familiar with Uber, a kind of luxury car service for the smartphone era. The idea is that you pull out your iPhone, punch a couple of buttons, and in a few minutes a swanky black car pulls up to drive you to your next destination. You get out, no tipping, and the cost of the fare is automatically charged to the credit card you have on file. Elegant!

Improbably unwalkable city of the day, Jerusalem edition

January 2, 2012


Remember the importance of counting intersections? Density alone is good, but not sufficient for a pleasant, walkable urban experience: you also need to be able to get from one place to another in a reasonably straightforward, noncircuitous manner. Cities did this naturally before the 1930s, but then urban planners started building cul-de-sacs and other ways of maximizing the effective distance between any two points.