Felix Salmon

How many insiders should sit on Goldman’s board?

By Felix Salmon
March 28, 2012

What to make of the discussions within Goldman Sachs about splitting the jobs of chairman and CEO? Lauren LaCapra has the story:

Counterparties

March 27, 2012

Welcome to the Counterparties email! The sign-up page is here, it’s just a matter of checking a box if you’re already registered on the Reuters website.

How Damien Hirst recaptured his market

By Felix Salmon
March 27, 2012

It should come as no surprise that the Damien Hirst retrospective at Tate Modern has caused editors across the UK to run articles about what it might mean for the Hirst market. After all, Hirst, more than any other artist, is famous in large part just because he’s expensive.

Sorkin’s disingenuousness on corporate taxes

By Felix Salmon
March 27, 2012

Andrew Ross Sorkin has a mildly corrosive column on NetJets’ tax issues today:

Counterparties

March 26, 2012

Welcome to the first official Counterparties email! The sign-up page is here, it’s just a matter of checking a box if you’re already registered on the Reuters website. Or you can email us at Counterparties.Reuters@gmail.com and we’ll add you to the list. (That’s also the address to send us feedback and story tips). And so to it:

Strange bedfellows: Gretchen Morgenson and Patrick Byrne

By Felix Salmon
March 26, 2012

Today’s story from Gretchen Morgenson, about Goldman Sachs and short selling, is notable for two things. One one front, it fails to deliver: Morgenson seems to be trying to make a case that Goldman might be guilty of naked shorting, but she doesn’t really come close. On a second front, however, it’s a great leap forwards for Morgenson.

The case of the $400 million bike lane

By Felix Salmon
March 26, 2012

Everybody’s favorite transportation geek, Charles Komanoff, has a fascinating new paper out on the economics of New York’s new Tappan Zee Bridge. The old bridge is decrepit, and needs to be replaced — everybody agrees on that. And the replacement is now in the works, at a cost of $5.2 billion. But does it need to cost that much? Komanoff makes a strong case that it doesn’t.

The avoid-brands wine strategy

By Felix Salmon
March 26, 2012

The best bit about wine is drinking it; the worst bit about wine is buying it. You walk into a wine store, or a supermarket, and you see hundreds of different bottles, most of which you’ve never heard of. And you’re then expected to somehow pick exactly the right one, in the knowledge that if you get it wrong, both your meal and your wallet are likely to suffer the consequences. So it’s hardly surprising that most people go with what they know, and end up buying something adorned with a well-known brand.

The problem of fake gold bars

By Felix Salmon
March 25, 2012

You don’t need to be a conspiracy theorist to find this worrying: a 1kg gold bar, certified as 99.98% pure by XRF (X-ray fluorescence) tests, turns out to have been drilled out and largely replaced with tungsten. This bar was discovered only because it was 2 grams lighter than it ought to have been: the forgers failed to add quite enough gold to the outside of the bar to make up for the weight lost when they replaced gold with tungsten. But if they’d gotten the weight right, it would probably still be circulating today.