Felix Salmon

Gretchen Morgenson’s bizarre defense of Ed DeMarco

Ed DeMarco, the regulator in charge of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has many critics, myself included, who would love him to allow Frannie to do principal reductions where it makes sense. But now he’s managed to find a defender. In Gretchen Morgenson, of all people.

Muppet TV

You need this, after a day like today, I think.

Chart of the day, flash-crash edition

ZeroHedge has the chart of the day:

3079-2.jpg

What you’re seeing here is the price of shares in BATS, at 11:14 this morning. The white spots are trades: there are 176 of them altogether. They start just below the IPO price of $16, and then just fall lower and lower and lower until the stock is trading for mere pennies. But the key number you want to look at here is not on the y-axis. Instead, it’s the chart report at the very top:

Counterparties

It’s been a long wait, but we’re finally getting around to sending out Counterparties by email every weekday afternoon. The sign-up page is here, it’s just a matter of checking a box if you’re already registered on the Reuters website. (See, you knew there was a reason you gave us your email address.) If you’re not registered, and don’t want to go through that process, email Counterparties.Reuters@gmail.com (which is also our tips line) and we’ll try to add you to the list manually. This is very much an experimental work in progress, so all feedback is greatly appreciated.

Principal writedowns of the day, mortgage edition

It’s principal-writedown day today! Jesse Eisinger has uncovered a huge story: that internal analyses at both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac show that reducing principal on troubled mortgages has a “positive net present value”. That of course directly contradicts the testimony of Frannie’s regulator, Ed DeMarco — but it’s now going to be much harder for DeMarco to maintain his position that principal reductions would never help Frannie’s finances.

Jim Kim!

So that was unexpected: the next president of the World Bank is almost certain to be Jim Yong Kim, the co-founder of Partners in Health and the current president of Dartmouth University College.

Bloomberg’s weird Buffett spoiler

Bloomberg and Fortune had weirdly competing stories Wednesday on the subject of Warren Buffett’s “million-dollar bet“. The bet’s duration is ten years from January 1, 2008; Buffett is betting a million dollars that the S&P 500 will outperform a fund of hedge funds.

Larry Summers, the revolving door, and the World Bank

Remember Krishnan Guru-Murthy’s interview with Larry Summers in January? He asked about Inside Job‘s allegations that Summers was a clear beneficiary of the revolving door. Now see if you can spot a recurring phrase in Larry’s answer:

Get Counterparties by email!

It’s been a long wait, but we’re finally getting around to sending out Counterparties by email every weekday afternoon. The sign-up page is here, it’s just a matter of checking a box if you’re already registered on the Reuters website. (See, you knew there was a reason you gave us your email address.) If you’re not registered, and don’t want to go through that process, email Counterparties.Reuters@gmail.com (which is also our tips line) and we’ll try to add you to the list manually. This is very much an experimental work in progress, so all feedback is greatly appreciated.