Felix Salmon

The problem with Netflix

By Felix Salmon
April 24, 2012

Nick Thompson today asks whether Netflix is doomed, and gives a fantastic potted history of how the company managed to pivot from being a wonderful DVD-by-mail company to being a clumsy digital-platform play.

Was Walmart’s ethics policy part of the problem?

By Felix Salmon
April 24, 2012

Back in November 2006, Eduardo Castro-Wright, who was then the US president of Walmart, dispatched the company’s jet to pick up marketing head Julie Roehm in Chicago. She arrived late, in an ice storm, but made it in to the Walmart headquarters, where Castro-Wright started grilling her on the agency review process: how she had picked DraftFCB as the agency which would take over Walmart’s $1 billion-per-year account. Roehm had interviewed some 30 agencies before settling on Draft; the questions centered on whether she had allowed any of those agencies to pay for dinner while she was talking to them, and whether she had accepted a lift in the car of any of the agencies’ CEOs.

Could the NYT make money from its scoops?

By Felix Salmon
April 24, 2012

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the NYT’s Walmart exposé this weekend is that it was such a surprise to the market. Note this, for instance:

Walmexgate’s fallout

By Ben Walsh
April 23, 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. Send suggestions, story tips and complaints to Counterparties.Reuters@gmail.com

Argentina vs Elliott: It’s not about pari passu any more

By Felix Salmon
April 23, 2012

Earlier this month I wrote about Argentina, Elliott, and the pari passu war — the legal fight between New York hedge funds and the country of Argentina over bonds which Argentina defaulted on almost a decade ago.

Let’s not worry about fake online drugs

By Felix Salmon
April 23, 2012

Roger Bate has a curious op-ed in the NYT today. He’s the lead author on a study which bought 370 drug samples from 41 online pharmacies around the world, and then tested their authenticity. The results? With the exception of Viagra bought from non-verified websites, every single drug was 100% authentic. But you’d never guess that from his op-ed:

What does the Walmex corruption scandal mean for Banco Walmart?

By Felix Salmon
April 21, 2012

David Barstow’s explosive 7,600-word investigation of corruption at Wal-Mart is required reading this weekend. I’m not going to attempt to summarize the whole thing, but basically Eduardo Castro-Wright, currently Wal-Mart’s vice-chairman, oversaw a culture of bribery when he was CEO of Walmex. And when a key player in that bribery scheme blew the whistle, Walmart in Bentonville buried the investigation, and didn’t report anything to the authorities in either Mexico or the US.

Counterparties: Catch and release, board of directors edition

By Ben Walsh
April 20, 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. Send suggestions, story tips and complaints to Counterparties.Reuters@gmail.com

How Pete Peterson is driving the fiscal consensus

By Felix Salmon
April 20, 2012

Trudy Lieberman has a good post at CJR on the “surprisingly broad consensus” around the need to reduce the fiscal deficit in general, and to take aim at Social Security in particular. “Social Security,” she writes, “is the one issue on which the electorate is not divided” — but that hasn’t stopped a bipartisan group of Washington grandees from preaching doom whenever it is brought up.