Felix Salmon

Moody’s ratifies interbank mistrust

By Felix Salmon
June 22, 2012

On Tuesday I explained why it was silly to look at what markets do in the wake of ratings upgrades and downgrades; today, markets are providing a prime example. I normally hate those real-time stock tickers embedded in news stories whenever a public company is mentioned, but it’s worth checking out the WSJ article on the mass Moody’s bank downgrade today, just to see the sea of green. Every single downgraded bank is higher today, in a classic case of the market selling the rumor and buying on the news.

Counterparties: Bailouts and money market funds

By Ben Walsh
June 21, 2012

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Why using eminent domain for liens is a bad idea

By Felix Salmon
June 21, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, Matt Goldstein and Jenn Ablan had an intriguing story: Mortgage Resolution Partners, a politically well-connected firm in San Francisco, was shopping to municipalities the idea of using eminent domain to restructure mortgages. Then, on Tuesday, Cornell University’s Robert Hockett weighed in, saying that the idea was a compelling one. “To solve a collective action problem, we need a collective agent,” he wrote. “That’s what governments are.”

The dangerous Gaussian copula function

By Felix Salmon
June 21, 2012

I’m not sure which is more flattering: someone getting the Gaussian copula function tattooed across his arm, or Donald MacKenzie titling his latest paper after my Wired story on that function.

Counterparties: What the Fed didn’t do

June 20, 2012

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Why Bernanke’s not doing more

By Felix Salmon
June 20, 2012

I don’t think there’s all that much difference, in reality, between the Ben Bernanke we saw at today’s post-FOMC press conference, on the one hand, and Mohamed El-Erian, criticizing Bernanke’s decision, on the other. Both of them say that Fed action at this point is a second-best solution to the economic problems facing the US: what we really need — and aren’t going to get — is fiscal, not monetary, stimulus.

Yuppies on bikeshares

By Felix Salmon
June 20, 2012

Last year, I expressed some skepticism that Washington’s Capital Bikeshare program would have much if any success in getting the unbanked on bikes. And according to Capital Bikeshare’s latest member survey, it seems that I was right:

How Jonah Lehrer should blog

By Felix Salmon
June 20, 2012

In the wake of the revelations that Jonah Lehrer is a serial self-plagiarist, Josh Levin declares that if you’re an “ideas man”, you shouldn’t be a blogger:

Counterparties: Jamie Dimon’s congressional testimony, in 11 tweets

June 19, 2012

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