Felix Salmon

Counterparties: China – Your guide to presidential bluster

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What would happen if investments in people succeeded?

Daniel Friedman has a question:

There are now a few companies — Upstart and Lumni to name two — trying to create a market where we can invest in people in exchange for a percentage of future income. If they succeed and reach scale, will student debt problems be alleviated? Will our future incomes be reliably predicted by newly developed algorithms? Will it encourage increased risk-taking?

Magazines vs digital startups

Simon Dumenco has a question: would you rather own a magazine, or a digital startup? He notes that some magazines are making real money these days, including Marie Claire, even as most digital startups fail. Old Media isn’t sexy, he says, but “a lot of magazines continue to be not only damn good businesses, but are doing better than ever.”

When Taleb met Davies

This morning, Nassim Taleb returned to Twitter, posting one of the technical appendices to his new book. And immediately he got into a wonderfully wonky twitterfight/conversation with Daniel Davies.

Counterparties: The Jetsons were Keynesians

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Eric Clapton, Greg Smith, and the art of constructing narratives

After a Gerhard Richter painting owned by Eric Clapton sold for an astonishing $34 million last week, Bloomberg’s Scott Reyburn called around for some expert reaction.

Counterparties: Fragile China

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Why keep Newsweek on life support?

It’s hard to make money in journalism, and even harder to make money in print journalism. But here’s what I don’t understand: invariably, every time a print publication fails, it announces that it’s not going to die, it’s just going to “transition to an all-digital format”. Newsweek, of course, is no exception. But this is supposed to be the clear-eyed, hard-hearted world of Barry Diller:

Felix Salmon smackdown watch, corporate-governance edition

Justin Fox is not a fan of the video where I take the Goldman Sachs board to task. Yes, he says, the Goldman board is packed with insiders and fails just about every rule of corporate governance — but so what?