Felix Salmon

Argentina’s desperate exchange proposal

Argentina has done as the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ordered, and has now formally put forward its proposal for paying off Elliott Associates and the other bondholders suing it in New York court.

Could Cyprus go the way of Ecuador?

A small country which has adopted a major global currency finds itself with massive debts and insolvent banks. Its only real hope is that it controls areas rich in hydrocarbons; the problem is that it has neither the wealth nor the expertise to exploit those hydrocarbons on its own. The result: it ends up essentially selling itself to an omnivorous global superpower which is interested only in access to resources rather than in domestic economic growth and prosperity.

Counterparties: Easter links

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Counterparties: Breaking up is hard to do

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How helium is like mortgages

John Kemp might just have delivered the perfect John Kemp column yesterday: 1,700 words on an obscure commodity you probably didn’t even realize was a commodity. In this case, it’s a noble gas: the Federal Helium Reserve (yes, there’s a Federal Helium Reserve) is at risk of imminent shutdown, which in turn threatens everything from the semiconductor industry to MRI scanners. Already, at least one particle accelerator had to delay operations “because of problems obtaining fresh supplies of helium.”

Counterparties: Cyprus births controls

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Paywalls rise

It’s paywall season right now: the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Telegraph, the Sun — all have recently announced plans to erect paywalls in an attempt to extract subscription revenues from their most loyal online readers. And other paywalls are being tweaked: the NYT paywall is getting less porous, while Andrew Sullivan’s is being tightened up, with a new $2/month option to complement the existing $20/year price point.

Counterparties: Kicking the kickback habit

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Counterparties: Dude, you’re getting a bidding war

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