Felix Salmon

How and whether to fight insider trading

Jim Surowiecki has an excellent column on insider trading this week. He claims — without hyperlinks it’s hard to judge this, but I do trust him — that the increase in insider-trading prosecutions isn’t just a reflection of increased prosecutorial zeal, but actually reflects a real uptick in insider trading itself.

Counterparties: The revolt of prosperity

Welcome to the Counterparties email. The sign-up page is here,

What began as a four-person protest over the planned destruction of a small park has turned into a battle for the future of one of the world’s great economic success stories.

Chart of the day, billionaire edition


Many thanks to Peter Rudegeair for pulling this data from Factiva: it shows how often the word “billionaire” has appeared in headlines from 1984 to date. We’re looking, here, only at three publications: the NYT, the WSJ, and Reuters News. (And we’re excluding Bloomberg, which has its own dedicated billionaires section.) For 2013 the dark-blue line is the year-to-date figure; the light-blue line is what happens if you extrapolate what we’ve seen so far to the year as a whole.

Felix Salmon smackdown watch, cov-lite edition

Stephen Foley was clearly thinking along the same lines that I was on Friday: shortly after my piece on cov-lite loans came out, he published his own, coming to much the same conclusion. (But expressing it better: I love “the bearable liteness of covenants”.)

Bikeshare: Threat or menace?

Presented without comment, a few quotes from the WSJ’s “Death by Bicycle” video:

Regulatory failure du jour, overdraft-fee edition

This is a chart of US banks’ overdraft revenue over the past 13 years. It was growing steadily until the Dodd-Frank Act passed in 2010, at which point it dropped for a couple of years, but now it’s back on its upward path, and it’s projected to hit a new all-time high by 2016. (The source is Moebs, here and here.)