Felix Salmon

How and whether to fight insider trading

June 3, 2013

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

June 3, 2013

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

June 3, 2013


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

June 2, 2013

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?

June 1, 2013

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

Regulatory failure du jour, overdraft-fee edition

June 1, 2013

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.)