Felix Salmon

Why bitcoin’s rise is nothing to celebrate

April 3, 2013

I’ve posted a very long piece on bitcoin over at Medium. Obviously, I’d love for you to go over there and read the whole thing — or at least save it somehow for reading later. But here’s the heart of the article:

Counterparties: The most profitable insurer in America

April 2, 2013

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Counterparties: Hoard of directors

April 1, 2013

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Annals of gender diversity, Pimco edition

April 1, 2013

Over the past three years or so, Pimco has been making a concerted effort with respect to gender equality and women’s empowerment. And this effort is being led from the very top: check out CEO Mohamed El-Erian’s speech to USAID last year, or his more recent rave review of Sheryl Sandberg’s book. El-Erian is clearly committed to overcoming institutional biases at Pimco and to ensuring that his company “employs, enables, develops, stimulates, and retains” the very best workforce it can — including, of course, the very best women.

Argentina’s desperate exchange proposal

March 30, 2013

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?

March 29, 2013

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

March 29, 2013

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Counterparties: Breaking up is hard to do

March 28, 2013

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How helium is like mortgages

March 28, 2013

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.”