Felix Salmon

The horrifying AAA debt-issuance chart

By Felix Salmon
July 15, 2011

This is why I love FT Alphaville in general and Tracy Alloway in particular: she’ll dutifully read 14 pages into something entitled “The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Joint Forum Report on Asset Securitisation Incentives” before coming across this chart and immediately realizing just how important it is.

Chart of the day: Where does the mortgage-interest deduction go?

By Felix Salmon
July 12, 2011

Check out page 44 of the Joint Committee on Taxation report on the way that household debt is treated for tax purposes. I’ve put the table into chart form, to make it easier to see what’s going on. Apologies for the rather weird y-axis on the chart: it’s serving a double purpose, counting total returns for the left-hand column and dollars for the right hand column. I would have done a dual axis, but I was having difficulty making that work in Excel.

More data on mortgage delinquency and downpayments

By Felix Salmon
July 12, 2011

Last month, in a post headlined “how the mortgage industry lies with statistics,” I bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t find good real data to compare to the massaged data which went into this chart.

How the mortgage industry lies with statistics

By Felix Salmon
June 23, 2011

Yesterday something calling itself the Coalition for Sensible Housing policy put out a dense 13-page white paper entitled “Proposed Qualified Residential Mortgage Definition Harms Creditworthy Borrowers While Frustrating Housing Recovery”.

Chart of the day, auction-house market share edition

By Felix Salmon
June 22, 2011

Randy Kennedy has a bullish article on Artnet’s nascent art-auction business, which is doing better the second time round than it did the first time round, but which is still tiny. I’m skeptical: value in the art world is very much reliant upon the institutional authority of auction houses and galleries, and Artnet’s auction system is designed to strip out all of that information. It can work for fungible editioned works of relatively modest value, but I do think that most collectors are always going to want a bit more hand-holding before buying art, not to mention the opportunity to actually see the art object before buying it.

The new normal is kicking the can

By Felix Salmon
June 14, 2011

Michael McDonough has this wonderful chart:

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Clearly the “new normal” meme is on the decline, and equally clearly “kicking the can” is developing a life of its own, having won the battle of minds against the cutesy rhyming phrases (“extend and pretend,” “delay and pray,” “fake it till you make it”).

Chart of the day, income-inequality edition

By Felix Salmon
June 7, 2011

If you want to waste a bunch of time this morning, I can highly recommend playing around with the World Top Incomes Database. Click on “Graphics,” and knock yourself out — the database has a wealth of information, going all the way back to the 19th century, and creates lovely charts on the fly; it will even export them in .png format for you.

Chart of the day: When U.S. companies IPO abroad

By Felix Salmon
May 27, 2011

As I secretly hoped that he might, Guan came to the rescue and provided me with exactly what I was looking for — and with Thomson Reuters data, no less! (It comes from SDC Platinum, I should probably befriend someone there.) I wanted a chart of the ratio of foreign IPOs to domestic ones, for U.S. companies, on a rolling five-year basis, to see whether the current level around 10% constitutes a big spike upwards. And the answer is that yes, it does:

Chart of the day, sovereign credit spreads edition

By Felix Salmon
May 18, 2011

Remember the Pimco chart which showed emerging countries trading through the G7? Turns out it was a mistake: Pimco was using the SovX Western Europe index, and not the SovX G7 index that it referenced in the relevant footnote.