Felix Salmon


Nick Rizzo
Oct 28, 2011 20:26 UTC

Rogoff: There’s an 80% chance Greece leaves the Euro in the next 10 years — Bloomberg

How Berlusconi and Draghi will determine Italy’s future — Economist

Erste’s “possibly the first bank earnings release in history to tout a complete retreat from the CDS market” — Alphaville

“Ms. Rand, Meet Singapore. Mr. Hayek, Meet Norway” — BusinessWeek

LSE regrets its involvement with Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi — Reuters

8 months of testing convinces JPMorgan that debit card fees are a bad idea — WSJ

WNYC’s The Takeaway has fired our favorite Occupy Wall Street protestor — Gawker

Lots more links where these came from at Counterparties.com


Just so.

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Nick Rizzo
Oct 26, 2011 23:03 UTC

Merkel raised the specter of European war, won a key EU rescue fund Bundestag vote — Telegraph

The big hole in the EU rescue plan: economic growth — BBC

“The Atlas of Economic Complexity” boils down to: know how to make things, stay relatively poor — WSJ Real Time Economics

Six things we’ve actually learned from three years of financial crisis — The New Yorker

“The Corporate Governance of Benedictine Abbeys” — JSTOR

The other shoe finally drops for Raj Gupta — DealBook

The SEC’s yardstick seems to be: “Who wrote the stupidest email?” — ProPublica

Ruth Madoff says she and Bernie attempted suicide — CBS News

BofA’s Moynihan: “You ought to think a little about that before you start yelling us.” Oh snap — Bloomberg

Elizabeth Warren says she “created much of the intellectual foundation” for Occupy Wall Street — The Daily Beast

And Gawker takes the high-road with a sketchy marketer looking to pay for Google-boosting links — Gawker

There are many more links (with amusing category tags) at Counterparties.com


The Warren remarks are being taken out of context, as part of the right’s attempt to paint Warren as some kind of dangerous radical who is both embracing a “dangerous” protest movement, and making overblown claims of her own importance. In reality, of course, she’s a moderate, thoughtful, methodical policy wonk. Furthermore, it is unambiguously true that in terms of academic research on income inequality, the work she did over the last couple of decades was groundbreaking. You can pretty much round up her, Bartels, Mishel, and the Piketty-Saez team, and have the top tier of people doing research on this topic. I suppose she could’ve phrased it a little less directly, but what she said is related to what’s been on the minds of a lot of progressive activists in relation to OWS — that this topic has been important for a long time, and there’ve been policies offered to deal with it that never got traction. “We’re thrilled you’re here; now could you maybe help us actually win some elections so we can enact policies that fix the problems you’re pointing out?” (And, muttered under the breath, “Where the hell were you guys in ’10, or ’04 and ’00 for that matter?” But, oh well, it’s never too late to get engaged. Or at least, not until the GOP imposes a new poll tax, to ensure that the riff-raff don’t mess up their libertarian utopia.)

Here’s the context for the quote, courtesy of Dave Weigel at Slate, who got it from the interviewer, Sam Jacobs:

JACOBS: I’m curious: Is there something that is keeping you away from this movement? Is there a reason why you haven’t embraced it?

WARREN: Look, everybody has to follow the law. That’s the starting point. I’ve been fighting this fight for years and years now. As I see it, this is about two central points: one, this is about the lack of accountability. That Wall Street has not been held accountable for how they broke the economy. The second is a values question, a fundamental fairness around the way that markets have been distorted and families have been hurt. I’m still fighting that fight. I’m just fighting it from this angle. I’m fighting it from … I want to fight it from the floor of the United States Senate. I think that is a place to make this difference.

JACOBS: Is showing solidarity with them going to get in the way of that?

WARREN: It’s not a question of solidarity. I just don’t think that’s the right way to say it. I support what they do. I want to say this in a way that doesn’t sound puffy. I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do. That’s the right thing. There has to be multiple ways for people to get involved and take back our country. The fight that I’m fighting now is one that is directed towards the United State Senate. That’s just how I see it.

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Nick Rizzo
Oct 26, 2011 04:23 UTC

Some of today’s favorite links from Counterparties.com:

The IMF is considering getting involved with the EU’s bailout investment vehicle — Reuters

Treasury may soon offer floating-rate bonds — Bloomberg

This chart will be handy in the event the supercommittee fails — Washington Post WonkBlog

Could this tweak to CEO pay have prevented the financial crisis? — The Economist

US consumer confidence is at recessionary levels, whether we’re in one or not — FT Alphaville

A very smart profile of Mitt Romney, focusing on his time at Bain — New York

And a giant Legoman has washed ashore in Florida. No word on what was being explainedBoingBoing


Nick Rizzo
Oct 25, 2011 00:55 UTC

Most Greek bailout money has gone to pay bondholders — The Washington Post

The EFSF could become more or less an insurance company — The New Yorker

“If you can show correlation [of greater than zero] then you can buy sovereign CDS” — IFR

Roubini: European policy makers are “hell bent to commit growth harakiri” — CNBC

Sarko to Cameron: “You have lost a good opportunity to shut up.” — The Guardian

The moral case for NGDP targeting — Interfluidity

Already lean US manufacturers could cut further — WSJ

Rhode Island: tiny state, huge debt problem — NYT

Parking passes are an alternative asset class in Connecticut’s Gold Coast — WSJ


I bought 1000 shares of Netflix at $300 because I thought it would continue to rise forever. Now I’m underwater. Can I have a taxpayer-funded bailout, please? If I don’t get one soon, I’ll be in serious financial trouble. You wouldn’t want me to have to declare bankruptcy over a minor error of timing, would you? That wouldn’t be fair!

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Nick Rizzo
Oct 21, 2011 22:42 UTC

Who’s ready for six days of EU debt bickering? — Bloomberg

German newspapers: not such big fans of a leveraged EFSF — Der Spiegel

France could definitely lose its S&P AAA rating. Welcome to the club — Bloomberg

Gordon Brown’s plan to fix the EU. Because he’s exactly who we want in a crisis — Reuters

The Fed might once again buy those mortgage-backed securities no one wants — WSJ

Physicists graph 1300 “super-connected” companies that dominate the world — NewScientist

Steven Schwarzman gives a surprisingly funny speech — Dealbook

A glorious, very very long Bess Levin headline — Dealbreaker

All these links, and many more, can be found at Counterparties.com


Heard on the radio today…

When asked prior to their wedding whether they would prefer a $30k wedding bash (roughly the average cost) or a $30k downpayment on a house, most brides preferred the big party. Once married, when the same brides were asked again, most wish they had taken the downpayment. This suggests a very basic disconnect in the way we are wired?

On the same show, an individual with substantial retirement savings, a fully-funded 529 plan, and a debt-free house was advised to borrow against the equity in his house “as long as the proceeds are invested in a diversified bundle of ETFs, not simply the stock market”.

I understand that rates are very low, however this advice essentially amounts to loaning yourself money (at a profit to the banking intermediary), with that simple fact buried in an investment tangle that neither the individual nor the advisor fully understands.

Is it better to have $400k in assets, wholly invested in stocks, or $500k in assets, invested 80/20 in stocks/bonds, offset by $100k of borrowing? The latter is certainly riskier — when you borrow against your home equity you risk losing your house if your cash flow wilts. Moreover, the expected return on the latter course is weaker, since low bond returns are below the present low mortgage rates. It only makes sense to borrow if you wish to bet on interest rates rising, and in that case you won’t be buying broad-market ETFs with the proceeds.

Especially ironic that the caller described himself as “highly risk-averse” and yet was advised to leverage his finances anyways.

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Nick Rizzo
Oct 20, 2011 23:27 UTC

Germany and France still can’t agree on how to leverage the EFSF — Reuters

The EU considers issuing a temporary ban of sovereign credit ratings — WSJ

Don’t expect a repeat of America’s six-year “productivity miracle” — Bloomberg

A new bill would throw in a visa with every expensive American home sold to a foreigner in an all-cash sale — WSJ

Wall Street posts its worst quarter since 2008 — Bloomberg

Millionaires and billionaires control nearly 40% of global wealth — WSJ The Wealth Report

The NYT paywall seems to be working — Mashable

“are we screwed” — Paul Kedrosky




How exactly do you ban credit ratings?

S&P: We can’t officially rate Italy anymore but let’s just say that if we did, it would rhyme with me me me shminus. *wink* * wink*

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Nick Rizzo
Oct 19, 2011 22:31 UTC

Debt is “like a drug” in Europe’s second-most indebted nation — Der Spiegel

The housing crisis has changed some young people’s attitudes towards homeownership — WSJ Real Time Economics

Median pay is back to ’99 levels — Reuters

Orszag: Labor’s value is shrinking and there’s not much we can do about it — Bloomberg

David Einhorn has some ideas about the price of coffee — WSJ

News Corp execs reportedly knew about the WSJ Europe circ scam for almost a year — Bloomberg

The Economist gives in to Apple’s app terms — paidContent

And Groupon will IPO next week — Reuters

These are just a few of the links available at Counterparties.com. Search the site for “Groupon” for all the best articles on that company in the last two months.


“It was a non-ethical practice.” Oh, such a neutral, such a detached and, shall I say it, non-threatening term this.


Sorry, Mr. Van Mol formerly of News Corp. The circulation-inflating was a scam. A lie. A calculated malfeasance.

It was UNethical. Not “non-ethical.”

And people still wonder why the Occupy people are upset?

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Nick Rizzo
Oct 19, 2011 00:55 UTC

Some of the best links from Counterparties.com:

The S & P downgrades twenty-four Italian firms — Reuters

Not to be outdone, Moody’s cuts Spanish sovereign ratings two notches — Reuters

Bernanke: We may use monetary policy for “financial stability.” Or maybe not — Federal Reserve

Only 1 in 7 US workers are normal weight with no chronic health problems — WSJ

Alabama scares away its migrant farmworkers, has trouble harvesting with only fat, unhealthy US citizens — AP

Goldman reports only its second-ever quarterly loss since going public — Business Wire

BofA turns a profit, thanks to asset sales and wonky accounting — Bloomberg

New York has the most super-rich people, though San Francisco also has a lot — WSJ

The brave analyst who dared to downgrade Apple — WSJ

Robots have learned how to play ping pong – yet still cannot love — Youtube

How Groupon’s auditors and underwriters got it so very wrong — Dealbook

Steve Jobs offered nine figures for Dropbox, and was turned down — Forbes


Nick Rizzo
Oct 17, 2011 22:41 UTC

A few of the links available on Counterparties.com:

Schauble admits that banks will take bigger losses on Greek loans — Guardian

Another German admits the obvious: the EU’s crisis will last into next year — Bloomberg

Citi’s accounting adjustment hides some “truly terrible trading figures” — FT Alphaville

Wells Fargo revenue is down, earnings are up, amidst an i-banking “bust” — Dealbook

CalPERS has lost $78 million on vineyard investments — Sacramento Bee

Enron’s former president is a billionaire — WSJ Deal Journal

America’s biggest growth industry: declinism — Reuters

Apple sold 4 million iPhone 4Ss in three days, the highest sales for a phone everAppleInsider

Obama will make anti-Wall Street anger a “central tenet” of his campaign — The Washington Post

Would you like to see a video of Herman Cain singing John Lennon’s “Imagine” with lyrics about pizza? Of course you would — The Daily Beast


“Tff, china is set to crash in the 1-2 year period.”

Yeah, strong signs of that.

Still, they have FOUR TIMES THE POPULATION of the US. They cannot help but pass the US in GDP some time in the near future. Our personal productivity would need to be 4x theirs for that not to happen, and that simply isn’t a sustainable margin. Not even for a “dominant player” like the US.

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