Felix Salmon

Corzine’s culpability

December 8, 2011

The good news, today, is that Jon Corzine is testifying; the bad news is that he’s almost certainly not going to say anything substantive in his testimony. His prepared statement is a bit odd: he says that he has “had limited access to many relevant documents, including internal communications and account statements, and even my own notes, all of which are essential to my being able to testify accurately” — and then says that somehow he might have been able to gain such access between now and January, as though anything will have changed between now and then.

Hank Paulson’s inside jobs

November 29, 2011

What on earth did Hank Paulson think his job was in the summer of 2008? As far as most of us were concerned, he was secretary of the US Treasury, answerable to the US people and to the president. But at the same time, in secret meetings, Paulson was hanging out with his old Goldman Sachs buddies, giving them invaluable information about what he was thinking in his new job.

Ed DeMarco’s obstructionism

November 16, 2011

Representative John Tierney of Massachusetts is one of those politicians whose questions tend to be substantially longer than the answers they elicit. But that doesn’t mean the questions, pared to their essence, aren’t good ones. Here he is grilling FHFA head Ed DeMarco, asking why he’s refusing to consider principal reductions on mortgages.

America isn’t crowdsourcing its policies

November 10, 2011

Anil Dash, of Expert Labs, is very excited about the latest government action on student loans, because he’s convinced that it was driven by the White House petition site he helped to set up.

Europe’s leadership deficit

November 8, 2011

photo.JPGSometimes the conventions of dead-tree newspapers are much more effective at getting a story across than the same article on a website. Landon Thomas’s 1,100-word piece on George Papandreou is a case in point: you can work through the whole thing, or you can glance at it in the paper, where a pair of sub-heads do the job rather effectively. “Prime Minister Lacked Forcefulness” says one; the other tells us that “a leader proved unable to connect with constituents.”

Has Davos Man sold out Greece?

November 7, 2011

George Papandreou is Davos Man, literally: he’s been there for the past couple of years, and even if he steps down now I suspect we might see him up the alp in 2012, too. Matt Yglesias reckons this is bad for the Greeks:

Bailouts: Geithner vs Barofsky

November 7, 2011

David Leonhardt has managed to get a quite astonishing on-the-record quote from Tim Geithner:

Corzine’s tone-deaf statement

November 4, 2011

Jon Corzine has not said anything in public since his firm and his reputation imploded at the end of last week. So his first public statement was always going to be closely watched. And it’s a doozy:

The Obama administration’s biggest macroeconomic mistake

October 13, 2011

I’m late to Ezra Klein’s big article about whether the Obama administration could have avoided our current economic woes, because I was having dinner last night with the head of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and I wanted to see what he had to say first. And I’m glad I did!