Felix Salmon

Sob story of the day, vulture-fund edition

By Felix Salmon
April 11, 2011

Matt Wirz probably can’t be held responsible for the headline the WSJ put on his story today — “For Vultures, Slim Pickings.” But there’s no doubt that distressed-debt investors in Lee Enterprises are angry. And they’re angry for a very weird reason: after buying Lee’s debt at a 20% discount to face value because there was such a high likelihood of default, they’re now set to be repaid in full. That’s a 25% return in just over six months. Which certainly isn’t my idea of “slim pickings.”

The vulture fund debate

By Felix Salmon
March 2, 2010

Greg Palast is back bashing vulture funds again: his Newsnight piece (web story here) is airing tonight, in slightly different form, on BBC World News America. The last time he mined this particular vein, I responded with a 5,500-word blog entry in defense of vulture funds, and I’m determined not to disappear down that particular rabbit hole this time, especially since all concerned — including Palast — seem to be much more constructive this time around.