Monthly Archives: October 2007

Zipcar Insurance: Solved!

Details here. In a nutshell, Zipcar bought Flexcar, and adopted Flexcar’s insurance policies. Hooray!

Posted in Not economics | 1 Comment

Expensive Cities

Tim Harford addresses the perennial cost-of-living question: how come Moscow always seems to come top? Or, as his reader puts it, Just wanted to ask if there is an economic explanation for the fact that real estate in cities in … Continue reading

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Fed Cut Reactions

David Gaffen: "The market the Fed continues to brush off is the currency market… The stock market got what it wanted, which was its candy." Stephen Stanley: "This statement has all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. The FOMC has just … Continue reading

Posted in fiscal and monetary policy | Comments Off

The Best Newspaper Owner

Jon Binder in Chicago writes with a question: What is the best way for newspaper media companies to structure their ownership so they can still generate sustainable profit and inform the public on issues of importance? [public, private, ownership by … Continue reading

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The Market for Online Business Opinion

John Koblin has the scoop: Slate is planning to launch a new site next year, "devoted exclusively to business news and opinion". Slate editor David Plotz is quite right to say that "there’s an opening for a really smart, analytical, … Continue reading

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Behind the Zipcar-Flexcar Merger

The two leaders in the car-sharing business, Zipcar and Flexcar, are merging, in what looks very much like an acquisition of the latter by the former: the Flexcar name is disappearing, while the Zipcar CEO and headquarters are remaining in … Continue reading

Posted in M&A | Comments Off

Insider Trading at Goldman? Very Unlikely

Did people named Paulson have all the best information about the mortgage crisis this summer? The Paulson Credit Opportunities fund was up 410% as of the end of August (that’s John Paulson), while now the SEC is reportedly investigating possible … Continue reading

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Finding a New Merrill CEO

As John Carney notes, it’s a little bit weird that Merrill Lynch is now headless – and just as the all-important bonus decisions are being made, too. Why no interim CEO? Carney speculates that no one is willing to do … Continue reading

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Wall Street Bonus Update

As someone who’s personally invested in this year’s Wall Street bonus pool – I have a bottle of Scotch on the line – I was quite happy to turn to page B5A of this morning’s WSJ. (Please, Mr Murdoch, can … Continue reading

Posted in banking, pay | Comments Off

GDP Report Gives the Fed an Opt-Out From its Rate Cut

The 3.9% growth rate in thrid-quarter GDP is only preliminary, but it is very large, and it does give me a little less certain that the Fed is going to cut rates this afternoon. While housing is indeed dreadful, with … Continue reading

Posted in fiscal and monetary policy | Comments Off

Extra Credit, Wednesday Edition

Housing wealth isn’t wealth: Have you heard much about the "wealth effect" recently? No? Willem Buiter explains why it might not exist anyway. How Big Is Rhode Island, Anyway? Still Demise-ing: "In a world of greater volatility, mean reversion will … Continue reading

Posted in remainders | Comments Off

How Sowood Went Bust

The WSJ this weekend came out with its post mortem of Sowood Capital, the hedge fund started by former Harvard high-flyer Jeffrey Larson which imploded spectacularly in July. There’s nothing particularly surprising in the story (too much leverage, not enough … Continue reading

Posted in bonds and loans, hedge funds | Comments Off

Paying Readers Redux

Since I offered to start paying my readers, the emails (to have not exactly been flooding in. This is good for those who asked for high amounts, since I’ve promised to pay the senders of the five lowest bids … Continue reading

Posted in blogonomics | Comments Off

Pearson Should Sell the Financial Times

On what the news stories all insist on calling the "sidelines" of the Future of Business Media conference I had a very interesting conversation with Ien Cheng, the publisher of I told him he should start blogging; he told … Continue reading

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Buffalo: Doomed, or Part of an Economic Powerhouse?

Richard Florida doesn’t explicitly mention Ed Glaeser in his column today in the Toronto Globe & Mail, but it can easily be read as a direct response to Glaeser’s pessimistic view of Buffalo in City Journal. Glaeser says that any … Continue reading

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The Future of the WSJ

Gordon Crovitz, the publisher of the WSJ, appeared at the Future of Business Media conference and did a reasonably good job of mumbling noncommitally about Dow Jones’s future within News Corp: he clearly hasn’t yet signed on to the Rupert … Continue reading

Posted in Media, publishing | Comments Off

How the Economist Thrives in the Age of New Media

I’m attending the Future of Business Media conference in Manhattan, and probably the most surprising thing so far is how impressive Susan Clark was, on a panel about business magazines. Clark is the global marketing director of the Economist, and … Continue reading

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Ambani Joins Richest Man In World Stakes

The "richest man in the world" stakes are heating up. With Bill Gates seemingly more interested in giving his money away than in accumulating more of it, it seemed inevitable that Mexico’s Carlos Slim would take his place at the … Continue reading

Posted in wealth | Comments Off

Extra Credit, Tuesday Edition

Economics for Adults: David Warsh on pop-economics books. He really likes this one. How America must handle the falling dollar: Larry Summers on his favorite subject. Brad DeLong responds. Hank Paulson takes a close interest in vultures. No, not that … Continue reading

Posted in remainders | Comments Off

iPhone question

Sometimes I need to restart my iPhone. No big deal, it’s a computer, computers need to be restarted once in a while. But for some reason, when that happens, all my photos get wiped. Not the songs on the iPod, … Continue reading

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Tech Money vs Real Money, Photo Edition

The difference between Facebook and The Entity: articles on Facebook (valuation: $15 billion) are illustrated with a pile of $20 bills, while articles on The Entity (valuation: $85 billion plus) are illustrated with a pile of $50 and $100 bills. … Continue reading

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The Weakness of Quant Funds

In the wake of the MIT Techonology Review’s two-part story on the summer quant-fund blow-up, there’s a fascinating and high-level debate going on in the blogosphere about whether this marks the End of the Quant Era. Veryan Allen says it … Continue reading

Posted in hedge funds | Comments Off

Why Magazine Circulations Are Like Credit Ratings

If we’ve learned one thing from the CDO fiasco, it’s that in many cases investment banks put products together with more of an eye on the credit rating they could achieve than they had on real financial safety or viability. … Continue reading

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Northern Rock: The Bidding Heats Up

If Chris Flowers thought he was going to have little competition in his quest to buy Northern Rock, he’s been comprehensively disabused of that notion at this point. The Virgin bid might sound a bit lightweight (a rebranding to Virgin … Continue reading

Posted in banking, private equity | Comments Off

Merrill: Your Questions Answered

A very loyal reader writes: Why did O’Neal defenestrate while Cayne at Bear and Prince at Citi have managed to hang on to their jobs? Is a takeover of Merrill realistic, considering the handicaps of the few firms big enough … Continue reading

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