Barrett Sheridan

Populist Outrage? There's an App for That.

The iPhone has apps for reading the news, checking bank accounts, and streaming music. Now it's got one for exacting revenge on overpaid CEOs and Ponzi schemers.Squash the $treet, a creation of Last Legion Games, lets you "watch the shady bankers, creepy fraudsters, and corrupt CEOs flee their gilded offices, sprinting for the nearest escape vehicle," as the creators put it.

Someone Is Wrong on the Internet!

Yesterday was one of those days where so many people on the Internet were wrong that I almost couldn't sleep because of it. I'll restrain myself to just one example: Mark Gimein's defense of Goldman Sachs in The Big Money. (Disclosure: Newsweek and The Big Money are owned by The Washington Post Company.)  I don't have any problem with a well-reasoned defense of Goldman's strong second-quarter profits, seen by some as "obscene." Bankers are supposed to be greedy and grab what they can, so...

CIT = Fail-Worthy

CIT is definitely not too big to fail. At least for now. Maybe the company's CEO, Jeffrey Peek, will find a more receptive audience in the administration as bankruptcy nears, but for now, its $80 billion in assets was deemed sufficiently small enough to squeeze through the bankruptcy process.Or, looked at another way, perhaps Peek and his employees just didn't give enough money to the Democrats.

Sell America and Buy India, Says George F. Will

In Sunday's Washington Post, George F. Will takes a swat at Obama, arguing that his pro-government policies are "diminish[ing] America's competitive advantages." He writes:Let's guess: Will a person or institution looking for a place to invest $1 billion seek opportunities in the United States, where policy decisions are deliberately increasing taxes, debt, regulations and the cost of energy, and soon will increase the cost of borrowing and hiring?

How to Create Your Own Economy

After reading a review copy, which was delightful and provocative throughout, I asked Cowen a few follow-up questions by e-mail:  A large part of your book is a call for greater acceptance of neurodiversity, and in particular the autistic and those exhibiting autistic traits.

Adventures in Cybercrime

It is often a difficult task to make finance seem sexy and interesting, but there's a financial story now unraveling that effortlessly rivals the best James Bond or Jason Bourne novel.

Breakfast With George Soros

This morning The Wall Street Journal hosted a breakfast with über-investor George Soros, the man who "broke the Bank of England" by betting against the pound and earning a billion dollars for himself in the process.

Michael Lewis's Pearls of Wisdom

There are a lot of great bits in Charlie Rose's recent interview with Michael Lewis. (The link is here, via Paul Kedrosky. Skip to 21:10 if you don't want to hear him talk about fatherhood.) A couple favorites:On the "green shoots" theory and the health of banks: "The Obama Administration has been very good at creating false confidence."On regulators' Wall Street-centered view of the world: "It's in the air they breathe, that they cannot imagine a world without Goldman Sachs.

More on the Goldman Bonuses

James Kwak of Baseline Scenario follows up on the Goldman bonus report: Like most things, there are two ways to interpret this. For the optimists, if some of the big banks are making big profits, that gets us back to a normally functioning financial sector sooner and reduces the chance that they will face a panic in the short term...For the pessimists, the phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes profitability of the big banks is a direct result of massive government aid in the form of cheap money,...

"I Want Money," Sings Goldman

Before reading this post, I suggest first playing the video below. Consider it a theme song of sorts for articles like the one excerpted below.Okay, now that you're humming along to the appropriate music, here is the relevant excerpt:Staff at Goldman Sachs staff can look forward to the biggest bonus payouts in the firm's 140-year history after a spectacular first half of the year, sparking concern that the big investment banks which survived the credit crunch will derail financial regulation...

Breakfast Buffet, Monday, June 15

Laid Off? Start a Business: Over half of this year's Fortune 500 firms were started in a recession or bear market.An Interview with Paul Krugman: "The risk of long stagnation is really high." Krugman has become very Cassandra-like lately but he has a Nobel Prize so we more or less have to listen to him.Checkmate at the Yellowstone Club: The tale of the Montana ski resort for the ultra-wealthy is a familiar one -- reckless borrowing, the over-reaching of the rich, overpaying for property -- but...

Breakfast Buffet, Thursday, June 11

Mr. Lewis Goes to Washington: Ken Lewis, BofA CEO (but no longer its chairman!) testifies before Congress today. Felix Salmon says he did the right thing for the country when he agreed to acquire Merrill Lynch, but probably not the right thing for his shareholders.Dollars and Sense: Tony private-equity firm KKR is losing its shirt, having borrowed tons of money to buy companies for inflated prices over the course of 2006 and 2007.