Felix Salmon

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Felix Salmon
Felix Salmon by Ilario D'Amato - International Journalism Festival 2014.jpg
Felix Salmon at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia (2014)
Born1971/1972 (age 48–49)[1]
Alma materUniversity of Glasgow
OccupationWriter, journalist

Felix Salmon (born 1972) is a financial journalist, formerly of Portfolio Magazine and Euromoney and a former finance blogger for Reuters, where he analyzed economic and occasionally social issues in addition to financial commentary. In April 2014, Salmon left Reuters for a digital role at Fusion.[1][2] In 2018, he joined Axios as chief financial correspondent.[3]

Salmon also wrote a Wired cover story on the Gaussian copula,[4] and has hosted Slate Money podcast since 2014.[5]

Early life[edit]

Salmon's ancestors include Jews who bore the surname Solomon before it was anglicized as Salmon.[6] Salmon is a member of the Salmon & Gluckstein families who ran the Lyons teahouse and bakery chain in Britain.[7] Salmon has an MA in art history[8] from the University of Glasgow along with an Honours background in mathematics.[9] He moved to the United States from the United Kingdom in 1997.[10]



He began blogging in 1999 for the wire service Bridge News and later worked for economist Nouriel Roubini.[11]

The American Statistical Association presented Salmon with the 2010 Excellence in Statistical Reporting Award "for his body of work, which exemplifies the highest standards of scientific reporting. His insightful use of statistics as a tool to understanding the world of business and economics, areas that are critical in today's economy, sets a new standard in statistical investigative reporting."[12]

Salmon published an article in Wired magazine on 27 December 2010 explaining high-frequency trading on Wall Street.[13] This was followed by an interview on NPR; the program aired on 13 January 2011.[14]

In September 2011, Salmon and Ryan McCarthy started "Counterparties," described as "essentially a link blog for financial news and commentary, offering a curated look at the moment’s big stories.[15]

His work for Reuters earned him the 2012 Gerald Loeb Award for Blogging.[16]

Since May 10, 2014, Salmon has been the host of Slate magazine's weekly Money podcast along with regular Slate financial columnist Jordan Weissmann and financial blogger Cathy O'Neil, who left the program in 2017 and was replaced by Anna Szymanski, a former emerging markets risk analyst.[5][17]

In 2014, Salmon also joined Fusion, a combined TV channel / digital media outlet aimed at millennials and backed by Univision and Disney. Fusion was loosely managed and somewhat chaotic; Salmon produced "as far as anyone could tell, nothing in particular" in his time there.[18]

In 2018, Salmon began a weekly column for Axios called "Axios Edge" described as having “a focus on market trends, business, and economics,”[19]

Economic and financial commentary[edit]

After the 2007–2008 global financial crisis was well under way, Salmon argued that the CDO market could theoretically suffer a crisis as a result of subprime mortgage defaults cascading into defaults in the senior tranches of a CDO, and that such an occurrence could then result in a freeze in the credit markets. However, he denied that this eventuality could be predicted beforehand through a priori methods.[20]

Salmon emphasizes financial deregulation, oversized financial conglomerates, excessive faith in financial models and efficiency of markets as well as regulatory incompetence as being major contributors to the global financial crisis and the ensuing Great Recession.[21][22][23]

Salmon's views on what economic policy the government should take in order to solve the jobs crisis are ideologically in-line with those of the Keynesian resurgence. Specifically, he is an advocate of further stimulus spending by the federal government, arguing that America's economic institutions have failed to respond effectively to the crisis, and that the benefits of improving America's infrastructure and hiring public workers far outweigh the federal government's low borrowing costs during the period of the Eurozone debt crisis.[24]

Salmon has argued that there is no regulatory solution that is capable of dealing with the risks to society posed by the too-big-to-fail banking conglomerates and extremely complex financial innovations of the modern market. Rather, he argues that real reform requires that the "financial behemoths" be broken up into much smaller pieces in order to reduce the incentive for – and ability of – financial institutions to "fraudulently game the system." However, he does not expect that this will occur anytime soon.[25]

As Japan copes with the aftermath of the earthquake in Tōhoku, he encouraged people not to donate money to single-emergency or developing country-based NGOs because of perceived logistical issues during the 2010 Haiti relief efforts, instead arguing that Médecins Sans Frontières, Save the Children, the Red Cross and public-sector solutions would be more effective.[26]

His commentary on the long-running sovereign debt dispute between Elliott Management Corporation and the government of Argentina was featured on a 2014 episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.[27]


  1. ^ a b Somaiya, Ravi (21 April 2014). "Felix Salmon to Leave Reuters". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  2. ^ https://gigaom.com/2014/04/23/felix-salmon-is-leaving-reuters-for-the-fusion-network-because-the-future-of-media-is-post-text
  3. ^ "Axios is hiring Felix Salmon and Courtenay Brown to spearhead its foray into coverage of the public markets".
  4. ^ Recipe for Disaster: The Formula That Killed Wall Street. See also The dangerous Gaussian copula function at reuters.com.
  5. ^ a b "Slate Money podcast". Slate.com.
  6. ^ "Slate Money: December 25, 2015" (Podcast). Slate.com. 25 December 2015.
  7. ^ Harding, Thomas (2019). Legacy: One Family, a Cup of Tea and the Company that Took On the World. London: William Heinemann. ISBN 178515088X.
  8. ^ Salmon, Felix (18 February 2014). "Is there opportunity in art history?". Reuters.
  9. ^ "CV". FelixSalmon.com. Archived from the original on 4 October 2007.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  10. ^ Bio page: Felix Salmon SeekingAlpha.com
  11. ^ Salmon, Felix. "Landing at Reuters". Reuters. Archived from the original on 27 May 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2009.
  12. ^ Award mentioned in passing at https://www.amstat.org/asa/files/pdfs/pressreleases/JSM2015-ASA-ESRA.pdf - original link to the award, at "Excellence in Statistical Reporting Award". American Statistical Society website. Retrieved 23 May 2010., is now dead.
  13. ^ Salmon, Felix (27 December 2010). "Algorithms Take Control of Wall Street". Wired.
  14. ^ Salmon, Felix (31 January 2011). "How High-Frequency Trading is Changing Wall Street". NPR.
  15. ^ https://www.niemanlab.org/2011/09/felix-salmons-brain-drudged-meet-counterparties-a-personal-linkblog-with-reuters-branding/
  16. ^ "UCLA Anderson Announces 2012 Gerald Loeb Award Winners". UCLA Anderson School of Management. 26 June 2012. Archived from the original on 12 April 2019. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  17. ^ http://www.slate.com/authors.anna_szymanski.html
  18. ^ Univision Is A Fucking Mess
  19. ^ https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/08/felix-salmon-axios-continues-its-push-bloomberg
  20. ^ Salmon, Felix. "Unpacking the Risks in the CDO Market". Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  21. ^ Salmon, Felix. "Let's hurt the American financial services industry". Reuters. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  22. ^ Salmon, Felix. "How the Fed slept through Lehman". Reuters. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  23. ^ Salmon, Felix. "Where's the pessimism?". Reuters. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  24. ^ Salmon, Felix. "Stimulus". Reuters. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  25. ^ Salmon, Felix. "Why finance can't be fixed with better regulation". Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  26. ^ Salmon, Felix. "Don't donate money to Japan". Reuters. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  27. ^ Felix Salmon [@felixsalmon] (4 August 2014). "According to Twitter, my explaining-Argentina-with-Lego video made it onto John Oliver #w00t" (Tweet) – via Twitter.

External links[edit]