Felix Salmon

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Felix Salmon
Felix Salmon by Ilario D'Amato - International Journalism Festival 2014.jpg
Salmon in 2014
Born1971/1972 (age 50–51)[1]
Alma materUniversity of Glasgow
Occupation(s)Writer, journalist

Felix Salmon (born 1972) is a British 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 2016, Salmon's salary at Fusion was reported to be $400,000 after a clerical error at Fusion leaked it.[19] He left Fusion in January 2018.

In 2018, Salmon began a weekly column for Axios called "Axios Edge" described as having “a focus on market trends, business, and economics”.[20]

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 through a priori methods.[21]

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.[22][23][24]

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.[25]

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.[26]

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.[27]

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.[28]

In 2021, Salmon published an article alleging that $400 billion in unemployment benefits had been fraudulently claimed during the COVID-19 pandemic, a claim provided only by a fraud prevention service company that contracts with state governments to prevent such fraud.[29] A wide variety of journalists and commenters criticized Salmon for a lack of journalistic ethics and rigor for publishing such a bold and uncorroborated claim.[30]


  1. ^ a b Somaiya, Ravi (21 April 2014). "Felix Salmon to Leave Reuters". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Felix Salmon is leaving Reuters for the Fusion network because the future of media is "post text"". 23 April 2014.
  3. ^ "Axios is hiring Felix Salmon and Courtenay Brown to spearhead its foray into coverage of the public markets". Vanity Fair. 14 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Recipe for Disaster: The Formula That Killed Wall Street". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Slate Money podcast". Slate.com. 23 July 2019.
  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 978-1785150883.
  8. ^ Salmon, Felix (18 February 2014). "Is there opportunity in art history?". Reuters. Archived from the original on 25 February 2014.
  9. ^ "CV". FelixSalmon.com. Archived from the original on 4 October 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ "Felix Salmon's Articles". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  11. ^ Salmon, Felix. "Landing at Reuters". Reuters. Archived from the original on 27 May 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2009.
  12. ^ Goldman, Jennifer G.; Vernaleo, Beth A.; Camicioli, Richard; Dahodwala, Nabila; Dobkin, Roseanne D.; Ellis, Terry; Galvin, James E.; Marras, Connie; Edwards, Jerri; Fields, Julie; Golden, Robyn (26 June 2018). "Cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease: a report from a multidisciplinary symposium on unmet needs and future directions to maintain cognitive health". npj Parkinson's Disease. 4 (1): 19. doi:10.1038/s41531-018-0055-3. ISSN 2373-8057. PMC 6018742. PMID 29951580.
  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. ^ "Felix Salmon's brain, Drudged: Meet Counterparties, a personal linkblog with Reuters branding". Nieman Lab. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  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. ^ "Anna Szymanski".
  18. ^ "Univision Is A Fucking Mess". Jezebel. 8 May 2018. Archived from the original on 8 May 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2023.
  19. ^ Killingsworth, Silvia (31 January 2018). "Felix Salmon, "Fusion Money," and Floating Upward". The Awl.
  20. ^ Pompeo, Joe (14 August 2018). "With Felix Salmon, Axios Continues Its Push to Commandeer the Bloomberg Set". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  21. ^ Salmon, Felix. "Unpacking the Risks in the CDO Market". Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  22. ^ Salmon, Felix. "Let's hurt the American financial services industry". Reuters. Archived from the original on 16 April 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  23. ^ Salmon, Felix. "How the Fed slept through Lehman". Reuters. Archived from the original on 26 March 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  24. ^ Salmon, Felix. "Where's the pessimism?". Reuters. Archived from the original on 1 May 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  25. ^ Salmon, Felix. "Stimulus". Reuters. Archived from the original on 28 January 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  26. ^ Salmon, Felix. "Why finance can't be fixed with better regulation". Thomson Reuters. Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  27. ^ Salmon, Felix. "Don't donate money to Japan". Reuters. Archived from the original on 16 March 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  28. ^ Felix Salmon [@felixsalmon] (4 August 2014). "According to Twitter, my explaining-Argentina-with-Lego video made it onto John Oliver #w00t" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  29. ^ Salmon, Felix. "Half of the pandemic's unemployment money may have been stolen". Axios. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
  30. ^ "Felix Salmon's Unemployment Fraud Piece is a Scandal". Discourse Blog. 17 June 2021. Retrieved 26 September 2021.

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