Toxic assets and silver linings

This morning’s Observer column

Every cloud has a silver lining. Ask the cybersquatters. Even as the short-selling vultures began circling Lehman Brothers, HBOS, Merrill Lynch and co, a legion of entrepreneurs began betting on domain names for hastily merged financial institutions. For example, when Barclays and Bank of America began to emerge as buyers for Lehman, names such as and were promptly registered by enterprising hopefuls.

Some of these domains were being offered for sale on eBay last week. For example, was available at a starting bid of $1,500…