Author Archives: David Dayen

About David Dayen

David is a contributing writer to Salon.com. He has been writing about politics since 2004. He spent three years writing for the FireDogLake News Desk; he’s also written for The New Republic, The American Prospect, The Guardian (UK), The Huffington Post, The Washington Monthly, Alternet, Democracy Journal and Pacific Standard, as well as multiple well-trafficked progressive blogs and websites. His has been a guest on MSNBC, CNN, Aljazeera, Russia Today, NPR, Pacifica Radio and Air America Radio. He has contributed to two anthology books, one about the Wisconsin labor uprising and another on the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act in Congress. Prior to writing about politics he worked for two decades as a television producer and editor. You can follow him on Twitter at @ddayen.

Fed Survey of Consumer Finances Shows Americans Understand Their Lousy Economic Condition

The Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances came out yesterday, and it offered a pretty good answer for why the country won’t just snap out of it and admit that Recovery Summer is here. The survey covers 2010 to 2013 and it’s stocked with interesting data, but the main point is the continued breaking away of top income earners from the rest of their counterparts.

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Tony West’s Departure Ends Era of Pathetic Bank Settlements

With the imminent departure of Tony West from the Justice Department, we can assuredly close the book on this latest round of financial fraud settlements. West was a co-chair of the vaunted task force known as the RMBS Working Group: of the original members, only U.S. Attorney for Colorado John Walsh and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman remain. And West was the point person inside the Justice Department for the JPMorgan, Citigroup and Bank of America cases (“Top Nemesis of Big Banks,” screams the New York Times for some reason).

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Wolf Richter: Startup CEO (Unwittingly) Explains Biggest Problem in America’s Unemployment Crisis

The somewhat peculiar results of the Challenger Labor Shortage Survey showed that 77% of the approximately 100 human resources executives polled said their companies were having difficulty filling open positions due to a shortage of available talent… But today, I ran into something that put that report in a different light, via Rebekah Campbell’s article in the New York Times, which describes her experiences in trying to rope in potential investors for her company, Posse.

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Don’t Worry About Eric Cantor; Worry About His Staffers

The age of the Hot Take has also infected the financial press, as it seems like every media outlet had to feature some hastily arranged opinion piece this week on former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor becoming a vice chairman at boutique investment bank Moelis & Co. But Cantor keeping one foot in D.C. – his Moelis office will be there – actually speaks to what we should really look out for when it comes to his departure: where his staff relocates.

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Discrimination: Minority Mortgage Market Experiences Leading Up to and During the Financial Crisis

It took this many studies to get to “Discrimination exists”? Ah well. Important to have the data underpinning the reality. This is another reason, incidentally, why industry rebuttals to the foreclosure crisis and its associated frauds always fell back on the “deadbeat” trope. Quite simply, it’s playing to a crude stereotype, one created by racially discriminatory lending.

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Huarong’s Shadow Bank Bailout: This Changes Everything

Two days ago, we learned that the Chinese government was behind the bailout earlier this year of a trust product—a type of financial product that the central government has heretofore emphatically distanced itself from. Huarong Asset Management, using a 3 billion RMB loan from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the trust product seller, was the mystery lender behind the January bailout of the Credit Equals Gold trust product, the Financial Times reported on August 31. ICBC and Huarong Asset Management are both state-owned entities.

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Pump and Dump: How to Rig the Entire IPO Market with just $20 Million

How much does it cost to manipulate an entire market? Not much. And it’s getting cheaper!

It was leaked on Tuesday by “people with knowledge of that matter,” according to the Wall Street Journal, that VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers had decided in May to plow up to $20 million into message-app maker Snapchat, for a tiny portion of ownership. An undisclosed investor also committed some funds. The deal, which apparently hasn’t closed yet, would give Snapchat a valuation of $10 billion.

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French Political Turmoil a Harbinger of Unrest Roiling Eurozone During Their New Depression

I don’t know that I’d go so far to say it was Paul Krugman-induced, but the French government has been dissolved, primarily because two senior ministers dared speak the unspeakable and criticize Francois Hollande’s continued commitment to austerity, in the face of evidence of its failure.

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Bill Black on Bank Fraud: The Wall Street Journal’s Choleric Rant about Cholera and Bank Fraud Epidemics

I was struck by the title of a choleric rant by the Wall Street Journal entitled “Banking in a Time of Cholera.”

The WSJ’s title is a play on words on the title of a novel, “Love in the Time of Cholera,” by Colombia’s greatest writer, Gabriel García Márquez (“Gabo”). The novel is set in a city that appears to be based on Cartagena, the city famous for being looted repeatedly by pirates. In this first of several columns responding to the WSJ rant I discuss its failed literary allusions and tie these failures to some of the WSJ’s analytical and factual errors that render their rant risible.

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