Author Archives: David Dayen

About David Dayen

David is a contributing writer to 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.

Antitrust Incompetence from the FTC, as Albertson’s/Safeway Divestiture Goes Awry

Over the past several months, I’ve come to the conclusion that so many problems in our politics and our economy results from our tolerance of monopoly capitalism. I did a super-long story for The American Prospect laying this out, and how we need a revival of antitrust policy at the grassroots level. Here’s a depressing case study that suggests maybe we should just relieve one of the antitrust enforcement agencies, the Federal Trade Commission, of its duties.


Will Janet Yellen Rather Protect Big Banks, or the Fed?

The House-Senate conference on the highway bill represents a choice, with the Federal Reserve pitted against the big banks that partially own them. It’s not a choice we should have to make; the highway trust fund has a shortfall because we haven’t raised the user fee on roads, i.e. the gas tax, in over 20 years, and the severe antipathy to taxes of any kind left Republicans to hunt around the couch cushions for an alternative. So we are where we are now. And this choice between big bank profits and central bank independence is firmly in the hands of Janet Yellen.


Will the Paris Attacks Herald the End of the Schengen Agreement?

The big thing I’ve learned since I hung up my keyboard as a generalist blogger is to, as much as possible, stay in my lane. I share everyone’s horror at the Paris attacks, and like everyone else have my own thoughts, however unformed, on the best way forward. But I make no pretensions to deep insight on international terrorism and a Middle East that has confounded just about every so-called expert for as long as I’ve been alive. So I’d rather just try to keep up with developments (and you’ll see more of that in the Links).

But there is something, first brought to my attention by Chris Hayes, on which I may be able to comment intelligently. Details are a little murky, but it appears France is seeking some wiggle room on the Schengen agreement.


Hillary Clinton Appeal to 9/11 to Defend Wall Street Donations Was Bad, But This Was Worse

Hillary Clinton, is taking some heat for oddly deciding to relate her campaign donations from Wall Street to aiding Lower Manhattan after 9/11. This seems to be what the Gang of 500 has decided on as a gaffe, and it definitely has that odor. But I actually think Clinton said something even more egregious and revealing Saturday night. The problem is that the commentariat has deemed it some brilliant insight.


Ilargi: 9/11, 3/11, 7/7, 11/13; New York, Madrid, London, Paris

Better to wait a day before writing, after a night like that. What does one write after such a night anyway? And why write anything at all if you can be dead sure to always antagonize some one on some side of some spectrum, ideological or not, no matter what you write, unless you tag some safe official line, and even then, or especially then?


Exclusive: Are the SEC’s Mary Jo White and Her Husband Teaming Up to Gut Corporate Disclosure and Make It Harder to Fight Fraud?

The heart of the SEC’s mission is disclosure, providing enough information to investors so they can make reasonable choices about stock and bond offerings. Without disclosure you don’t really have an SEC, and you put investors – and potentially the whole economy – at risk. But the commission is striving to hit that self-destruct button, by allowing new rules that would make it much easier for companies to hide their activities. And it’s highly likely that this reaches all the way to the office of SEC Chair Mary Jo White.


IBM Lobbyist Planted Question From USTR Official at a 2013 Public Hearing

A couple weeks back, the Electronic Frontier Foundation released 124 pages of emails obtained in a FOIA request, asking for any communications between officials at the U.S. Trade Representative’s office and corporate lobbyists. The emails are mostly requests to set up meetings or share information between USTR leadership and representatives from either trade associations (The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Telecommunications Industry Association, Coalition of Services Industries, etc) or corporations directly (Cigna, General Electric, Liberty Mutual Insurance, MasterCard, AT&T, etc).

But Steve Stewart, Director of Market Access and Trade for IBM Governmental Programs – in other words, IBM’s in-house lobbying shop – takes this relationship-building a step further. He enlisted USTR to help him get his company’s narrative out.


Why Are Fannie and Freddie Raising Their Foreclosure Timeline?

One of the major fallacies skillfully employed by the lending industry since the foreclosure crisis is that the meddling defense attorneys and pro se litigants were clogging the courts with their dilatory motions and challenges, unnecessarily prolonging the foreclosure process, creating neighborhood blight and costing homeowners billions in property values by preventing “market clearing.” This […]


David Kotz: Understanding Contemporary Capitalism, Part I

“Neoliberalism,” or more accurately neoliberal capitalism, is a form of capitalism in which market relations and market forces operate relatively freely and play the predominant role in the economy. That is, neoliberalism is not just a set of ideas, or an ideology, as it is typically interpreted by those analysts who doubt the relevance or importance of this concept for explaining contemporary capitalism. Under neoliberalism, non-market institutions – such as the state, trade unions, and corporate bureaucracies – play a limited role. By contrast, in “regulated capitalism” such as prevailed in the post-World War II decades – in the United States and other industrial capitalist economies – states, trade unions, and corporate bureaucracies played a major role in regulating economic activity, confining market forces to a lesser role.