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.

Immigrant Bed Mandate Ensures Guaranteed Profit for For-Profit Prison System

By David Dayen, a lapsed blogger. Follow him on Twitter @ddayen I remember a conversation several years ago in which a Democratic staffer told me that the fastest-growing airline in the United States was the private collection of planes that delivered undocumented immigrants across the country. The reason had to do with the fact that […]


Media Consolidation Thwarted Again as Comcast Backs Off Time Warner Deal

Late Thursday, Comcast apparently signaled that they would abort a 14-month bid to purchase Time Warner Cable, in a deal that would have created the nation’s largest cable operator by a wide margin. The FCC was going to recommend a hearing, which is a prelude to cancellation. The spin is that there are more consolidation attempts on the way, but there’s no guarantee that they would be successful either.


The Gazprom Case: Good Timing or Bad Timing?

Just a week after having sent a Statement of Objections (SO) in the frame of the antitrust case against Google, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager sent yesterday an SO in the frame of the case against Gazprom. The decision to send a charge sheet against the Russian gas company came after almost three years of investigations, which have also seen EU antitrust officials raiding Gazprom offices in central and eastern European countries.


Wolf Richter: The Greek People Just Destroyed Syriza’s Strategy

Greek stocks ventured deeper into purgatory. The ASE index dove below 700 intraday on Wednesday for the first time since the crisis days of June 2012. Then word spread that the ECB had raised the cap on the Emergency Liquidity Assistance for Greek banks by €1.5 billion to €75.5 billion. It’s the oxygen line for Greek banks. Without it, they’re toast.


U.S. Trade Rep Office Helpfully Explains that Only 28 Trade Unionists Were Murdered in Colombia Last Year

I said on the last post on the TPP that there was one more thing I wanted to point out. It was ably covered by Michael McAuliff of The Huffington Post, and it reminds me of one of those famed Monty Python “letters to the editor,” written after a sketch portraying British seamen as cannibals.

Dear Sir, I am glad to hear that your studio audience disapproves of the last skit as strongly as I. As a naval officer I abhor the implication that the Royal Navy is a haven for cannibalism. It is well known that we have the problem relatively under control, and that it is the RAF who now suffer the largest casualties in this area. And what do you think the Argylls ate in Aden. Arabs? Yours etc. Captain B.J. Smethwick in a white wine sauce with shallots, mushrooms and garlic.


More Craven Arguments Used to Sell TPP and Fast Track to Congress, With Mixed Results

I don’t know what’s occurring more rapidly, Congressional votes on Trade Promotion Authority (aka fast track) or the parade of half-truths and outright falsehoods being promoted to sell it. Committees in the House and Senate held meetings Wednesday on the bill. The Senate Finance Committee markup got off to a slow start when Bernie Sanders used an obscure Senate maneuver to delay the markup.


Rajiv Sethi: Spoofing in an Algorithmic Ecosystem

A London trader recently charged with price manipulation appears to have been using a strategy designed to trigger high-frequency trading algorithms. Whether he used an algorithm himself is beside the point: he made money because the market is dominated by computer programs responding rapidly to incoming market data, and he understood the basic logic of their structure.


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.


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).


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.


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.