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.

Italy’s Atlas Bank Bailout Fund: The Shareholder of Last Resort

By Silvia Merler, former Economic Analyst in DG Economic and Financial Affairs of the European Commission (ECFIN) and an affiliate fellow at Bruegel. Cross-posted from Bruegel. In Greek mythology, Atlas the Titan was condemned by Zeus to eternally hold the weight of the sky on his shoulders. A mythological struggle that has recently made the […]

Read more...

Obama SEC Pick Lisa Fairfax in Limbo Because of Lack of Substance on Everything, Not Just Corporate Political Spending Disclosure

My initial understanding of the vacancies on the Securities and Exchange Commission was that the selection of Lisa Fairfax last October to replace Luis Aguilar as a Democratic commissioner represented a victory for the reform coalition in the Senate. In fact I’ve written as such. Covington & Burling lawyer Keir Gumbs was the clear choice of the Administration, but his work advising issuers and investors about corporate disclosure of political activities, which opponents defined as advising CEOs to hide their political spending, did him in. Fairfax, a law professor at George Washington University, was reportedly put forward by Sherrod Brown and placed on a list of acceptable nominees by Elizabeth Warren (there’s some question now of whether or not that was the case). Swapping Fairfax for Gumbs was reported as a win for the reformers.

So why did Democrats block her from advancing in the Senate Banking Committee, probably dooming her nomination?

Read more...

Senators Try to Scuttle Syngenta/ChemChina Merger, in a Harbinger for U.S. Posture Toward Chinese Investment

This is a big week for the future of American industry. Chinese Premier Xi Jinping will meet one-on-one with President Obama on the sidelines of a summit in Washington. The Chinese will apparently use the meeting to make a new offer on a bilateral investment treaty that would pave the way for more foreign direct […]

Read more...

Good Booms, Bad Booms: Why Only Some Credit Booms End in a Crisis

Credit booms are not rare and usually precede financial crises. However, some end in a crisis while others do not. This column argues that credit booms start with an increase in productivity, which subsequently falls much faster during ‘bad booms’. When this decline is severe enough, it changes the informational regime in credit markets, leading to a drying up of credit. A crisis may be the result of an exhausted credit boom and not necessarily of a negative productivity shock.

Read more...

GAO Report Debunks Fair Value Accounting, Protecting Students and Homeowners

By David Dayen, a freelance writer (Salon, The Intercept, The New Republic, etc.) and author of Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud, which releases May 17, 2016 (available for pre-order now). Follow him on Twitter @ddayen. A couple of weeks ago, the Government Accountability Office saved the country’s […]

Read more...

Silvia Merler: ECB TLTRO 2.0 – Lending at Negative Rates

On Thursday, the ECB surprised observers by announcing a new series of four targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTRO II) to be started in June 2016. The incentive structure of the programme has changed: on one hand, this TLTRO II could be the first case of lending at negative rates; on the other hand, the link with lending to the real economy might have been weakened.

Read more...

CFTC Commissioner Giancarlo Admits to Hijacking Advisory Committee to Boost Commodity Speculators

Last week, an advisory committee to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission produced a highly dubious report recommending that the agency abandon the Dodd-Frank mandate of setting position limits in futures markets to eliminate excessive speculation. The report was just an enhanced form of lobbying; eight of the nine members of the Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee (EEMAC) have ties to industries that would personally benefit from killing the rule.

The big question was how an official advisory committee of a federal agency could turn into a purely distilled conduit for corporate talking points? And the answer is Christopher Giancarlo, the lone Republican commissioner on CFTC at the moment, who took advantage of the committee, twisted it to his own ends, and produced a work product destined to be used in future litigation to overturn the position limits rule.

Read more...