It’s well known by now that the Occupy Wall Street protesters are occupying Zuccotti park – a park just a... View ArticleContinue reading
Maybe it has something to do with today being tax day -- Pro Publica launches a very cool Eye on the BailoutContinue reading
Glenn Reynolds asks whether employees in the financial industry, always a big donor to political campaigns, will contribute to other candidates or curtail their giving. He cites the AIG bonus flap, and Congress' reaction to it (including the outrage of members and the House passing a bill that would tax 90 percent of those bonuses away) as evidence of the fickleness of Congressional favor. Reynolds writes,
In light of this behavior, Wall Street--if it survives long enough--will likely conclude that subsidizing these pols was a bad idea.
If so, maybe it's time to shut off the funding. Politicians are ...Continue reading
I've been doing some Webinars over the past few days for reporters to show off some features of SubsidyScope.com for looking at bailout data from Treasury and the FDIC. One of the things I keep telling them is that lots of groups are looking at this data, building tools for parsing and analyzing it, and they should stay tuned.
Today I got to offer an incredibly vivid example of that: the Investigative Reporting Workshop released its BankTracker project, which uses FDIC data to answer the question, "how safe is your bank?" Wendell Cochran is heading up the effort ...Continue reading
It's old news -- several trillion dollars ago -- but back in 2008 the Federal Reserve, Treasury and the FDIC started working in tandem on a series of measures to stabilize the financial system. The Federal Reserve's aid is doled our or loaned out in secrecy, despite the dogged attempts of Bloomberg News to pry loose the data; the FDIC has released some, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by our colleagues at SubsidyScope.com.
You can download data in ...Continue reading
Yesterday I was talking to some folks about whether, given the trillions potentially committed to bailouts, there's any sense in continuing to probe earmarks. I say of course there is.
Our friends at the Center for Responsive Politics put together a handy guide to the political influence wielded by Bernard L. Madoff, who was arrested and charged with running a hedge fund that allegedly operated as a giant ponzi scheme. Among the information CRP flagged was a lobbying disclosure from 2005 from the firm of Lent, Scrivner & Roth, LLC, which shows, on page three, that Bernard L. Madoff Investment ...Continue reading
A couple of interesting stories on the financial crises. The Washington Post's Jill Drew writes a solid piece explaining how players in the financial system spread the risk from subprime mortgages through the economy. A bit light on the role played by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (which get attention only in the accompanying interactive graphic). The article itself is probably a bit long to read online, but worth the effort.Continue reading
It's old news now: yesterday, President-elect Barack Obama announced he was picking Timothy Geithner, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as his Treasury Secretary.
Geithner's New York Fed, according to Bloomberg.com, has been "accepting [securities from banks] on behalf of American taxpayers as collateral for $1.5 trillion of loans. (Bear in mind that link is several weeks old, and, due to rounding and additional bailouts, may be off by a trillion dollars or two).
Bloomberg filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act for documents related to that $1.5 trillion ...Continue reading
It appears that <a href="http://apnews.myway.com/article/20081117/D94GUIK80.html">the auto bailout</a> is stalled for now, as congressional leadership and the Bush administration have come to loggerheads over providing $25 to $50 billion in loans to General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Chrysler.
I found it interesting that, as of December 2007 (the most recent date for which disclosures are available), just 27 of the 535 members of Congress owned stock in at least one of the big three automakers, according to <a href="http://www.opensecrets.org">Open Secrets</a>. They disclosed holdings worth ...Continue reading