Watchdog Blog

Archive for the 'Financial crisis' Category

Mary C. Curtis: Buddy Roemer Campaigns One Vote at a Time

Where is Buddy Roemer, Republican candidate for president? In the polls, the former U.S. Congressman and Louisiana governor is so low he hasn’t been included in any debates so far, and that includes Thursday night’s. This week, though, I knew exactly where I could find him – in Charlotte, N.C., around the corner from my [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Somebody Tell Boehner What ‘Rebuttal’ Means

Notice how House Speaker John Boehner turned a deaf ear to the president in his so-called rebuttal to Obama’s July 25 address on the debt ceiling? If you hadn’t noticed, you have plenty of company. The press evidently wasn’t paying attention either. In his talk, Obama took a hard crack at the GOP for not [...]

POGO: Unposted Inspector General Reports Showcase SEC Misconduct

By Michael Smallberg, crossposted with the Project On Government Oversight A few months ago, we questioned why many of the investigative reports issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Office of Inspector General (OIG) are nowhere to be found on the agency or the OIG’s website. Since then, we’ve obtained many of these unposted [...]

POGO: Stimulus ‘Lettermarking’ at the Defense Department

By Nick Schwellenbach, crossposted with POGO My friends over at the Center for Public Integrity unveiled a wallop of a story on Sunday afternoon—dozens of Members of Congress who decried the Recovery Act, better known as the “stimulus,” were simultaneously sending letters to government agencies asking for a piece of the action. The Center got [...]

Dan Froomkin: Fraud, From Top To Bottom – But Especially Top

In an interview with’s John Hanrahan last October, University of Texas economist James Galbraith argued that the press has paid too little attention to investigating the “criminal and felonious behavior” involved in the economic crash. Galbraith said the crisis “was the product of wide-scale criminal fraud,” just as was the case in the savings [...]

Dan Froomkin: Ponzis, Ponzis, Everywhere?

In the course of researching a story on the role of fraud in the financial crisis, I ended up speaking to James D. Ratley, who is the president of an organization called the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. He talks to reporters a lot, he says, and he had a complaint. “We see a lot [...]

Barry Sussman: Scratch the Big Bonuses and Turn Them Over to Borrowers?

As an old assignment editor I’m used to asking questions and not being embarrassed if they expose me as naïve or wrong minded, because sometimes there’s a good story lurking. So here are a few simple questions. The biggest financial institutions are said to be on the verge of issuing $145 billion in bonuses. My [...]

Mary C. Curtis: Valerie Jarrett on Health Care, Poll Numbers, Town Halls and Barack Obama

On message and with a streak of steel, Barack Obama’s senior advisor Valerie Jarrett made it clear that the president is fighting back challenges to his agenda. It “takes a certain temperament, perseverance and stubbornness” to make changes in Washington, Jarrett said. She addressed poll numbers, town hall disruptions and what it will take to [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: When a Financial Newsletter Goes Overboard

Let’s say that Bernard Madoff duped not only investors but also the press and that, having heard about his celebrity customers, the financial press publicized the ostensibly generous returns that caused even savvy investors to flock to him. Naturally, the attention would be good for Madoff’s business. Question: When Madoff’s swindle was revealed, would the [...]

Carolyn Lewis: Blaming the Victims in the AIG Scandal

Crikey! Who are the dunderheads who shaped the lead editorial in the March 18 Washington Post? Pack them off to the woodshed. With growing outrage across the country, in Congress and the White House, over the obscene bonuses given to top dogs at AIG, the Post writers complain about the complainers. They are called “demagogic [...]