Watchdog Blog

Archive for the 'The Economy' Category

Barry Sussman: Reporting Is Getting Better and Worse at the Same Time

I got a few questions from a Norwegian journalist asking my reflections on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. The questions tend to be a little lofty; as the writer, Tore Saevik, noted, “It is possible to write books about several of them.” But they all are good questions, so I took a shot at them. [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Boehner: Oh, What a Smart Dealer Am I

The prize for impolitic remark of the year goes to House Speaker John Boehner, who told a television interviewer Aug. 1 that, in the negotiations to raise the debt ceiling, “When you look at this final agreement that we came to with the White House, I got 98 per cent of what I wanted. I’m [...]

Dan Froomkin: Ask Boehner’s Economist Friends What Jobs, How Many, and When?

House Speaker John Boehner last week sent President Obama a  statement signed by 150 self-described economists (most of whom you’ve never heard of) calling for immediate spending cuts in the name of job creation. “To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending,” [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Those Deluded, Greedy Old Folks

Once upon a time I was elderly. I called it quits with that demographic after learning from The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki about the anti-social antics of my former cohorts. Surowiecki wrote that the mid-term election results might accurately be called the “revolt of the retired”. The elderly not only turned out in unusually large [...]

Morton Mintz: Corporate CEO’s Compensation, and a Little Perspective

News often needs context and/or perspective, and a recent Wall Street Journal report provides a memorable example. The article identified the 20 corporate CEOs who “had the most total direct compensation in their most recent fiscal year.” Leading the list, with a mind-boggling $87,095,882, was Liberty Media’s Gregory B. Maffei. Five others head media or [...]

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 [...]

Morton Mintz: The Astounding, Ridiculous Pay Gap

“Over the last 50 years, the ratio of top pay to average pay at public companies has multiplied roughly 11 times (24:1 to 275:1),” Steven Brill wrote in the Jan. 3 New York Times Magazine. “That’s more pay in one workday for the chief executive than his average employee makes in a year.” Moreover, as [...]

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: It’s Only Money

Hundreds of individuals and institutions hoodwinked by Bernard L. Madoff lost tens of billions of dollars. As the saying goes, it’s only money. Lives have been affected by Madoff’s scam, but only a couple are known to have been lost, by suicide. Destruction of human life is incalculably more devastating than money down the drain. [...]

Carolyn Lewis: Government as a Spur to Innovation

True confessions up front: I have a soft spot for Scandinavia. It began when I spent a post-college summer studying at the University of Oslo. Later I married an Australian whose father was a Norwegian sea captain. We have lots of relatives living in Norway who keep me informed about what’s going on there. I’ve [...]