David Dayen

David Dayen is the executive editor of The American Prospect. His work has appeared in The Intercept, The New RepublicHuffPostThe Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and more. His first book, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud, winner of the Studs and Ida Terkel Prize, was released by The New Press in 2016. His email is ddayen@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

Trump Team Wants to Wipe Out Consumer Protections, and Obama Administration Just Handed Them the Tools

The Obama administration has pre-empted some state banking rules in a bid to protect consumers, but President-elect Trump may soon turn the tables.

Ron Sachs/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
As the Trump era nears inauguration, progressives have found solace in an unlikely quarter: federalism. In The New York Times and Vox , liberal scholars cheer on expected efforts to advance a localized agenda of resistance and reform, from sanctuary cities to mandatory reductions in carbon emissions to a living wage. But President-elect Donald Trump and his team could nullify state and municipal laws through federal pre-emption. Under certain circumstances, federal agencies can argue that the industries they regulate need not comply with any state measures that go beyond their national standards. This can particularly affect consumer protection, where pre-emption has an ugly recent history. And this has Democrats angry that President Obama’s hand-picked regulators are handing their successors a golden opportunity to wipe out state rules. Earlier this month, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the main regulator for national commercial banks, announced that it...

Cures Act Is Bad Medicine for NIH, FDA

A bipartisan bill that promises more money for research and development is actually full of giveaways for the pharmaceutical industry and other trade groups.

(Photo: AP/Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Not too long ago, most political observers expected a lively, lame-duck Congress. Would President Obama muscle through the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement? Would the Senate, wary of a Hillary Clinton Supreme Court nominee, confirm Merrick Garland? Would Republicans pass a year-long budget to keep Clinton’s hands away from the fiscal cookie jar? All that changed after the election. Now the lame-duck Congress is a sleepy affair, with Republicans looking ahead to the ascension of Donald Trump. But there’s one exception to this legislative lethargy: The 21st Century Cures Act , a bill with a bipartisan pedigree that has now become a wet kiss to the pharmaceutical lobby and other trade groups. Liberal Democrats have finally begun to sound the alarm, but with others, including Obama, behind it, and votes scheduled on the bill, will they be too late? The 21st Century Cures Act came into being as a feel-good measure. After all, who doesn’t like cures? The core...

Protests Greet Puerto Rico Control Board

A congressionally chartered control board tasked with fixing Puerto Rico’s debt crisis has been stacked with banking industry executives and faces mounting public opposition.

(Photo: AP/Ricardo Arduengo)
“No to these asshole promises! This is slavery! Stop pillaging Puerto Rico!” These shouts from dozens of protesters last Friday dominated the first public meeting in Manhattan of Puerto Rico’s fiscal control board, created by the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, or PROMESA. Congress passed the act in June in response to Puerto Rico’s debt crisis. But local resistance to PROMESA is mounting, as the unelected control board has usurped the island’s sovereign government and is poised to demand more austerity, without investing a dime in economic development. Years from now, when these consequences are felt, Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million citizens will undoubtedly question why a Democratic president agreed to sign the law, and why his emissary, Antonio Weiss, boasted about it. Weiss, a 20-year investment banker at Lazard who became counselor to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in 2014, has embarked on a victory tour, telling Bloomberg...

Q&A: Will Colleges Support Debt-Free Higher Education?

Now the president of a liberal arts college in Maryland, former Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairwoman Sheila Bair discusses whether college-for-all proposals would really help students.

AP Photo/Ron Edmonds
This summer, I argued that Democratic proposals for debt-free higher education will draw opposition from the colleges themselves, which are well served by the status quo. That’s because making public colleges and universities free would force costs down throughout the system, and reverse the incentives that cause tuitions to rise. But this prediction drew a sharp retort from a vocal, albeit unlikely, critic of liberal debt-free college plans: Sheila Bair, the former chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and now the president of Washington College, a 1,450-student liberal arts school in Chestertown, Maryland. During President Obama’s first term, Bair frequently clashed with her colleagues over Dodd-Frank regulations and housing policy, eliciting cheers from progressives. But since becoming Washington College president last year, she has questioned the wisdom of making public four-year colleges and universities tuition-free, a position that puts her at odds...

Who's to Blame for Brexit? The Elites

Britain's vote to leave the European Union was driven by right-wing populism, but the real blame must be laid at the feet of elite technocrats who have bungled the European project.

AP Photo/Matt Dunham
/*--> */ Over the past decade, elites broke the world, and were unrepentant about their failure. They created the conditions for the worst economic crisis in nearly a century, and made sure that their elite friends at the top would scoop up the post-crisis gains, stranding the vast majority of people. They decided their project of globalization and liberalization mattered more than democracy. Brexit is among the first tangible responses. Yes, the victorious campaign to leave the European Union won on the basis of xenophobia and the demonization of immigrants. For anyone of a cosmopolitan bent it’s a terrible outcome. And those with long enough memories to remember the last time European nations broke apart instead of coming together will be pained by the outcome. But if you tell people you know what’s best for them for years and years while their prospects wither and their lives are immiserated, at some point you should expect some kind of reaction. Practically all of the...

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