David Dayen

David Dayen is a contributing writer to Salon.com who also writes for The InterceptThe New Republic, and The Fiscal Times. His first book, Chain of Title, about three ordinary Americans who uncover Wall Street's foreclosure fraud, was released by The New Press on May 17, 2016.

Recent Articles

A Slap on the Wrist for Mortgage Fraud

A new enforcement order from federal regulators basically leaves it up to banks to monitor for themselves how they process mortgages.

(Flickr/lewisha1990)
On Wednesday, three federal regulators -- the Federal Reserve, the Office of Thrift Supervision, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency -- released an enforcement order against 14 of the nation's largest banks and two third-party service providers for persistent irregularities and outright fraud in the way they process mortgages. These regulators are, respectively, the gang that missed the housing bubble, American International Group's overseer (whose colossal lapses caused it to be disbanded in last year's financial-regulatory law), and an entity most recently headed by a former bank lobbyist. The product of their deliberations, then, is no surprise: a toothless federal consent decree that essentially lets the offending banks off the hook and puts them in charge of their own prosecution. And yet, paradoxically, this weak consent decree could be the best chance for accountability in the mess that banks have made of the housing market. It certainly wouldn't appear that way...

Why Democrats Lost the Budget Fight

It may be tough to counter Republicans' uncompromising strategy on the budget, but Democrats sowed their own defeat long ago.

(Rex Features via AP Images)
This week, congressional negotiators will either reach an agreement on a continuing resolution for the 2011 budget or force the government to shut down. Even at a time when unemployment remains at an elevated 8.8 percent and a number of global concerns (the Japanese earthquake disaster, the European debt crisis, state budget cuts, and the depressed housing market) threaten the nascent recovery, Republicans will most likely succeed in cutting an additional $23 billion to the budget. Including the $10 billion already slashed in the two stopgap funding measures that were passed earlier this year, that brings the total to $33 billion, about the same level that House Republican leaders proposed before their most conservative members forced them to try to cut even deeper. Republicans have played the "bad cop, insane cop" strategy well, staking out a maximalist position and then compromising back to the level of cuts they always wanted. There are plenty of liberals willing to criticize...

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