Summers lost Harvard billions

The Boston Globe has an excellent piece on Larry Summers’ mismanagement of Harvard’s finances today.  As president from 2001 to 2006, Summers overstepped his presidential duties and pushed most of the university‘s cash into the market, against the frantic warnings of his investment chiefs.  These moves lost Harvard close to $2 billion. The article opens …

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Names in the news, 11.25.2009

* The White House has announced that President Obama will attend the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen. * Military contractors employed by Blackwater are at the center of a secret program of targeted assassinations in Pakistan, according to The Nation‘s Jeremy Scahill.  The operatives are also helping direct a drone bombing campaign, all from a US …

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Names in the news, 11.23.2009

Former White House counsel Greg Craig first won then lost the torture transparency debate to National Security Council staffer Denis McDonough and a posse of ex-CIA directors, according to a must-read piece in Time. Senator Mary Landrieu got $300 million in Medicaid for her state in exchange for her vote to allow the Senate to …

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New Ways to Follow the Money on LittleSis

Faithful readers may have noticed that a good chunk of our recent research has centered on analysis of campaign contributions made by various power players: Chicago 2016 Committee Gave More to Obama than Goldman Sachs Following the Chamber money trail, part 1 and part 2 This has been made possible by a new tool we’ve …

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The Dow of Geithner

In early March, as the AIG bonus controversy fueled public outrage at Wall Street’s chief enablers in Washington, it looked like Treasury Secretary Geithner would be forced out of his post before he got a chance to smell the cherry blossoms. Their backs to the wall, Geithner and friends subsequently waged a confidence game, slinging …

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Watt aide was “Friend of Angelo”

A key former aide to the North Carolina Democrat threatening popular legislation to audit the Fed once received a sweetheart Countrywide loan designed to influence predatory lending legislation introduced by the Representative. From a July 2009 CBS piece on the “Friends of Angelo,” (powerful recipients of sweetheart deals from the mortgage lender, named for Countrywide’s …

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Geithner’s backdoor bailout

A new report from the TARP inspector general details how Tim Geithner dropped the ball in negotiations with AIG counterparties after the insurance giant’s collapse. As New York Fed president, Geithner had considerable power to force counterparties like Goldman Sachs to take losses on their swaps with AIG, but didn’t.  As a result, taxpayer money …

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Former Eshoo, Barton staffers at center of Genentech scandal

The New York Times revealed today that over 40 members of Congress read statements on the floor that parrotted talking points prepared for them by lobbyists for pharmaceutical giant Genentech. As sundin notes, the story is a must-read and perhaps “all too believable,” given the way Washington works. But the Times misses a key piece …

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The Coal Fourteen

Fourteen Democratic Senators stood up for coal yesterday, notes the Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson: In a letter to Senate leaders, a bloc of senators with powerful coal interests in their states called for “fair emissions allowances in climate change legislation.” Their definition of “fair,” unfortunately, turns out to be full taxpayer subsidies for global warming …

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Following the Chamber money trail, part 2

Now for some eye candy:  visualizations of the tabular data I shared in my last post on the US Chamber of Commerce board’s political networks and giving patterns. I’m going to start with the strongest ties — the edges on the below graph mean that the donors they link have 14 or more recipients in …

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Following the Chamber money trail, part 1

The data is in — as promised, we’ve compiled comprehensive political giving info for every US Chamber of Commerce board member using OpenSecrets campaign contribution data. Current Chamber board members have given over $6 million in campaign contributions since 1992, an average of over $50,000 per director. Roughly 85% of these funds went to Republicans.* …

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