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February 26, 2014

Accountability: What Did They Know?

“I was tough on Dean Starkman when I wrote about his new book,The Watchdog That Didn’t Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia University Press, 2014).  I don’t think newspapers could have prevented what happened in 2008 by getting up on their hind legs. Nor has investigative reporting disappeared, even though metropolitan newspapers have taken a special beating in the scramble for ad revenue.”

“I do, however, buy Starkman’s concept of accountability reporting. I admired his account of journalistic muckraking in markets for subprime debt and penny stocks in the years after 1988. In the case of the crisis, it’s even more important after the event than before.”

“Last week Better Markets, a non-profit advocacy group in Washington, D.C., headed by a former Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom litigator, went to court to challenge the validity of the Justice Department’s $13 billion plea bargain with J.P. Morgan over claims that the bank cut corners in packaging and selling mortgage-backed securities.”

“The Obama administration’s settlement deal with the giant bank was not reviewed or approved by any court – a violation of the spirit of Constitutional separation of powers, according to the complaint.”

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Read full Economic Principals article here.

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