The Woman Who Knew Too Much
A profile of Elizabeth Warren.
A profile of Elizabeth Warren.
Retracing the early economic steps of the Obama administration.
From Vallejo to San Jose, a tour of local government despair:
The relationship between the people and their money in California is such that you can pluck almost any city at random and enter a crisis.
His complete financial disaster tourism series for Vanity Fair, to date.
On the marriage of Ponzi schemer Ken Starr and his fourth wife, Diane Passage, whom he met while she was dancing at a strip club.
The CEO of the US’s biggest bank doesn’t have much charisma or a track record, but he’s “doing as well as any little Dutch boy can—sticking his fingers in the dike.”
On the current state of the global economy and the inevitable decline of the U.K. and the U.S.:
A decade-long slowdown would accelerate this shift in global wealth and power and would be a grim thing to live through, but from a world-historical perspective it might not be a game-changer: it might just be the non-scenic route to the place we’re going anyway.
A profile of Ken Robinson, who earned minor fame and more than a few enemies for the controversial way he “bought” his house:
The week after Robinson moved into the tan-sided home with a faux stone entrance and maroon shutters, he was soaring, an Internet hero a few levels shy of Steven Slater, the JetBlue flight attendant who last summer cracked a beer and left work on a plane's emergency slide. For $16, Robinson had filed paperwork with Denton County staking his claim to the abandoned home through an obscure Texas law called adverse possession. Ever since, curious visitors, beginner real estate investors and people who want an ultra-cheap home to fulfill their version of the American Dream have been knocking on his door for advice and a handshake.
As Europe, led by Greece and Ireland and followed by Portugal and Spain, tumbles towards economic catastrophe, only one nation can save the continent from financial ruin: a highly reluctant Germany.
By 2006, S&P was making its own study of such loans' performance. It singled out 639,981 loans made in 2002 to see if its benign assumptions had held up. They hadn't. Loans with piggybacks were 43% more likely to default than other loans, S&P found. In April 2006, S&P said it would raise by July the amount of collateral underwriters must include in many new mortgage portfolios. For instance, S&P could require that mortgage pools have extra loans in them, since it now expected a larger number to go bad. Still, S&P didn't lower its ratings on existing securities, saying it had to further monitor the performance of loans backing them. It thus helped the market for these loans hold up through the end of 2006.
How Tim Durham funded a libertine lifestyle—dozens of luxury cars, Playboy-themed parties, a plethora of failed businesses—on the backs of unwitting Ohioans, many of them Amish.
A profile of under-fire Goldman Sachs Ceo Lloyd Blankfein.
On the prosecution of former hedge fund star Raj Rajaratnam.
Bob Rodriguez, the oracular mutual fund manager with the best record over the last quarter century and two correctly-predicted crashes under his belt, says another spectacular crash is on its way within five years.
Fred Wilpon, the owner of the hapless New York Mets, had more than $500 million tied up with Bernie Madoff when the Ponzi scheme was exposed. Now he may be forced to sell his beloved ballclub.
While much of the Levin report describes past history, the Goldman section describes an ongoing? crime — a powerful, well-connected firm, with the ear of the president and the Treasury, that appears to have conquered the entire regulatory structure and stands now on the precipice of officially getting away with one of the biggest financial crimes in history.
On 21st-century prospectors:
Shawn Ryan is the king of a new Yukon gold rush, the biggest since the legendary Klondike stampede a century ago. Behind this stampede is the rising price of gold, and behind this price is fear.
With fewer and fewer students having the income necessary to pay back loans (except through the use of more consumer debt), a massive default looks closer to inevitable.
On the emerging student loan bubble.
Despite no hurricanes in five years, Florida insurers are demanding yet more money from homeowners. At the same time, the capital that insurers have on hand to pay claims has shrunk. One reporter spent a year trying to figure out why.
A series on how some Wall Street bankers, seeking to enrich themselves at the expense of their clients and sometimes even their own firms, at first delayed but then worsened the financial crisis.
The story of $220M in bailout money.
On who will bear the burden of the financial crisis facing cities across America. “Will it be articulated in terms of bond defaults or larger kindergarten classes—or no kindergarten classes at all?”
“One evening, my home phone rang. ‘You have a collect call from Bernard Madoff, an inmate at a federal prison,’ a recording announced. And there he was.”
“The entire system set up to monitor and regulate Wall Street is fucked up. Just ask the people who tried to do the right thing.”
A primer on income inequality in America.