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Ben Hallman
Ben Hallman is senior financial writer at The Huffington Post, based in New York. Previously, he was a business and finance reporter at the investigative nonprofit The Center for Public Integrity. He has also written for The American Lawyer and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He can be reached at

Entries by Ben Hallman

The Business Of Dying Has Never Been More Lucrative

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 2:20 PM

Some of the most financially successful health care providers are those whose patients usually die.

For-profit hospices saw profit margins exceed 15 percent in 2012, according to a new report from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, known as MedPAC, which advises Congress on health policy. No other Medicare-financed health service was...

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I Want My Kid To Read, So I'm Feeding My iPad To A Shark

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2015 | 9:47 AM


I'm headed to a North Carolina island next week, where I will offer my soft, pale body up to the sharks that have invaded the shallows this year. If not devoured, I plan to make a big dent in my reading list. 

Usually I prepare...

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World Bank Employees Losing Faith In Leadership, Survey Reveals

(8) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 12:31 PM

This story was reported with Sasha Chavkin from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

World Bank staffers are losing faith in the development giant’s leadership, an internal staff survey indicates, with fewer than one-third of respondents indicating that they have a “clear understanding” of the bank’s...

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The Confederate Flag Is a Racist Symbol of a Failed Rebellion. It's Not a Debate.

(1415) Comments | Posted June 19, 2015 | 5:44 PM

There are white Southerners who venerate their Confederate ancestors as heroes, even patriots. One of mine was a deserter. I wish he hadn't fought at all.

My great-great grandfather was conscripted into the Confederate Navy and assigned to a ship guarding Mobile Bay, in Alabama. In August 1864, after...

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Big Banks' Mortgage Units -- Still Failing Customers -- Face New Restrictions

(99) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 5:40 PM

Remember that time the nation's largest banks engaged in fraud and deceptive lending to fuel Wall Street's insatiable appetite for dodgy investments backed by home mortgages?

Remember how in the aftermath of the economic collapse, after the banks received massive taxpayer bailouts, some of the...

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Debt Forgiveness Could Save This Woman's Home, But Nation's Housing Chief Still Says No

(74) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 10:08 AM

Sylvia Alvarez didn't grasp the enormity of the crisis about to engulf her community until she returned to her office in Tampa, Florida, after a long weekend and found her voicemail filled with messages from distraught homeowners.

It was early 2008. The bottom had fallen out of both the housing...

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I Misplaced My Fancy Camera On Assignment In Peru, But My iPhone Saved The Day

(7) Comments | Posted April 21, 2015 | 1:43 PM

Ví­ctor Mendoza reached the top of the steep hill behind his home, then stopped and thrust a hand into his pocket. His 10-year-old son, following behind, sank into the grass nearby. In the distance, the yellow and green highlands of northern Peru unfurled until they met a dark sky.


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World Bank Admits It Ignored Its Own Rules Designed To Protect The Poor

(67) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 3:33 PM

This story was reported and written with Sasha Chavkin and Mike Hudson from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The World Bank, created to fight poverty, has admitted that it’s failed to follow its own rules for protecting the poor people swept aside by dams, roads and other big projects...

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One Peruvian Woman Is Standing Up To A Gold-Mining Goliath

(17) Comments | Posted February 11, 2015 | 4:26 PM

This story was reported with Roxana Olivera, a Toronto-based investigative journalist living in Peru.

SOROCHUCO, Peru -- On a remote farm deep in the Peruvian Andes, in a region where sheep outnumber people by a comfortable margin, a very small woman is foiling the plans of one of the...

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Hey America, Your New Year's Resolutions Are Garbage

(9) Comments | Posted January 9, 2015 | 8:45 AM

It's been a week since you awoke with a hangover and promised to do something different. If you are an American, the odds are high that the different-something involved making yourself better in some incredibly tedious way.

Maybe you pledged to be less fat. Maybe you resolved to be...

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Here Are The Hospices That Break The Most Rules

(39) Comments | Posted January 8, 2015 | 6:43 AM

Missed appointments. Confidential records left out in the open, in shopping bags and stacked on shelves. A patient overdosed with 10 times the amount of prescribed pain medication.

These are some of the more than 31,000 violations turned up over the past decade by inspectors...
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Here's Why The NRA Is Winning The Gun Argument

(538) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 4:23 PM

After more than a decade of waning influence, gun control advocates thought their moment had arrived. A madman had stalked the halls of an elementary school with an assault rifle, leaving an unthinkable horror in his wake: 20 slain children and six teachers and staff members who died trying to...

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The Final Moments Of Michael Brown's Life Look Very Different, Depending Whom You Talk To

(90) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 7:35 PM

In his final moments of life, Michael Brown charged toward Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, shrugging off warnings to stop and seeming to ignore at least one bullet that wounded him, while reaching to his waistband as if to pull a weapon.

Or, he sank to his knees, raised his...

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Big Banks Don't Want You To Find Out What People Really Think Of Them

(50) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 1:58 PM

The nation's largest banks and debt collectors are worried that if you learn what people are saying about them, you might like them less. And that wouldn't be fair, they say.

The financial sector is fighting a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposal that would have the agency publish...

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Big Pharma Is The Big Loser In New Tax-Dodging Rules

(23) Comments | Posted September 24, 2014 | 8:59 AM

There was a time when American pharmaceutical companies had finally found a way to access the large reserves of cash they had piling up in places like the Cayman Islands. The process was simple: Acquire a smaller foreign rival, repatriate in the rival's home country and then dip into the...

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'Badass' Moms Take Gun Fight To NRA's Home Turf

(2652) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 6:00 AM

The next contender in the fight to knock the most feared lobbying association in the United States off its powerful perch is a 43-year-old former stay-at-home mother from suburban Indianapolis named Shannon Watts.

With access to Michael Bloomberg's deep pockets and the force of more than 2 million dedicated...

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Panera Asks Customers Not To Bring Guns Into Its Restaurants

(1695) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 11:27 AM

On Monday, Panera Bread became the latest U.S. company to ask customers to leave their guns at home.

The bakery-cafe chain joins Starbucks, Chipotle, Target and a handful of other restaurants and retailers in making such a request, which comes amid an increasingly heated debate over the role...

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Nevada Taxpayers Lose With Tesla Deal, Even If Factory Succeeds

(44) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 2:35 PM

Gamblers who play a hand of poker in Las Vegas may go home broke, but the house always wins. That's because casinos collect a percentage of every pot, known as the rake, in exchange for hosting the game.

In wooing Tesla Motors, Nevada offered the electric carmaker...

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Moms' Group Calls Out Kroger's Gun Policy In Unprecedented New Ad Campaign

(1721) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 12:04 AM

The moms are taking the gun control fight to Kroger's backyard.

On Thursday, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a gun control group backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's considerable financial resources, will blanket half a dozen newspapers with ads meant to pressure the...

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Burger King Dares Obama To Stop It From Fleeing To Canada

(1192) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 2:31 PM

Burger King’s plan to scurry across the Canadian border to avoid U.S. taxes could be seen as the corporate equivalent of flipping President Barack Obama the bird.

The White House vowed earlier this month to use an executive order to curb tax inversions -- deals in which U.S. companies buy...

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