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Ben Hallman
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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 benjamin.hallman@huffingtonpost.com.

Entries by Ben Hallman

Panera Asks Customers Not To Bring Guns Into Its Restaurants

(1679) 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

(43) 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

(1646) 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

(1204) 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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Why Underwater Homeowners Won't Be Saved By Bank Of America's $17 Billion Deal

(161) Comments | Posted August 22, 2014 | 7:35 AM

Since law enforcement officials first began pursuing banks for misdeeds related to the housing collapse, the stated goal has been the same. The objective, the Justice Department has said, is to hold banks accountable and to aid people most harmed by the financial crash that destroyed home prices and led...

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New Study Debunks Big Corporations' Argument About Taxes

(160) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 1:19 PM

Not long ago, the top executive at a large American drug company said that her company would be planting its corporate flag in the Netherlands, because the U.S. tax code is just so darn unfair.

Heather Bresch, the CEO of Mylan, told a New York Times columnist...

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Kroger Under Fire From Gun-Control Moms

(2077) Comments | Posted August 18, 2014 | 7:15 AM

The fight over whether shoppers should be allowed to tote guns openly in American businesses is about to spill into the aisles of Kroger, the nation's largest supermarket chain.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a national gun control organization backed by former New York Mayor Michael...

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Law Firms Took Money From Struggling Homeowners To Pay For Cars, Stuff: Feds

(9) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 5:58 PM

For more than two years, the Hoffman Law Group of Palm Beach, Florida, told clients it was converting their legal fees into justice. The firm was suing banks over abusive practices, it claimed, actions that would force the banks to lower mortgage payments and even pay cash damages to aggrieved...

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Here's What It's Like When Wall Street Is Your Landlord

(9) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 1:00 PM

Renting a home is an exercise in trust. Tenants commit to a year's worth of payments with the expectation that the house is habitable: the toilets work, the roof keeps out the rain and marauding gangs of mice haven't laid claim to the attic.

But in two California communities...

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Law Enforcement Raids Law Firm Accused Of Scamming Desperate Homeowners

(7) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 7:35 AM

It was a gut-level appeal to desperate people locked in a mortgage dispute with their bank.

For thousands of dollars upfront, plus an additional monthly fee, homeowners could piggyback onto one of more than a dozen lawsuits launched by the Hoffman Law Group, a Florida firm suing banks over...

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Bringing A Gun Into A Georgia Bar Just Got A Lot Easier

(422) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 2:12 PM

From this day forward, the only thing that can keep guns out of Georgia's bars are Georgia's bar owners.

Georgia's new gun-carry law, one of the nation's most permissive -- it's often derided as the "guns everywhere" law, if that tells you anything -- took effect on Tuesday....

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America's Growing Hospice Crisis, In 1 Map

(76) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 8:40 AM

The U.S. hospice industry is booming. Government data shows that in 2014, nearly half of all Medicare patients who die will do so as a hospice patient -- twice as many as a decade ago. Medicare will spend $15 billion on hospice care this year, four times more...

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Walgreen Ponders $4 Billion Tax Dodge

(105) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Walgreen, the biggest U.S. retail drugstore chain, is considering decamping to Switzerland in a quest for bigger tax breaks, just two years after reaping a hefty package of Illinois tax credits in exchange for keeping corporate jobs in the state.

Such a move, through a maneuver called an inversion,...

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Lawyers Are Now The Driving Force Behind Mortgage Scams

(64) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 7:39 AM

From the very first day she was allowed to speak with clients at her new law firm job, Michele Stephens wondered if she was doing something unethical. By the time she quit, nearly a year later, she no longer had any doubt about it. “I was told to lie again...

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Fortune 500 Has Thousands Of Tax Shelters Holding $2 Trillion Offshore

(17) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 4:21 PM

With all the U.S. corporate cash piling up on tiny Caribbean islands, it's a wonder the beaches can still accommodate sunbathers.

Apple, Nike, Citigroup and a few hundred other Fortune 500 companies have created a whopping 7,827 offshore shell companies to stash nearly $2 trillion in places like Bermuda...

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Sonic And Chili's Announce No-Gun Policies

(6358) Comments | Posted May 30, 2014 | 3:39 PM

Chili’s and Sonic became the latest national chains to wade into the gun debate on Friday, announcing in apparently coordinated statements that firearms are no longer welcome in their restaurants.

In separate statements to The Huffington Post, the companies said that they were asking customers not to openly carry firearms...

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Pro-Gun Group Backs Down After Chipotle Rally Backfires

(4164) Comments | Posted May 23, 2014 | 2:24 PM

A Texas gun rights group has notified members that they are to "immediately cease" taking shotguns and rifles into private businesses unless invited to do so, backing down from a controversial strategy that has led several large restaurant chains to ask patrons to leave their guns at home....

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The Pro-Gun Invasion Of Chipotle Totally Backfired

(2273) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 11:18 AM

Gun-rights activists have shot themselves in the foot, again, with a gun rally that caused another major American retail chain to declare firearms unwelcome.

Chipotle on Monday said it wanted customers to stop bringing guns to its restaurants, after photos of an open-carry rally at one of its...

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Congress Takes From The Poor, Gives To The Corporate Rich

(690) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 11:23 AM

The most dysfunctional Congress in U.S. history has finally found something that can attract bipartisan support: an expensive package of tax breaks that mostly benefit corporate interests.

By a vote of 96-3, the Senate this week advanced an $85 billion bundle of breaks known as "extenders," so...

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How Bank Watchdogs Killed Our Last Chance At Justice For Foreclosure Victims

(753) Comments | Posted April 29, 2014 | 7:38 AM

The results are in. The award for the sorriest chapter of the great American foreclosure crisis goes to the Independent Foreclosure Review, a billion-dollar sinkhole that produced nothing but heartache for aggrieved homeowners, and a big black eye for regulators.

The foreclosure review was supposed to uncover abuses in...

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