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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. Ben has a master's degree from the University of Missouri. He can be reached at benjamin.hallman@huffingtonpost.com.

Entries by Ben Hallman

Here's Why Every Player In the Final Four Will Lose

(191) Comments | Posted April 4, 2014 | 2:13 PM

The University of Kentucky's men's basketball team seems to be living the dream, earning a trip the NCAA Final Four after beating last year's champion and runner up in dramatic fashion. But in a fairer system, the freshman stars of the team would be watching the tournament...

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So Much for the Great GM Bailout

(214) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 4:09 PM

Osama Bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive.

That was Vice President Joe Biden's go-to applause line throughout the 2012 campaign. The slogan encapsulated President Barack Obama's greatest foreign policy success -- approving the raid that killed the terrorist mastermind -- and what was perceived...

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If GE Gets Its Way, The U.S. Government Could Lose $62.5 Billion

(134) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 7:34 AM

When it comes to squeezing big rewards from obscure provisions of the tax code, General Electric leaves nothing to chance.

Over the past two years, GE has deployed more lobbyists than any other company to argue for a tax loophole that lets businesses deduct interest earned from overseas lending,...

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Boeing Got $7,250 In Tax Breaks For Every $1 It Spent Lobbying

(246) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 11:55 AM

When it comes to great investments, it's hard to beat collecting $7,250 for every $1 you spend.

That's the benefit Boeing Corp. will reap from a ramped-up lobbying push in Washington state that ended with a massive $8.7 billion tax subsidy, according to an analysis of lobbying data...

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GOP States Are The Most Dependent On Government

(3421) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 12:15 PM

If we learned nothing else during the 2012 election, it is that some of us are makers, hard-working folk solely responsible for America's prosperity, and others are takers, who want the federal government to pay for luxuries like food and health care.

What may come as some surprise...

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A Fresh Reminder To Never, Ever Take Out A Payday Loan (In 1 Chart)

(23) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 8:27 AM

There's never been much question as to whether taking out a payday loan is a sound financial decision. The short-term loans come with extremely high interest rates that accrue daily, leaving many borrowers facing another financial crunch when they must repay.

Yet many never ever repay and instead fall...

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Housing Watchdog Slams Massive Property Inspection Industry

(31) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 1:49 PM

The inspectors who decide whether homes have been abandoned and are ready for foreclosure are doing such a terrible job that the whole system requires a major overhaul, and maybe should be scrapped altogether, a government watchdog warned on Tuesday.

Property inspectors hired by banks and other mortgage companies...

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4 Reasons It's So Hard For The Middle Class To Buy A House

(507) Comments | Posted March 19, 2014 | 8:42 AM

Right now is a terrific time to buy a house in many parts of the U.S. -- if you have outstanding credit and a suitcase full of cash. For most everyone else, the market is increasingly out of reach. Here are four reasons why.

1. Home prices are rising much...

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Tax-Hating States Totally Fine With Taxing The Poor

(1979) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 4:10 PM

As everyone knows, Southern politicians despise taxes more than just about anything -- except perhaps cornbread with sugar, or iced tea without.

This established rule of the universe makes a new report by the Tax Foundation especially curious, at least at first look. The group, which...

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The Real Reason Facebook Cracked Down On Guns (Moms, Of Course)

(321) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 5:40 PM

New York's top law enforcement official brought Facebook to the table to talk about getting tough on guns. But it was an increasingly powerful group of mothers that likely forced the social media giant to crack down on what some saw as an underground market for gun sales in the...

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Wall Street Has Found Its Latest Dangerous Financial Product, Activists Warn

(390) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 2:00 AM

Housing and consumer activists warn that Wall Street is about to crash the housing market -- again.

The activists said they are particularly concerned about the growing number of companies looking to issue bonds backed by rental properties -- bonds that a coalition of groups described as "eerily like" those...

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Just How Dangerous Is A Giant Comcast?

(457) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 4:34 PM

It's been more than 100 years since the U.S. Supreme Court determined that one of the biggest companies in the world, Standard Oil, was an illegal monopoly and would have to be broken apart.

The size of the company didn't automatically violate antitrust law, the court ruled. Rather, it was...

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South Carolina Legalizes Concealed Weapons In Bars

(1230) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 3:55 PM

South Carolina on Tuesday became the latest state to allow concealed weapons in bars, making it the most recent victory ground for gun rights activists who have peeled back more than a dozen state-level gun restrictions in recent years.

The new law, signed by Gov. Nikki Haley...

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States Crack Down On Corporate Tax Loophole While Congress Does Nothing

(66) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 1:14 PM

Montana isn't often considered a fiscal policy pioneer, but in 2003 lawmakers closed a corporate tax loophole that was costing the state millions of dollars in lost revenue. A decade later, other cash-strapped states are finally following Montana's lead.

This past July, Oregon became just the second state to eliminate...

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AOL's Retirement Cuts Don't Signal Bigger Trend

(26) Comments | Posted February 7, 2014 | 5:22 PM

When AOL CEO Tim Armstrong explained this week that the company was rolling back a key retirement benefit for employees, he said, essentially, that he was just doing what everyone else was doing.

Instead of matching employees' contributions to their 401(k)s every pay period, AOL is now making those...

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AOL CEO Says Obamacare Forced Company To Reduce 401(k) Benefits

(616) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 11:41 AM

AOL is trimming back its employee retirement benefits, a move the media company's chief executive said Thursday was made necessary by new costs incurred by President Barack Obama's health care reform law.

"Obamacare is an additional $7.1 million expense for us as a company, so we have to decide...

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Apparently, I Love Beer More Than I Love My Daughter

(83) Comments | Posted January 31, 2014 | 7:02 AM

Not long ago, while we were out shopping, my 3-year-old daughter asked if I would buy her a book about Elmo. I said we couldn't afford it, and pried it from her tiny hands.

I've recently determined that this was a big fat lie. An accounting of my spending,...

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Foreclosure Industry Says It'll Do A Better Job Of Screening Its Workers After Widespread Break-Ins

(107) Comments | Posted January 30, 2014 | 6:30 AM

After hundreds of lawsuits and thousands of complaints, banks are finally pushing for reform in one of the darkest corners of the housing market. Under new guidelines expected to be adopted this year by most of the industry, the workers that watch over millions of homes in default or foreclosure...

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Foreclosure Settlement Still Failing 700,000 Families One Year Later

(222) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 6:55 AM

One year after federal bank regulators pledged that a nearly $10 billion legal settlement would quickly deliver cash to foreclosure abuse victims, hundreds of thousands of people are still checking their mailboxes each day, only to find them empty.

As of January, about 732,000 settlement checks had not...

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College Football Players Are Getting Robbed Of 6-Figure Salaries -- By Their Coaches

(85) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 9:33 AM

The highest-paid state employee in Alabama just got another massive raise. And for that he can thank many of his own laborers, who make almost nothing.

Nick Saban, the head coach of the University of Alabama's football team, signed a new contract last week worth between $7 million and $7.5...

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