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Ben Protess

Entries by Ben Protess

Details Of Deals Between Banks And Colleges Spur Reaction

(21) Comments | Posted July 15, 2010 | 4:12 PM

For nearly two decades, Princeton University has been able to count on Donna Riley--and her money.

Every year since she graduated, Riley has donated to her school's annual alumni fundraising drive.

"I happen to have a perfect giving record 17 years out from graduation," she said.

This year, she's thinking...

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Yielding To Wall Street, Credit Raters 'Drink The Kool-Aid'

(1963) Comments | Posted April 22, 2010 | 5:28 PM

In the lead up to the financial meltdown, Wall Street firms routinely exerted influence on the nation’s largest credit rating companies— which judge the quality and safety of bonds—and the companies often surrendered to the pressure, according to the results of a Senate investigation.

The rating companies, Standard &...

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Even With U.S. Oversight, AIG Keeps Secrets

(179) Comments | Posted April 20, 2010 | 12:06 PM

After taxpayers rescued American International Group from the brink of collapse, the U.S. government moved to protect its investment by appointing directors and special trustees to oversee the company.

Now the government's appointees, all hailing from Wall Street or the Federal Reserve, are allowing AIG to withhold key records generated...

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Facing Crackdown, Credit Raters Bring On Heavy Hitters

(32) Comments | Posted April 8, 2010 | 4:11 PM

Credit rating companies have long seemed the Wall Street equivalent of the New York Yankees: controversial but virtually unbeatable. Again and again, disgruntled investors have taken the raters to court - and lost.

Now facing a crackdown for their role in the financial crisis, the raters worry that...

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It's Alive! (A Wall Street Bonus Tax, that is)

(10) Comments | Posted March 31, 2010 | 12:15 PM

Remember that Wall Street bonus tax that a couple Senate Democrats unsuccessfully floated this month? It's not dead yet.

As we recently reported, the bonus tax initially failed amid opposition from the Chamber of Commerce and hesitation among moderate Democrats and key New York politicians, including Sen. Charles Schumer.


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Why Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Continue To Cost US Taxpayers Billions

(204) Comments | Posted March 22, 2010 | 5:40 PM

Of all the companies bailed out by the federal government, mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are shaping up as the deepest money pits. A close look at their past and recent financial filings shows why their losses continue to mount.

Fannie and Freddie effectively became wards of...

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Another Wall Street Bonus Tax Falters In Congress

(102) Comments | Posted March 9, 2010 | 11:31 AM

Few topics have generated as much political heat between Main Street and Wall Street as the billions of dollars in bonuses handed out at financial companies that received federal bailouts. But Washington's efforts to claim some of that money for taxpayers continue to falter.

The latest attempt is a...

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Congressman to AIG: Show Us Your E-mail

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2010 | 4:27 PM

You might imagine that by now the public would know every last cause and consequence of the government's $180 billion bailout of insurance giant American International Group. The AIG deal has been the subject of dozens of public hearings (including a confrontational one this week), /Factors_Affecting_Efforts_to_Limit_Payments_to_AIG_Counterparties.pdf" target="_hplink">an...

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