David Dayen

David Dayen is a contributing writer to Salon.com who also writes for The InterceptThe New Republic, and The Fiscal Times. His first book, Chain of Title, about three ordinary Americans who uncover Wall Street's foreclosure fraud, was released by The New Press on May 17, 2016.

Recent Articles

Hedge Fund Creditors' Deal With Argentina Sets Alarming Precedent

In a deal struck Sunday, hedge funds led by billionaire investor Paul Singer have managed to squeeze billions out of a struggling economy. 

AP Photo/John Minchillo
AP Photo/John Minchillo Paul Singer, founder and CEO of hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation, speaks at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research Alexander Hamilton Award Dinner, Monday, May 12, 2014, in New York. A rgentina’s long march back to international debt markets may finally have reached its end. Late Sunday night, the government and “vulture” hedge fund creditors struck a deal that would allow the South American nation to borrow once again for the first time in nearly 15 years. The longest debt holdout in recent memory reinforces the ethos of the vulture fund: Use maximum leverage for maximum return on a cheap investment in a troubled country. Paul Singer and his hedge fund pals have played this so well that they’re even making their enormous payday look like a loss. The home of tango and 32-ounce grass-fed steaks decided to default on $132 billion in debt after an economic crisis in 2001, closing off access to credit markets. Unexpectedly to purveyors of the...

For Trade Deal, Bad News Keeps Mounting

Election-year jitters and bad economic signs cloud outlook on Capitol Hill for Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

(Photo: AP/Susan Walsh)
(Photo: AP/Susan Walsh) President Barack Obama, center, stands with other leaders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership countries on November 18, 2015, in Manila, Philippines. From left are Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. T his week, emissaries from 12 Pacific Rim countries will meet in New Zealand to sign off on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), one of the most ambitious trade deals in history. But when the ministers sign the agreement in Auckland—presumably after authorities finish rounding up “known activists” in their bid to fend off protests—it will represent the beginning, not the end, of the fight. The 12 nations must now ratify TPP, without amendment, through their national legislatures. Members of Congress, especially those up for re-election this year, do not relish that scenario. Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, told NPR this month, “As Trent Lott...

Creditors Cry Foul as Puerto Rico's Default Is Smaller than Expected

The pain caused by Puerto Rico's financial crisis is very real, despite what investors may think. 

AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo
AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo In this September 2, 2015 photo, a nun walks in front of a closed down furniture store in Lares, Puerto Rico. E veryone expected Puerto Rico to default on some portion of its nearly $1 billion in debt payments due January 4. While that did happen , the total sum in default, $37.3 million, was substantially smaller than feared. In fact, it came in lower than a previous $58 million default last August. This has led to a lot of loose talk that Puerto Rico must be bluffing about the severity of their crisis, if they can still pay 97 percent of their debts. In fact, the theory goes, this is all a pretext to pressure Congress for bankruptcy protections, using minor defaults as a weapon. Mark Palmer, an analyst with BTIG, told CNBC that “Puerto Rico opted for a default that would send a message about the need for Chapter 9 and the potential for a humanitarian crisis on the island.” John Muller of Nuveen Asset Management explained to The Wall Street Journal that...

How Congress Scuttled a Plan to Save Puerto Rico From Default

The GOP really is telling Puerto Rico to drop dead.

AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo
AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo, File In this Wednesday, July 29, 2015 photo, the Puerto Rican flag flies in front of Puerto Rico’s Capitol as in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I t’s now become almost a cliché to emulate the famous 1975 front-page headline of the New York Daily News (FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD) any time Washington leaves some entity to suffer misfortune without relief or aid. But when the Daily News’ Juan Gonzalez resurrected the headline on Wednesday to refer to Congress’ neglect of Puerto Rico, it was hard to argue with its appropriateness. Congress really is telling the island, and its 3.5 million American citizens, to drop dead. As I detailed in a long-form piece for the Prospect ’s winter edition, Puerto Rico is facing a rolling humanitarian crisis. Its debt has swelled to $73 billion, and compelling the government to enact punishing austerity measures that have exacerbated unemployment and poverty. A January 1 debt payment of almost $1 billion is almost certain to not get paid...

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