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

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...

The Battle of the Budget Isn't Over

Right-wing Republicans can still pursue their goals through riders on appropriations bills—and, if they don’t get their way, shut down the government.

(Photo: AP/Lauren Victoria Burke)
(Photo: AP/Lauren Victoria Burke) Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise talk to reporters on Tuesday about the two-year budget deal. E ven seasoned observers of Washington seem to have come away from this week’s events thinking that we’ve seen the last of the brinksmanship that has defined the last six years of the Obama presidency. The deal on the budget, debt limit, looming increases in Medicare premiums, and cuts in Social Security disability insurance supposedly “cleans the barn,” to use John Boehner’s phrase. That impression, however, reflects a misunderstanding of the basic facts about the federal budgeting process. All those exultations by progressives that they faced down the House Freedom Caucus and forced them to give up their hostages are wildly premature. Paul Ryan will have to negotiate the same balancing act that ended up forcing his predecessor to retire. What the House passed on Wednesday and the Senate passed early Friday morning is...

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