David Dayen

David Dayen is the executive editor of The American Prospect. His work has appeared in The Intercept, The New RepublicHuffPostThe Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and more. His first book, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud, winner of the Studs and Ida Terkel Prize, was released by The New Press in 2016. His email is ddayen@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

Potential Nominee for Democratic Slot on the SEC Troubles Advocates

Urska Velikonja, a law professor, has a scant public record on securities policy matters.

A couple weeks ago Prospect contributors Jeff Hauser and David Segal expressed concern that Chuck Schumer was blowing another appointment for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). For most five-member independent commissions like the SEC, only three commissioners can come from the party of the president. And by custom, the Senate leader of the minority party, in this case Schumer, gets wide latitude to recommend the other two, a considerable power rivaling only the president in how it molds the mindset at federal agencies. Already in the Trump era, Schumer mistimed a recommendation for an SEC slot that Republicans opportunistically left vacant for months, creating a 3-1 split on the commission. This diminished enforcement capabilities so thoroughly that white-collar defense lawyers were gloating about it . With Rob Jackson, who fills the other Democratic seat on the SEC, slated to soon leave, Schumer appears determined not to make the same mistake. (Jackson’s term...

Progressive Group Says It’s Time for the FTC to Investigate the FTC

Is the Federal Trade Commission using the same deceptive advertising practices it’s supposed to police?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is facing criticism about the devious and underhanded practices of … itself. The progressive group Demand Progress is working with other partners on a formal complaint against the FTC for deceptive advertising about its settlement with credit reporting company Equifax, for a data breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million Americans. The federal agency with jurisdiction over false advertising is the FTC. Demand Progress has begun with a petition for its members, housed at a website called FailedTradeCommission.com . “We demand the Federal Trade Commission launch an immediate investigation into the Federal Trade Commission’s false and deceptive advertising surrounding its settlement with Equifax,” reads the petition. “In addition to a full investigation, we demand the FTC issue an immediate cease and desist to itself and prohibit itself from making future deceptive statements.” The petition will be...

Democrats Are Ignoring the Power of the Hospital Industry

And this will doom any meaningful reform

Paul Beaty/AP Photo
We have now endured roughly nine hours of Democratic debates for president, a significant chunk of which covered health care. That’s mostly because it’s the issue which engenders the most infighting among Democrats, though it also reflects what base voters have identified as the most pressing issue facing them and their families. But Democrats are actually united on health care in one respect, from Joe Biden to Bernie Sanders. All of them lack the courage to name the one major obstacle to getting any meaningful reform done: the hospitals and medical providers who create the most costs in the system by a wide margin. Watching the debates, I got the feeling that there was a swear jar offstage, and candidates would be fined $10,000 if they said the word “hospitals.” The calculation has been made to choose insurance companies and pharmaceutical manufacturers as the core villains. The candidates have put shackles on themselves, content to debate whether to eliminate...

CNN's Debate Fail

The Democratic debate was an inevitable by-product of turning news into an entertainment and cultural product.

Paul Sancya/AP Photo
Everyone working for CNN should walk into network president Jeff Zucker’s office and resign en masse on Wednesday morning. A “debate” that spent its opening 25 minutes less efficiently than a Super Bowl pre-game show got dramatically worse as the actual questions got started. Jake Tapper then delivered instructions, warning the candidates not to go over time after CNN saw fit to run the national anthem and then a commercial break after the scheduled start time. The only ones wasting time on debate night would be CNN. It would give Tapper and his other moderators too much credit to say that their relentless right-wing framing of the questions was animated by a desire to protect the insurance industry and the border patrol. But that’s not really it. CNN has no politics. CNN has no understanding of politics or policy. I doubt the combined firepower of the 20-person post-game panel could name a bill currently before Congress. The CNN debate was an inevitable by-...

The Facebook Settlement Amounts to Bribery of a Federal Agency

The FTC admitted taking a higher settlement figure from Facebook in exchange for declining to depose Mark Zuckerberg.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo
Facebook paid—I would call it, bribed—the Federal Trade Commission $5 billion to protect Mark Zuckerberg from personal liability in violating the privacy of millions of users. I didn’t conjure that up. That was the clear statement of James Kohm , the agency’s associate director of the division of enforcement, who conducted the Facebook investigation. At last week’s announcement of the $5 billion Facebook settlement, Kohm responded to Axios’ David McCabe, who asked why, if the investigation was so exhaustive, was Zuckerberg, the CEO and controlling shareholder, with acknowledged control over every aspect of Facebook’s business, not deposed? “Part of getting this tremendous result with the tools we had is we didn’t need to depose him, but we could use that to get more protections for the public,” Kohm replied. Since the “tremendous result” consists mainly of a fine and establishing an easily ignored privacy...