David Dayen

David Dayen is the executive editor of The American Prospect. His work has appeared in The Intercept, The New RepublicHuffPost, The 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.

Recent Articles

Tesla Workers File Charges with National Labor Board as Battle with Elon Musk Intensifies

Employees fight back as Tesla ramps up anti-union policies.

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
Capital & Main is an award-winning publication that reports from California on economic, political and social issues. The American Prospect is co-publishing this piece. Workers at Tesla’s Fremont, California, electric car factory have filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), accusing the company of illegal surveillance, coercion, intimidation, and prevention of worker communications. The employees, who have been attempting to organize the approximately 7,000 workers at the plant through the United Auto Workers, claim that Tesla violated multiple sections of the National Labor Relations Act, which protects the right to unionize. “I know my rights, and I know that we acted within them,” said Jonathan Galescu, a body repair technician. Galescu and his colleagues have previously cited low pay, hazardous work conditions, and a culture of intimidation as motivations to unionize the plant. On February 10, several Tesla...

Charge Time: Electric Car Workers Accuse Tesla of Low Pay and Intimidation

Employees at the company’s factory in California are seeking to unionize through United Auto Workers.

(Photo: AP/Paul Sakuma)
The Prospect is co-publishing this piece with Capital & Main . Along Silicon Valley’s interlocking freeways, low-slung tech offices with obscure names like Way.com or Oorja are populated by fresh-faced technologists in badges and pleated slacks, striving to create the next great app. But off the I-880 in Fremont, a white colossus rises from the landscape, a 5.3-million-square-foot monster that stretches across two interchanges. The gray lettering is a full story high: TESLA. Here, the company makes high-end, zero-emission vehicles, luxury cruisers for a climate emergency. Chief executive officer Elon Musk has cultivated a reputation as an economic visionary and has been hailed for solving the world’s great challenges with panache. Tesla’s Fremont factory brought hope to a blue-collar, racially diverse town with a manufacturing tradition. And this week, after reports of a 69 percent increase in first-quarter sales, the automaker passed Ford in market value. But...

The Hidden Monopolies That Raise Drug Prices

How pharmacy benefit managers morphed from processors to predators

gemphoto/Shutterstock
This article appears in the Spring 2017 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . Rob Frankil of Sellersville, Pennsylvania, followed his father into the family business after college. “My entire life,” he said, “I’ve been involved with managing and owning independent pharmacies.” He now owns two stores, a traditional community pharmacy and another that caters to long-term care facilities. Like any retail outlet, Frankil purchases inventory from a wholesale distributor and sells it to customers at a small markup. But unlike butchers or hardware store owners, pharmacists have no idea how much money they’ll make on a sale until the moment they sell it. That’s because the customer’s co-pay doesn’t cover the cost of the drug. Instead, a byzantine reimbursement process determines Frankil’s fee. “I get a prescription, type in the data, click send, and I’m told I’m getting a dollar or two,”...

Janet Yellen’s Secret Weapon Against Wall Street Deregulation

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has a rare opportunity to change the culture of the nation’s central bank when she picks a successor to outgoing general counsel Scott Alvarez.

AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File
There will be few moments over the next four years where the opportunity exists to dramatically improve financial regulation. But one of these moments just presented itself, and it must not be squandered. The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that Scott Alvarez, general counsel for the central bank, will retire after 36 years of service. Nicknamed the “ eighth governor ” of the Fed, Alvarez has since 2004 held the general counsel slot, a critical regulatory and legal policy position. He represents one of the last links to the reign of former chairman Alan Greenspan. And he shares Greenspan’s antipathy to regulation, a toxic attitude that literally helped usher in the 2008 financial crisis. At the Fed, the nation’s most important banking regulator, Alvarez participated in virtually every deregulatory maneuver of the past 35 years. He was there when the Fed refused to regulate derivatives in the late 1990s. He helped draft and implement the law that formally...

Dismantling Dodd-Frank -- And More

Candidate Trump promised to take on Wall Street. As deregulator-in-chief, he will be Wall Street’s best friend.

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images
This article appears in the Winter 2017 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . History teaches us that financial regulations die from a thousand cuts rather than a signifying event. As Cornell University law professor Saule Omarova puts it, “Financial reform is like a big onion. The more layers you peel off, the harder you cry.” For example, by the time the Gramm-Leach-Bliley law removed the Glass-Steagall firewall between commercial and investment banks in 1999, that separation was already effectively wiped out—by administrative waivers granted by regulators. The 1994 Riegle-Neal Act that formally allowed banks to open branches across state lines came after a decade of states altering rules to undermine local control of finance. Deregulation of mortgage rules that led to the housing bubble rolled out over a 20-year period, spanning Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. And even then, it took the George W. Bush administration’s laissez-faire...

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