Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Friday, March 19, 2010 8:21 pm

And somewhere, Mark Pittman is smiling, at least for the moment

Filed under: I want my money back. — Lex @ 8:21 pm
Tags: , , ,

A federal appeals-court panel says the Fed must give up records on bank bailouts. Certainly the Fed will appeal this to the full court and, if it loses there, the Supreme Court. But this lawsuit, begun by the late Bloomberg reporter Mark Pittman, has so far generated legal rulings that, despite the whining of the Fed, the government and the banksters, yes, indeed, how our money is used is our business.

UPDATE: Oh, yes, they did:

The requirement of disclosure under FOIA and its proper limits are matters of congressional policy. The statute as written by Congress sets forth no basis for the exemption the Board asks us to read into it. If the Board believes such an exemption would better serve the national interest, it should ask Congress to amend the statute.

Normally, courts don’t tack on sentences like that last one, because, well, everyone who was awake in eighth-grade civics knows how that works. When they tack it on, it’s to make a point, and the point is that, contrary to what the Fed’s attorneys want people to think, this isn’t even a close legal question, not to say the Roberts SCOTUS won’t pretend otherwise.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009 1:39 pm

RIP: Mark Pittman

Once in a while, journalists come across stories they really, really hope to be wrong about but, unfortunately, aren’t.

Mark Pittman of Bloomberg may have dug up the mother of all such stories:

A former police-beat reporter who joined Bloomberg News in 1997, Pittman wrote stories in 2007 predicting the collapse of the banking system. That year, he won the Gerald Loeb Award from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the highest accolade in financial journalism, for “Wall Street’s Faustian Bargain,” a series of articles on the breakdown of the U.S. mortgage industry.

“He was one of the great financial journalists of our time,” said Joseph Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University in New York and the winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize for economics. “His death is shocking.”

Pittman’s fight to make the Fed more accountable resulted in an Aug. 24 victory in Manhattan Federal Court affirming the public’s right to know about the central bank’s more than $2 trillion in loans to financial firms. He drew the attention of filmmakers Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, who gave him a prominent role in their documentary about subprime mortgages, “American Casino,” which was shown at New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival in May. …

“Who sues the Fed? One reporter on the planet,” said Emma Moody, a Wall Street Journal editor who worked with Pittman at Bloomberg. “The more complex the issue, the more he wanted to dig into it. Years ago, he forced us to learn what a credit-default swap was. He dragged us kicking and screaming.”

The American financial media in general, obsessed as they are with power and personalities, didn’t see this storm coming until it was too late. Mark Pittman did, and hundreds of billions of evaporated wealth might still be here if his colleagues had followed his lead sooner.

Pittman, 52, leaves a wife, three daughters, his parents and two brothers.

UPDATE:

 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 8:54 pm

Odds and ends for 10/27

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