Who Cries For Aig's Ed Liddy?
May 22, 2009

No one, apparently. Back in March, the outgoing AIG CEO was all over the Internet thanks to the massive bonuses his notorious Financial Products unit was slated to receive. Today, after news of his looming departure broke, The Wall Street Journal buried the story on page C2 and the Times devoted half its Liddy piece to an unrelated lawsuit by AIG policyholders. It's actually a fitting coda to Liddy's tenure at the company.

Top Down
April 15, 2009

A new theory of the AIG catastrophe.

Why Did Aig Melt Down?
March 31, 2009

I have a piece in our latest issue that tries to answer that question. The turning point seems to come in March/April 2005, when longtime CEO Hank Greenberg resigned amid allegations of accounting improprieties and the company lost its triple-A credit rating. From then till the end of the year, AIG Financial Products, under then-CEO Joe Cassano, binged on credit-default swaps related to subprime real estate--which, uh, didn't turn out so well.

The Scoop Factory
March 04, 2009

On the evening of January 22, a few hours after his administration's debut news conference, Barack Obama made a surprise visit to the cramped quarters of the White House press corps. It was meant to be a friendly event, and Obama glad-handed his way through reporters and cameramen, exchanging light banter as he went. But Politico reporter Jonathan Martin wasn't there to chat. Martin pressed Obama about the president's decision to nominate William J. Lynn III, a former defense lobbyist, to deputy defense secretary and about Obama's pledge to curtail the influence of lobbyists.

The Guilt-by-association-association
September 29, 2008

Barack Obama has a new entry in the guilt-by-association portion of this year's campaign ad wars. His latest salvo cites the $42 million golden parachute given to McCain advisor Carly Fiorina when she was fired from her CEO job. Will it stick to the GOP nominee? A brief breakdown:-Truthiness: It's true! Fiorina--much more than Franklin Raines--is indeed a campaign advisor. And she got a big payout after being fired. -Relevance to current events: It's a stretch. The logic of the jump-cuts is this: The Washington Mutual CEO may get a multimillion-dollar send-off.

Was The Economic Portion Tonight Even Close?
September 27, 2008

David Kusnet was chief speechwriter for former President Bill Clinton from 1992 through 1994. He is the author of Love the Work, Hate the Job: Why America's Best Workers Are Unhappier than Ever (Wiley, 2008).   "I'm afraid Senator Obama doesn't understand the difference between a tactic and a strategy," John McCain said tonight in one of many attacks on his rival's maturity, judgment, and experience on national security issues.

Why The Feds Were Right Not To Bail Out Lehman
September 15, 2008

"Those opposed to a bailout, like me, did so mainly out of fears of creating a moral hazard."

Mr. Right?
June 25, 2008

The New Yorker is hardly the optimal vehicle for reaching the conservative intelligentsia. But, last year, Barack Obama cooperated with a profile for that magazine where he seemed to be speaking directly to the right.

Taking A Dive
June 10, 2008

From a distance, it might seem that environmentalists should be crestfallen that the 2008 Climate Security Act--shorthanded as Lieberman-Warner after its lead sponsors in the Senate--went down in flames on the Senate floor on Friday. The bill, which would cap fossil fuel emissions in the United States above a certain level and ask industry to pay more for any excesses, was easily the most aggressive and comprehensive environmental reform ever to hit Congress. But the bipartisan plan to cut U.S.

N.H. Speech Recap: Mitt Romney
January 08, 2008

The former GE CEO and bestselling management guru Jack Welch boasted that he shut down corporate divisions that weren’t first or second in their markets. By that standard, Mitt Romney, who’s running for America’s CEO, still doesn’t have to shut his campaign down, even though he finished second in Iowa and now in New Hampshire. Romney gives every indication that he’d be the first president to give power-point presentations in his State of the Union speeches. But, holding a hand-held mike and without any notes, Romney was relentlessly upbeat as he recited his latest stump speech.