Big Pharma Pays to Publish its own "Journals"

The Scientist reports that Elsevier, the world’s leading publisher of scientific and medical texts, has taken money from Merck and other pharmaceutical companies to issue official-looking journals that subtly pushed their products. Scientific publishing giant Elsevier put out a total of six publications between 2000 and 2005 that were sponsored by unnamed pharmaceutical companies and Read More

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The Noblest and Best

The Wall Street Journal published a stunning report yesterday on how New York Federal Reserve Chairman Stephen Friedman enriched himself by purchasing Goldman Sachs stock while the Federal Reserve was propping up the investment bank: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York shaped Washington’s response to the financial crisis late last year, which buoyed Goldman Read More

Derivatives and Debauchery

The UK Independent recently published fascinating reminiscences by former UBS trader Philipp Meyer about his debauched life as an investment banker. The grotesque extravagance he describes seems straight out of Petronius’s Satyricon. I put on 45 pounds in my first year at the bank, and, as you might guess, it was not from eating McDonalds. Read More

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Ownership Society

Last Thursday, April 30, there was a flood of stories that the evening news and the next morning’s papers had to cover: swine flu, Souter’s retirement from the Supreme Court, and the Chrysler bankruptcy, for starters. But the story with perhaps the largest public import somehow managed to escape attention, namely the Senate’s decision to Read More

Wall Street Back on Top

On Newsweek’s website, Michael Hirsh writes under the headline “The old system refuses to change. Is Obama getting the message?” He describes a late-March meeting between six Democratic senators, President Obama and his economic advisers—a meeting that has gone essentially unreported: …while they supported Obama, they were worried. The financial reform policies the president was Read More

Socially Unconscious

Are you one of those who tries to buy the offbeat brands, because they’re made by small, locally-owned, family businesses, and tend to use more wholesome ingredients than the giant manufacturers? As someone who makes an effort in that regard, I sometimes wonder whether the companies are indeed the delightful anachronisms they present themselves as. Read More

Did Geithner Aid and Abet Citigroup?

The Washington Post, in conjunction with ProPublica, published a long investigative piece today on Timothy Geithner’s tenure as head of the New York Federal Reserve. The article particularly focuses on his oversight of Citigroup, the largest bank under the New York Fed’s authority and the recent recipient of $45 billion in TARP money. Under the Read More

The Tycoon

Here’s a passionate tirade about the damage done to journalism by media tycoon Conrad Black and other greedy, marauding owners. Black went to prison for criminal fraud in looting his properties, but, typically, is unrepentant and finding even that stint simply another chapter of a charmed life. Black, a member of the British House of Read More

Gold Rush for Lobbyists

Reform may be in the air, but the Sunlight Foundation has a new report noting that nearly 1,700 new clients have signed up with lobbying firms in DC in the first quarter of 2009. Sunlight describes their initial findings as a “first pass” at scrutinizing a database of lobbying registrations. Of particular interest: Our first Read More