Lobbying disclosures leave public in the dark

By Marcelo Rochabrun and Dave Levinthal

Despite efforts to beef up laws regulating lobbyists, public is in the dark when it comes to what firms are up to in Washington.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… ped each year since 2010, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The drop, some have theorized, may be due to more lobbyists terminating …"

Credit rating industry dodges reforms, despite role in financial meltdown

By Alison Fitzgerald

Despite playing a central role in the economic collapse, firms that gave inflated ratings to toxic bonds remain untouched by reforms.

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokeswoman":

"… said Micah Hauptman of the Consumer Federation of America. Ford spokeswoman Margaret Mellott declined to say whether the company had asked every quali …"

"… ommending a roundtable on the issue, which was held in May 2013. An agency spokeswoman said the SEC staff is developing a recommendation for the commission but d …"

"… changes if they made just a minor public announcement,” he said. An SEC spokeswoman said the agency doesn’t disclose the companies’ names because of “fa …"

Home is where the money is for Medicare Advantage plans

By Fred Schulte

Medicare Advantage home visits may not improve health, but boost risk scores and cost taxpayers billions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… mplications of diabetes to a history of heart trouble that’s flared up. Health plans can profit because Medicare pays them higher rates for sicker patien …"

"… ng to a report prepared for the insurance industry’s trade association. Health plans argue that home visits help them meet a patient’s total Health car …"

"… n Ignagni, president of the industry’s powerful trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, in a March 7, 2014 letter to CMS argued that the agency h …"

"… nment limits public access to billing data. But risk scores at one plan, XLHealth Corp., based in Maryland, jumped by at least 20 percent between 2007 and t …"

Skyrocketing salaries for health insurance CEOs

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: soaring compensation, rising stock prices don't justify higher premiums.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… will stumble across their salaries. Nor it is likely that many members of Congress have subscriptions to Health Plan Week. That’s a shame, becaus …"

"… ot holding my breath waiting for the media to recite those numbers. Or for Congress to pay any attention to the outsized paychecks those CEOs are demanding …"

Health insurers have their way with regulators

By Fred Schulte

Billions in Medicare Advantage overpayments likely gone for good.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicaid":

"… clined to comment beyond that. Officials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the HHS agency that actually runs the program, declined to …"

"… ely for the millions of seniors they sign up. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services conducts its own periodic audits — separate from the HHS IG eff …"

New audits may recover missing millions — or not

By Fred Schulte

Secretive audits target some Medicare Advantage plans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… are made public and often draw media notice and attention from members of Congress. But the inspector general’s office has said it won’t be conducting an …"

"… of “risk scores” used since 2004 to pay the health plans. At the time, Congress hoped to spur the growth of these insurance plans by adjusting payments ba …"

"… question in Washington for years. Many critics, particularly Democrats in Congress, argued that the health plans marketed to healthier seniors and inflated r …"

"… ty for the Obama administration. With the support of some key Democrats in Congress, the administration had hoped to use some of the savings for the Affordabl …"

Feds investigating allegations that Humana Inc. overcharged Medicare Advantage program

By Fred Schulte

Whistleblower suit at center of Medicare Advantage overbilling allegations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kentucky":

"… artment of Justice, as we have all along.” Humana, based in Louisville, Kentucky, is a major federal contractor. Last year, Humana’s Medicare Advantage c …"

Meet the Banking Caucus, Wall Street's secret weapon in Washington

By Daniel Wagner and Alison Fitzgerald

Industry campaign cash flows to pro-bank activists in Congress, yielding big returns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wells Fargo":

"… r lending and finance companies, is married to a banker who has worked for Wells Fargo and Citigroup. Himes spent 12 years at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. before joi …"

Lauded public health researcher also worked for industry, revealing entanglements of science

By David Heath

A late UC Berkeley dean pushed public health reforms — while also working for industry, revealing the deep reach of corporate science.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jim Morris":

"… lection as I try to fathom what the hell she could have been thinking.” Jim Morris and Sam Pearson contributed to this report. …"

Facing lawsuits over deadly asbestos, paper giant launched secretive research program

By Jim Morris

Facing 60,000 asbestos claims over a product it once sold, Georgia-Pacific responded with a legal pushback — and secretive science.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Medical Association":

"… oducts liability lawsuits,” researchers wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1995, and took steps to “avoid the discovery of documents that m …"

Wall Street favorite Rep. Garrett flirts with default

By Alison Fitzgerald

Will investment firms that deal in U.S. Treasury securities regret their support of GOP congressmen who are flirting with default?

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Treasury":

"… itics. That includes $39,500 from the PACs sponsored by primary dealers in U.S. Treasury securities, the 21 companies that are designated to buy debt directly from …"

Majority of funds recovered in Stanford Ponzi scheme spent by receiver

By Lauren Kyger and Alison Fitzgerald

Lawyer recovering funds for victims in Stanford Ponzi scheme spends $124 million to recover $235 million.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ralph Janvey":

"… panies to return to investors. After four-and-a-half years, the receiver, Ralph Janvey, began mailing checks ranging from $2.81 to $110,000 to hundreds of invest …"

Ex-SEC chief now helps companies navigate post-meltdown reforms

By Lauren Kyger, Alison Fitzgerald and John Dunbar

Former regulators profit from their experience with jobs, book deals and speaking fees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… Sept. 15, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11, the largest bankruptcy in the nation’s history. The move set off a series of dramatic act …"

"… ff a series of dramatic actions in Washington, D.C., and on Wall Street as bankers and regulators sought to avoid a shutdown of the global economy. To mar …"

"… tal that Bear Stearns and the other publicly traded Wall Street investment banks had on hand. Days later, Bear was gone, becoming the first investment ba …"

"… nks had on hand. Days later, Bear was gone, becoming the first investment bank to disappear in 2008 under the watch of Cox’s SEC. By the end of the yea …"

Subprime lending execs back in business five years after crash

By Daniel Wagner

Executives from all of the top 25 subprime lending firms are working in the mortgage business five years later.

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… Sept. 15, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11, the largest bankruptcy in the nation’s history. The move set off a series of dramatic act …"

"… ff a series of dramatic actions in Washington, D.C., and on Wall Street as bankers and regulators sought to avoid a shutdown of the global economy. To mar …"

"… rs hastened the downfall of Merrill Lynch after the Wall Street investment bank bought it in 2006 for $1.3 billion. He was still running First Frankl …"

"… t assure the quality of the loans we originate.” The next year, federal banking regulators said First Franklin was among the lenders with the highest f …"

Ex-Wall Street chieftains living large in post-meltdown world

By Alison Fitzgerald

CEOs of banks that fueled the subprime crisis that led to the economic meltdown largely avoid consequences.

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… Sept. 15, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11, the largest bankruptcy in the nation’s history. The move set off a series of dramatic act …"

"… ff a series of dramatic actions in Washington, D.C., and on Wall Street as bankers and regulators sought to avoid a shutdown of the global economy. To mar …"

"… t consumers and sluggish business investment. Many of the top Wall Street bankers who were largely responsible for the disaster — and whose companies e …"

"… ee time between mansions and golf, skiing and tennis. Meantime, the major banks that survived the crisis, largely because they were saved with taxpayer m …"

Bear Stearns mortgage executives have plum jobs on Wall Street

By Lauren Kyger and Alison Fitzgerald

Executives from the mortgage finance division that helped sink Bear Stearns have similar jobs at major Wall Street banks.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Deutsche Bank":

"… owerful banks on Wall Street: JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Deutsche Bank. The fact they were able to emerge unscathed from a financial crisis that …"

"… attorney didn’t respond to requests for comment.  Renee Calabro, a Deutsche Bank spokeswoman, declined to comment on his current salary. Mayer owns a $3.7 …"

"… 2008 and awarded a nearly identical position. Two years later he jumped to Deutsche Bank, as head of corporate banking and securities in North America. Feds stay …"

Canada buoyed by former U.S. ambassador

By Reity O'Brien

Former U.S. ambassador in Ottawa now representing Canadian governments, interests.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… last week, Wilkins parlayed his former ambassadorship into a job lobbying Congress on behalf of the Toronto-based Investment Industry Association of Canada, …"

"… obert Blackwill — a Bush Administration ambassador to India — to lobby Congress and federal agencies on the U.S.-India civil nuclear agreements, records s …"

"… bassador.” The Province of Alberta had, however, hired Wilkins to lobby Congress on "issues impacting Alberta's forestry industry" — an area with which h …"

"… and members of the House Financial Services Committee. “When it came to Congress, we needed to have Nelson Mullins provide us with a little bit of help to …"

Report: Hundreds of former SEC employees representing clients before agency

By Dave Levinthal

Report: Hundreds of former agency employees representing private clients before body.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Securities and Exchange Commission":

"… ow employed by. POGO released a related study in 2011. …"

Investment managers top list of super PAC donors

By Rachael Marcus and Andrea Fuller

Hedge fund managers, other investors top donors by industry to super PACs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Israel Public Affairs Committee":

"… ish people.”He was also once one of the biggest backers of AIPAC — the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. But Adelson broke off relations with the group in 2007 when it supported …"

Top 5 super PAC donors by industry

Investing, casinos top list thanks to billionaires' donations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sheldon Adelson":

"… amblingRank: 2Total: $55 millionFavorite candidate: Mitt RomneyTop donors: Sheldon Adelson and familyDonors’ interests: Keeping taxes low on overseas profits that …"

Growth of electronic medical records eases path to inflated bills

By Fred Schulte

Billing software helps medical professionals document higher fees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Medical Association":

"… packages in use across the country. That shortcoming caught the eye of the American Medical Association, which helped develop the billing codes and favors stricter government sta …"

FACT CHECK: Is Romney to blame for cancer death?

By FactCheck.Org

Factcheck.org takes on a controversial new ad from the a pro-Obama super PAC

Excerpts from this story referencing "Securities and Exchange Commission":

"… ed the union or competition from Asia. In a 1999 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company stated, “Distressed economic conditions in other countries, …"

AdWatch: Romney ad accuses Obama campaign of lies

By The Associated Press

AdWatch: Romney ad accuses Obama campaign of dishonest attacks on outsourcing

Excerpts from this story referencing "Securities and Exchange Commission":

"… onship with those sources" in the late 1980s and early 1990s, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed in March 1993, when Romney was at the company's helm.For B …"

Report: Countrywide won influence with discounts

By The Associated Press

Subprime lender Countrywide bought influence of Washington elite with mortgage discounts

Excerpts from this story referencing "Fannie Mae":

"… staff, top government officials and executives of troubled mortgage giant Fannie Mae, according to a House report.The report, obtained by The Associated Press, …"

"… only aimed at gaining influence for the company but to help mortgage giant Fannie Mae. Countrywide's business depended largely on Fannie, which at the time was …"

"… cluded former top executive branch officials and three chief executives of Fannie Mae."Documents and testimony obtained by the committee show the VIP loan progr …"

"… not to give him a discount, and he did not receive one.—Former heads of Fannie Mae James Johnson, Daniel Mudd and Franklin Raines. Countrywide took a loss on …"

OSHA rules on workplace toxics stalled

By Jim Morris

Rules that would reduce worker exposures to two well-known lung hazards, beryllium and silica, are stuck in the regulatory pipeline.

Excerpts from this story referencing "oil":

"… reported that almost half the air samples they took in 2010 and 2011 at 11 oil and natural gas drilling sites that used hydraulic fracturing, or fracking …"

"… ong with fluids, into dense shale formations to create fissures and get at oil or gas deposits. Dust ensues.Industry isn’t giving in. In a statement, t …"

Donor profile: Sheldon Adelson

By Alexandra Duszak

Quick stats on the biggest financial backers of Election 2012.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sheldon Adelson":

"… C supporting former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's failed presidential bid, Sheldon Adelson pivoted to support GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his primary su …"

"… d Israeli causes through several charitable foundations they have created. Sheldon Adelson, born in 1933, is of Jewish-Ukrainian descent, and Miriam Adelson has dual …"

Government can't keep up with information requests

By The Associated Press

Obama administration responded to more requests than ever in 2011, but still lags behind

Excerpts from this story referencing "Securities and Exchange Commission":

"… ce and Technology Policy, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Securities and Exchange Commission, Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration and the …"

Energy-backed firms award bonuses, file bankruptcy

By Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk

The DOE financed green energy companies that later fell into bankruptcy — but not before the firms awarded big executive bonuses

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate Finance Committee":

"… first place,” said Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, former chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. “In the case where there might be federal grants or federal loans, I wo …"

FACT CHECK: Obama White House ‘full of Wall Street executives’?

By FactCheck.Org

Conservative super PAC runs ad on 'Obama's Wall Street Inner Circle'

Excerpts from this story referencing "Brookings Institution":

"… nal Budget Office (January 2007-November 2008) and was an economist at the Brookings Institution (2001-2007).As with Emanuel and Caldera, there were a few others on AFF’ …"

ANALYSIS: Taking the initiative in a struggle against excessive rate increases

By Wendell Potter

Insurance commissioner would gain new power if California effort succeeds

Excerpts from this story referencing "Securities and Exchange Commission":

"… tion unique to California. A review of financial statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that while the five biggest insurers earned billions in profits last …"

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