Archives for August, 2010

FDIC says banking conditions improving

Posted: Aug. 31, 2010 | Tags: banks, BankTracker, failed banks, FDIC, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The nation's banking industry made $21.7 billion in the second quarter of this year, up from a loss of $9 billion a year ago, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported Tuesday.

"The results provide more evidence that the sector is moving along the road to recovery," FDIC Chairman Shelia Bair said at a news conference.

FDIC

Bair said bank profits were the highest in nearly three years. Profits grew primarily because banks, especially the nation's biggest ones, were able to reduce provisions for loan losses to its lowest in more than two years.

In fact, the amount of ...

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Lewis talks money and politics

Posted: Aug. 24, 2010 | Tags: Charles Lewis, Democracy Now!, Koch brothers, The New Yorker

On the heels of a New Yorker piece on the controversial billionaire Koch brothers, Workshop Executive Editor Charles Lewis will be on Democracy Now! speaking money and politics.

Lewis is quoted in this week's New Yorker in a piece delving into the lives and influence of the libertarian industrialists. Journalist Jane Mayer looks at the Koch brothers influence and support of the rampant Tea Party movement sweeping the country.

Mayer writes that "In Washington, Koch is best known as part of a family that has repeatedly funded stealth attacks on the federal government, and on the Obama Administration in ...

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All Internet is equal -- except when it's not

Posted: Aug. 11, 2010 | Tags: broadband, FCC, Federal Communication Commission, Google, Verizon

Any agreement between business foes Verizon Communications Inc. and Google Inc. should raise a red flag for those concerned with the public interest.

In matters regarding information technology, the public is best served when there are competitors tearing at one another’s throats. The Federal Communications Commission and Congress, unfortunately, act more as protectors of the free flow of commerce than as countervailing influences against corporate power.

So it is with suspicion that we should view the legislative framework announced Tuesday by the two corporate superpowers. Two items in particular raise immediate concern.

First, Google has given up on the ...

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BankTracker digs into bank behind Waters investigation

Posted: Aug. 9, 2010 | Tags: BankTracker, failed banks, FDIC, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Maxine Waters, MSNBC, OneUnited, TARP

An analysis by the Workshop's BankTracker has revealed the bank at the center of a House ethics investigation of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters was, at the time of its rescue, the weakest to receive fundsfrom the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program. The analysis is based on public federal financial reports.

Wendell Cochran found that in spite of its weak financial health OneUnited Bank of Boston received $12.1 million from the Treasury Department in December 2008. To date, the money has not been repaid.

Officials of OneUnited did not respond to Cochran's requests for an interview ...

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Lots of Internet competition - just not at home

Posted: Aug. 4, 2010 | Tags: broadband, Connected, FCC, Federal Communication Commission

This post also appears in the PostTech blog written by Cecilia Kang of The Washington Post. We’re working together on a project for the next several months looking at disparities of broadband access in Washington, D.C. The Obama administration has promised to expand high-speed Internet connections to all American homes. We look here, in the backyard of the nation’s capital, at the quality, speed and price of connections for residents.

Please reach out to us at dunbar@american.edu and/or kangc@washpost.com with your thoughts, questions and suggestions.

At first glance, the broadband market in ...

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Recent Posts

'New Newsrooms' wins research award

The Investigative Reporting Workshop has won the Society for Professional Journalists’ Research about Journalism Award for “The New Newsrooms,” an examination of nonprofit centers for investigative journalism worldwide. The reporters who founded these centers followed the example of their colleagues in the U.S., where this model has thrived for the past two decades.

'Business of Disaster' finalist in IRE awards

“Business of Disaster,” the PBS FRONTLINE program about ongoing housing problems more than three years after the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy, was a finalist in the IRE awards this year in both the large broadcast/video category and also in the large radio/audio category. 

The back-story behind Workshop's first data project on banks

In BankTracker, our long-running series that debuted in March 2009, we analyzed publicly available data to report on the financial health of the nation’s banks and credit unions. Though the project met with resistance from the banking association at the time, the updates continue to be welcomed by readers.


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