David Dayen

David Dayen is the executive editor of The American Prospect. His work has appeared in The Intercept, The New RepublicHuffPostThe Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and more. His first book, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud, winner of the Studs and Ida Terkel Prize, was released by The New Press in 2016. His email is ddayen@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

Trump’s Fake Trade War With China

It will neither change China’s own predatory behavior nor get America to the industrial policy we need.

A week ago, China allowed its currency to depreciate past a key benchmark of seven yuan to the dollar, a record low. A cheaper currency translates into cheaper imports, and offsets to some degree the hardship from tariffs on goods made in China. This sent markets plummeting and pundits castigating the Trump administration for further damage from the trade war. Armageddon , or at least recession , was predicted. But markets have since recovered, sensing the truth that neither side in this war has a particular interest in fighting it, as can be seen from subsequent actions. That’s actually a shame, because it frustrates the real need to reverse a manufacturing supply chain that is bad for workers, bad for global security, and even bad for China’s attempts to modernize its economy. The game was up when Trump struck back in the most ineffectual manner possible, slapping a currency manipulation label on China, even though, if anything, China was intervening to prop its currency...

Bernie Sanders Visits the Heart of America’s Homelessness Crisis

At Skid Row in Los Angeles, Sanders witnesses the callous neglect of human beings—and hope for combating the problem.

The man at the Star Apartments in the section of downtown Los Angeles known as “Skid Row” wasn’t used to being canvassed by any politician, let alone having a bank of news cameras greet him at his doorstep. He flashed surprise when he opened the door. Then he focused on the white-haired man in the sport jacket, smiled, and said, “Bernie, I was just watching you on TV!” Senator Bernie Sanders was touring the Star Apartments , a facility providing permanent supportive housing to over 100 formerly homeless individuals, as part of a day of campaigning in southern California focused on affordable housing and homelessness. Skid Row is not a typical stop on the trail; aides could not recall if Sanders visited during his 2016 presidential run. (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did tour Skid Row last year.) But if you want to understand the heartbreak of our housing policy and the promise of how it can be improved, you have to come here. “It is painful to know that...

How a Progressive Populist Plans to Win a Rural Republican District

J.D. Scholten almost took out Steve King in 2018. Now he’s back—stronger than ever.

J.D. Scholten is starting up the Winnebago again. Last year, Scholten, a first-time candidate who played minor-league baseball before returning to Iowa’s ruby-red Fourth Congressional District, where he was born and raised, came within 10,430 votes of defeating white nationalist Steve King. Scholten, who traversed the sprawling district in an old RV nicknamed “Sioux City Sue” and visited each of the district’s 39 counties at least three times, broke through by arguing that King’s penchant for racism and controversy was totally disconnected from the issues his constituents care about most: health care, the farm economy, and corporate consolidation. Now he’s back for a rematch, announcing his candidacy with a moody, evocative video voiced by Kevin Costner. “There’s a sense of unfinished business,” Scholten told me in an interview a few hours after he released the video. “Politics is a zero-sum game, but we are in this middle...

Potential Nominee for Democratic Slot on the SEC Troubles Advocates

Urska Velikonja, a law professor, has a scant public record on securities policy matters.

A couple weeks ago Prospect contributors Jeff Hauser and David Segal expressed concern that Chuck Schumer was blowing another appointment for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). For most five-member independent commissions like the SEC, only three commissioners can come from the party of the president. And by custom, the Senate leader of the minority party, in this case Schumer, gets wide latitude to recommend the other two, a considerable power rivaling only the president in how it molds the mindset at federal agencies. Already in the Trump era, Schumer mistimed a recommendation for an SEC slot that Republicans opportunistically left vacant for months, creating a 3-1 split on the commission. This diminished enforcement capabilities so thoroughly that white-collar defense lawyers were gloating about it . With Rob Jackson, who fills the other Democratic seat on the SEC, slated to soon leave, Schumer appears determined not to make the same mistake. (Jackson’s term...

Progressive Group Says It’s Time for the FTC to Investigate the FTC

Is the Federal Trade Commission using the same deceptive advertising practices it’s supposed to police?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is facing criticism about the devious and underhanded practices of … itself. The progressive group Demand Progress is working with other partners on a formal complaint against the FTC for deceptive advertising about its settlement with credit reporting company Equifax, for a data breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million Americans. The federal agency with jurisdiction over false advertising is the FTC. Demand Progress has begun with a petition for its members, housed at a website called FailedTradeCommission.com . “We demand the Federal Trade Commission launch an immediate investigation into the Federal Trade Commission’s false and deceptive advertising surrounding its settlement with Equifax,” reads the petition. “In addition to a full investigation, we demand the FTC issue an immediate cease and desist to itself and prohibit itself from making future deceptive statements.” The petition will be...