James B. Steele
James B. Steele (born January 3, 1943) is an American investigative journalist and author. With longtime collaborator Donald L. Barlett he has won two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Magazine Awards and five George Polk Awards during their thirty five years of service at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Time, and Vanity Fair.
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- Last October, Congress passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, putting $700 billion into the hands of the Treasury Department to bail out the nation’s banks at a moment of vanishing credit and peak financial panic. Over the next three months, Treasury poured nearly $239 billion into 296 of the nation’s 8,000 banks. The money went to big banks. It went to small banks. It went to banks that desperately wanted the money. It went to banks that didn’t want the money at all but had been ordered by Treasury to take it anyway. It went to banks that were quite happy to accept the windfall, and used the money simply to buy other banks. Some banks received as much as $45 billion, others as little as $1.5 million. Sixty-seven percent went to eight institutions; 33 percent went to the rest. And that was just the money that went to banks. Tens of billions more went to other companies...
But once the money left the building, the government lost all track of it. The Treasury Department knew where it had sent the money, but nothing about what was done with it. Did the money aid the recovery? Was it spent for the purposes Congress intended? Did it save banks from collapse? Paulson’s Treasury Department had no idea, and didn’t seem to care. It never required the banks to explain what they did with this unprecedented infusion of capital.
- Where has the Bailout Money Gone? Good Billions After Bad, 27 September 2009, co-writen with with Donald L. Barlett, Vanity Fair
- Don Barlett and Jim Steele's website
- Barlett & Steele Awards for Investigative Business Journalism
- Terry Gross's interview about gambling on reservations with Barlett & Steele on NPR's Fresh Air (16 December 2002)
- Terry Gross's interview "The Big Business of Health Care" with Barlett & Steele on NPR's Fresh Air (6 October 2004)
- Exposé:"Friends in High Places" on PBS (July 2007)
- Liberadio(!) Interview with Don Barlett (12 February 2007)
- Appearances on C-SPAN