Wealthiest 5% earnings: Economic Policy Institute, September 3, 2007

Price of luxuries: “The Cost of Living Extremely Well Index,” Forbes, September 17, 2008

Millionaires won’t maintain their lifestyles: Spectrem Group, January 6, 2009

Things the rich have had to cut back: “Trickledown Downsizing,” New York Times, December 11, 2008; “As the Rich Get Poorer, Teenagers Feel the Crunch,” New York Times, December 13, 2008;
Putting Vanity on Hold,” New York Times, December 18, 2008; “It’s Not So Easy Being Less Rich,” New York Times, June 1, 2008

The Bonus Army: Office of the New York State Comptroller, January 28, 2009; “Household Data Annual Averages

De Beers ads: “Israeli Diamond Portal Reports: De Beers Diamond Company Says More Is Less ,” PR Log, December 9, 2008

Heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune: “The One Percent,” Huffington Post, January 6, 2009

Arianna Huffington’s debutante daughter: “Debutantes Indulge as Nation Reels,” Gawker.com, December 30, 2008

“I do have a son in college”: “Highlights From Wagoner’s Interview,” Detroit Free Press, January 13, 2009; “The Other Side of the $1 Salary,” ABC News, December 3, 2008

“Making a buck”: “Financial Dictionary,” Investors.com

Wall Street’s bonuses stacked in dollar bills: “Last Year’s Big Five Wall Street Bonuses,” ABC News, September 22, 2008; “U.S. Money Laundering Threat Assessment,” U.S. Treasury; Household Data Annual Averages

Shareholders lose $74 billion, banks pay out $39 billion in bonuses: “Last Year’s Big Five Wall Street Bonuses,” ABC News, September 22, 2008

$60 billion in bailouts: “Tracking the $700 Billion Bailout,” New York Times

CEO breaks his own bonus record: “Goldman Chief’s Bonus,” New York Times, December 23, 2007; “Tracking the $700 Billion Bailout,” New York Times

Financial planning perks for Wells Fargo execs: Wells Fargo Stockholders Report, March 17, 2008

Peter Kraus’ $25 million parachute: “Merrill Lynch’s Peter Kraus Collects $25 Million, Then Resigns,” Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2008

Wife buys a $36.6 million pad: “How Peter Kraus Spent His Hard Earned Bonus Money,” New York Magazine, December 29, 2008

Icon Recognition insists business is “thriving”: “Tombstones,” The New Yorker, November 10, 2008; “Mail Re: Tombstones,” The New Yorker, November 17, 2008

AIG spent $443,000 at a spa: “AIG Spent US $440,000 on Spa, Resort After Bailout, Lawmakers Say,” Financial Post, October 7, 2008; “After Bailout AIG Sent Executives to the Spa,” MSNBC, October 8, 2008; “Hot Docs,” U.S. News and World Report, October 8, 2008; “AIG Executive Retreat Irks Lawmakers,” Washington Post, October 7, 2008

CEO demands loans to pay off car leases: “In Factory Sit In, an Anger Spread Wide,” New York Times, December 7, 2008; “10 Greediest People of 2008,” Alternet, December 23, 2008

Hyundai allows car returns: “Hyundai’s Economic Stimulus Package,” Los Angeles Times, January 5, 2008; Hyundai USA

CEOs expect layoffs: “CEO Economic Outlook Survey,” Business Roundtable

Stocking Up: Rent-A-Center; 99 Cents Only Stores; Wal-Mart; S&P 500

4.5 million Americans receive jobless benefits: “State Unemployment Claims System Overwhelmed,” Yahoo News, January 8, 2009; US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Almost half of states may run out of unemployment benefits: “Helping the Jobless Helps Us All,” Center for American Progress Action Fund, November 2008

Only 37% of Americans collect jobless benefits: “Helping the Jobless Helps Us All,” Center for American Progress Action Fund, November 2008

Jobless benefits, then and now: “Helping the Jobless Helps Us All,” Center for American Progress Action Fund, November 2008

Average unemployment benefit is $293 a week: “Layoffs Flood a Weakened Unemployment System,” Business Week, December 7, 2008

Americans cut back on necessities: “Poll: 67% Cutting Back on Holiday Spending,” CNN, December 8, 2008

Campbell’s Soup, original dollar menu: “Campbell Net Falls on Hedging Loss,” Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2008

Overstock.com’s “Family Bailout Plan”: “Overstock.com Announces Monthly $10,000 Family Bailout Sweepstakes,” Overstock.com press release/PR Newswire, January 6, 2008

Americans withdraw early from retirement accounts: “Bank of America Survey Finds Despite Tightening Their Wallets, Americans Are Further From Achieving Their Retirement Goals Amidst Weakening Economy,” Bank of America press release, December 4, 2008

Larry Flynt’s bailout: “US Porn Industry Seeks Multi-Billion Dollar Bailout,” Daily Telegraph, January 8, 2009; “Porn Industry Seeks Own Stimulus…Package,” CNBC, January 7, 2009

Wet grew by 30%: “Sex and Recession,” Forbes, December 19, 2008

Las Vegas Mafia Museum: “The Yankees, the Mob, and the Two-Headed Bailout,” Esquire, January 13, 2009

Madoff’s campaign contributions: “Madoff & Company Spent Nearly $1 Million on Washington Influence,” OpenSecrets.org, December 15, 2008

Madoff’s contributions to Obama and Schumer: “Donor Lookup: Madoff,” OpenSecrets.org, accessed January 16, 2009

Charles Schumer raises $35,000: “A Champion of Wall Street Reaps Benefits,” New York Times, December 14, 2008

Finance, insurance, and real estate lobbying: “Lobbying: Ranked Sectors,” OpenSecrets.org, accessed January 14, 2009

Treasury Department abolishes Section 382: “A Quiet Windfall for U.S. Banks,” Washington Post, November 10, 2008

Treasury Department abolishes Section 382: “Letter Urging Congressmen to Reverse IRS Notice 2008-83,” Citizens for Tax Justice, December 8, 2008

Mad as Hell Libs: Google searches performed in January 2009

Mrs. Fuld’s unmarked bags: “What Rich People Don’t Want You to Know About Their Spending,” Daily Beast, December 15, 2008

Erin Wasson and the chic homeless: “Erin Wasson: ‘Homeless People Have the Best Style,'” New York Magazine, September 15, 2008

Chrysler’s “Thank You America” ad: “Chrysler Faces Criticism for Full-Page ‘Thank You’ Ads,” Fox News, December 29, 2008; “Chrysler Receives $4 Billion Bailout Loan,” Chicago Tribune, January 3, 2009

George W. Bush receives a $196,700 annual pension: “Inside the Mind of the CEO President,” Time, July 28, 2002; “Bush Will Get Pension of Almost $200,000,” San Francisco Chronicle, January 15, 2009

Federal bailout application: “Application for TARP Capital Purchase Program,” US Small Business Association, accessed January 26, 2009

MoJo interns request bailout: “Asking for TARP Funds Takes Only 27 Minutes,” Mother Jones, January 9, 2009

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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