About Marian Wang -- Pro Publica

Marian Wang is ProPublica's first reporter-blogger. She previously worked for Mother Jones, where she spearheaded the magazine's social media strategy. Since graduating with honors from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in 2007, she worked in Chicago as a freelance investigative reporter and blogger for The Chicago Reporter, Chi-Town Daily News, and ChicagoNow. She now lives in New York. She likes it a lot.

Find Marian on Twitter: @mariancw

Elizabeth Warren on Spiraling Student Debt and What Should Be Done About It

Elizabeth Warren Student Debt

Marian Wang: The professor-turned-lawmaker talks about why people should care and what Congress should be doing to help ease the burden on borrowers.

Top Public Universities Push for ‘Autonomy’ From States

portland-state-355

Marian Wang: Proponents generally argue that more autonomy allows public universities to operate with less red tape and with greater freedom to raise revenue as state funding has fallen.

Public Universities Ramp Up Aid for the Wealthy, Leaving the Poor Behind

shauiqua epps

Marian Wang: Shauniqua Epps was accepted to three public colleges, but none gave her any aid. Increasingly, public universities have been shifting their aid away from the poor, leaving students like Epps with few options.

Doubling Down on Grants to Low-Income Students

studewnt loan debt

Marian Wang: The government should make the funding for the Pell program an entitlement in the federal budget, shielding it from annual wrangling, and should boost the maximum amount of individual grants, the report says.

Bank Lending Frenzy Left Borrowers Buried in Student Debt

student debt

Marian Wang: Some banks and lenders played fast and loose with student loans, aggressively marketing them to borrowers who couldn’t afford that amount of debt

Student Loan Borrowers Dazed and Confused by Servicer Shuffle

rising tuition

Marian Wang: The Department of Education has been transferring large batches of federal student loans to new loan-servicing companies — leaving in the lurch some borrowers who are suddenly encountering problems with their loans.

Fight Over Obama’s Recess Appointments Puts Stranglehold on Key Nominees

obama daley

Marian Wang: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to block the confirmation of three uncontroversial nominees for key banking regulator positions.

Financial Crisis Prosecutions Too Hard?

wall street

Marian Wang: According to a now-departed Justice Department official who used to be in charge of investigating such matters, the Justice Department has decided that holding top Wall Street executives criminally accountable is too difficult a task.

Pfizer’s Latest Twist on ‘Pay for Delay’

pfizer logo

Marian Wang: Pfizer is adding yet another twist to its efforts to delay generic competitors. As The New York Times reports, the company seems to have struck a deal with certain pharmacy benefit managers to block generic versions of Lipitor.

Rick Perry v. ‘Rick Parry’: Pushing Campaign Finance Frontiers

Marian Wang: For months, comedian Stephen Colbert has been taking his satire to the field of campaign finance, highlighting how little-known groups can raise and spend unlimited — and sometimes undisclosed — funds on election ads.

Financial Regulation Kills Jobs? Perhaps Not

Marian Wang: But separate from the jobs created to actually handle new regulation, others have pointed out that regulations can have a long-term, positive effect on overall economic growth by preventing the types of crises that put an industry on life-support.

California’s Dangerous Docs Undisciplined

malpractice

Marian Wang: More than 700 doctors in California sanctioned for wrongdoing by hospitals and other health care organizations haven’t faced any disciplinary action from the California medical board.

Is Obama Violating the War Powers Act?

obama-war-powers-act-wide

Marian Wang: Even supporters of the Libya intervention have complained that the administration is flouting the law.

New Food Safety Threat Emerges

e-coli_wide

Marian Wang: Also unclear is whether the federal agencies in charge of changing the food safety system will be adequately funded. Republican proposals to cut the FDA’s budget and the USDA’s inspection budget could cut into efforts to update the system.

Automakers’ Bailout and Bankruptcies Shortchanged Accident Victims

junker-wide

Marian Wang: The U.S. Treasury still holds a stake in Chrysler that it intends to sell, and an Obama administration official has said that the government doesn’t expect to fully recover about $1.9 billion in remaining investments.

Foreclosure Contractors Face New Scrutiny From States

foreclosure-wide

Marian Wang: Prosecutors in California and Illinois have sent subpoenas to Lender Processing Services, one of the largest firms that processed mortgage documents for the banks.

Sexual Harassment Law Murker Than You Think

Marian Wang: In some cases, a person may be able to show that advances were unwelcome even though he or she didn’t protest or say so at the time. “Consensual” isn’t the same thing as ”welcome,” experts say.

Congress, Courts Move to Curtail Leaks

wikileaks julian assange

Marian Wang: The move, backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is just the latest in a series of setbacks for those who favor strengthening whistleblower rules to encourage reporting of wrongdoing within government and businesses.

Afghan Attacks Highlight Challenges of Training Afghan Forces

prison-break

Marian Wang: The U.S. has spent billions on to train the dysfunctional police force, which has been riddled with high turnover and continued corruption.

Offshore Oil Companies Still Shielded

gulf-oil-wide

Marian Wang: When the Deepwater Horizon disaster killed 11 men at sea last April and set off the worst oil spill in U.S. history, the tragedy exposed a number of weaknesses—not least of which were decades-old laws that limited the liability of major players.

Budget Cuts Obama’s Transparency Sites

transparent government

Marian Wang: Though the budget deal struck by lawmakers over the weekend averted a shutdown of the federal government, it still has open-government advocates worried about a shutdown of another sort: a shutdown in transparency.

U.S.’s Shifting Stance on Arming Rebels

libya

Marian Wang: As the Obama administration grapples with whether to arm the Libyan rebels, it has several things to consider—not least of which is the question of whether doing so would be legal.

Chamber of Commerce Attacks Anti-Corruption Law

Marian Wang: Even as anger over governmental corruption has exploded into protests across the Middle East, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been working to weaken the law that bans companies from bribing foreign officials.

Treasury Slow Fixing Foreclosure Prevention Program

foreclosure-wide

Marian Wang: By the end of last year, the program had given nearly 1.5 million households “a chance” of a mortgage modification through a trial modification. For most, that chance never turned developed into permanent help.

Leaked Cables: Egyptian Government Stokes Fears of Muslim Brotherhood

cairo riots

Marian Wang: The Muslim Brotherhood, a key opposition group in Egypt’s anti-Mubarak protests, has long argued that the Egyptian government exaggerates the Muslim Brotherhood’s positions and its likelihood of attaining power in democratic elections. As it turns out, American diplomats agree.

State Department Approved Export of U.S.-Made Tear Gas to Egyptian Gov’t

tear gas

Marian Wang: The American-made tear gas used to disperse pro-democracy protestors in Egypt earlier this week was sold to the country after government review.

U.S. Aid to Egypt: Where Does the Money Go—And Who Decides How It’s Spent?

egypt

Marian Wang: U.S. foreign assistance to Egypt has averaged just over $2 billion every year since 1979, when Egypt struck a peace treaty with Israel [3] following the Camp David Peace Accords.

With Four Lawmakers Objecting, Senate Ends Practice of Secret Holds to Block Bills

John Ensign

Marian Wang: The Senate’s new rule won’t prevent Senators from putting a hold on legislation—it’ll just make sure that senators who do so will have their name published in the Congressional Record.

Citizens United Turns 1: Supreme Court Considers Corporate Personhood Again

citizens united

Marian Wang: Kagan’s successor as solicitor general, Neal Katyal, has argued that “a corporation itself can no more be embarrassed, harassed, or stigmatized than a stone.”

Bank Errors Cause Damage to Credit, Distress to Homeowners

bank

Marian Wang: Some consumers have been surprised to see damage to their credit score after requesting information from the banks.

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