FROM John Carney
GOP Debate Roundup Last night's GOP debate was a more raucous affair than the first two. Sometimes the moderators seemed barely in control of the proceedings. And as early voting gets closer, there were a few more testy exchanges among candidates trying to raise their profile and damage their opponents.
High Finance and White-Collar Crime Raj Rajaratnam's Galleon Group hedge fund was once worth $7 billion, and he paid ten high-powered lawyers to defend him on charges of insider trading. But a working-class jury found him guilty on all 14 counts , based in large part on telephone conversations with tipsters recorded by federal investigators. After his conviction, the billionaire rolled away from New York's federal courthouse in a silver Mercedes. He's facing prison and fines, but it's not clear what the broader consequences might be. Prosecutors promise an ongoing crackdown on insider trading. Skeptics see Rajaratnam's trial as a road map for how to get away with it. Others ask, what about the bankers accused of causing the Great Recession? Polls show that most Americans think Wall Street is rigged. Will taking down a major player restore the confidence of ordinary investors?
The American Dream and Extended Credit Despite the recession and unemployment near 10 percent, Americans are still accumulating more debt. Solicitations for credit cards doubled last year. Lenders and retailers say the American Dream -- a big home, a big car and college — makes consumers willing to go into hock. They also see signs of "frugality fatigue." Others contend the law itself is rigged to favor indebtedness, with incentives that reward debt and discourage saving. Why are people spending money they don't have? Is it good for the economy? Is the government setting the right example?
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?