William Selway, Martin Z. Braun and David Dietz of Bloomberg News exposed a phantom bond scam - over $7 billion in the past 10 years - which promise benefits for the needy (better housing, improvements to inner-city schools, etc.), yet the only ones profiting are banks, insurance companies and financiers. "The arrangements -- often called black box deals, because they're complicated and mysterious -- sometimes contain secret agreements that promise to pay the financial middlemen higher fees if none of the money from the bond offerings is used to help the public. The agencies that issue the bonds buy them back from investors. The money goes untapped, and the advisers keep their fees." CJR complemented the efforts of Bloomberg News for taking a "more expansive view of business news, one that values that seemingly quaint notion of the public good. In this case, Bloomberg's William Selway, Martin Z. Braun and David Dietz outline a scandal of staggering proportions, then make their case through exhaustive research and reporting that backs up the splashy start."
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