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« Mark Pittman Remembered: The Man Who Fought The Fed | Main | Ford Outsells GM For First Time In A Year »

"Who Sues the Fed And Wins? One Reporter On The Planet," Bloomberg's Mark Pittman Dies At 52

Originally published in November 2009.

I didn't know Mark personally.  We spoke by telephone twice this year regarding the effort he was leading at Bloomberg to force Federal Reserve disclosure.  He delighted in fighting a battle on behalf of the people, he said to me as detailed the latest developments in his FOIA war with the monolithic Fed: "I'm on a mission from God," he joked referring to the line from The Blue Brothers.

“Who sues the Fed? One reporter on the planet,” said Emma Moody, a Wall Street Journal editor who worked with Pittman at Bloomberg.

Public policy would be more effective if reporters, lawmakers and citizens understood how the financial system worked and why the crisis happened, Pittman said in the Feb. 27, 2009, interview with Chittum.

“Hopefully, we will be able to inform the people enough to know how badly we’re getting screwed,” he said with a laugh.  “We need to know how to prevent it from happening again, and we need to know who did it.”

 “He was one of the great financial journalists of our time,” said Joseph Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University in New York and the winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize for economics. “His death is shocking.”

Pittman’s fight to make the Fed more accountable resulted in an Aug. 24 victory in Manhattan Federal Court affirming the public’s right to know about the central bank’s more than $2 trillion in loans to financial firms. He drew the attention of filmmakers Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, who gave him a prominent role in their documentary about subprime mortgages, “American Casino,” which was shown at New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival in May.

“He was a wonderful friend, a seeker of truth, a fighter for right, a proud family man, a big and jovial hand, a lover of food, drink and celebration of life,” said Joshua Rosner, managing director of Graham Fisher & Co., a consulting and analysis firm in New York. “This is a personal loss, a professional loss and a societal loss. He is truly irreplaceable.”

Bloomberg’s lawsuit against the Fed, which was filed after Pittman’s requests under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act were denied, continues without him. The central bank won a delay pending an appeal, which is scheduled for the week of Jan. 4.

At the time of his death, Pittman’s outgoing messages offered a link to a black-and-white photo of Woody Guthrie.  Written on Guthrie’s guitar: “This machine kills fascists.”



Bonus clip:

Video:  American Casino Trailer | Release Sep 4, 2009 | Documentary | I don't think most people really understood that they were in a casino says award-winning financial reporter Mark Pittman.






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Reader Comments (16)

Charges filed finally in tea party beating...Gladney case
Nov 30, 2009 at 2:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterDailyBail
CBS 2 Exclusive: Back From The Dead
56-Year-Old Man Brought Back To Life After 47 Minutes, 4,500 Chest Compressions And 8 Zaps With Defibrillator
Staff At NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center Pulls Off True Medical Miracle
Nov 30, 2009 at 2:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterDailyBail
Anybody else love this photo of Woody Guthrie and his guitar...?
Nov 30, 2009 at 2:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterDailyBail
What a huge blow to the cause and a tragic loss to his family and friends. My sincere condolences to them.

Isn't 52 too soon? The article mentioned heart problems, but still this is suspicious. I am wondering just how black this hole is.

Yes, DB, the Guthrie photo is great. What amazing people (both Pittman and Guthrie).
Nov 30, 2009 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterSonic Ninja Kitty
Arlo lives in my part of Massacchusetts and I used to work at what used to be Alice's Restaurant. Turns out that Arlo was a Ron Paul supporter and one night a few months back he sang a song that had some really funny (and informed) references to gold and paper currency. And the Berkshire County liberals ate it up. Good on ya, Guthries.
Nov 30, 2009 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
Great story...any more clues i can use to find that particular song on youtube...
Nov 30, 2009 at 11:57 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Asketh and ye shall receiveth.

Arlo Guthrie/ I'm Changing My Name to Fannie Mae

"Oh the price of gold is rising out of sight...

[crowd applauds; Arlo stops playing]

What are you clappin' at that for?!"
Nov 30, 2009 at 12:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
Nov 30, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
i just found it...i'm changing my name to fannie mae...


I know i've seen this...i thought i posted it already but could find no record of it...
Nov 30, 2009 at 12:04 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
You may have. I Googled that shit on youtube a while back -- maybe around election time or shortly thereafter.
Nov 30, 2009 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder - Trailer
Nov 30, 2009 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen
David Kellermann, what did happen? DB, do you have any sources that can give you the scoop on the investigation?

Please WATCH this short video...

David had a lot to live for and sounded like a great guy. I wish we knew the truth?

Any help DB...
Nov 30, 2009 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered Commentergobias
I think we do know the truth Gobias...he was found hanged in his own home...

The key being in his own home...

It doesn't fit the profile of a hit...

And what could he possibly have divulged that would get him killed...
Nov 30, 2009 at 11:37 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Must see Dr. Ron Paul on this Video

Ron Paul on CNBC's The Kudlow Report 11/30/2009
Dec 1, 2009 at 12:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterKen
How the home grown Financial Alqaeda Terrorist get richer in USA Republic

"1. Taxes -- both apparent and hidden
2. Debt -- mortgages, credit cards, and student loans.
3. Inflation -- rising food and fuel costs
4. Retirement plans -- 401(k) and savings......loot via Wall street bubble machine and stacking Garbage paper stock options

It is via these four expenses that the rich get richer. In other words, all four of these expenses are a cash heists, the ways the rich use the government to get into our pockets, draining us of our wealth. "

On the cover of the October 19, 2009 issue of "Time" magazine ran this headline: "Why It's Time to Retire the 401(k)." The cover picture was ominous, showing a 401(k) sinking like the Titanic.

Global Warming Hoax
Dec 1, 2009 at 12:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterKen
I would love to ask Mark Pittman about a few things. Last I checked he was still pretty fuckin dead.
Nov 8, 2012 at 7:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT

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