Bloomberg Investigative Reporter Mark Pittman, Dead at 52 (Predicted Collapse of Banking System; Fought for More Fed Transparency)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Bloomberg News has reported that Mark Pittman, who investigated the run-up to the banking system crash, has died.  From Bloomberg:

Mark Pittman, Reporter Who Foresaw Subprime Crisis, Dies at 52

Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) — Mark Pittman, the award-winning investigative reporter whose fight to open the Federal Reserve to more scrutiny led Bloomberg News to sue the central bank and win, died Nov. 25 in Yonkers, New York. He was 52.

Pittman suffered from heart-related illnesses. The precise cause of his death wasn’t known, said his friend William Karesh, vice president of the Global Health Program at the Bronx, New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society.

A former police-beat reporter who joined Bloomberg News in 1997, Pittman wrote stories in 2007 predicting the collapse of the banking system.

Pittman’s determination to dig into the workings of the Federal Reserve led to a recent court victory:

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.

Pittman wrote an article in mid-2007 warning of the mortgage bond risks and was mocked, as so many are who try to put the truth out there:

His June 29, 2007, article, headlined “S&P, Moody’s Hide Rising Risk on $200 Billion of Mortgage Bonds,” was excoriated at the time by for “trying to play ‘gotcha’ with the ratings agencies.”

“And that really isn’t helpful,” said the unsigned posting.

Not helpful, for whom??

The story continues:

Pittman’s story proved prescient. So did his reports on U.S. banks exporting toxic mortgages overseas, on Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson’s role in creating those troubled assets while he was chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and on the U.S. bailout of American International Group Inc.

The Bloomberg piece offers a complete rundown of Pittman’s career.

It’s a shame that we’ve lost a courageous reporter at such a young age.  There are so few real investigative reporters still around.

REST IN PEACE and Godspeed, Mark Pittman.