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Cezary Podkul

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Cezary is a reporter at ProPublica covering finance. Previously, he worked as a reporter at Reuters specializing in data-driven news stories. His work with Carrick Mollenkamp for Reuters’s “Uneasy Money” series was a finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. He has covered energy and commodities and the private equity industry, among other beats, after leaving investment banking in 2008 to pursue journalism.

Cezary earned a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and is a 2011 alumnus of the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, where he won the Melvin Mencher Prize for Superior Reporting. He is fluent in Polish.

Articles

Scoring the Latest Tobacco Bond Bailout: Investors $10, Taxpayers $1

Chautauqua County, N.Y. helped a bondholder get nearly $6 million for bottom-of-the-barrel debt – the bondholder let the county keep $600,000.

Tobacco Settlement Funds Sprinklers, Golf Carts and a Grease Trap

In Niagara County, N.Y., leaders took on 40-year debt to pay for short-term stuff, a case study in the perverse incentives tobacco bonds create.

The Millions New York Counties Coulda Got

New York counties were promised annual payments from tobacco companies as part of a national settlement to reimburse them for smoking-related health care costs. Some made deals to get up front cash instead of long term payments. Here's what they gave up.

How One New York County Fell Into the Tobacco Debt Trap

A refinance of Niagara County’s tobacco bonds was good news — but for investors, not taxpayers.

How We Analyzed New York County Tobacco Bonds

Users can see how interest rates and declining cigarette sales affect the bottom line for counties that borrowed against income from the landmark tobacco settlement.

Investors Haul In Nearly Half the Tobacco Settlement Cash

How Tobacco Bonds Work, and What Can Go Wrong

States and localities got cash up front but may end up paying back a lot more than they expected.

Q&A: The Hidden Costs of Tobacco Debt

Even when taxpayers aren't explicitly on the hook, tobacco bonds can cost states and local governments money. Here's how.

Tobacco Bonds May Be Dangerous to Your State’s Financial Health

After a bruising legal fight, tobacco companies agreed in 1998 to compensate 46 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories for the health-related costs of smoking. Wall Street helped turn their annual payments into upfront cash by selling bonds to investors.

How Wall Street Tobacco Deals Left States With Billions in Toxic Debt

Politicians wanted upfront cash from a legal victory over Big Tobacco, and bankers happily obliged. The price? A handful of states promised to repay $64 billion on just $3 billion advanced.

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