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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.
May 13, 3:39 p.m.After a court ruling, the state’s legacy of borrowing to cover public employee pensions landed a $2.2 billion problem in the city’s lap.
April 30, 11:56 a.m.Facing a giant budget deficit, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal plans to borrow $750 million against future income from a landmark legal settlement with cigarette makers.
April 23, 2:35 p.m.The New Jersey governor counts past pension borrowing as “school aid” in his budget – but not when it undercuts his claim of spending more on pensions than prior governors.
April 17, 4:05 p.m.N.J. governor closed budget gaps by borrowing, shifting money from trust funds and paring back tax credits
April 17, 4:05 p.m.In pledging to fix New Jersey’s ailing finances, Gov. Chris Christie promised to avoid one-time budget fixes he called “sins of the past.” A review by ProPublica and The Washington Post shows he’s committed some of the same sins – and some new ones.
Jan. 13, 3:41 p.m.The latest Securities and Exchange Commission examination of credit rating firms found problems similar to those documented in ProPublica's investigation of tobacco bonds.
Dec. 30, 2014, 3:24 p.m.When New Jersey decided to bail out some of its tobacco bonds, the state gave up $400 million in future revenues to pocket $92 million immediately, an arrangement that also helped one savvy investor cash in on a big bet.
Dec. 24, 2014, 4 p.m.
Dec. 23, 2014, 2:53 p.m.Wall Street pressed S&P, Moody’s and Fitch to assign more favorable credit ratings to their deals and bragged that the raters complied. Now many of the bonds are headed for default.
Nov. 17, 2014, 1:30 p.m.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.
Oct. 24, 2014, 10:48 a.m.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.
Oct. 23, 2014, 1:58 p.m.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.
Oct. 23, 2014, 1:18 p.m.A refinance of Niagara County’s tobacco bonds was good news — but for investors, not taxpayers.
Oct. 23, 2014, 1:11 p.m.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.
Sep. 11, 2014, 8 a.m.
Aug. 18, 2014, 2:17 p.m.States and localities got cash up front but may end up paying back a lot more than they expected.
Aug. 18, 2014, 2:03 p.m.Even when taxpayers aren't explicitly on the hook, tobacco bonds can cost states and local governments money. Here's how.
Aug. 7, 2014, 3:06 p.m.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.
Aug. 7, 2014, 8 a.m.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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