Business Longreads

The best longreads in business and finance for the week of March 16.

From Wall Street’s profiting on Detroit’s misery to a 300-page Senate opus on JPMorgan Chase’s stunning trading losses, The Daily Beast brings you the best business and finance longreads from this week.

“Only Wall Street Wins in Detroit Crisis Reaping $474 Million Fee”Darrell Preston and Chris Christoff, Bloomberg News

Detroit has an emergency manager instead of a mayor, can’t afford to pay for basic city services, and the city owes $474 million to its bankers. Of that, $350 million comes from interest rate swaps gone bad. The total “almost equals the city’s 2013 budget for police and fire protection.”

U.S. to Let Spy Agencies Scour Americans’ FinancesBy Emily Flitter, Stella Dawson, and Mark Hosenball, Reuters

Whenever U.S. banks spot suspicious activity, they report it to a massive database run by the Treasury that the FBI can access. The Obama administration is planning to let the NSA and CIA—intelligence, not law enforcement agencies—get full access to it as well.

Minority Groups and Bottlers Team Up in Battles Over SodaNick Confessore, The New York Times

A number of minority groups were vocally opposed to Mayor Bloomberg’s large soda ban. They also have been on the receiving end of major donations from beverage companies for decades.

Greed Is GrouponBen Popper, The Verge

When Groupon was discussing whether to go public, three of the biggest names in business advised against, its CEO was on the fence, and its chairman and Europe head were adamantly in favor. The company went public. Today, the CEO is gone and the stock is down 80 percent. What happened?

JPMorgan Chase Whale Trades: A Case History of Derivatives Risks and AbusesSenate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

A 300-page look at the who, why, when, and how of the most notorious trading loss since the financial crisis. Read it now before the best parts are entered as evidence in court.