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Posted by on May 2, 2010 in Business, In The News, TG Roundup

Matt Taibbi Gets His Revenge on Goldman Shills

The notion that the bank would actually go out and create big balls of crap that would be designed to fail seemed too nuts even for my tastes.

Back in May 2009, I talked a lot about Matt Taibbi’s article in Rolling Stone magazine, in which he called Goldman Sachs a “Vampire Squid.” In January of this year, I had written an article on TeluGlobe about Matt’s lone crusade against the Wall Street’s mighty banks. Alas, I lost that article to a database crash.

Since that time, Matt is back with two more articles in which he holds no punches. In his latest RS piece, he takes the banks, especially Goldman, the administration, Congress and even his critics to task.

Just under a year ago, when we published “The Great American Bubble Machine” [RS 1082/1083], accusing Goldman of betting against its clients at the end of the housing boom, virtually the entire smugtocracy of sneering Wall Street cognoscenti scoffed at the notion that the Street’s leading investment bank could be guilty of such a thing. Attracting particular derision were the comments of one of my sources, a prominent hedge-fund chief, who said that when Goldman shorted the subprime-mortgage market at the same time it was selling subprime-backed products to its customers, the bait-and-switch maneuver constituted “the heart of securities fraud.”

CNBC’s house blowhard, Charlie Gasparino, laughed at the “securities fraud” line, saying, “Try proving that one.” The Atlantic’s online Randian cyber-shill, Megan McArdle, said Rolling Stone had “absurdly” accused Goldman of committing a crime, arguing that “Goldman’s customers for CDOs are not little grannies who think a bond coupon is what you use to buy denture glue.” Former Wall Street Journal reporter Heidi Moore hilariously pointed out that Goldman wasn’t the only one betting against the housing market, citing the short-selling success of – you guessed it – John Paulson as evidence that Goldman shouldn’t be singled out.

The truth is that what Goldman is alleged to have done in this SEC case is even worse than what all these a**holes laughed at us for talking about last year.

When I say he doesn’t hold back, I mean he doesn’t hold back. I had to ‘bleep’ his language.

The Goldman case emerges as a symbol of all this brokenness, of a climate in which all financial actors are now supposed to expect to be burned and cheated, even by their own bankers, as a matter of course. (As part of its defense, Goldman pointed out that IKB is a “sophisticated CDO market participant” – translation: too f**king bad for them if they trusted us.) It would be nice to think that the SEC suit is aimed at this twisted worldview as much as at the actual offense.

In case you missed Matt’s original article that alerted me to the specifics of Goldman’s shenanigans, here is where you can find it: Rolling Stone: The Great American Bubble Machine. Remember Charles Dicken’s famous starting line from A Tale of Two Cities? “It was best of times. It was worst of times.” Likewise, for a year or so since this article came out, the first two lines of Matt’s article have been resonating among a lot of bloggers (Trust me, you will see some of these lines quoted for years to come):

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.

3 Comments

  1. It is equally difficult for a common man and the so called expert (they tell they know everything and lectures) to understand the magic of money. Currency that is supposed to be a medium of exchange has itself become a commodity. When a colored paper with no back up of real assets, becomes a commodity what do you call it.. fictitious commodity which is capable of creating other such commodities. And people are caught in the rat race of owning that fictitious thing. As long as you have this colored paper you are bound to have an open ended inflation. Go back to the childhood. Have you ever observed price of any thing going down from then?

    you have so many such fictitious assets out there..For example why does a share with a face value of $1 and a net worth of $10 is traded at $200. After all a person who buys this share buys the ownership of the company to the tune of $1. And the same person wants to sell it for even more within few days. This doesn’t seem right to me, an out and out speculation and a gamble. There has to be a loser if there is a winner. Greed.. this is what driving the society now, in the name of capitalism and money market. Now, when the worst happens exerts blame on the big corporations. Are the corporations not part of the same greed system all of us are in – why blame only them? Goldman Sachs bundles some securities, the prices of which they know will fall and sells them. After all do’t you do the same when you know your shares will fall?

    The world lives in a fools paradise based upon fictitious wealth, rash promises and mad illusions. We must beware of booms and banes based upon false prosperity which has it roots in inflated credits and prices.

  2. Is this the same guy who started writing blogs that shed light on wall st ?

    • He is a ‘reporter’ and writer for Rolling Stone magazine. He also has a blog. But he is not a pioneer in financial blogging. He certainly started a big stir about Goldman a year ago.