Matt Taibbi Gets His Revenge on Goldman Shills
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.