Showing posts tagged Matt Taibbi

The presidential election is a drama that we Americans have learned to wholly consume as entertainment, divorced completely from any expectations about concrete chanegs in our own lives. for the vast majority of people who follow national elections in this country, the payoff they’re looking for when they campaign for this or that political figure is that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when the home team wins the big game. Or, more important, when a hated rival loses. Their stake in the electoral game isn’t a citizen’s interest, but a rooting interest.

Voters who throw their emotional weight into elections they know deep down inside won’t produce real change in their lives are also indulging in a kind of fantasy. That’s why voters still dream of politicians whose primary goal is to effectively govern and maintain a thriving first world society with great international ambitions. What voters don’t realize, or don’t want to realize, is that that dream was abandoned long ago by this country’s leaders, who know the more prosaic reality and are looking beyond the fantasy, into the future, at an America plummeted into third world status. […]

We don’t get real political movements and real change; what we get, instead, are crass show-business manipulations whose followers’ aspirations are every bit as alughable and desperate as the wealth dreams of the street hustler with his gold rope. What we get, in other words, are moderates who don’t question the corporate consensus dressed up as revolutionary leaders, like Barack Obama, and wonderfully captive opposition diversions like the Tea Party.

[Matt Taibbi, “The Grifter Archipelago”]

(Source: goodreads.com)

[Goldman Sachs achieves success] using the same playbook over and over again. The formula is relatively simple: Goldman positions itself in the middle of a speculative bubble, selling investments they know are crap. Then they hoover up vast sums from the middle and lower floors of society with the aid of a crippled and corrupt state that allows it to rewrite the rules in exchange for the relative pennies the bank throws at political patronage. Finally, when it all goes bust, leaving millions of ordinary citizens broke and starving, they begin the entire process over again, riding in to rescue us all by lending us back our own money at interest, selling themselves as men above greed, just a bunch of really smart guys keeping the wheels greased. They’ve been pulling this same stunt over and over since the 1920s — and now they’re preparing to do it again, creating what may be the biggest and most audacious bubble yet.


If you want to understand how we got into this financial crisis, you have to first understand where all the money went — and in order to understand that, you need to understand what Goldman has already gotten away with. It is a history exactly five bubbles long — including last year’s strange and seemingly inexplicable spike in the price of oil. There were a lot of losers in each of those bubbles, and in the bailout that followed. But Goldman wasn’t one of them.

Matt Taibbi, The Great American Bubble Machine (April, 2010)

linked in Greg Smith’s blockbuster polemic editorial against Goldman Sachs this morning.

(via letterstomycountry)

(Reblogged from letterstomycountry)
The essence of this particular sort of oligarchic power is its complexity and day-to-day invisibility: Its worst crimes, from bribery and insider trading and market manipulation, to backroom dominance of government and the usurping of the regulatory structure from within, simply can’t be seen by the public or put on TV. There just isn’t going to be an iconic “Running Girl” photo with Goldman Sachs, Citigroup or Bank of America – just 62 million Americans with zero or negative net worth, scratching their heads and wondering where the hell all their money went and why their votes seem to count less and less each and every year.
[Matt Taibbi]