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Tag: Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi Admits that the President Sounds Good …

I want to believe the President. I want to trust him. I want him to be successful. But everytime I back him up, I feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick Lucy’s football. It’s a moving target and it’s not moving my way.

Matt Taibbi writing for Rolling Stone has some words on the same subject. It caught my attention immediately because he does the same thing I do when the President speaks. He avoids hearing the speech but reads about it later. The President always says wonderful, beautiful things but they are about as significant as pickup lines in a bar. Right now, he’s rallying his troops, the people that got him elected, the Progressives and the Liberals. But he only needs them for his re-election campaign and when it’s over, they are going to be disappointed again. Obama never calls. It was just what it was.

James Pilant

Obama hasn’t been a total disaster on labor. Most notably, he stepped up in
the Wisconsin mess and at least took sides in that debate, calling the push to
end collective bargaining rights an “assault” on unions.

But I remember
following Obama on the campaign trail and hearing all sorts of promises before
union-heavy crowds. He said he would raise the minimum wage every year; he said
he would fight free-trade agreements. He also talked about repealing the Bush
tax cuts and ending tax breaks for companies that move jobs
overseas.

It’s not just that he hasn’t done those things. The more
important thing is that the people he’s surrounded himself with are not labor
people, but stooges from Wall Street. Barack Obama has as his chief of staff a
former top-ranking executive from one of the most grossly corrupt mega-companies
on earth, JP Morgan Chase. He sees Bill Daley in his own office every day, yet
when it comes time to talk abut labor issues, he has to go out and make selected
visits twice a year or whatever to the Richard Trumkas of the
world.

Listening to Obama talk about jobs and shared prosperity yesterday
reminded me that we are back in campaign mode and Barack Obama has started doing
again what he does best – play the part of a progressive. He’s good at it. It
sounds like he has a natural affinity for union workers and ordinary people when
he makes these speeches. But his policies are crafted by representatives of
corporate/financial America, who happen to entirely make up his inner circle.

I just don’t believe this guy anymore, and it’s become almost painful to
listen to him.

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Nobody Goes To Jail?

Matt Taibbi has it right –

Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world’s wealth — and nobody went to jail. Nobody, that is, except Bernie Madoff, a flamboyant and pathological celebrity con artist, whose victims happened to be other rich and famous people.

The rest of them, all of them, got off. Not a single executive who ran the companies that cooked up and cashed in on the phony financial boom — an industrywide scam that involved the mass sale of mismarked, fraudulent mortgage-backed securities — has ever been convicted. Their names by now are familiar to even the most casual Middle American news consumer: companies like AIG, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. Most of these firms were directly involved in elaborate fraud and theft. Lehman Brothers hid billions in loans from its investors. Bank of America lied about billions in bonuses. Goldman Sachs failed to tell clients how it put together the born-to-lose toxic mortgage deals it was selling. What’s more, many of these companies had corporate chieftains whose actions cost investors billions — from AIG derivatives chief Joe Cassano, who assured investors they would not lose even “one dollar” just months before his unit imploded, to the $263 million in compensation that former Lehman chief Dick “The Gorilla” Fuld conveniently failed to disclose. Yet not one of them has faced time behind bars.

Two kinds of justice? Is there one for you and I, and another for the great financial elites? Let’s say that I steal $100,000 dollars from my employer, if they press charges would I go to jail? Quite likely. What if I work for a giant investment bank and I commit fraud and other security violations to the tune of several hundred million dollars? Will I go to jail then? No.

What is going on here? This isn’t fair.

Why do we put people in jail or prison? To punish them and discourage others from committing the same offenses.

What message does this “two-tiered” system of “justice” send? It says that wrongdoing is okay if you are properly placed in the economy. If you are not placed in the right industry with the right friends and the right “law enforcement,” you can expect to be penalized when you commit crimes. The impact is clear, if you work in the financial industry you will not be punished for your financial crimes.

Do I have to tell you that giving sectors of the economy the right to commit crimes at will is bad policy? They will continue to do it.

In 2007, these crimes almost brought down the world economy. The damage done did through us into the Great Recession.

They walk free even after this.

What can be done?

James Pilant

Federal Reserve Gave Citibank 1.6 Trillion Dollars In Loans; Morgan Stanley – 2 trillion And Goldman Sachs – A Mere 600 Billion

Bernie Sanders

Matt Taibbi writing in Rolling Stone

I was in Washington last week and visited Bernie in his office, mainly to talk about the incredible results of the Federal Reserve audit, about which I’ll be writing more in the upcoming weeks and after the New Year. The audit of the Fed was undertaken because Bernie and a few other members of congress fought very hard during the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform debate to force open Ben Bernanke’s books, and as a result we now know the staggering details of the secret bailout era. We know that Citigroup received $1.6 trillion in loans, and Morgan Stanley $2 trillion, and Goldman Sachs – the same Goldman Sachs that bragged about how quickly it paid back its $10 billion TARP bailout – over $600 billion. We know that hedge fund billionaires who moved their corporate addresses to the Cayman Islands to avoid U.S. taxes were rewarded by their buddies in government with huge Fed loans; we know that the U.S. government likewise has been extending massive loans to a variety of Japanese car companies at a time when many American auto workers in Detroit have seen their wages cut in half, to $14 an hour. There’s that and there’s more on the outrage front, and we know it all because Sanders kicked and screamed and stamped his feet about Fed secrecy until just enough other members of the Senate decided to go along with him.

The TARP bailout was just a small part of the benefits showered on Wall Street, a Wall Street than in spite of the enormous public funds necessary to keep them operating paid out enormous bonuses.

But just for fun, and because I enjoy it, let’s see what Matt thinks about President Obama.

I contrast this now to the behavior of Barack Obama. I can’t even count how many times I listened to Barack Obama on the campaign trail talk about how, as president, he would rescind the Bush tax cuts as soon as he had the chance. He stood up and he said over and over again – I can still hear him saying “Let me be clear!” with that Great Statesman voice of his, before he went into this routine – that the Bush tax cuts were wrong and immoral. He said more than once that they “offended his conscience.” Then, just as he did with drug re-importation and Guantanamo and bulk Medicare negotiations for pharmaceuticals and the issue of whether or not he would bring registered lobbyists into his White House and a host of other promises, he tossed his campaign “convictions” in the toilet and changed his mind once he was more accountable to lobbyists than primary voters. He pulled an Orrin Hatch, in other words, only he did it serially.

I can live with the president fighting for something and failing; what I can’t stand is a politician who changes his mind for the sake of expediency and then pretends that was what he believed all along. You just can’t imagine someone like Sanders doing something like that; his MO instead would be to take his best shot for what he actually believes and let the chips fall where they may, budging a little maybe to get a worthwhile deal done but never turning his entire face inside out just to get through the day. This idea that you can’t be an honest man and a Washington politician is a myth, a crock made up by sellouts and careerist hacks who don’t stand for anything and are impatient with people who do. It’s possible to do this job with honor and dignity. It’s just that most of our politicians – our president included, apparently – would rather not bother.

Thanks, Matt!

James Pilant

Matt Taibbi Shoots And Hits!!

Matt Taibbi is as usual dead on target. He does a veritible Indian War Dance on the horrors of the foreclosure crisis. Read the paragraph below and then go spend a delightful (quality of writing) and painful (financial corruption) story.

The moral angle to the foreclosure crisis — and, of course, in capitalism we’re not supposed to be concerned with the moral stuff, but let’s mention it anyway — shows a culture that is slowly giving in to a futuristic nightmare ideology of computerized greed and unchecked financial violence. The monster in the foreclosure crisis has no face and no brain. The mortgages that are being foreclosed upon have no real owners. The lawyers bringing the cases to evict the humans have no real clients. It is complete and absolute legal and economic chaos. No single limb of this vast man-­eating thing knows what the other is doing, which makes it nearly impossible to combat — and scary as hell to watch.

Excellent, exactly. This is not a moral crisis where six million Americans suddenly decided to buy too much house. This is a moral crisis where the biggest financial institutions in the world decided to take the home owners of America on a little trip into world finance. The banks had a hell of a vacation. The home owners never made it back.

James Pilant

Matt Taibbi Is Mad

Matt Taibbi is angry. The reform bill on the financial industry is a sham and he’s going to let everybody know.

Mr. Taibbi has the same contempt for the way things are done in the government and private business that I do. Whatever makes the most money is the only consideration. It takes a lot of dead people or an incredible catastrophe to get the government to react or private industry to change course.

Here’s Matt venting about Goldman Sachs.

Matt Taibbi’s Blog

Matt Taibbi is one of my heroes. He tells it like it is and if he feels the need for a few obscenities, he puts them in. And why not, he writes about the financial crisis and analyzes the irresponsible behavior of the financial sector and the government. I have trouble talking about them without using obscenities and I sometimes do.

If you don’t have his blog on your favorites, you’re missing out.

Watch –

Matt Taibbi's Blog

Matt Taibbi is one of my heroes. He tells it like it is and if he feels the need for a few obscenities, he puts them in. And why not, he writes about the financial crisis and analyzes the irresponsible behavior of the financial sector and the government. I have trouble talking about them without using obscenities and I sometimes do.

If you don’t have his blog on your favorites, you’re missing out.

Watch –

Matt Taibbi Is Right Again

You can’t cheat an honest man. Right, you can’t shoot a defenseless man or rape a woman who defends herself. All the financial rip-offs that netted billions of dollars over the last decade couldn’t have worked if Americans weren’t greedy “mothers” without a twinge of conscience. Who invents this crap?

Matt is right to be outraged but how come the rest of us aren’t? What does the financial industry have to do, crucify us individually, before we get the idea that we’ve been had?

Where do the networks find people like Rick Santelli? What septic tank do you have to dive into? In 2008, retirement funds lost 2 trillion dollars. Apparently they are not honest men. Yet to the Rick Santelli’s of the world, it’s all the fault of the people who bought mortgages. In Santelli’s world, there is the elite that makes value and the besotted masses that slow them down. In the world of Santelli, unless you are a banker or a financial speculator, you’re like a vermin that needs extermination for slowing down the really talented people.

Yeah, the industry is innocent of wrong doing. – or is it?

You want a look at some of the individuals screwed out of their money? Let’s have a browse. Sometimes they get mad.

Don’t let it bother you. America is ONLY in trouble because some people can’t pay their mortgages. Some people got in over their heads.

If you believe that, you’ll believe anything. You have to want to believe that kind of perverted narrative because the fact that the great financial institutions of this country acting like predators with a subservient Congress protecting their every move is too hard to take.

James Pilant

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