Saturday, June 27, 2009

Matt Taibbi Goes for the Gold(man)

The Rolling Stones writer takes his usual inimitable, no-holds-barred, no-venom-spared approach to his subject, in this case Goldman Sachs, in this very provocative (and long) piece. On the fringes, Taibbi may sound a little rabid and conspiratorial-minded, but he has marshaled a very impressive body of evidence that deserves a good, long ponder.

He ties Goldman to major bubbles that go all the way back to the Great Depression. I noticed that a few comments about the article accuse him of anti-Semitism. I don't buy it -- not at all. There is undoubtedly anti-Goldman sentiment out there that really is thinly veiled anti-Semitism. But Taibbi's piece is too full of hard facts (maybe stretched a bit too far in places) to be dismissed as simply anti-Jewish frothing. Just look at the sheer number of ex-Goldmanites that Taibbi identifies in high political office. After a while he more or less gives up trying to count them all. It's rather sobering.

Read it, read it, read it. And form your own opinion. Even if you discount Taibbi by 50 percent, he's still telling a pretty scary story. What dismays me the most is that Americans aren't more furious about what has occurred in this financial crisis. There is a sort of dumb complacency that has settled over the land, like we are under the influence of a thinly scattered fairy dust that has sent us all into a kind of stupor. If you don't have a job, or you're fairly bright and aware, you're probably somewhat angry. But for millions and millions of others, "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" is about to come on and they really don't have the time.