Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Wall Street Isn't Winning It's Cheating | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone

Wall Street Isn't Winning It's Cheating | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone

I am not a huge Matt Taibbi fan usually, but he has one of the better takes I have seen on the Occupy Movement in which he points out that while envy may play a role, it is not the only thing going on here. More importantly many Americans are fed up with what they see as a slanted playing field.

a few look-ins:
"Success is the national religion, and almost everyone is a believer. Americans love winners. But that's just the problem. These guys on Wall Street are not winning – they're cheating. And as much as we love the self-made success story, we hate the cheater that much more.
In this country, we cheer for people who hit their own home runs – not shortcut-chasing juicers like Bonds and McGwire, Blankfein and Dimon."
My personal favorite (which alas is pretty close to dead-on)
"Ordinary people have to borrow their money at market rates. Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon get billions of dollars for free, from the Federal Reserve. They borrow at zero and lend the same money back to the government at two or three percent, a valuable public service otherwise known as "standing in the middle and taking a gigantic cut when the government decides to lend money to itself."
and another
"Time after time, when big banks screw up and make irresponsible bets that blow up in their faces, they've scored bailouts. It doesn't matter whether it was the Mexican currency bailout of 1994 ..., or the IMF/World Bank bailout of Russia in 1998... or the Long-Term Capital Management Bailout of the same year, Wall Street has long grown accustomed to getting bailed out for its mistakes.


Anonymous said...

I'm surprised to see you reacted favorably to this article... to me it seems OWS and Taibbi make demands that do not logically follow from their claims. If the government lends to banks at low rates and the banks make money, why do Taibbi and OWS conclude the banks have committed a wrongful act? Banks are supposed to earn money; it's the government that is facilitating these bank profits via low rates. And yet Taibbi and OWS demand Wall Street change, not the government that makes it possible. -J

FinanceProfessor said...

No, I may have miscommunicated it...That is one of the issues that is causing the anger. I am not blaming bank for accepting the money. I definitely would in their shoes.

Taibbi pointed this out. I was agreeing with that.

Why there is no Occupy Washington is one of the biggest questions I would have.

The Occupiers are providing a valuable service in pointing out where the field is not level. BUT their populist solutions are often worse than the current situation.

I have been working on an "editorial" on this issue for a few weeks now. It is proving very difficult. I wish I could publish it anonymously as I know I will anger friends on both sides.