Too Crooked to Fail

Matt Taibbi on MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan show the other day talking about the systemic culture of corruption in the financial sector and how it’s rewarded and effectively encouraged by the American government.

In his latest Rolling Stone article (which is a must read) Taibbi describes Bank of America as “a hypergluttonous ward of the state whose limitless fraud and criminal conspiracies we’ll all be paying for until the end of time.” And it just gets better from there…


Dreaming of Recession

Well, here’s something rather unusual… Appearing earlier today on BBC, Alessio Rastani, an independent stock trader, confessed to a stunned interviewer that, like most of his colleagues on Wall Street (or in the City of London), they “don’t really care that much” how world leaders claim they’re going to fix the economy as their job is simply to make money from the situation. Quite to the contrary, Rastani admitted that he’d been dreaming of a market collapse for three years. “I go to bed every night, I dream of another recession,” he said.

As if that bit of candour wasn’t sufficiently amazing, Rastani went on to claim that Goldman Sachs rules the world not governments and that Goldman Sachs “don’t care about this rescue package” (i.e., the proposed plan to leverage the EU’s €440bn bail-out fund to €2 trillion to cope with the impending debt crisis in Italy and Spain) because they know “the market is toast… the stock market is finished.”

Rastani dryly concluded by warning viewers to act quickly because “In less than twelve months, my prediction is, the savings of millions of people are going to vanish.”

Update: Is Rastani a fake or a legitimate asshole? Debate and links about this in the comments.

Matt Taibi on the Bank Bailouts

Excerpt from this morning’s Imus show featuring Matt Taibi discussing his latest article in Rolling Stone “Wall Street’s Bailout Hustle” which can be read here (it’s the cached version — RS’s site seems to be experiencing problems as of the time of this posting).

Good idea framing the banks’ schemes in terms of familiar con games.


Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and Rob Johnson, former chief economist, US Senate Banking Committee, discuss bailouts made to “too big to fail” companies.

How can you take that in and not be completely amazed at the audacious piracy of firms like Goldman-Sachs (a “great vampire squid” as Matt Taibbi so delightfully calls them) lining the pockets of their top executives at taxpayer expense from a bonus pool of funds roughly equivalent to the amount of money received as a “gift” via their AIG insurance policy (in effect, funded by the government) while simultaneously absorbing massive handouts from the Federal Reserve?


In case (like me) you missed this report by Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes last month regarding the second wave of expected defaults on the way, it’s good to keep this in mind when considering some of the actions presently being contemplated by the U.S. government and others to bail out the global financial system.

This will have the likely effect of deepening and prolonging the recession south of the border, which naturally of course will drag down our economy along with it. This begs the question: where on earth is Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney getting his crazy rosy estimates of a relatively quick recovery from?