“It’s over — we’re officially, royally fucked. No empire can survive being rendered a permanent laughingstock, which is what happened as of a few weeks ago, when the buffoons who have been running things in this country finally went one step too far…”
“The Big Takeover” is Matt Taibbi’s lengthy, righteously furious and necessarily profane article in Rolling Stone; a must read that lays bare the perfidies of Wall Street and the antics of its corrupt malefactors in Washington. Depressingly, it also explains why almost no one responsible is getting what they deserve.
Here’s some gems from the piece. First, the game that the insurance giant AIG was playing.
“Liddy conveniently forgot to mention that when AIG finally got up from its seat at the Wall Street casino, broke and busted in the after dawn light, it owed money all over town. Or that this was a casino where middle-class taxpayers cover the bets of billionaires.”
Next, here’s Matt Taibbi on the consequences of letting Hank Paulson, the man who once led Goldman Sachs, dictate the terms for preventing economic meltdown.
“The reality is that the worldwide economic meltdown and the bailout that followed were together a kind of revolution, a coup d’état… the gradual takeover of the government by a small class of connected insiders, who used money to control elections, buy influence and systematically weaken financial regulations.”
And finally, here’s the worst rub of the story…
“But wait a minute,” you (the taxpayer) say to the Wall Street types… “Why are we even giving taxpayer money to you people? Why are we not throwing your ass in jail instead?” Yet these are the people in whose hands our entire political future now rests.”
Update: While many people have seen their investments, retirement funds or entire life savings obliterated in the economic meltdown, according to Alpha Magazine, the world’s 25 top-earning hedge fund managers raked in a staggering $11.6 billion last year — the third-best haul on record since the industry magazine began compiling its rankings eight years ago.