Matt Taibbi vs Goldman Sachs (Full Text)

Matt Taibbi’s recent take down of Goldman Sachs in Rolling Stone, The Great American Bubble Machine, is full of Taibbi’s usual clever turns of phrase and acerbic prose. What I feel differentiates this article from his work is the high pitched response from Goldman Sachs and detractors in the media who are making tons of points about Taibbi’s article, none of which are, ‘It’s not true.’ (PDF and Full Text of article.)

Felix Salmon has a refutation by a Goldman flack.
Taibbi responds to the flack and notes why Goldman’s POV is not represented in the article. They didn’t want to talk.
Time Magazine steps into it in a somewhat ham handed way. Not making many points or adding much substance to the discussion.
Taibbi responds to Time, taking most issue with Time’s ‘everyone was doing it‘ defense of Goldman.
Megan McArdle somehow connects Taibbi’s writing to Sarah Palin, which doesn’t make much sense. Then she hangs out in the comments section saying, “I’m just not down with the idea that there’s some sort of elusive “central point” to stories that permits you to write a bunch of total nonsense as long as the “central point” is good.” Which, as a commenter points out, will probably be posted as a comment on every McArdle piece for the rest of time.
Here’s Obsidian Wings saying the article isn’t as bad as Kevin Drum said it was (though Drum then recanted his statement based on the fact that Rolling Stone confusingly posted excerpts of the article online instead of the full text).

More as it comes in.

Matt Taibbi vs Goldman Sachs (Full Text)

0 thoughts on “Matt Taibbi vs Goldman Sachs (Full Text)

  1. Thanks, I like the gathered responses to this piece. I can enjoy Taibbi’s humor/anger, but I didn’t find the piece terribly informative. He rehashes a lot of the well-known bits about Goldman alums, their influence, etc.. Mostly what I find frustrating is his implication of forethought and motive. For example, he writes,

    So the financial safari has moved elsewhere, and the big game in the hunt has become the only remaining pool of dumb, unguarded capital left to feed upon: taxpayer money.

    Taibbi thinks Goldman plotted to hunt down the TARP money as the most attractive pool of capital left and that Paulson was eager to help. Really? I’m seen more convincing descriptions of the events around the death of Lehman and bailout of AIG that are messier, more complex and less conspiratorial. I wish Taibbi would refrain from implying, after the fact, that this was all by design. Maybe I’m being a chump, but the story he tells feels to tidy.


  2. Matt says:

    Um, is it really that much of a stretch to think that an extremely politically connected financial institution tried to get a chunk of a $700 billion unregulated, unmonitored federal spending spree? A sum that was conceived of and doled out by a former Goldman employee, Hank Paulson.

    Goldman is still receiving interest free loans from the government, even as it posted a $28 billion profit last quarter. They changed the entire nature of their business from investment banking to “bank holding company” to get access to government funds.


  3. Matt says:

    Whoops, sorry. Goldman got at least $28 billion in cheap Federal dollars which they then used to turn a $3.44 billion quarterly profit — the most lucrative quarter in the company’s history.


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