griftopia | June 15, 2011

Scathing, Quotable, and Necessary: Matt Taibbi Takes on Wall Street

Our newest speaker, Matt Taibbi, didn't become one of America's most illuminating experts on the recent economic crisis by donning kid gloves to handle Wall Street villains and their shills. Scathing, quotable, and evocative of Hunter S. Thompson, Taibbi's articles for Rolling Stone stir and stimulate. In perhaps his most famous piece, he compared Goldman Sachs to “a giant vampire squid, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

His style—vivid, deeply-researched, angry-with-reason—is exactly what readers should expect from his latest article, about Andrew Ross Sorkin—the man behind the New York Times' Dealbook—who recently defended Goldman Sach’s Lloyd C. Blankfein.

“The Sorkin piece reads like it was written by the bank's marketing department,” writes Taibbi. “Which may not have been an accident.” Taibbi goes on, in his typical cutting style, to point out that Dealbook is being sponsored by Goldman Sachs. He chides the Times for taking Goldman Sachs’ cash to sponsor “of all things, business reporting,” and he points out that Sorkin doesn't even mention sponsorship in his attempt to vindicate Goldman.
"This looks like a joke. In Russia in the Yeltsin years, reporters had a term for selling editorial print content to mobsters. They called it "selling jeans," a play on the old Soviet-era black-marketeer practice of trading rabbit hats to tourists for their Levi's. This Sorkin piece has the unmistakable look of a brand-new set of 501s to me. Pieces like this undermine the great work that reporters like Gretchen Morgenson have done in the paper in recent years"
Taibbi goes on to take apart Sorkin's argument, relentlessly discrediting it in the spirit of his book, Griftopia, which is a captivating evisceration of Wall Street for frauds perpetrated on the American people over the last ten years.Taibbi's book, and his latest Sorkin piece are proof that there are still journalists willing to roll up their sleeves, cut through the clutter, and put the blame where it belongs.

Read more about finance speaker, Matt Taibbi