“According to popular legend, we’re broke and in so much debt that 40 years from now our granddaughters will still be hooking on weekends to pay the medical bills of this year’s retirees from the IRS, the SEC and the Department of Energy.” – Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone
That’s the hook Taibbi sets in his 28 April issue contribution: Real Housewives of Wall Street. The article is artfully crafted and about a more egregious violation of trust and power than General McChrystal’s lack of professionalism and dignity; not to mention insubordination. It outlines some of the beneficiaries of Waterfall TALF (short for Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility) Opportunity. These were some of the very well to do who were “loaned” hundreds of millions of dollars against which they were essentially sheltered from risk while accumulating 100% of any gains. This story is a field of dreams that will fuel conspiracy theorists’ belief in the supernatural powers of a Federal Reserve with tentacles that loans money to “banks in places like Mexico, Bahrain and Bavaria, billions more to a spate of Japanese car companies, more than $2 trillion in loans each to Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, and billions more to a string of lesser millionaires and billionaires with Cayman Islands addresses.
“It is as though someone sat down and made a list of every individual on earth who actually did not need emergency financial assistance from the United States government, and then handed them the keys to the public treasure.” – Taibbi
The story is a grand story. But what this addition to a growing collection of writing accomplishments calls to question is the course of Matt Taibbi. Is he Hunter S. Thompson or David Horowitz? And why do we have to read about this in Rolling Stone?