Matt Taibbi did another wonderful article for Rolling Stone earlier this month. I highly recommend everyone to read it. He has followed up with an interview this morning on CSPAN.
Illustration by Victor Juhasz
This article originally appeared in RS 1111, on newsstands August 6, 2010. This issue and the rest of the Rolling Stone archives are available via All Access, Rolling Stone’s premium subscription plan. If you are already a subscriber, you can click here for the archives. Not a member? Click here to learn more about All Access.
Cue the credits: the era of financial thuggery is officially over. Three hellish years of panic, all done and gone – the mass bankruptcies, midnight bailouts, shotgun mergers of dying megabanks, high-stakes SEC investigations, all capped by a legislative orgy in which industry lobbyists hurled more than $600 million at Congress. It all supposedly came to an end one Wednesday morning a few weeks back, when President Obama, flanked by hundreds of party flacks and congressional bigwigs, stepped up to the lectern at an extravagant ceremony to sign into law his sweeping new bill to clean up Wall Street.
Obama’s speech introducing the massive law brimmed with celebratory finality. He threw around lofty phrases like “never again” and “no more.” He proclaimed the end of unfair credit-card-rate hikes and issued a fatwa on abusive mortgage practices and the shady loans that helped fuel the debt bubble. The message was clear: The sheriff was padlocking the Wall Street casino, and the government was taking decisive steps to unfuck our hopelessly broken economy.
But is the nightmare really over, or is this just another Inception-style trick ending? It’s hard to figure, given all the absurd rhetoric emanating from the leadership of both parties. Obama and the Democrats boasted that the bill is the “toughest financial reform since the ones we created in the aftermath of the Great Depression” – a claim that would maybe be more impressive if Congress had passed any financial reforms since the Great Depression, or at least any that didn’t specifically involve radically undoing the Depression-era laws.
Read the rest at Rolling Stone
Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, Correspondent
As part of the Financial series, Matt Taibbi goes over his August 19 Rolling Stone article, “Wall Street Wins Big.” The article examines how the provisions in the financial regulations law can prevent a future financial crisis, and how the bill falls short of this goal.
WATCH CSPAN INTERVIEW HERE