Now Taibbi doesn’t put it exactly that way, but there is no other conclusion that can be drawn from his fabulously clear explanations and analyses of the global economic meltdown in a trilogy of articles for Rolling Stone.
In “Wall Street’s Naked Swindle” (in the latest Rolling Stone #1089), Taibbi describes how investment banks cannibalized their own kind (Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers) via a counterfeit stock scheme (e.g., naked short-selling). (Taibbi gives a video lesson on short-selling here.)
Taibbi clearly illustrates that “the American capital markets are a crime in progress,” and that “our economy is so completely fucked, the rich are running out of things to steal.” Thus why they are turning on themselves.
He sums things up this way:
The nation’s largest financial players are able to write the rules for own their [sic] businesses and brazenly steal billions under the noses of regulators, and nothing is done about it. A thing so fundamental to civilized society as the integrity of a stock, or a mortgage note, or even a U.S. Treasury bond, can no longer be protected, not even in crisis, and a crime as vulgar and conspicuous as counerfeiting can take place on a systemic level for years without being stopped, even after it begins to affect the modern-day equvialents of the Rockefellers and the Carnegies. What 10 years ago was a cheap stock-fraud scheme for second-rate grifters in Brooklyn has become a major profit center for Wall Street. Our burglar class now rules the national economy. And no one is trying to stop them.
Well, the government is not only not trying to stop them, Taibbi’s own article describes how the U.S. Treasury Department, staffed by ex-Goldman Sachs executives, facilitates the fleecing of the rest of us. Why is this happening…because the U.S. government is an executive committee of the rich.
See Taibbi’s other RS articles on the economy:
The Big Takeover—The global economic crisis isn’t about money – it’s about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution (RS 1075, March 19, 2009)
Inside The Great American Bubble Machine—Matt Taibbi on how Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression (RS July 2, 2009)