Friday, December 11, 2009

"Matt Taibbi On "Colbert Report": Wall Street Is 'One Ponzi Scheme After Another' (with video)

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HuffPo with video from Comedy Central-Colbert Report, (06:52):
Matt Taibbi took his crusade against Goldman Sachs to "The Colbert Report" last night, accusing the investment colossus of using its influence in government to repeatedly manipulate financial bubbles.

Taibbi pointed to three examples -- the dot-com bubble in the late nineties, the housing bubble and commodities speculation last year -- which he says Goldman Sachs used to get rich at taxpayers' expense. In the case of the tech stock bubble, Taibbi accused Goldman of underwriting a high number of risky internet IPOs and manufacturing a "collapse in underwriting standards."

Wall Street is no longer "about helping investors find good business opportunities which in turn would create jobs," Taibbi told Colbert, but rather "one Ponzi scheme after another." And when Wall Street's bets fail? Friends in government -- Taibbi named Robert Rubin, who left Goldman Sachs to be Treasury Secretary in both Clinton administrations and now advises President Obama -- come to the rescue: "they know the government is going to bail them out," he says.

And that's the crux of what bothers him. It's not that he has "a thing against unprecedented success," as Colbert put it, but that everyone else has to bear the burden of any Wall Street imprudence:

"I don't mind anyone who's successful as long as my tax money isn't going to pay for it," he said. "That's the only problem with Goldman Sachs.

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