Good News on Wall Street Means… What Exactly?It’s literally amazing to me that our press corps hasn’t yet managed to draw a distinction between good news on Wall Street for companies like Goldman, and good news in reality.
I watched carefully the reporting of the Dow breaking 10,000 the other day and not anywhere did I see a major news organization include a paragraph of the “On the other hand, so fucking what?” sort, one that might point out that unemployment is still at a staggering high, foreclosures are racing along at a terrifying clip, and real people are struggling more than ever. In fact the dichotomy between the economic health of ordinary people and the traditional “market indicators” is not merely a non-story, it is a sort of taboo — unmentionable in major news coverage.
No one mentions here that this is a carrot-and-stick story — the stick being that ordinary people have been robbed of the interest they should be getting in CDs and ordinary bank savings accounts by the various bailout programs and lending guarantees, which have brought the cost of capital down to nothing for the big banks, and punished those people who have been doing the right thing all along by saving. The Fed lends its money to Goldman Sachs and BOFA for free, why does anyone have to pay Grandma a high rate for her CD or her bank savings?
And there's his iconic description of Goldman Sachs from his astonishing Rolling Stone story as a:
“great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”
Keep that in mind when thinking about the $23,000,000,000 (yes, that's billions) in bonuses Goldman is on track to be paying its employees this year.
Not Matt Taibbi, but a lot more on the extent to which Goldman essentially runs our economy for its own gain from Glenn Greenwald here.
And okay, as penance, I promise no more political posts for at least a few days. Not only because you're probably tired of them, but because it's just so damn depressing.