Matt Taibbi

Picking Over the Financial Reform Corpse


Matt Taibbi has written an autopsy report on the lack of real financial reform and how it happened. In Wall Street's Big Win, Taibbi first sums up what happened in the last decade:

The huge profits that Wall Street earned in the past decade were driven in large part by a single, far-reaching scheme, one in which bankers, home lenders and other players exploited loopholes in the system to magically transform subprime home borrowers into AAA investments, sell them off to unsuspecting pension funds and foreign trade unions and other suckers, then multiply their score by leveraging their phony-baloney deals over and over. It was pure ­financial alchemy – turning ­manure into gold, then spinning it Rumpelstiltskin-style into vast profits using complex, mostly unregulated new instruments that almost no one outside of a few experts in the field really understood. With the government borrowing mountains of Chinese and Saudi cash to fight two crazy wars, and the domestic manufacturing base mostly vanished overseas, this massive fraud for all intents and purposes was the American economy in the 2000s; we were a nation subsisting on an elaborate check-­bouncing scheme.

Many of us contend the dot con bust, 9/11 fueled, offshore outsourcing 2001 recession never really recovered. It was masked by the glorified ponzi scheme described above.