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Feb. 17 2010 - 8:08 am | 5,488 views | 3 recommendations | 151 comments

Feeling low

Sorry for the lack of posts; I’ve been really sick for days. I hope to be back at it soon.

What are you reading these days? And, are there issues I should be checking out?

Let me know in the comments.


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  1. collapse expand

    Damn, Matt, sorry to hear you were sick. Since you asked what went on while you were ill, this is it. The EU has just become the latest victim of Goldman Sachs’ blood funnel.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1251280/Goldman-Sachs-new-storm-secret-deal-mask-Greek-debts.html

    Greece pulled a fast one in 2001 to get into the EU. Greece’s debt was too high for entry, so they arranged a secret loan from Goldman Sachs for £640 million. The EU, of course, wouldn’t have let Greece in if they’d known about this – which is why Goldman lied and called the loan a ‘currency trade’. EU allowed Greece in and only now realizes that the country is a financial Typhoid Mary that’s infecting everyone.

    Goldman doesn’t give a shit – it got £192 million in fees from that ‘currency swap’. But the United Kingdom sure gives a damn. For some reason (hmm, wonder why?), it’s demanded that Goldman confess whether it also gave the UK that same kind of ’swap’ while, of course, not telling anybody. Goldman has ‘declined to comment’.

  2. collapse expand

    America needs you to get well, and a long absence only feeds my suspicions that Goldman has executed a contract on your life. Always check for car bombs. :)

  3. collapse expand

    i go for the farce of the month. the IOC International Olympic Committee. screw up in regards to the Sea to Sky games or Jinx of Cypress or the Glitch Games or 2010 Summer Olympics. Whistler sliding center’s complete lack of oversight in regulating safety for the athletes. not netting or padding huge steel pillars that the luger slammed against, while he was catapulted out of the ice tracks. ILF International Luge Federation requires padding and netting around any possible fixed object. Covering up bad planning and a bad venue. another x-country athletic sliding off course and falling into a ditch hitting a tree hard because no netting or padding, which probably cost her a gold because of the injury. of course putting up netting right before the final sprint just like putting up padding after the pillar killed that luge driver.
    my next go to this website. http://olympicresistance.net/
    the olympic resistance network. sheople wake up the olympics are clearly corporate kleptocracy industry killing our planet and people. vancourver basically made homelessness illegal when they started to build the venues. they displaced thousands of indigenous people from their lands only for money. nbc, mcdonalds, big oil all own the IOC. now they are going down to brazil and destroy that country. this author from the seattle times spells it all out quite well and can get you started with some of the truth.
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/olympics/2010501889_vancouversolympics.html?prmid=obnetwork

  4. collapse expand

    Matt, your take on Family Guy? I really don’t think Palin even saw the show. The , “who’s on first” ending had me crying in laughter. The funny thing to me is, it’s so subversive AND it’s on Fox.

  5. collapse expand

    Hi Matt, get well soon

    reading: Easton Ellis’s Lunar Park is a knockout – funny, silly, scary, sad. Enjoyed Robert Harris The Ghost too – read it in two sittings. But mainly blogs like Yves Smith, Max Keiser, Schiff and Shedlock and yes, Hudson and Baker at Counterpunch. And here of course.

    Project ideas: agree with those that highlight GS Grecian shenanigans and oil price manipulation as under-explored territory, but my wishlist is:

    * the recent admission that CIA agents are loaned out to Wall St. Here’s me hoping that some of the uncounted thousands of US spooks (not just CIA but NSA and FBI too) might possibly be engaged in surveillance of the banks and hedge funds that have defrauded the nation, but no, they’d rather join them than beat them;

    * Obama’s post-college stint at noted CIA front BIC – has anyone delved into the possibility the man is an asset?

    * Catherine Austin-Fitts’s claim that $4 trillion is missing from American government holdings, much of it via Rumsfeld’s DOD. Who has been using that money to do what?

    * Someone mentioned that JPM has cornered food stamps. Soros has gone long gold, Buffett has bought heavy rail stock, Faber recommends arable land. Time to hunker down?

    I’ll take the tin hat off now – I know it overheats the brain but it does make it feel less vulnerable.

  6. collapse expand

    I have no reading to recommend; I’m up to my eyeballs planning our 2010 garden, getting the seedling pots ready, etc. It marks the end of my vacation which begins after the harvest n’ canning’s done.

    I just wanted to write and thank you so much for a blog with brains. Good to know you’re only temporarily out of sorts. Good thought waves your way~~~~~~~~~~

  7. collapse expand

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    As the term “green-collar jobs” entered our vocabularies a few years ago, I became optimistic in hopes that such a thing would become reality. It seemed then, as it does now, that our economy is rapidly becoming one which is service-based, and any real hope of creating manufacturing jobs lies in developing, and eventually producing, green technology. Not surprisingly, we appear to be stumbling our way out of the race, leaving China and Europe to compete for the crown as we stagger off the track in a stupor induced by political bullshit. Perhaps you are familiar with this issue…if not, here is one article among many.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/30/business/global/30davos.html

  8. collapse expand

    I like how your 3-sentence post has about 2,000 hits. Something to aspire to ;)

  9. collapse expand

    Matt: I hope you’ll get a chance to look into Obama’s big push for nuclear power plants as a major alternative energy source and his, Rahm’s and David Axelrod’s ties to the nuclear power industry namely Exelon. I enthusiastically voted for Obama but the stuff he’s been doing during his first year in office is enough to turn my stomach.

  10. collapse expand

    Hope you are feeling well soon. How ’bout a piece on Harold Ford, the carpetbagger whore.

  11. collapse expand

    How about some NBA news… For instance, why would the Cavs be happier with Jamison than A’Mare? I saw Lebron fill in at the 1 a couple of weeks ago and I believe that if he and A’Mare were running pick/roll during the last two minutes the Cavs would be unbeatable. Im thinking that at least 75% of those plays would end with a dunk or free throws. The other 25% would end with a good look from 3. It seems like a no brainer. Everyone knows that points in the paint and three point shooting win in the playoffs. How would it work with Shaq people ask… I believe the Cavs signed diesel for one reason and that is to slow down dwight howard. A’Mare would work out fine, especially if they win in the playoffs. Besides, the Cavs will probably need more size anyway if they want to match up well against LA in finals. Any thoughts?

  12. collapse expand

    I’m close to finishing Joe Stiglitz’s latest, “Freefall.” Excellent book. Highly recommended.

    He provides good information on The Great Recession and good recommendations on how to avoid it in the future.

    Stiglitz is very impressive on economics, he really knows his stuff. Americans (and America) could learn a lot by paying some attention to this guy.

  13. collapse expand

    hey US white clicks aren’t thanking god or jesus for their win’s. unlike emmys espnys listen people thanks to whom. slate please listen. their are about 10 dimensions happening right now you could be one of them.

  14. collapse expand

    This interview with Wendell Potter describes the impact of the provisions in the proposed health care bills would have on the people in the clearest manner possible. http://rawstory.com/2010/01/whisteblower-reveals-health-insurers-game-insurance-bill/

  15. collapse expand

    Nir Rosen’s new piece in Mother Jones is definitely worth checking out. Also Mark Weisbrot at CEPR has been keeping us abreast about developments (or lack thereof) in Haiti. He posted a link to the Al Jazeera series Fault Lines. Its a great inside piece showing who is controlling the money flowing into Haiti and why.

  16. collapse expand

    If you are looking around for stories, I’m interested in this list:

    American Petroleum Institute
    Rosland Capital
    Sylvan Learning
    FEMA
    Cancer Treatment Centers of America
    American Advisors Group
    Lifestyle Lift
    DISH Network
    Wall Street Journal
    Premier Bathrooms
    Lear Capital
    Visa
    Wholesale Direct Medals
    Chattem Inc.
    National Geographic Channel
    Credit Card and Debt Relief Hotline
    Goldline
    Lifelock

    Not so much the ones that are obviously not scams, or are scams but are well known like Visa.

    What happens if someone calls the Credit Card and Debt Relief Hotline looking for help? Is Goldline some type of boiler room operation but with “gold” instead of worthless stocks?

    See when I visit my parents and get to see the wonders of Fox news, I get “a feeling” from some of the commercial… a kind of sleazy, snake oil come on. I really ought to make a note of which commercials have this effect.

    See these are the current sponsors of Glenn Beck’s TV show, which has been the target of a successful boycott. I’m not wondering about most of them, but some of these remainder sponsors scream “SCAM!” to me.

    I bet there’s a story there….

  17. collapse expand

    Matt,

    Longtime fan from RS (only reason I still subscribe?) glad to have found this blog last year. I am way hungover from last night so I “feel” your sickness. Kind of.

    I am interested in your opinion on Peter Joseph and his internet movies “Zeitgeist” and especially “Zeitgeist: Addendum”. I don’t care for all of his ideas and extensions, but I found his ideas about banking and the Fed very intriguing. I know he is a truther sympathizer, but if you just focus on his banking and monetary ideas he makes a strong case that the banks are where the power lies in our world right now.

    After watching the Addendum, I read John Perkins’ book, “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” last January and spent the rest of the year watching Bill Moyers, and reading your stuff. I’m not well versed in banking and trade but I am good with math and it is clear to me how you can use a central banking system to effectively siphon off wealth from people. I truly hoped to see Peter Joseph on Jon Stewart last year but it never happened. Maybe for differing reasons, but I really expected him to get higher on the radar especially after the financial crisis hit. Hell, he released “Addendum” in October of ‘08 which means he was finishing up his thesis statement just as it was coming true.

    I’m assuming you have at least heard of his movies if not seen them as well. If not, I apologize. Anyway I would love to hear your opinions on his narrative from the first hour (first two sections) of “Zeitgeist Addendum”.

    As for topics you can cover, I just heard of this book called “Bomb Power” by Gary Wills. Supposedly it details the expansion in power of the executive branch of government following WWII and specifically the invention of the atomic bomb. Since it was so powerful it had to be protected which gave rise to all the NSA CIA HS type stuff that is all over the place these days. Anyway, I think it is an interesting line of thought.

    J

    P.S. Since the level of dialog seems to be decent around here, I’d be interested to hear anyone’s opinion on why Peter Joseph isn’t in the media more.

  18. collapse expand

    Matt, you get yourself feeling better. You deserve some time away from this crap – it’ll drive you down.

    You’re not missing much. It’s still just variations on a theme.

    We need more people unafraid.

  19. collapse expand

    The details of a case involving News International tapping phones that might end up in a settlement case.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/feb/15/news-international-phone-hacking-max-clifford

    In the UK, our press use the libel laws to defend their own actions and to prosecute their own agenda.

  20. collapse expand

    gonzo2
    lost our ‘bro 02/20/05
    HST†

  21. collapse expand

    Matt, fuck you.

    Before I went to bed last night, I finished reading Matt’s latest Rolling Stone article entitled “Wall Street’s Bailout Hustle.” Then at 3:00 a.m., I woke up because I was grinding my teeth and clinching my fist. Yes, in the middle of the night, with my regal 125 pound blonde lab at my feet, I wanted to punch someone in the face. Correction, I wanted to punch a Wall Street Banker in the face. Correction, I wanted to punch Jim Cramer in the face. Correction, I wanted to punch Barney Frank or Chris Dodd in the face.

    Final correction, I wanted to punch myself in the face for not doing enough to expose the Wall Street rip-off that stole half of my retired Mother’s meager savings. She now tells me she cannot sleep because she’s worried so much about how she will get by because her health is too good and my Dad did not leave her enough money to make it another 15 years. So now these Wall Street fucks, have older people worrying that they will live to long?

    So at 4:00 a.m., I vow that I will do something constructive to change things. To help true journalists like Matt Taibbi expose Wall Street for what it is and assist the real victims of the global financial crisis.

    As a former prosecutor, I have the tools, beneath my wool blended sweater and years of corporate apologies, I have the inside knowledge. I merely must find a way to put it to work.

    Matt, thank you.

    (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/32255149/wall_streets_bailout_hustle/)

  22. collapse expand

    Matt-really enjoyed the comments from your fans, of which I am one.
    FYI, I saw two pieces touting the German economic model getting some coverage, and its worth a gander.
    For myself, as an atty, (trusts and estates, helping the moderately rich keep their money out of the US blood funnel)I have been ruing the failure of the money hungry “professionals” at the top of my “profession” to take some responsibility for the takeover of our republic by the various corporate clans. They are too busy taking the money. Matt: these foolish compensation limiting schemes dont get to the root of the problem, which is (of course) corporate governance and the structure of power in the corporate legal entity. It has been perverted and can be remedied, and is politically neutral. Fixing the corporate voting structure would put power into the hands of the shareholders once more, and make the management accountable…..but, who are the shareholders? Are they all on the same team? Does it lead to other aggregators of voting power through investment management? Pension funds, Hedge funds, i.e. Goldman? I am amazed to read (often) about the actual source of trading on the exchanges. The individual investor (typically not middle class anyway?) is only whipsawed and has no chance of being in the game. End result: reform doesnt change to locus of power, so…..never mind.

  23. collapse expand

    Matt, hope all is getting better, pitchers and catchers start soon!

    Two books right now:
    1) William Blum’s definitive work on US military interventions: KILLING HOPE

    2) Swing sometimes (when depressed from this grand rapids shitty grey weather) to something more uplifting: David Harvey’s: A BRIEF HISTORY OF NEOLIBERALISM

    great thread; so many new places to scavenge for information; get better!

  24. collapse expand

    How about taking a look at how US stimulus dollars are flowing into China for wind turbines, etc? Why are we allowing foreign companies to reap dollars from a program that is supposed to produce jobs in the US?

    Another area that may be of interest is the mountaintop removal practice which is destroying Appalachia while subsidizing big energy and coal companies.

    Get well man; we need more real reporters like you in the media.

  25. collapse expand

    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/201003/jobless-america-future An optimistic outlook on how unemployment is going to plunge the inner cities back to their all time lows, cement the class divides, further diminish the traditional family unit, eliminate careers, and give America its very own Lost Decade. Give it a read

  26. collapse expand

    Matt,
    Sorry to hear your under the weather. Just getting thru the same myself, but had a chance to read a little more. Just finished Max Cleland’s Heart of a Patriot last night and found it interesting how he portrayed voting for the Iraq war even though he knew the intel was bogus and how he was swift boated by the Repub machine that has the amazing ability to portray american heroes as traitors and draft dodgers and the like as patriots. Our country has truly turned into Liar’s poker where reality has nothing to do with reality. Kind of the struggle you have with reporting the facts that somehow do not get serious debate, as they float out there in the massive web of deceptions and lies.
    Best of health in the future and keep on fighting the fight.

  27. collapse expand

    Hope you’re feeling better Mr. T. I’m still reading everything I see about my favorite team, the “Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints”. Very strange to see those words together in the same sentence. I’ve been a fan since I was a little boy going to games at Tulane Stadium where all the men (and a few women) sat shirtless in the hot September sun and drank Jax beer with plenty of room to spread out because there was only about 4 or 5 thousand people at the game. Tom Benson’s douchebaggery after Katrina and his eventual extortion of the NFL and the state of LA aside, it is a great feeling to finally win one and I hope all NFL fans can enjoy this feeling at least once-unless you are a Falcons fan in which case you can go scratch. Filthy, filthy birds.

  28. collapse expand

    Я американский студент в Питере и мне очень хотелось бы покупать наркотики без рецепта. Что вы рекомендуете мне делать и сказать в аптеке? Я думаю, что вы знаете по опыту. Спасибо.

  29. collapse expand

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/guest-post-jobs-plan-wed-get-if-leading-innovation-scholars-and-growth-economists-werent-bei

    Presents canonical research findings which indicate that “jobs stimulus” should center on subsidizing consumers and producers of customized education, and operators of associated markets.

    As it happens, other such findings indicate that successful operators of such markets will end the reign of the kleptobankers.

    http://www.opportunitv.com/2010/02/17/canonical-research-findings-catalyzing-creation-of-many-jobs-ending-reign-of-kleptobankers/

    An excerpt:

    Understanding why starts with knowing about the so-called problem of collective action.

    In their 2006 textbook, International Economics (7th ed.), Paul Krugman and Maurice Obstfeld define the problem:

    “While it is in the interests of the group as a whole to press for favorable policies, it is not in any individual’s interest to do so.”

    Krugman and Obstfeld continue:

    “In a now famous book [The Logic of Collective Action], economist Mancur Olson pointed out that…the problem of collective action can best be overcome when a group is small (so that each individual reaps a significant share of the benefits of favorable policies) and/or well-organized.”

    The group must have the means to buy changes of policy.

    Krugman and Obstfeld, summarizing canonical research findings:

    “Politicians are, indeed, for sale.”

    Successful entrepreneurs in a given industry are the small group who have the motive and means to buy policy changes that disadvantage the industry’s old guard.

    From a 2009 book co-authored by Clayton Christensen:

    “Regulations ultimately change in reaction to [disruptive] innovators’ success in those markets.”

    From elsewhere in the book:

    “Those disruptors that successfully dismantled the regulations that stood in their way succeeded by circumventing the regulation — by innovating in a disruptive market that was beyond the regulators’ reach or was peripheral to their vision.”

  30. collapse expand

    Get well soon. I think Rahm puttin the smackdown on Holder because Eric “doesn’t really understand the politcal nature of the war on terror and how to use it,” is worth checking out.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/15/us/politics/15holder.html

  31. collapse expand

    Here is a good story. Ethan Bronner as the West Jerusalem based NY Times reporter for Israel/Palestine. He’s married to an Israeli, and his son is serving in the IDF. Big controversy has been erupting lately…

  32. collapse expand

    Well there’s a wealth of subject matter on Bayh and Broder’s comments thereon!

    Get well! I miss you!

  33. collapse expand

    When you’re down, there’s nothing better than a good novel, or two. Check out “Daemon” by Daniel Suarez, and follow it up with his sequel “Freedom”. They are just the antidote for the malaise your favorite non-sports topics can cause, and I’m quite sure the writing will keep you on your back until your finished reading, even if you’re feeling better. Most prescient and very well done.

  34. collapse expand

    the president’s recently announced nuclear power initiative.

  35. collapse expand

    Well, read this one after you feel better, but Forbes is riling and entertaining this month. Seems to be the “economic meltdown” is being shown as a benefit to the anti-terrorist movement. The “bad guys” have run out of $$$, according to them.

    (I just wish it wasn’t another excuse for the bad behavior of unethical business actions.)

  36. collapse expand

    Hi Matt,

    Hope you get better soon! I saw this today and wondered what the real story is? Seems a bit fishy to me.

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/18/news/companies/aig_derivative_portfolio/index.htm?postversion=2010021807

  37. collapse expand

    Matt,

    Obama says he’s alright with Blankfein and name-your-favorite-financial-CEO making zillions because, after all, so do average baseball players. Is Mr.Change really that stupid to believe that average citizens don’t begrudge the lunacy of paying a baseball player $10 – $20 – $30MM. If the leaders aren’t prepared to admit there is a problem there isn’t going to be much change from what the US is headed towards . . .

  38. collapse expand

    Hey Matt,

    Not exactly a pep me up storyline, but a telling look at how stress can make rational people act anything but. Link is to a Houston Chronicle storyline of a plane crash into an office building.
    The web site link embedded is to the statement left by the pilot…
    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/chronicle/6873108.html

  39. collapse expand

    Matt, I’d like to hear your take on what Evan Bayh’s surprise retirement means.

  40. collapse expand

    Matt, I’m sure you’ve heard by now about Angry White Man who crashed his small plane into an IRS building here in Austin. I’d be very curious to hear your take on his suicide note and its broader cultural meaning. Here’s the goofball Freeper post about it:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2454242/posts

    Do his politics matter? Does it even matter that he was crazy shit head? Is it worth addressing his pathology, as so many people seem to share it, re: opening up the treasury trough for the pigs while Americans struggle. Of course, his solipsism and obvious privilege don’t warrant much sympathy, but I think the dialogue is important. People are pissed off. This guy was a dick, and it looks like his direct action protest is just going to give the media a chance to ask more wrong questions…but I have to wonder how many people are also dangling on the precipice.

  41. collapse expand

    I hope you are feeling better!

    I do not understand why nothing gets done in Washington…read this today: http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1964778-1,00.html

    When will the bickering stop? Why are political speeches all about who is doing what wrong, who screwed up, who’s to blame? Why the waste of energy? Do they really think this is what being a public servant is all about? Bitching, moaning, and passing the buck? My children get called out on that useless behavior and they get a grip…what will it take to make our lawmakers get a grip and grow up?

  42. collapse expand

    Matt,

    Howabout something addressing what is perhaps the last bastion (pun intended) of american starchitecture/development excess……the Las Vegas City Center.

    Beguiling “green building” bullshit and so many other possible angles with this one.

  43. collapse expand

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/18/elton-john-in-parade-jesu_n_467437.html

    Get well soon Matt.
    Bet you didn’t hear this when you were at Jesus Camp. Jesus Made Me Puke is still on of the funniest things I have ever read, period.

  44. collapse expand

    u definitely have something to write about after today. im DEFINITELY lookin forward to your take on the entire Joe Stack austin IRS building incident…

  45. collapse expand

    Hey Matt and others,

    reading baseline scenario. great great stuff. james kwak and especially simon johnson consistently give solid analysis.

    also, you or anyone else should check out documentary The Power of Nightmares if you haven’t seen it. Coinciding rise of neo-cons and extreme/violent version of Islamism.

    http://www.archive.org/details/ThePowerOfNightmares

    as far as a suggestion, there are a bunch of things you could write about but to keep it a little less depressing and anger-inducing how about the tape delay of NBC(NefariouslyBlockingCoverage)’s Olympics coverage. oh wait, that does bother me just not nearly as much as the incestuous relationship of our govt. w/ the banks.

    hope you feel better.

  46. collapse expand

    A must read: Gillian Tett’s “Fools Gold”. Free Press 2009
    “How the bold dream of a small tribe at J.P. Morgan was corrupted by Wall Street greed and unleashed a catastrophe”

  47. collapse expand

    Hey Matt, enjoyed your latest article about the “Bailout Hustle.”

    I’m not sure if you’ve written about this in the past (and it’s not exactly a “new” story), but I’ve been reading some interesting – and disturbing, imo – stories about Goldman’s intentions (and conflicts of interest) with its “infrastructure fund.” Seems the squid wants to sell off the nation’s highways to the highest bidder (for a “modest” fee, of course):

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2007/01/highwaymen

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aVVhg_jBNeA0&refer=home

    Anyways, I’d be curious to know what kind of wheeling and dealing Goldman’s been doing with this “investment fund” lately. No doubt they’ll be enthusiastically pitching their “helpful advice” to any number of cash-strapped state governments in the near future…

  48. collapse expand

    I am reading a piece of true national importance… The SportingNews Fantasy Baseball guide as I prep for April. Right now I’m debating the merits of Hanley or Pujols with a number one pick, but I’m more hoping I can get swing pick so I can snag maybe Lincecum and the best 1B or 2B left on the board at the time.

    And then I’ll probably read “Lords of Finance”. I bought a copy of it despite the sticker on it that had it labeled as the “Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year”. Any feelings on that particular book Mr. Taibbi?

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    About Me

    I'm a political reporter for Rolling Stone magazine, a sports columnist for Men's Journal, and I also write books for a Random House imprint called Spiegel and Grau.

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