Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Do Only Anti Capitalists Want Bank Reform?

Matt Taibbi wrote a piece about the looting of Main Street by Wall Street here.

Now he is getting a sort of push back by the right trying to paint his portrayal of the Jefferson County Alabama financial meltdown as an Anti Capitalist rant.

Taibbi wrote about those criticisms yesterday.

Taibbi writes.

I’m getting a lot of this now with the Jefferson County business. The above writer, an intermittently coherent fellow named Richard Fernandez from a thing called Pajamas Media, wrote the excerpted passage in response to a line in my piece about JP Morgan paying Goldman, Sachs $3 million to back out of the Jefferson County deal. The full quote, which includes in the middle a passage from that “Looting Main St.” piece, reads like this:

So how would one keep the tragedy of Jefferson County from being replayed everywhere? Taibbi wonders why no one stopped the train wreck from proceeding.

That such a blatant violation of anti-trust laws took place and neither JP Morgan nor Goldman have been prosecuted for it is yet another mystery of the current financial crisis. “This is an open-and-shut case of anti-competitive behavior,” says Taylor, the former regulator.

Now there’s an idea. Maybe someone can stop Wall Street from corrupting the politicians by putting the politicians in charge of Wall Street. Find someone from Chicago who can do it. Or, if that doesn’t work, abolishing capitalism will get results so that in the first place there’s no money to corrupt anyone. Either more government or no business. That’s sure to work in the same sense that you can avoid cancer entirely by having all your organs removed.

So according to Fernandez, by wondering aloud why two giant mega-companies were not prosecuted for engaging in blatantly anticapitalist behavior, I’m actually advocating the abolition of capitalism. Where do these people come from?

Even after all the things that went on in the past few years, there are still people who defend the sort of fraud and robbery that went on in Jefferson County. Either that or they try to slap on a new take on the story to make it fit the same old red/blue, left/right narrative and distract people from the point, which is that this kind of corruption is a complex symbiosis of public and private interests that does not fit into the simplistic Fox vs. Air America storyline. It is not a liberal/conservative issue — this is about oligarchy, not partisanship — but there are people who insist on trying to make it into a partisan story.

Taibbi is exactly right. It is easier to just call any criticism a "left wing" rant, or "anti capitalist" instead of actually debating the merits of the corruption which the banks were obviously complicit in. Just break it down to Left v. Right and all debate becomes useless.

More on Jefferson County here.

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