Saturday, November 5, 2011

Taibbi Gets Bloomberg Right

Matt Taibbi doesn't get much right, but for a portion of a recent column, he does nail NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

Bloomberg’s great triumph as a politician has been the way he’s been able to win over exactly the sort of crowd that was gathering at the HuffPost event that night. He is a billionaire Wall Street creature with an extreme deregulatory bent who has quietly advanced some nastily regressive police policies (most notably the notorious "stop-and-frisk" practice) but has won over upper-middle-class liberals with his stances on choice and gay marriage and other social issues.

Bloomberg’s main attraction as a politician has been his ability to stick closely to a holy trinity of basic PR principles: bang heavily on black crime, embrace social issues dear to white progressives, and in the remaining working hours give your pals on Wall Street (who can raise any money you need, if you somehow run out of your own) whatever they want.

He understands that as long as you keep muggers and pimps out of the prime shopping areas in the Upper West Side, and make sure to sound the right notes on abortion, stem-cell research, global warming, and the like, you can believably play the role of the wisecracking, good-guy-billionaire Belle of the Ball for the same crowd that twenty years ago would have been feting Ed Koch.

I'm not sure what Taibbi means by an "extreme deregulatory bent," when he, himself, writes that Bloomberg is allowing new aggressive police tactics and Bloomberg has done everything from introducing mandatory uniform taxi cabs to mandatory calorie food labeling in restaurants, but overall Taibbi hits the note in these paragraphs. But before you cheer him, do note that in the same column, he writes:

The typical money-machine cycle of subprime lending took place without any real government involvement.

It appears that Taibbi may actually believe this. He goes on to write that subprime lender Countrywide got their money to lend out from Goldman Sachs. But, hey Matt, where do you think Goldman got the money?

How about the Federal Reserve? Do you think it was coincidence that the Fed stopped printing in the summer of 2008 and the entire market, including the subprime market collapsed? Matt, write this down. No new money, no bubble. The Fed prints the new money.

1 comment:

  1. Matt also apparently doesn't know that it was Fannie Mae, a Government Sponsored Enterprise, that was buying lots of these subprime loans.