Tag Archives: Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi Reveals How Romney Made His Fortune — It Ain’t Pretty, and He Shouldn’t Be Proud of It

Rolling Stone Issue #1165

I just received this month’s copy of Rolling Stone Magazine in the mail.

I never read RS in the 70′s, 80′s or 90′s.  However, that has changed.  I discovered that their political reports are informative and quite revealing in a way that mainstream (read… corporate) media avoids.

I look forward to yet another great expose by journalist Matt Taibbi.

Alternet

“Earned” is a very generous way to put it.

Editor’s note: The following is a transcript of a Democracy Now! interview with Rolling Stone contributing editor Matt Taibbi, whose recent article in the magazine gets to the bottom of Mitt Romney’s enormous wealth. 

A new article  by reporter Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stonesheds light on the origin of his fortune, revealing how Romney’s former firm, Bain Capital, used private equity to raise money to conduct corporate raids. Matt Taibbi writes, quote, “what most voters don’t know is the way Mitt Romney actually made his fortune: by borrowing vast sums of money that other people were forced to pay back. This is the plain, stark reality that has somehow eluded America’s top political journalists for two consecutive presidential campaigns: Mitt Romney is one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time,” Taibbi writes. He goes on to say, “In the past few decades, in fact, Romney has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on [planet] Earth.”

Well, Matt Taibbi joins us now, contributing editor for Rolling Stone magazine. His most recent in-depth piece called “Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital,” author of the book also, Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History.

Read transcript here…

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Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail

I saw Matt Taibbi on The Dylan Rattigan Show this afternoon.  I was really shocked to learn how Bank of America and other banks have committed the most egregious acts against the citizens of this country and the government.  No one has ever been prosecuted for the causes of the financial melt down in 2007.  Taibbi has a lot to say on the matter…

Rolling Stone

The bank has defrauded everyone from investors and insurers to homeowners and the unemployed. So why does the government keep bailing it out?

At least Bank of America got its name right. The ultimate Too Big to Fail bank really is America, a hypergluttonous ward of the state whose limitless fraud and criminal conspiracies we’ll all be paying for until the end of time. Did you hear about the plot to rig global interest rates? The $137 million fine for bilking needy schools and cities? The ingenious plan to suck multiple fees out of the unemployment checks of jobless workers? Take your eyes off them for 10 seconds and guaranteed, they’ll be into some shit again: This bank is like the world’s worst-behaved teenager, taking your car and running over kittens and fire hydrants on the way to Vegas for the weekend, maxing out your credit cards in the three days you spend at your aunt’s funeral. They’re out of control, yet they’ll never do time or go out of business, because the government remains creepily committed to their survival, like overindulgent parents who refuse to believe their 40-year-old live-at-home son could possibly be responsible for those dead hookers in the backyard.

It’s been four years since the government, in the name of preventing a depression, saved this megabank from ruin by pumping $45 billion of taxpayer money into its arm. Since then, the Obama administration has looked the other way as the bank committed an astonishing variety of crimes – some elaborate and brilliant in their conception, some so crude that they’d be beneath your average street thug. Bank of America has systematically ripped off almost everyone with whom it has a significant business relationship, cheating investors, insurers, depositors, homeowners, shareholders, pensioners and taxpayers. It brought tens of thousands of Americans to foreclosure court using bogus, “robo-signed” evidence – a type of mass perjury that it helped pioneer. It hawked worthless mortgages to dozens of unions and state pension funds, draining them of hundreds of millions in value. And when it wasn’t ripping off workers and pensioners, it was helping to push insurance giants like AMBAC into bankruptcy by fraudulently inducing them to spend hundreds of millions insuring those same worthless mortgages.

But despite being the very definition of an unaccountable corporate villain, Bank of America is now bigger and more dangerous than ever. It controls more than 12 percent of America’s bank deposits (skirting a federal law designed to prohibit any firm from controlling more than 10 percent), as well as 17 percent of all American home mortgages. By looking the other way and rewarding the bank’s bad behavior with a massive government bailout, we actually allowed a huge financial company to not just grow so big that its collapse would imperil the whole economy, but to get away with any and all crimes it might commit. Too Big to Fail is one thing; it’s also far too corrupt to survive.

Read more… 

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Rolling Stone: The 1% Are NOT Citizens Of The United States

As   points out over at Addicting Info:

The 1% doesn’t pledge allegiance to any flag. Not even the ones they own.

Rolling Stone – Matt Taibbi

It seems America’s bankers are tired of all the abuse. They’ve decided to speak out.

True, they’re doing it from behind the ropeline, in front of friendly crowds at industry conferences and country clubs, meaning they don’t have to look the rest of America in the eye when they call us all imbeciles and complain that they shouldn’t have to apologize for being so successful.

But while they haven’t yet deigned to talk to protesting America face to face, they are willing to scribble out some complaints on notes and send them downstairs on silver trays. Courtesy of a remarkable story by Max Abelson at Bloomberg, we now get to hear some of those choice comments.

Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus, for instance, is not worried about OWS:

“Who gives a crap about some imbecile?” Marcus said. “Are you kidding me?”

Former New York gurbernatorial candidate Tom Golisano, the billionaire owner of the billing firm Paychex, offered his wisdom while his half-his-age tennis champion girlfriend hung on his arm:

“If I hear a politician use the term ‘paying your fair share’ one more time, I’m going to vomit,” said Golisano, who turned 70 last month, celebrating the birthday with girlfriend Monica Seles, the former tennis star who won nine Grand Slam singles titles.

Then there’s Leon Cooperman, the former chief of Goldman Sachs’s money-management unit, who said he was urged to speak out by his fellow golfers. His message was a version of Wall Street’s increasingly popular If-you-people-want-a-job, then-you’ll-shut-the-fuck-up rhetorical line:

Cooperman, 68, said in an interview that he can’t walk through the dining room of St. Andrews Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida, without being thanked for speaking up. At least four people expressed their gratitude on Dec. 5 while he was eating an egg-white omelet, he said.

“You’ll get more out of me,” the billionaire said, “if you treat me with respect.”

Finally, there is this from Blackstone CEO Steven Schwartzman:

Asked if he were willing to pay more taxes in a Nov. 30 interview with Bloomberg Television, Blackstone Group LP CEO Stephen Schwarzman spoke about lower-income U.S. families who pay no income tax.

“You have to have skin in the game,” said Schwarzman, 64. “I’m not saying how much people should do. But we should all be part of the system.”

There are obviously a great many things that one could say about this remarkable collection of quotes. One could even, if one wanted, simply savor them alone, without commentary, like lumps of fresh caviar, or raw oysters.

But out of Abelson’s collection of doleful woe-is-us complaints from the offended rich, the one that deserves the most attention is Schwarzman’s line about lower-income folks lacking “skin in the game.” This incredible statement gets right to the heart of why these people suck.

Why? It’s not because Schwarzman is factually wrong about lower-income people having no “skin in the game,” ignoring the fact that everyone pays sales taxes, and most everyone pays payroll taxes, and of course there are property taxes for even the lowliest subprime mortgage holders, and so on.

Continue reading here…

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Matt Taibbi: ‘Occupy Wall Street’ can spark movement, motivate change

Raw Story

Author and Rolling Stone columnist Matt Taibbi appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann to discuss the “Occupy Wall Street” protests and their potential for motivating change.  The protest, as it stands, is mostly made up of young people who are feeling fed up and disaffected, but Taibbi sees the protests as a reflection of real anger on the part of the American people, anger that rises out of the sense that Wall Street controls too much of American political life.   Activists whose work centers around these issues, he says, can point to the protests as a manifestation of genuine distress on the part of the public.

Keith poses the question as to whether a gathering of Tea Party protests would have garnered more media attention. At the end of the segment, he quips that maybe the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd needs more “funny hats”.

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Walker Gets Punked!

Scott Walker in 2007 at Marquette University a...

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This is too good to believe…

Huffington Post

Here’s something for your “can this possibly be for real” file this morning. Over at the Buffalo Beast — the former print alt-weekly turned online newspaper founded by onetime editor Matt Taibbi, typically best known for its annual list of “The 50 Most Loathsome Americans” — there appear to be recordings of a phone call between Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and current editor Ian Murphy. Now, why on earth would Scott Walker want to talk on the phone with the editor of an online site in Buffalo? Well, he wouldn’t.

But what if said editor pretended to be David Koch of the famed Koch Brothers? Well, that’s a different story altogether, apparently! And so Walker, believing himself to be on the phone with his patron, seems to have had a long conversation about busting Wisconsin’s unions.

Buffalo Beast Publisher Paul Fallon told The Huffington Post that the audio is “absolutely legit.” That the call took place as described by the Beast has been confirmed by Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie.

Part 1

Part 2

UPDATE:  The Buffalo Beast 0nline site is down…

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Filed under Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin Unions, Wisconson Fiscal Crisis, Wisconson GOP

Matt Taibbi Skewers Boehner

Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone holds nothing back in his assessment of the new Speaker of the House, John Boehner…

Rolling Stone

He’s a lazy, double-talking shill for corporate interests. So how’s he going to fare with the Tea Party?

John Boehner is the ultimate Beltway hack, a man whose unmatched and self-serving skill at political survival has made him, after two decades in Washington, the hairy blue mold on the American congressional sandwich. The biographer who somewhere down the line tackles the question of Boehner’s legacy will do well to simply throw out any references to party affiliation, because the thing that has made Boehner who he is — the thing that has finally lifted him to the apex of legislative power in America — has almost nothing to do with his being a Republican.

The Democrats have plenty of creatures like Boehner. But in the new Speaker of the House, the Republicans own the perfect archetype — the quintessential example of the kind of glad-handing, double-talking, K Street toady who has dominated the politics of both parties for decades. In sports, we talk about athletes who are the “total package,” and that term comes close to describing Boehner’s talent for perpetuating our corrupt and debt-addled status quo: He’s a five-tool insider who can lie, cheat, steal, play golf, change his mind on command and do anything else his lobbyist buddies and campaign contributors require of him to get the job done.

As for what that job is, here’s the thing: In this age of greed-enabling bailouts and rampaging Tea Parties and coast-to-coast voter rage toward the entire political process, Congress in particular now ranks as one of the single most unpopular political entities on earth. Recent polls show that only 13 percent of Americans approve of the job performance of their national legislature — which makes our elected representatives even less popular here at home than, say, Al Qaeda is in Pakistan. (Bin Laden and Co. scored an 18 percent approval rating not long ago.)  

More…

Countdown: Matt Taibbi, John ‘Bagman’ Boehner

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Law Firm Accused Of Using Non-Lawyers In Foreclosure Filings, Charging Homeowners Attorney Fees

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Crooks & Liars

It seems that our legal system, already heavily weighted in favor of the powerful, is completely out of control when it comes to these mortgage foreclosures. As Matt Taibbi recently pointed out, judges handling foreclosure cases give kneejerk credence to the attorneys, to the point where they can’t even be bothered to check the filings to make sure they’re in order. It took a bankruptcy judge to call this law firm to task.

Now, defrauding the homeowners is probably perfectly okay with the establishment. But I find it hard to believe they’ll get away with impersonating lawyers!

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Philadelphia law firm used nonlawyers to file untold numbers of mortgage foreclosures across the state and fraudulently collected attorney’s fees that caused people to lose their homes in cases which should be legally nullified, a Pittsburgh lawyer claims in a lawsuit.

The lawsuit comes as a bankruptcy court judge, also in Pittsburgh, has given the same firm, Goldbeck, McCafferty & McKeever, until the end of business Friday to self-report to the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Agresti filed two opinions castigating the firm and the lender it represented, Countrywide Home Loans, in a foreclosure that led a Pittsburgh-area woman to file for bankruptcy in 2001.

The judge determined a Goldbeck attorney knowingly gave the court phony lender documents to bolster its foreclosure claim saying “the evidence that (the attorney) lied was considerable.”

Attorneys at the Goldbeck firm have not returned calls for comment from The Associated Press on Judge Agresti’s findings or the 78-page lawsuit filed last month by Patrick Loughren.

Loughren told The Associated Press he could not comment on his lawsuit, but said the document made clear his reason for filing it.

The lawsuit spells out two broad goals: defending the legal profession, and pursuing a remedy for those facing foreclosure and those who have already paid attorneys fees or lost their homes in actions filed by the Philadelphia firm.

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