The Great American Bubble Machine: From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression - and they're about to do it again
by Matt Taibbi
The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.
Any attempt to construct a narrative around all the former Goldmanites in influential positions quickly becomes an absurd and pointless exercise, like trying to make a list of everything. What you need to know is the big picture: If America is circling the drain, Goldman Sachs has found a way to be that drain — an extremely unfortunate loophole in the system of Western democratic capitalism, which never foresaw that in a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy.
They achieve this using the same playbook over and over again. The formula is relatively simple: Goldman positions itself in the middle of a speculative bubble, selling investments they know are crap. Then they hoover up vast sums from the middle and lower floors of society with the aid of a crippled and corrupt state that allows it to rewrite the rules in exchange for the relative pennies the bank throws at political patronage. Finally, when it all goes bust, leaving millions of ordinary citizens broke and starving, they begin the entire process over again, riding in to rescue us all by lending us back our own money at interest, selling themselves as men above greed, just a bunch of really smart guys keeping the wheels greased. They've been pulling this same stunt over and over since the 1920s — and now they're preparing to do it again, creating what may be the biggest and most audacious bubble yet.
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Matt Taibbi on Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs, Wall Street profiteering and... vampire squids. Wait, what was that last one? Journalist Matt Taibbi wrote a long takedown of the venerable Wall Street firm in Rolling Stone. Business journalists pronounced themselves mostly unimpressed with Taibbi's analysis, and troubled by his language—like calling the company 'a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.' Subtle it is not. But what should we make of the reaction to the piece, from Wall Street and from other reporters? And does reporting like Taibbi's shine a different sort of light on the financial industry, or—as some of Taibbi's critics have it—distract us from more important matters?
To Listen to the Interview
Matt Taibbi: The Big Takeover (Rolling Stone)
Matt Taibbi: Inside the Great American Bubble Machine (Video)