Econintersect: Matt Taibbi is the understated journalist who coined the phrase “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” He made this statement in the opening paragraph of an April 2010 article in Rolling Stone to describe what he characterized as “the world’s most powerful investment bank.” In a new article from the May 24 edition of Rolling Stone, Taibbi has another graphic analogy: He compares the Dodd-Frank Act as the legislative analogy to “the fish reeled in by Hemingway’s Old Man – no sooner caught than set upon by sharks that strip it to nothing long before it ever reaches the shore.”
Thus Taibbi thinks that not only “Dodd-Frank is groaning on its deathbed,” it is actually as good as buried as just a skeleton with no flesh left on its bones.
To what does Taibbi attribute this demise? Very simply he sees a concerted partnership of Wall Street Banks, the president, Congress, the Democratic party, Senator Scott Brown (R, MA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R,WI). This is Econintersect’s attempt to come with his short list. To get a flavor of his focus, here is a listing of the major section headings in the Taibbi article, what he calls the steps of a five-point strategy:
STEP 1: STRANGLE IT IN THE WOMB
STEP 2: SUE, SUE, SUE
STEP 3: IF YOU CAN’T WIN, STALL
STEP 4: BULLY THE REGULATORS
STEP 5: PASS A GAZILLION LOOPHOLES
Editor’s note: No vampire squid here, just an outline of how a hit squad operates.
- The Great American Bubble Machine (Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, 5 April 2010)
- How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform (Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, 24 May 2012)