by William K. Black, New Economic Perspectives
Andrew Ross Sorkin (ARS), long believed to be the sycophants’ sycophant who composes his odes to elite bank CEOs from his perch at the New York Times and CNBC has unmasked himself in a video entitled “Two Myths and One Reality.”
“If there’s one question that I get just about more than any other, ‘So why didn’t anybody go to jail, and did nobody try?’ And there’s an answer to that too.
A lot of people had an incentive to try to find a way to bring not justice, but to put people away. Prosecutors, law enforcement, journalists; it would have been a better story. But for the last five years we’ve tried, all of us have tried, to find that criminal element.”
ARS revealed in his video that he has posed as the modern-day leader of the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel, the undercover group of English aristocrats, led by an English baronet (“one to command, and nineteen to obey”) who saved French aristocrats from the Great Terror. The twist is that ARS’ League is composed of financial journalists who pose as sycophants and that the modern-day French aristocrats are the elite bankers whose misconduct caused the Great Recession. The purpose of ARS’ deception was to lure the elite bankers into admitting their misconduct so that they could be held accountable rather than aiding French aristocrats’ efforts to escape accountability. ARS was the anti-Scarlet Pimpernel, the aristocrat posing as the friend of the aristocrats in order to “find that criminal element.”
This column focuses how ARS “tried to find that criminal element.” I am able to describe these means because of Snowden’s release of NSA intercepts and surveillance, which captured scores of ARS’ meeting on video.
ARS’ quest to find dishonest bankers took him to New York City’s top restaurants. ARS had the courage to beard the lions of Wall Street in their lairs while they were in a feeding frenzy.
One can see on the videos the terror induced in these lunches in three star restaurants when ARS dropped his pretense of sycophancy and unleashed his withering cross-examination of the CEOs. ARS bided his time and waited for the Cab to breathe and L’Amuse-Bouche to lull his unsuspecting prey into complacency. ARS knows the truth of the famous Greek and Roman observation: “in vino veritas.” We see him on one tape waiting patiently through the antipasto, the secondo, and the aristocrat’s glorious main course, a glistening vitello tonnato. ARS never takes his adoring eyes off of the CEO. To outsiders it seems that ARS is fawning over the CEO, but we know better. ARS stalks the CEO, waiting for him to let down his guard.
The only clues to ARS’ real nature are far too subtle for any self-absorbed aristocratic banker to recognize. ARS has not copied the CEO’s order of the veal in tuna sauce. ARS orders the sugo all’arrabbiata (the “angry” sauce made piquant through chiles) over penne. While ARS hides his rage against the aristocratic bankers he pretends to worship he stokes that rage with his meal.
ARS waits for the dessert course and his order provides the second clue, but the aristocrats are the last people in the world who would understand it. ARS order pear and cheese as his dessert course as an homage to the famous Italian saying: “Al contadino non far sapere quanto è buono il formaggio con le pere” (Do not let the peasant know how good cheese is with pears). ARS, the brave undercover representative of the 99 percent, orders the signature dish of the one percent’s privilege in order to mock the aristocrat with whom he dines. ARS’ order of the forbidden dish – the dish that the elites must prevent the peasants from learning about – symbolizes his revolutionary nature and goals. ARS appears to embrace privilege in order to subvert it. ARS secretly leads the “Occupy Wall Street’s (Three Star Restaurants)” movement.
By this point in the lunch the aristocrat’s blood oxygen is devoted largely to aiding digestion. The CEO orders the Taylor 1985 vintage port with his dessert. ARS waits for the CEO’s eyes to begin to lose focus and his words to slur before he drops the mask of the brown nose and unleashes the scourge of Wall Street. We can see on the tapes the terror that Jamie Dimon suddenly felt when he realized that he had been “played” by a master who was now pummeling him relentlessly with the most acute demands for facts and admissions he had ever suffered in his career. The CEOs were helpless, trapped in their own hellish three star version of Gitmo while ARS pummeled them with “the hammer of justice” and reduced them to weeping, repenting and writhing wrecks lashed to the fine leather of the finest restaurants that pander to Wall Street’s most pretentious aristocratic demands. ARS was not bound by the Geneva conventions, so he was able to “(vintage) wine board” the CEOs. The CEOs’ suffering, shown in graphic detail on the NSA tapes, is terrible. Even if you view the aristocratic bankers as “financial terrorists” who grew wealthy through leading the fraud epidemics that caused the financial crisis I implore you not to let your non-adult children see the tapes. I found them so unsettling that I have been unable to sleep soundly for three days.
I wish to offer my personal apologies to ARS for my comparison of him to a gossip columnist and for dismissing him as a narcissistic sycophant. He lived his cover so faithfully that I believed it. I am ashamed that while ARS devoted the last five years of his life to the selfless effort to expose the criminal element through means that risked his life (to an overload of cholesterol) I made his suffering worse by mocking the fawning public utterances and insipid questions he had to ask on CNBC in order to maintain his cover. I salute ARS, the leader of the “Occupy Wall Street’s (Three Star Restaurants)” and his League of intrepid financial journalists who rooted out the “criminal element” among the banking aristocrats.
Also, read by William K. Black: “The Divine Right of Bankers: Sorkin Proves Baroness Orczy Correct“