Exactly what part of Paulson’s record is heroic, Evan? The part where
he called up SEC director William Donaldson in 2004 and quietly
arranged to get the state to drop capital requirements for the
country’s top five investment banks? You remember that business, right,
Evan? Your hero Paulson met with Donaldson and got the rules changed so
that Goldman and four other banks no longer had to abide by the old
restrictions that forced banks to actually have a dollar or two on hand
for every ten or so they lent out. After that, it was party time! Bear
Stearns in just a few years had a debt-to-equity ration of 33-1!
Lehman’s went to 32-1. By an amazing coincidence, both of these
companies exploded just
a few years after that meeting, and all of the rest of us, Evan, ended
up footing the bill, thanks to a state-sponsored rescue of Bear and a
much larger massive bailout of Wall Street in general, necessitated in
large part by the damage caused by the chaos surrounding Lehman’s
If it wasn’t abundantly clear before all of this mess descended upon us, the role of the elite media in servicing the needs of the rich cannot now be disputed. The symbiotic relationship between the banking system, government, and corporate media works as very clever way of keeping rich people rich, no matter the market conditions. While in a state of panic for several months, the MSM allowed mildly alternative voices to be heard on the nature of modern capitalism. Professional hacks like Maria Bartiromo held round table discussions with business tycoons discussing the ‘future of capitalism’, and people like Paul Krugman and Nouriel Roubini got some long overdue air time. But now Wall St seems to have regained a modicum of composure (entirely due to the public guaranteeing it wouldn’t collapse), the idiots who got us into the mess in the first place are back in full force. Not content with destroying the lives of the middle class and poor, they’re back with a vengeance eager to put money back in the pockets of their paymasters and pretend the entire debacle never happened.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.