Comments on: Fernholz vs Taibbi A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: Sheila Beaz Thu, 12 Aug 2010 19:39:16 +0000 Thanks for the unique perspective on this subject…

By: svendthrift Mon, 04 Jan 2010 23:39:01 +0000 nholz-taibbi-and-the-perils-of-access/

The dude is a hack. How gross.

By: WSWatchdog Wed, 16 Dec 2009 19:17:14 +0000 This is my response to your shabby commentary Mr. Fernholtz:

Taibbi: “Geithner, in other words, is hired to head the U.S. Treasury by an executive from Citigroup — Michael Froman.”

Your commentary: Froman didn’t hire Geithner, Obama did, and the move had been expected long before Froman came on board the transition — Froman had little to do with it other than aiding in vetting. Geithner had impressed Obama while briefing him during the crisis when he was President of the New York Fed and had been a senior Treasury official during the Clinton administration. He has never worked for a bank.

My Response: Of course Obama ultimately made the hiring decision but who do you think was advising him on who to bring in as Treasury Secretary? Maybe it’s because of your youth Mr. Fernholtz but you either think your readers are very naive or you are. Further, that Geithner was president of the NY Fed both before and while the financial crisis was developing was good reason to NOT hire him as Treasury Chief.

· Taibbi: “Neil Barofsky, the inspector general charged with overseeing TARP, estimates that the total cost of the Wall Street bailouts could eventually reach $23.7 trillion.”
Your Commentary: It could, if every single loan guaranteed by the Federal government failed at once and all of the assets bought with those loans were destroyed – …”
My Response: And what if most of the debts are NOT paid back. More importantly, what moral hazard or precedent for Big Bailing Banks out in the future does this present with an even bigger bill for taxpayers?
· Taibbi: “A masterpiece of legislative chicanery, the measure would have given the White House permanent and unlimited authority to execute future bailouts of megaconglomerates like Citigroup and Bear Stearns.”

· Your Commentary: Er, no. It allows the government to liquidate megaconglomerates like Citigroup and Bear Stearns, just as the FDIC dissolves failing small banks. It’s not quite what we’re looking for, yet — there is a lot of legislating left to do — but here’s what the measure really does.

· My Response to your commentary: Taibbi said “the measure WOULD HAVE given”. For someone who is supposed to be a professional journalist it appears you haven’t learned the fine art of reading.Try it before you criticize the work of an investigative journalist who obviously put a lot of time into his work for the benefit of the pubic. I know this may be tough for boot-lickers who are trying to court favor with Rahm and the rest of the White House.
Your commentary, in my opinion, is either “scoop envy” or you simply don’t understand how the Washington/Wall Street connection works. If it is the second then I’m surprised you are able to sell any of your work.

Tom O’Keefe
President, The National Association of Investment Professionals

By: dnorman Mon, 14 Dec 2009 04:49:42 +0000 Sorry – can’t take a “journalist” who purports to be an expert but posts anonymously seriously.

As for Taibbi, the argument here is not about is he right/wrong. It is about do you get him or not? Do you understand his style? If so, are you OK with it? I, for one, am fine with it.

For Christ’s sakes, he is writing for Rolling Stone, not the NY Times. That is not meant as a put down of Rolling Stone’s reporting, which I consider to be excellent. My point is that you are talking about two very different style guides. The “National Affairs” section of Rolling Stone is not meant to just report, it is meant to provoke a reaction from its readership. This is Hunter S. Thompson’s old stomping grounds. Taibbi doesn’t JUST want you to know the facts, he wants you to get angry about them, which he attempts by expressing his own anger at them.

Factually, everything I am reading here on both sides is semantics. The major difference is that Taibbi is not misleading, while Fernholz is very misleading. Fernholz attempts to claim that Taibbi is making factual errors simply by wording what Taibbi said differently while saying the same thing. Fernholz starts with the ONE fact that Taibbi got wrong, which Taibbi has admitted to and which is, in fact, not important to his overall argument. He then uses it to imply that it is the first in a list of things that Taibbi got wrong, but produces nothing of the kind – just things he would have worded differently. It is a cheap shot at its best.

Stylistically, Taibbi sets out to express an opinion and provides the facts to back it up. He succeeds. You may not SHARE his opinion, but he makes a reasonable argument using true facts.

Fernholz uses all of the same facts, and comes to an only slightly different conclusion than Taibbi, and in a different style. He just also chooses to attack a fellow writer for no good reason other than he concludes differently, and tries to discredit him for no good reason. It is reporters like Fernholz that make the progressive media’s arguements difficult to take seriously, not Taibbi.

By: colinf Sun, 13 Dec 2009 19:29:02 +0000 The CFPA doesn’t exist *yet*. In all fairness — and I think you know this — Fernholz was implying that the currently-proposed CFPA has not been rendered nugatory by compromises between legislators as to the authority and jurisdiction of the proposed agency.

Your criticism of Fernholz is semantical. Fernholz is saying that Taibbi is misleading and unfair. Your post concedes as much.

By: AlanDownunder Sun, 13 Dec 2009 09:34:38 +0000 Can our journalist “who has covered securitization since the mid-1990s” and does “know a CMBS from an ABS from MBS from a derivative” explain how all of Taibbi’s facts that point to the same thing actually don’t.

Perhaps our journalist could also point to his work on CMBSs ABSs MBSs and derivatives where he explains how some of them, or the totality of them, could contribute to the destabilisation of the global financial system. I’d hate to think his oevre was just fanboy edits of press releases, but there was so much of that around – still is – that the suspicion can’t reasonably be ruled out.

By: Anonymous Sun, 13 Dec 2009 09:28:03 +0000 Anonymous journalist who has covered securitization since the mid-1990s, didn’t you fail to expose the truth over the course of your career in such a fashion as Taibbi has done? Any articles that covered the same ground? Even a “mid career correction showing where it all went wrong” article to cite? Or is this missive the revenge of Hoocoodanode?
Since when is policy conspiracy? If you’re not benefiting from it, it seems to be a conspiracy; if you are getting rich and so are your friends, it’s a perfectly reasonable policy, right? Clearly the people chopping up the baby on Wall Street have picked some favorites. Perhaps you can’t see the patterns because you are in the weave?

By: Anonymous Sun, 13 Dec 2009 04:04:55 +0000 As a journalist who has covered securitization since the mid-1990s, in my opinion Taibbi is full of shit. I am a liberal and I love his colorful style, but his conspiracy-minded views of the financial world are idiotic.

His article about Goldman was the most stupid thing I have ever read by a liberal. He is a good example of how one can string together a bunch of unrelated facts and come up with a wrong conclusion.

I know people who don’t know a CMBS from an ABS from MBS from a derivative want to feel like that it is all one big scam, and Taibbi plays to that ignorance.

By: nancycadet Sat, 12 Dec 2009 23:44:54 +0000 I like Taibbi’s writing style and am not put off by the language he uses–so what if he uses ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ in his articles? Apparently it doesn’t violate his publisher’s editorial guidelines, and if it annoys Barbara Bush and her ilk, so much the better. I’d like to see more investigative journalism about the disastrous economic policies, advisers and appointments of Clinton and Obama.

By: Anonymous Sat, 12 Dec 2009 22:38:59 +0000 Aristotle said; No man can judge a society, a part of which he forms. And Fernholz is at least a “wannabe” part of the beltway/finance crowd.