– Heidi N. Moore is a business writer in New York City. This article originally appeared in The Big Money. The views expressed are her own. –
Maybe, but it’s damn hard to prove. That’s why it’s so unimpressive that a fervent 10,000-word rant by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone’s July 9 issue-devoted purely to “Goldman’s big scam”-spent 12 pages on the subject of Goldman Sachs’ “Great American Bubble Machine” but never delivered any plausible proof. The mammoth article disappointingly failed to provide the smoking gun that so many people on Wall Street-who have envied and admired and hated Goldman for much of this decade-would have been delighted to see.
Context and good facts were in short supply in favor of a lively, if incoherent, narrative. As a fellow financial journalist put it: “If you read the article without knowing anything about finance, by the end you would still not know anything about finance-but you would hate Goldman Sachs.”
True. Goldman’s reputation is its own business-I’ve never owned any of its stock and don’t have any friends who work there-but as someone who’s written about Wall Street for a decade, it annoys me to see the public that wasn’t fully educated about the financial crisis before it happened get snookered again by misleading reporting afterwards.
Megan McArdle of the Atlantic apparently feels the same way, having dubbed Taibbi “the Sarah Palin of journalism” and pointing out intelligently that “[i]t’s not that everything he says is wrong, but the bits that are true aren’t interesting, and the bits that are interesting aren’t true. The whole thing dissolves into the kind of conspiracy theory he so ably lampooned in The Great Derangement. The result is something that’s not even wrong. It’s just incoherent.”