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Slate: ‘Go After Wall Street With… Guns’

Something that almost slipped past us from over the weekend, via NewsBusters:


Slate’s Anti-Wall Street Mob Populism: ‘We Should Go After Them with Pitchforks, Knives, Guns, Clubs…’

By Jeff Poor
Sat, 04/24/2010

… On Slate’s Political Gabfest podcast for April 22, moderator John Dickerson asked his panel consisting of Slate editor David Plotz and Slate senior editor Emily Bazelon, if Wall Street banks had a responsibility to self-regulate and do what’s right as opposed to solely relying on legislation to set the boundaries. That inspired an "impassioned" populist response from Plotz.

"Can I spin this question in an entirely different way — which is, I don’t really care what Wall Street banks have to say because I’m not a politician," Plotz said. "I don’t take a lot of donations from them. I think it is appalling and shocking that neither party, either President Obama who wants real financial reform or the Republicans who ought to as well have stood up and taken the reasonable American position, which is the behavior of Wall Street, is absolutely disgusting."

But Plotz took it a step further… and suggested actual means to express outrage – hopefully metaphorically, but it isn’t clear. He cited an April 9 story from ProPublica that contended a hedge fund called Magnetar prolonged the housing bubble and stories from Michael Lewis’ much-ballyhooed book, "The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine" as the sources of this outrage.

"And we shouldn’t talk to them, try to persuade them," he continued. "We should burn them down. We should go after them with pitchforks, knives, guns, clubs we find, mace – anything, because it’s appalling. You only need to read the story that ProPublica did about the hedge fund Magnetar and what they did or Michael Lewis’ ‘The Big Short’ or these stories about Goldman to realize these guys are corrupt."

Plotz expressed frustration that Wall Street has managed to command a lot of America’s "intellectual energy" and no one seems to care.

"They’re using — there’s way too much American intellectual energy going into creating essentially gambling instruments which have nothing to do with improving the efficiency of the American economy. And like to go at it, just tooth and nail and not to give a damn about what Wall Street says and just populist fury. There’s so little populist fury. The behavior is disgusting."

There is a little irony here that even NewsBusters missed. As we have noted previously, the Pulitzer Prize winning publication ProPublica is nothing more than another propaganda front for Herb and Marion Sandler:

And, lest we forget, the Sandlers are the radical left couple who made $2.4 billion when they sold their ‘thrifts,’ the Golden West Financial Corporation and the World Savings Bank – and all of their bad mortgages — to Wachovia in 2006.

No less an authority than the New York Times called the Sandlers’ World Savings Bank a "ticking timebomb" that created "a class of zombie homeowners with no real stake in the homes they occupy."

Exposed to the toxic adjustable rate mortgages acquired during the Golden West acquisition, Wachovia began to experience heavy losses in its loan portfolios. In the first quarter of 2007, Wachovia reported $2.3 billion in earnings, including acquisitions and divestitures. In the second quarter of 2008, Wachovia reported an even larger than anticipated $8.9 billion loss.

Many point to Wachovia’s financial troubles from the Sandlers acquisitions as the primary catalyst in the housing and financial market meltdown. The Sandlers are some of the very people who helped to bring about the ‘housing bubble’ that Mr. Plotz so passionately decries. And these evil bankers made billions in the process.

(Indeed, the Sandlers role in the recent financial crises was so notorious that even Saturday Night Live took a swipe at them. Though they were later forced to remove any references to them from their skit, when the Sandlers threatened to sue NBC.)

Using their ill gotten billions, the Sandlers have become second only to George Soros in funding and fomenting of hard left 527s and ‘think tanks’ and other front organizations – such as the Center For American Progress and Media Matters — all dedicated to re-making the United States into a socialist paradise.

So it is only fitting and only too predictable that one of the Sandlers’ pieces of radical agit-prop would have set off someone like Mr. Plotz.

But where is the outrage from Mr. Clinton and our watchdog media? Isn’t Mr. Plotz’s tirade clear evidence that the Sandlers are whipping up violence in the minds of the weak-minded with their highly irresponsible and inflammatory rhetoric?

Shouldn’t they at least be made to give back their Pulitzer?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, April 27th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Slate: ‘Go After Wall Street With… Guns’”

  1. proreason

    Liberals are many times more violent and many times more vile than conservatives.

    I’ve said it for years, and any rational person knows it’s true.

    There has never been a violent conservative rally….but it’s the norm for liberals. 95% of wars are started by liberals. A conservatives natural inclination to not interfere in another country’s business.

    Indeed, the core tenet of conservatism is gradual change. The word itself means to maintain what you have, NOT tear it down. Conservatism is the antithesis of the violence that liberals have advocated for decades….as the agents of marxists, communists and other totalitarians.

    Liberals are the ones that want to blow stuff up…..as everybody knows.

    This whole meme about the violent teabaggers is ludicrous. Another example of the big lie.

    Slate reminds us what liberals really think.

  2. TGFD

    TGFD here.

    On nearly all issues TGFD is a right-wing (nutjob) conservative; however, on this subject, this subject of Wall Street, I am firmly in the “Burn-It-Down” camp.

    proreason…You claim that “the core tenet of conservatism is gradual change”. Unfortunately, the great Republican conservative Phil Gramm (may he rot in hell) and his complicit associates managed in just a few short years (1999-2000) to unwind many decades of financial controls in favor of the financial innovations that we are burdened by today. Derivatives, Credit Default Swaps, Collateralized Debt Obligations, Securitization, etc. are all part of that innovation binge that led to three financial booms and three financial busts in the span of nine years.

    Someone should tell us folks on Main Street how we have all benefitted from the removal of Glass-Steagall’s firewall, or from the passage of the Commodities Futures Trading Act, or from abandoning the “Uptick” Rule. Tell us how a shadowy, unregulated, opaque derivatives gambling market with an estimated value of $210 Trillion is necessary to our financial survival, when the total value of all the shares of stock listed on the major exchanges is only around $15 Trillion? How in foggy hell did our economy ever survive prior to 1998?

    By the way, that great economic, bull-market boom? You know, the one that started back in 1982? Yeah, that one. The one that spiked wildly in 1999, only to crash in 2000 and then burn until 2002? Well, how in hell did that thing ever get started without derivatives? Better yet, how did it continue on for 15 years without them?

    Tell us proreason. Tell us why reasoning our way through this debacle called Wall Street is better than just burning it down.

    p.s. I am galled every time I remember that Goldman Sachs still has the emergency Federal Bank Charter that was quickly (within a few hours) given to them in September 2008 as they stood at the brink of oblivion.

    • proreason

      Don’t look for support for the repeal of Glass_Steagall from me. They should put it back in exactly as it was. Gramm was wrong about that. But he is still about 1/1000th as evil as Drooling Barney and the malovent Chris Dodd.

      And the best thing I can say about Goldman Sachs is that private companies cannot possibly be as destructive as the US government. The amount of power even GS has, pales in comparison to the destruction the US government has caused. Other than being a piss-ant compared to the feds, GS is the greatest pack of economic criminals in the world.

      Which leaves us with your unsupported solution for burning the system down.

      Which of course will lead only to chaos and a quicker destruction of private enterprise than anything else.

      So it’s clear, TGFD, that you here to spread propaganda for your master’s on the left. The evidence is in your post:
      – you slander the stable economy that Reagan enabled and Clinton was unable to destroy, as if mention of the year 1982 is proof that the crimes of the Community Reinvestment Act and the government’s insistance on spreading the risk through derivatives can be traced to that event. Juvenile.
      – you attack the noted misguided conservative Phil Gramm, whose sins pale in comparison to your marxist masters.
      – and you advocate for financial anarchy

      Find a site as brainless as you are to do your trolling.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Add to that, nobody here even jokingly, has ever referred to themselves as a right-wing (nutjob) conservative.

    • Petronius

      “Burn it down.”

      I think al Qaeda has already tried that. Twice in fact.

      Perhaps Nerobama’s regime will succeed where al Qaeda failed.

      In which case Wall Street businesses will move to Tokyo, Singapore, London, Zurich, and Kuala Lumpur.

      America’s loss will be their gain.

  3. jobeth

    Why do all radical lefties have a certain look about them?

    This guy Sandler could pass for my cousin’s left wing husband. Do they all have that “professor look’ to them?

    Nice enough guy until he starts telling me where I am all wrong.




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