Thursday, December 16, 2010

Taibbi takes on Wall Street ... again

Taibbi has become one of the most recognizable voices in the assault on Wall Street.  Also, one of the more entertaining ones.  Here is an excerpt from his recent book, Griftopia, from the Rolling Stone, and a review from Businessweek.


  1. WOW.....

    "I was in a meeting where a bunch of American investment bankers were trying to sell us the Pennsylvania Turnpike," he said. "They even had a slide show. They were showing these Arabs what a nice highway we had for sale, what the toll booths looked like . . ."

    I dropped my fork. "The Pennsylvania Turnpike is for sale?"

    He nodded. "Yeah," he said. "We didn't do the deal, though. But, you know, there are some other deals that have gotten done. Or didn't you know about this?"

    As it turns out, the Pennsylvania Turnpike deal almost went through, only to be killed by the state legislature, but there were others just like it that did go through, most notably the sale of all the parking meters in Chicago to a consortium that included the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, from the United Arab Emirates.

    There were others: A toll highway in Indiana. The Chicago Skyway. A stretch of highway in Florida. Parking meters in Nashville, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, and other cities. A port in Virginia. And a whole bevy of Californian public infrastructure projects, all either already leased or set to be leased for fifty or seventy-five years or more in exchange for one-off lump sum payments of a few billion bucks at best, usually just to help patch a hole or two in a single budget year.

    America is quite literally for sale, at rock-bottom prices, and the buyers increasingly are the very people who scored big in the oil bubble......

  2. Yea, that was a real grabber. Makes me want to buy the book. I've enjoyed Taibbi articles. Nice to see someone take on Wall St. tooth and nail.

  3. The Brooklyn Bridge could be next.

  4. We better watch out or one of these SWF's will take it apart stone by stone, brick by brick and cart it off to Abu Dhabi.