In case you missed it, there was a great article on the financial meltdown in Rolling Stone magazine.
And while I haven’t read Rolling Stone since they put that weird picture of John and Yoko Ono on the cover in 1981, the article does a great job explaining how AIG’s credit default swaps have buried us.
It also goes into the legislation pushed by then Senator Phil Gramm that essentially put an end to the Glass-Steagall Act.
Glass-Stegall was a the depression era regulation that separated the commercial and investment banks. Ending it set the stage for what haunts us today. Financial mega-firms like Citigroup couldn’t have existed without it.
It’s in article by Matt Taibbi entitled: The Big Takeover.
It begins with the following lead and is well worth the entire read.
“It’s over – we’re officially, royally fucked. no empire can survive being rendered a permanent laughingstock, which is what happened as of a few weeks ago, when the buffoons who have been running things in this country finally went one step too far. It happened when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was forced to admit that he was once again going to have to stuff billions of taxpayer dollars into a dying insurance giant called AIG, itself a profound symbol of our national decline – a corporation that got rich insuring the concrete and steel of American industry in the country’s heyday, only to destroy itself chasing phantom fortunes at the Wall Street card tables, like a dissolute nobleman gambling away the family estate in the waning days of the British Empire.”
Great stuff Matt.
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