On one side of The Divide—the gap in the justice system between the rich and the poor that provides the title for Matt Taibbi’s brilliant and enraging new book—financiers and other wealthy people commit egregious crimes, including laundering drug money, and rarely face jail time. Prosecutors worry about "collateral consequences" before filing charges.
The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap, by Matt Taibbi with illustrations by Molly Crabapple, will be published on Tuesday. You can order it now now now, wherever capitalism allows you to obtain books:
• Spiegel & Grau / Random House
• McNally Jackson
• Amazon [...]
By now, you will have tried to read Matt Taibbi's latest, which makes the case, which in my book was already made, that there should be criminal investigations at Goldman Sachs. I say "tried" because this is rough going. (And yes: Matt Taibbi, God bless!) And he's not wrong! Many of us have accustomed ourselves over the last few years to reading about regulatory whatnots and tranchey thingamabobs, and while it'll always be an uncomfortable second nature, at least writing about financial instruments follows some rules. But it's not the finance that's hard. For one, there's sentences like this one: "Each of the deals appears to represent a [...]
You know what obscures facts sometimes? Opinion-free, neutral language. True! Here is the soothing language from yesterday's Times: "Nearly a year after the federal rescue of the nation's biggest banks, taxpayers have begun seeing profits from the hundreds of billions of dollars in aid that many critics thought might never be seen again…. These early returns are by no means a full accounting of the huge financial rescue undertaken by the federal government last year to stabilize teetering banks and other companies…. But the mere hint of bailout profits for the nearly year-old Troubled Asset Relief Program has been received as a welcome surprise." So, wait, what are they saying? [...]
Tom Scocca: Am I the only one who sort of wishes that nice Matt Taibbi wouldn't use all those swear words? Choire Sicha: YES. Choire Sicha: I FEEL THE SAME. Choire Sicha: I was like, "You wrote a letter to the Wall Street Journal saying 'fellatio'? Ugh!" Tom Scocca: Right? The letter needed not to say "fellatio." Tom Scocca: (Why does iChat not recognize "fellatio" as a word? What is chat software FOR?)