Rolling Stone personality Matt Taibbi may not be everyone's cup of foaming populist tea, but even his critics credit him with persistence. Long after others moved on, Taibbi remained devoted to the cause of financial sector reform. The House passage of a financial regulation bill this afternoon brings some vindication; while his rhetorical machete-work is legendarily absurd, Taibbi pushes the national discussion and keeps big bankers in the hot seat like no other. Here's the latest debate-driving piece from the creator of the famed "vampire squid" Goldman Sachs metaphor:
What's taken place in the year since Obama won the presidency has turned out to be one of the most dramatic political about-faces in our history. Elected in the midst of a crushing economic crisis brought on by a decade of orgiastic deregulation and unchecked greed, Obama had a clear mandate to rein in Wall Street and remake the entire structure of the American economy. What he did instead was ship even his most marginally progressive campaign advisers off to various bureaucratic Siberias, while packing the key economic positions in his White House with the very people who caused the crisis in the first place. This new team of bubble-fattened ex-bankers and laissez-faire intellectuals then proceeded to sell us all out, instituting a massive, trickle-up bailout and systematically gutting regulatory reform from the inside.