All Goldman all the time: Putting aside the New York Post’s instant classic cover hed, the week’s best commentary on the Goldman Sachs mess (California division) is a new web ad from Steve Poizner’s campaign featuring a nice mashup of TV blow drys reading eMeg-ties-to-Wall Street stories.
Combining quick cuts of newspaper quotes with excerpts from Whitman’s shifting explanations about her stock spinning, the piece from Team Commish delivers a 1:52 flurry of punches to eMeg’s patrician nose, all set to the strains of a stock, investigative-type remix score called “Caught Red-Handed.”
We’re scratching our heads, however, over the short clip of Joe Mathews, our favorite Mr. Cranky Pants blogger, telling KNBC-TV why Goldman Sachs matters to the governor’s race, just one day before he wagged his finger at the silliness of the governor’s race hubbub over…Goldman Sachs. No truth to the rumor that the unsafest spot to stand in California is between Mathews and a TV camera. . . . To be “fair,” we note, after Joe complained in a comment below, that after explaining why Whitman was furiously spinning the issue back on Brown and Poizner he apparently also told KNBC that he’s not convinced the Goldman issue will affect the outcome of the governor’s race and that he thinks solving the state’s budget woes is a more relevant issue. So there.
Traders to their country: Euro-econ blogger Georges Ugeux offered a demystifying take on the whole matter that concludes Goldman isn’t really an investment bank at all. After watching this week’s parade of arrogant traders condescending to the Senate Banking Committee Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations wrote:
What became completely obvious for all the world to see is that Goldman Sachs is a hedge fund dressed up like a client business and that they are absolutely not interested in clients except to use them as screen for their own proprietary trading activities. As a hedge fund, Goldman Sachs is just a group of astute risk managers, brilliant market strategists who managed during the crisis to weather the storm. Their claim that they were not “directional” in their proprietary or principal business was absolutely disingenuous. .
Another G-S must-read: Gretchen Morgenson’s bottom-line take on what’s wrong with the financial regulation “reform“ legislation before the Congress:
Unfortunately, the leading proposals would do little to cure the epidemic unleashed on American taxpayers by the lords of finance and their bailout partners. The central problem is that neither the Senate nor House bills would chop down big banks to a more manageable and less threatening size. The bills also don’t eliminate the prospect of future bailouts of interconnected and powerful companies.
Too big to fail is alive and well, alas. Indeed several aspects of the legislative proposals sanction and codify the special status conferred on institutions that are seen as systemically important. Instead of reducing the number of behemoth firms assigned this special status, the bills would encourage smaller companies to grow large and dangerous so that they, too, could have a seat at the bailout buffet.
At least he’s for literacy: Scoop of the Week honors to Capitol Weekly’s Malcolm Maclachlan whose Actual Reporting dug down deeply on the mysterious question of how “Mount Pleasant,” Poizner’s besieged memoir about teaching in a San Jose high school, managed to hit #5 on the New York Times best seller list.
Exactly what role Team Poizner played in pushing the tome up the list has been one his handlers have assiduously ducked for weeks, up to and including their refusal to discuss the matter at all with Cap Weekly.
Although he doesn’t come up with a definitive answer on how the author managed to soar briefly (it tanked after one week) to the commercial heights occupied by slightly better known literary lights as Michael Lewis and Mitch Albom, the resourceful Maclachlan uncovers a host of intriguing clues, including the below-the-radar maneuverings by a couple of Southern California book marketing companies, and a spate of folks still head-scratching over how and why the book appeared in their mail boxes.
More evidence may be forthcoming when Poizner files his Q2 campaign expense and contribution reports in a few months, but Malcolm meanwhile suggests that buying enough copies of his own book to become a “best-selling author” wouldn’t exactly break the bank for the wannbe guv:
Poizner certainly has the wealth, having sold his last company for $1 billion. If he paid the $11.69 asking price on Amazon, not counting shipping, 5,000 copies would set him back $58,450, or about 1/1,000th of what Whitman has put into her own campaign.
Book notes: If you haven’t heard it, believe all the hype about Ira Glass’s takedown of Poizner and “Mount Pleasant” on PRI’s “This American Life” last weekend. In our 121 years on the planet, we’ve never listened to such a skillful, subtle and surgically precise evisceration of a pol. The tape is here and the transcript here.
Crusty’s lucha con el lenguaje: Conservative radio yakker and Calbuzz blogroller Eric Hogue also scored a sweet little scooplet with his report that Jerry Brown’s campaign had no Spanish-speaking representative to offer when Univision called to find a surrogate to face off in a televised debate with one from eMeg’s camp.
That’s right – Jerry Brown has no Spanish speaking member on his gubernatorial campaign team. One wonders how he is “communicating with the base of the Latino worker in California” if he has a language barrier.
“We haven’t filled that position yet,” a Brown spokesperson said weakly.
Team Crusty finally scared up the reliable Tenoch Flores, the communications director for the state Democratic party, to face off against the redoubtable Hector Barajas from Megland, but the incident is a flat-out embarrassment for a candidate who has been known to brag on his connections to Cesar Chavez and appointment of the first Latino supreme court justice.
As a political matter, it’s also the first glaring example of why Brown’s skinflint, who-needs-consultants operation could prove costly against the Armada of eMeg (or The Platoons of Poizner, for that matter).
Yikes, the end of civilization really is near!