Corruption: From Russia to Wall Street
It’s easy to make jokes and feel virtuous when discussing post-Communist Russia. It’s crony capitalism and insider trading at its worst. In comparison, are things much better in the United States? There is corruption, fraud, bribery and embezzlement. With a few exceptions, the scoundrels walk away with their bonuses and compensation packages while their victims face ruined lives and darkened futures. From burst bubbles, sub-prime mortgages, and foreclosures to Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, and AIG, the carnage of economic collapse litters the landscape. Wall Street banks cooked up schemes that helped decimate municipal budgets and cost countless jobs, and Wall Street lobbying led to a financial reform bill that won’t prevent another meltdown.
Matt Taibbi is an award-winning columnist for Rolling Stone. He has also written for The Nation and The Moscow Times. In addition to journalism he played professional basketball in Mongolia, and was one of the first Americans to play professional baseball in Russia. He is the author of Griftopia.