As the Occupy Wall Street movement enters its second month — with no signs of letting up — we want to pose this question: Can you support the Occupy Wall Street movement while at the same time profit from Wall Street?
Matt Taibbi is a writer and editor at Rolling Stone Magazine and an outspoken supporter of Occupy Wall Street, and he was in Boston on Thursday addressing a very unlikely audience — the Massachusetts Society of CPA's.
So picture the scene: An audience of number crunchers from some of the state's largest accounting firms and investment houses. Then there was Matt Taibbi, the Rollling Stone writer who refers to Goldman Sachs as "a great vampire squid."
Taibbi told the accountants that addressing them felt like an acid trip flash-back, and that what the banks did that caused the subprime mortgage industry meltdown was like "selling oregano as weed."
He also talked to us about the financial crisis, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and about how he prepared his talk for the accountants. He said the frustration that ignited the Occupy movement is understandable. As he put it to Radio Boston:
People say that this is a group of people who are just jealous of the rich and who are mad because all of these people were successful. I think that's absolutely not true at all. This is America, we love winners in this country. But these guys didn't win, they cheated, and I think people understand that now. They don't always specifically know exactly how it happened, but they do know that when they got in trouble, when they lost their houses, and they got foreclosed upon, nobody came to rescue them. But when the banks got in trouble, they all got made whole again and they're all making record bonuses again and people haven't missed that.
- Matt Taibbi, editor and writer, Rolling Stone
This program aired on October 27, 2011.