Sullivan links to this Megan McCardle response to Taibbi’s Rolling Stone piece, and calls it an “econo-smackdown” and states that she “takes an axe” to his prose. I’ve been trying to follow this stuff, and I follow Taibbi pretty closely, and since Goldman refuses to defend themselves, I figured I would read Megan’s take. So I went and read it, and the only thing I can say is that between me and Sullivan, one of us doesn’t understand what a smackdown is.
The sum total of Megan’s entire piece is the following:
a.) she compares Taibbi to Palin
b.) she concedes all the facts to Taibbi
c.) she re-iterates the already decimated Time argument that you can’t look at just one company in particular.
d.) she makes a snide remark
Think I’m kidding? Here is a snippet:
This is all technically true, and collectively nonsense. Investment trusts–aka mutual funds, now heavily regulated–were not the cause of the Great Depression. They were not even the cause of the stock market crash. They were an interesting sideshow that Galbraith included in his book because they were a vivid example of the froth. And Goldman was not the center of investment trust activity. They were one player among many whom Galbraith picked as an example, presumably because they happened to be still around and had a recognizeable name. In other words, because their activity had been less extreme, and hadn’t taken the bank down with it. Yet Taibbi turns this into a central example in the exhibit against them. Then there’s a 65-year gap in the indictment, presumably because no one has written an engaging popular book about the stock market convulsions of the 1970s.
Sure, she uses some angry words and calls him stupid, but this is far from a smackdown, because she simply does not refute anything. I’m just looking forward to Taibbi’s response.