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Matt Taibbi: Well, they police the financial markets. They also make sure that all publicly traded corporations—they have to make regular disclosures, you know, every year, and they make sure that those disclosures are accurate, that you don’t have an Enron situation, for instance, where a company is reporting profits that they don’t have and hiding losses that they do have.The SEC is supposed to be the number one cop on the beat preventing all of this stuff.He contacted the National Archives, because he wanted guidance on the issue.And he only came forward publicly because he couldn’t get reassurances from the SEC that they wouldn’t take action against him for coming forward. Amy Goodman: Senator Grassley said the files include “important cases such as the investigation of [Bernard] Madoff, Goldman Sachs trading in AIG credit default swaps in 2009, financial fraud at Wells Fargo and Bank of America in 20, and insider trading investigations at Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers, [and] SAC Capital.” Matt Taibbi: Yeah, no.Over the last year, however, the center of gravity of the organization has shifted, as Omidyar and his Silicon Valley braintrust have exerted control over budgets and vacillated over the journalistic mission.Over the summer, Omidyar appointed a longtime confidante, John Temple — a former newspaper editor who previously led an Omidyar-financed civic journalism venture in Hawaii — to be the president for audience and products, putting him in a position above Eric Bates, the former Rolling Stone editor who was brought on as a First Look editorial director, who is close to Taibbi.For instance, Ellen Miller, head of the campaign finance watchdog the Sunlight Foundation — a nonprofit also heavily financed by Omidyar — met with the staff over the summer to discuss how it might dig into issues of money inteam.” Taibbi’s clashes with those at the top are likely to drive further speculation about the fate of the long-incubating project and about the journalist’s own continued involvement. Now we turn our focus to exploring next steps for the talented team that has worked to create Matt’spublication.I remain an enthusiastic supporter of the kind of independent journalism found at The Intercept and the site we were preparing to launch.
We have the dumbest, least competent White House in history.
And if they’re not doing their job, which they apparently haven’t been, you know, what results is a situation like 2008, where just corruption overwhelms the markets, and you have this explosion of, you know, a lack of confidence all around the globe. He had a variety of positions in the SEC, but most recently, he is an attorney who worked, and part of his responsibilities were to maintain the records, within the agency.
Amy Goodman: Who is the whistleblower who started to expose what was taking place? Now, when he took this new job in 2010, he discovered this policy that the SEC had been destroying all of its preliminary investigations. And he started this whole process of coming forward.
Prior to joining First Look, Taibbi made his name by gleefully skewering fat targets for Rolling Stone — most famously, he described Goldman Sachs as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity” — and he said at the time of his departure that he was lured away by the chance to lampoon the financial industry in the “simultaneously funny and satirical voice” associated with the legendary magazine Spy.
Over the succeeding months, the mission of the publication broadened to encompass political satire as well, and it brought on a number of high-profile names from the New York digital scene, including deputy editor Alex Pareene, formerly of Salon; Laura Dawn, a digital video producer who formerly worked with Moveon.org; and Edith Zimmerman, editor of therole.” Omidyar originally conceived of First Look as a network of interlinking sites run by “independent” journalists, many of whom took a similarly adversarial approach to journalism.