Exclusive - Matt Taibbi Extended Interview Pt. 2

  • Aired:  04/07/14
  •  | Views: 66,388

Author Matt Taibbi discusses the hypocrisy of a judicial system that grants criminals at the top of the pyramid bailouts while giving other wrongdoers jail time. (7:37)

>> Jon: WE'RE TALKING TO MATTTAIBBI THE AUTHOR OF DIVIDE.

AMERICAN INJUSTICE IN THE AGE OFTHE WEALTH GAP.

WHENEVER YOU GET IN ACONVERSATION WITH INDIVIDUALS

WHO ARE A PART OF THIS SYSTEM ORWHO DEFEND THIS SYSTEM THEY

ARE VERY ANNOYED AT WHAT THEYCONSIDER TO BE DEMAGOGUERY OR

POPULOUS ANGER, SURE COME AFTERWITH US WITH PITCH FORKS YOU

DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT ISGOING TO HAPPEN TO US.

BUT WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TOLAY OUT FOR THEM THAT INEQUALITY

AND HAVE THAT PERMEATE AT LEASTTHE CULTURE OF THESE TYPES OF

PLACES?

BECAUSE NOBODY IS SAYING WE WANTTO END BANKS.

>> RIGHT.

>> Jon: WE WANT TO, I THINK,READDRESS SOME OF THE MORE

GLARING INEQUALITIES ANDINJUSTICES IN THAT SYSTEM?

>> THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT IT IS.

WE WANT TO TAKE A FEW BAD ACTORSWHO ARE AT THESE BANKS AND IF

THEY ARE CRIMINALLY RESPONSIBLEWE WANT TO BE ABLE TO PROCEED

WITH PROSECUTIONS AGAINST THEM.

NOBODY IS SAYING WE WANT TO WIPEOUT EVERYTHING.

THAT IS NOT THE OBJECTIVE HERE.

WHAT THE PROBLEM IS THAT THEYCOME UP WITH A LOT OF EXCUSES

THAT SOUND LIKE THEY ARELOGICAL.

LOOK, IF WE PROSECUTE THISCOMPANY IT'S STOCK PRICE IS

GOING TO GO DOWN.

EVERYBODY IS GOING TO GET HURT.

WE CAN'T DO THAT.

IT'S HARD TO GATHEREVIDENCE.

THEY HAVE GREAT LAWYERS.

IT WILL TAKE TEN YEARS TO GET ACONVICTION.

ALL OF THESE THINGS SOUND LIKETHEY MAKE A LOT OF SENSE.

BUT THEY ARE FORGETTING THATWHILE THEY ARE DECIDING THIS

PERSON IS NOT THE RIGHT PERSONTO GO AFTER THEY ARE ALSO MAKING

THE DECISION THAT THESE PEOPLEARE THE RIGHT PEOPLE TO GO

AFTER. DO YOU KNOW WHAT I'MSAYING?

>> Jon: BUT ISN'T A LOT OF ITBASED ON COMPLEXITY?

>> YES.

>> Jon: BECAUSE THESENSE THAT I GET FROM IT IS

THIS, EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS AKID WITH A JOINT IN HIS POCKET.

NOW IF THAT KID SAID THIS ISN'TA JOINT THIS IS A DERIVATIVE OF

A JOINT. IT'S MERELY,I HAVE, THIS IS MERELY

A PIECE OF PAPER THAT SAYS IHAVE THE RIGHTS TO --

I'M SHORTING MARIJUANA.

>> RIGHT.

>> Jon: I'M NOT EVEN GOING TOSMOKE THIS.

AND SUDDENLY NOW EVERYBODY ISCONFUSED AND WE CAN'T TOUCH

THIS KID, THE WHOLE POT SYSTEMCOULD GO DOWN.

>> YEAH THE COPS ARE LIKE, IT'SA DERIVE --

>> Jon: ISN'T THE COMPLEXITY OF

SYSTEM IN SOME WAYS BUILT IN TOMAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT?

>> ABSOLUTELY.

IT'S A HUGE PROBLEM WITH A LOTOF THESE OFFENSES.

IT'S VERY, VERY HARD TO EDUCATEJURIES ON WHAT IS GOING ON.

I WAS AT A TRIAL INVOLVING THEBID RIGGING OF MUNICIPAL BONDS.

YOU ARE ALREADY ASLEEP.

>> Jon: NOT AT ALL.

I'M WAITING TO HEARABOUT THE MOVIE.

THE MUNICIPAL BOND BID RIGGINGMOVIE.

[LAUGHTER]>> IN THE OPENING STATEMENT ONE

OF LAWYERS FOR THE --ESSENTIALLY FOR THE BANKS HE GOT

UP AND HE WAS LIKE -- HE DIDN'TEVEN TRY TO DISPUTE THE FACTS OF

THE CASE. BASICALLY WHAT HE SAIDWAS,

LOOK, IF YOU ARE HOMEAND YOUR WASHING MACHINE BREAKS

YOU HAVE TO CALL A REPAIR MANAND HE TELLS YOU WHAT THE PRICE

IS BECAUSE HE KNOWS HOW MUCH ITCOSTS AND YOU DON'T.

THAT'S THE WAY IT IS.

THIS IS THE SAME THING.

>> Jon: THAT'S AWESOME.

>>THIS IS THE SAME THING. WE'RETELLING YOU HOW MUCH IT COSTS

FOR US TO SERVICE YOUR MUNICIPALBOND REVENUE AND YOU DON'T KNOW

HOW MUCH IT COSTS SO THAT'S THEWAY IT IS.

>> Jon: SO THAT'S NOT FRAUD.

>> THAT'S NOT FRAUD.

>> Jon: THAT'S YOUR IGNORANCE.

>> THAT'S YOUR IGNORANCE. YOUDON'T GET IT.

WE GET IT SO THEREFORE WE GET TODICTATE THE PRICE TO YOU SO WHY

ARE WE HERE.

AND THAT WAS BASICALLY THEARGUMENT AT TRIAL.

IT'S A POWERFUL ARGUMENTACTUALLY BECAUSE PEOPLE -- YOU

HAVE TO DO A LOT OF WORK TOUNDERSTAND IT.

>> Jon: THAT IS CORRECT.

>> IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DOTHE WORK IT'S HARD NOT TO TAKE

THEIR WORD FOR IT THAT THEY KNOWWHAT THEY ARE DOING AND THEY ARE

GIVING YOU THE APPROPRIATEPRICE.

>> Jon: I ALSO THINK THERE'S ACERTAIN AMOUNT OF REGULATORY

ABDICATION THAT OCCURS FOR MANYDIFFERENT REASONS WHETHER IT BE

THAT THE REGULATORS BECAUSE THEYARE NOT PAID ANYWHERE NEAR WHAT

THE INDUSTRY THAT THEY CAN GOINTO WHEN THEY LEAVE REGULATION

ARE PAID.

IT'S A ONE-WAY REVOLVING DOOR ORIF IT'S JUST SO COMPLEX THAT

IT'S DIFFICULT OR WE'VE SO MADETHE MARGINS OF CRIMINALITY SO

DIFFICULT.

BUT IN THE OBVIOUS CASES, BRINGSUS BACK TO HSBC WHERE THEY ADMIT

WRONG DOING THAT'S THE ONE THATREALLY STICKS IN YOUR CRAW.

>>NO IT'S AMAZING.

WHAT GETS ME ABOUT THE HSBCCASE, I CAN SEE ALL OF THESE

EXCUSES.

IT WOULD HAVE BEEN TOO HARD TOGO TO TRIAL.

WE DIDN'T HAVE THE EVIDENCE.

WE DIDN'T HAVE THE WITNESSES.

IT WOULD HAVE TAKEN FOREVER.

WE WOULD HAVE HAD TO DRUG PEOPLEFROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> BUT ULTIMATELY THEY ADMITTEDIT.

THEY DID IT AND IF YOU HAVE AMALEFACTOR WHO'S ADMITTING TO

LAUNDERING $850 MILLION FOR THEMEXICAN DRUG CARTEL AND HE IS

NOT GOING TO JAIL YOU SHOULD BEASHAMED IF YOU ARE A PROSECUTOR.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

SHOCKING.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>> YOU SHOULDN'T COME OUT AND

HOLD A PRESS CONFERENCE AND BELIKE WE GOT $1.9 BILLION OUT OF

HSBC LIKE SWEET.

>> Jon: NAILED IT.

>> WE NAILED THAT THING.

WE SHOULD BE LIKE I'M SO SORRYWE DIDN'T GET THESE GUYS.

THAT'S THE PROBLEM.

THEY THINK ALL THESE SETTLEMENTSTHAT YOU ARE HEARING ABOUT,

CHASE $13 BILLION, YOU KNOW,$1.9 FOR HSBC, UBS HAS ANOTHER

$1 PLUS BILLION SETTLEMENT FORTHE BIGGEST SCANDAL IN THE

HISTORY OF THE WORLD OF FINANCEBUT NOBODY IS DOING TIME AND

THEY ARE NOTEMBARRASSED ABOUT IT.

THAT'S THE THING THAT REALLYUPSETTING.

CAN YOU IMAGINE ELLIOT SPITZERGETTING UP THERE AND PROUDLY

SAYING, YOU KNOW, I GOT A FINEOUT OF THESE GUYS. HE WOULDN'T

BE HAPPY UNLESS THESE DUDES WEREBREAKING ROCKS BEHIND A WALL.

>> Jon: THE PROBLEM IS THERE'SSO MANY OTHER THINGS I HAVE TO

IMAGINE HIM DOING BEFORE I GETTO THAT --

[LAUGHTER]BUT IT BRINGS UP WHAT I THINK IS

AGAIN THE CORE HYPOCRISY.

IF YOU REMEMBER DURING THESUBPRIME DERIVATIVE SCANDAL AND

THEY BAILED IT OUT AT THE TOPEND, AT THE APEX OF THE SCANDAL,

AT THE INSURANCE, AIG AND ALLTHOSE GUYS.

AND THE QUESTION WAS WHY DON'TTHEY MAKE THESE HOMEOWNERS

WHOLE THAT HAVEGONE UNDER WATER.

THE REASONING I THINK WAS MORALHAZARD.

>> OH, YEAH.

>> Jon: THESE HOMEOWNERS MADEA MISTAKE BY TAKING ON MORE DEBT

THAN THEY COULD HANDLE.

>> RIGHT.

>> Jon: OR TOOK ON THE RIGHTAMOUNT OF DEBT BUT DIDN'T

REALIZE THAT THE VALUE OF THEIRHOUSE WOULD GO DOWN SO LOW.

YOU CAN'T MAKE THEM WHOLEBECAUSE THAT SENDS THE WRONG

MESSAGE TO THEM OF MORAL HAZARD.

>> RIGHT.

>> Jon: BUT FOR SOME REASONMOLAL HAZARD AS AN ARGUMENT

DISINTEGRATES AT THE UPPERECHELON.

>> YOU ACTUALLY HEARD IT FROMTHE PEOPLE WHO GOT BAILOUTS.

CHARLIE MUNGER HE WAS ONE OF THEBIG --

>> Jon: CHARLIE MUNGER OF THEMUNGERS.

[LAUGHTER]>> HE'S LIKE WARREN BUFFETT'S --

THEY ARE AT BERKSHIRE HATHAWAYTOGETHER. CHARLIE MUNGER HAD A

VERY FAMOUS QUOTE ABOUTPEOPLE WHO WANTED HELP

TO GET OUT FORECLOSURE. "SUCKIT IN AND COPE." THAT WAS HIS

QUOTE ABOUT THE WHOLE THING. YOUKNOW, YOU TOOK OUT TOO MUCH OF A

MORTGAGE, THAT'S YOUR FAULT. YOUSHOULD DEAL WITH IT.

YOU SHOULDN'T BE LOOKING FOR AHANDOUT AND BY THE WAY WE TOOK A

GA ZILLION DOLLARS FOR WELLSFARGO OR WHATEVER IT WAS. AND

THEY LITERALLY DO NOT SEE THATTHERE'S A PROBLEM.

>> Jon: THAT THE THING THATBLOWS MY MIND. WOW.

IT'S WONDERFUL TO SEE IT. ICAN'T WAIT TO SEE ALL THE

TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE THINGS THEYARE GOING TO SAY ABOUT YOU.

[ LAUGHTER ]BECAUSE THEY WILL.

[ LAUGHTER ]THE DIVIDE IS ON THE BOOKSHELVES

NOW.

GET AHOLD OF IT.

MATT TAIBBI.

THANKS.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

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