Calling all activists! Calling all activists! Matt Taibbi has a cause for you to rally around.
The progressive darling and Rolling Stone contributor said that breaking up the banks “should be the Holy Grail of activists goals” in an Ask Me Anything on Reddit Thursday.
“Again, to repeat, breaking up the banks is the big thing,” he typed to Reddit users. “That should be the Holy Grail of activist goals. Everything flows from the TBTF problem. If that can be accomplished, we're off and running.”
It’s no surprise that Taibbi is pushing for an end to TBTF -- that stands for too big to fail, by the way -- it’s been a pet peeve of his for some time. He joins a variety of other big names in finance, including famed author Michael Lewis and Britain’s Treasury Chief George Osbourne, in calling for an end to an era in which banks are so huge their collapse could bring down the economy.
But the real beauty of Taibbi’s AMA was that the readers, who hang on his every word about Wall Street and government corruption, got to see him wax poetic about what’s in his bathroom, his college days and some of the funniest behind-the-scenes moments in his career. It’s true, Taibbi’s AMA didn’t break the internet like President Obama’s, but it offered some fun tidbits, here are a few of our favorites:
Taibbi confirms that he once threw coffee at James Verini, an editor at Vanity Fair. Verini claimed that the tussle came after he said he didn’t like Taibbi’s book. Taibbi said that wasn’t the case:
“I absolutely did throw coffee at James Verini and it had nothing to do with him not liking my book. Let's leave it at that for now.”
Taibbi explains how he managed to not die while producing a subversive English-language newspaper in Russia:
“Purely by accident.”
Taibbi reveals what you can read while you’re sitting on his toilet:
“‘The Price of Power’ is always in my bathroom.”
As well as his ideal Supreme Dictator name:
In a less surprising revelation, Taibbi also shared that he liked college and pointed us to Google for more information on that topic:
“Loved Bard, wrote an article last year about it.”
Taibbi told Redditers the story of how he once met author and journalist Hunter Thompson on the phone, while he was editing an anthology of Gonzo journalism:
"I was broke and needed the job. So I called Hunter to ask him what he thought. He said, 'That's a shitty assignment.' I told him I probably agreed. He said, 'How badly do you need the money?' I said, 'Badly.' He said, 'Well, good luck, but I'm not going to help you with it. No offense.' "
And finally he told Redditers what he would be writing about if it wasn’t for Vampire Squids ruining the world and such:
“I could write 10 books about the NFL draft”
Also on HuffPost:
The Vampire Squid
Taibbi gave Goldman Sachs its perhaps longest-lasting nickname when he called the bank <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-great-american-bubble-machine-20100405">a "vampire squid" in 2010</a>.
Taibbi criticized the lack of prosecution over the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/23/matt-taibbi-wall-street-arrests-commit-crimes_n_865631.html">financial crisis for Wall Street executives in this May 2011 interview</a> with RT America.
In a <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/attorneys-general-settlement-the-next-big-bank-bailout-20111005">October 2011 <em>Rolling Stone</em> article</a>, Matt Taibbi criticized what would eventually become the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/09/foreclosure-settlement-mortgage-national_n_1264445.html">$26 billion foreclosure settlement deal</a> between Attorneys General and the nation's five biggest mortgage lenders.
In Taibbi's piece about <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/greed-and-debt-the-true-story-of-mitt-romney-and-bain-capital-20120829" target="_hplink">Romney's time at Bain</a>, he accused Romney of being a "debt creator"
Matt Taibbi took Romney and Ryan down in his <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/the-vice-presidential-debate-joe-biden-was-right-to-laugh-20121012" target="_hplink">critique of the 2012 vice presidential debates</a>.
Taibbi criticized <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/ag-eric-holder-has-no-balls-20120815" target="_hplink">Eric Holder's decision</a> not to pursue charges against Goldman Sachs last August.
'Lara Logan Sucks'
In a piece entitled "Lara Logan, You Suck," Taibbi criticized the South African journalist.