News This Week In America – Transcript: “America This Week” Podcast Walter Kirn and Matt Taibbi discuss Orwell, Scorsese and the inner life of banks.
There was a big change in the news this week, as eight decades of US-Saudi cooperation was threatened by the dispute over production cuts by the OPEC+ alliance. We can start talking about it
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, but he had reason to start with seemingly trivial topics. To listen to the entire program, click here. Other fields:
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Walter Kirn: The first story that caught my interest was this PayPal hoax, where they announced a new policy that would allow them to pay you or take $2500 from your account if you’re caught spreading “misinformation.” They quickly turned to it. It was like it was shining in the park, he quickly opened his raincoat to show you the damage, then closed it again and said he didn’t want it.
There was also Kanye West, who had a week to speak. He was on Tucker Carlson. He was on Twitter. He was making noise. And one of his comments apparently caused JP Morgan Chase to close his account. And what a heck of a bill. Now, you know, you fined Alex Jones a billion dollars for defamation of Sandy Hook. You also had issues
Reported on the latest trends in internal commerce with our government officials. None of them seem to be closed and none of them are closing their E*TRADE accounts. So this financial analysis, or the financial engineering of ideas and social policy, seems to be the meta-story of the week.
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Matt Taibbi: My level of knowledge about Kanye West is zero. Was she married to a Kardashian or something?
Matt Taibbi: But then he gets bailed out by JP Morgan Chase. And that’s when I started paying attention, because I was covering this issue. Chase has a remarkable history of not solving real problems for customers. In fact, they were indicted and fined about half a billion dollars, if I remember correctly [
They were fined $1.7 billion by the Department of Justice and $461 million by FinCEN] for not removing Bernie Madoff as a client when they knew he was a problem. The interesting part of this story is that when Chase realized something was wrong, they didn’t tell the world. They didn’t let him in as a client. They just took their money out of Bernie and BLM Enterprises, which was Bernie Madoff’s fund. You have a social conscience!
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Matt Taibbi: Chase has a history behind Madoff, of financial fraud, meaning they didn’t really show where their investment money was coming from, which is an industry problem. They also have a history of racial discrimination. They had to pay a significant fine a few years ago because of housing discrimination, where they were accused of charging black and Hispanic mortgages more than white customers. And then they turn around and say they’re so shocked, so shocked, by Kanye West’s behavior, that they’re going to cancel his banking services. This is troubling me for many reasons. First, because you wonder if my services are in the hands of some office in the bank, who controls what I do in my private life? Hypocrisy again.
Walter Kirn: Well, hypocrisy is now the way, not that, it seems to me. This whole bank withdrawal, in my recent memory, started with the Canadian truckers’ protest, when Canada began to withdraw various supporters of the protest from their accounts. The boy’s MyPillow account was closed because of his support for Trump and his “rejection of the election.” Now we have Kanye West, whose biggest sin seems to be an outspoken Christian and evangelical, about supporting Trump. He made several anti-Semitic statements that had nothing of the kind that Louis Farrakhan built a career on. I recommend that Kanye find where Farrakhan banks and move his accounts there. The concept of banks as quality enforcers is relatively new.
These are historical facts. They have always been places where all the money is mixed, whether from war, drugs, plastic manufacturers or something else. They were not sure about it and reserved the right to be. But now there are soldiers. I don’t know if it was as frustrating for the average person as dealing with PayPal. All of a sudden, if you’re American now and you use Venmo, which is PayPal, or PayPal, you have your bank account linked to that app, to that service. And the idea that they could easily get there – even if they decided at the last minute not to, I think it was a wake-up call. I’m not saying we’re all Kanye now, but they’ve shown their power.
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All these aspects of financial analysis seem to exist on a macro and micro level at the same time. Yesterday, I started losing hundreds of Twitter followers, as do many people who use the service.
Walter Kirn @walterkirn Drop 600 followers in a few hours. I’m going to a thousand. 23:08 ∙ October 13, 2022 369 likes 18 retweets
Walter Kirn: In a small way, we were warned that the algorithms are in control, and in a big way, we see that the flow of money is also in the direction of ethical judges, during the interview, as it were. So last week we entered a new era of honest social engineering.
America This Week, September 25 October 1
Matt Taibbi: I loved the book. And the movie was good. I liked it. The important satirical observation, that they are in public, can be compared to the private life of mere spread, bloodshed and disposal of corpses. There was no difference. The list has not changed. He didn’t go from worrying about having an office business card to suddenly going into hacking mode, like I chainsaw a whore in my house. The same person was in both places. That portrait of a finance person who was worried about how many abs he had, how well he had a haircut and how much money he had, that this person was a private monster had a head, but now they were putting it together. . It is
Walter Kirn: Their statue down on Wall Street shows a raging bull being tamed, right? And then it’s going to change to, I don’t know, some kind of resurrected apostle, or saint, or it’s going to be an anti-racism slogan or something.
Walter Kirn: I want to move from the cash flow issue to the fuel flow issue. They are somehow on the same page. And this last one that Biden gave to Saudi Arabia, which Saudi Arabia openly ignored, was an eye opener.
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I don’t know what gives Saudi Arabia the courage to take this step against us. The custom we gave them in exchange for their oil was security. A weapon. Either they don’t need them now, or we have given them all to Ukraine, so there is nothing to give them. I have no idea. But they seem ready to go their separate ways on more than just oil terms, but perhaps security terms as well. And now we want something from them, and they don’t want to give it to us. If this was a Scorsese film, we would expect a plot like this, where the criminals of the world don’t want to be disrespected.
Where Robert De Niro learns that Joe Pesci has been beaten. He is on the phone. Saudi Arabia is on the phone telling us, “Yes. It failed. There was nothing he could do about it.”
Matt Taibbi: The weakness of our response to the Saudis is more alarming than anything else. We’re at a point in American history where we can’t afford bigfoot
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? With all our other qualities in America, the one thing I thought we could count on was the biggest dog in the house, the ability to push people around. Now I’m not sure we can do it.
Walter Kirn: Speaking of Scorsese’s filter of American history, Trump was America’s boss. The truth was Scorsese’s attitude was, “We’re the big dog.” Let’s do it like a big dog. Let’s use our sticks. Let’s talk
And he carried a big stick”. He seemed to have traveled America as a casino boss and he wasn’t shy when he announced that Gang America ruled the streets and would do whatever it took to keep it that way. Now we had a bit of self-love and kindness that rejected the idea of America as a thug with a stick. What replaced that was America as angry, fake, has juvenile manners.
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It is hard to think that we accept this because we are afraid or ashamed. That’s because we probably can’t
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