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Wall Street's Russian-style Corruption

POSTED:

Just wanted to post an interview I did with Zachary Pontz at Vice magazine, which featured some interesting questions, including some about how our financial mess compares to Russian corruption. Thanks to Zach for sending that over.

One quick note -- at the end, I say something about Journalism school being a waste of time. I have to get out of the habit of saying that, because it isn't really true. There are a lot of things to learn in j-school, and lately, since there's so much neophyte journalism out there (due to the web and the exploding panorama of cable channels) it's become more obvious that there are a lot of people in this business who don't have professional training and maybe could have used some. That's particularly true with regard to the ethical aspects of the job. I had to learn a lot of that stuff the hard way and despite all the disparaging things I say about j-schools, the truth is that a lot of the legal mistakes I would have made early in my career were swallowed up by the fact-checking/legal review process at RS, and that I had my hand held by editors who did go to j-school for many of those years. I say this, you know, now that I think about it. I still do believe that studying medicine or finance or a foreign language is a good way into this business, but... anyway, apologies to the j-school professors of the world.

One more note: I was delighted by the tale of the woman who was arrested for talking for 16 hours in an Amtrak  quiet car. I travel on Amtrak a lot and have long believed that willful violators of quiet car protocol should be subject to the death penalty. In fact I believe each train should be outfitted with a special car full of half-starved wolverines and wild boars, into which quiet-car cell phone talkers should be thrown. I'm hoping the Supreme Court takes up this issue in the future.

Have a good weekend everybody...

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Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. He’s the author of five books and a winner of the National Magazine Award for commentary. Please direct all media requests to taibbimedia@yahoo.com.

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