|Matt Taibbi, from his RS blog|
And he knows because he's one of the few willing to do a bit of legwork to understand just how Mitt Romney became so wealthy. And he'd like you to know, too. So he was on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman (one of the very few other journalists willing to do legwork) to tell you. And it's the story of late-stage capitalism. From the interview (transcript) (original program audio):
Well, Mitt Romney is really the representative of an entire movement that’s taken over the American business world in the last couple of decades. You know, America used to be—especially the American economy was built upon this brick-and-mortar industrial economy, where we had factories, we built stuff, and we sold it here in America, and we exported it all over the world. That manufacturing economy was the foundation for our wealth and power for a couple of centuries. And then, in the '80s, we started to transform ourselves from a manufacturing economy to a financial economy. And that process, which, you know, on Wall Street we call financialization, was really led that—sort of this revolution, where instead of making products, we made transactions, we made financial products, like credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations. We created money through financial transactions rather than building products and selling them around the world. And that revolution was really led by people like Mitt Romney. And the advantage of financialization, from the point of view of the very rich and the people who run the American economy, is that it was extremely efficient at extracting wealth and kicking it upward, whereas the old manufacturing economy had the sort of negative effect of spreading around to the entire population. In the financialization revolution, you can take all of the money, and you don't have to spread it around with anybody. And Mitt Romney was kind of a symbol of that fundamental shift in our economyMatt's original article, Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital appeared in Rolling Stone. The appearance of the article raised a lot of questions, and one major piece which tried to refute it. Matt took the time to answer the criticism.