Columbia Journalism Review
NYT’s Anti-Bond Market Piece: Did you know there’s a fight to the death going on in Europe? The Times covered it this week under the headline “Central Bank and Financiers Fight Over Fate of the Euro,” and that’s the clear theme. But CJR‘s Peterson Fellow, Felix Salmon, says that blaming speculators for anything going on in Europe is lazy and unproven.
Rattner Ratted Out: Audit Deputy Chief Ryan Chittum says The New York Times fronted an excellent story on the Steven Rattner scandal. If you wondered why Andrew Cuomo, New York’s attorney general and governor-elect, is pursuing Rattner so fervently, now you know, thanks to Louise Story and Michael Barbaro.
Unconvincing Outlier: Salmon says much of the commentary on extending unemployment insurance adds up to something reasonably clear: unemployment insurance isn’t just about fairness, it’s also extremely effective as stimulus. Any side effect that encourages people to stay unemployed is, in comparison, modest. Which is why it’s very odd to find Kelly Evans, in The Wall Street Journal, writing the exact opposite.
Sorkin Comes Around: Chittum says there was a tough column in The New York Times early this week on how the feds’ are going after the minnows and avoiding the sharks over the financial crisis. That the piece comes from Andrew Ross Sorkin, who’s about as inside as they come on Wall Street (for better or for worse), is significant.
DealBook Drumbeat: And Chittum asks: Is that the sound of a drumbeat coming out of Sorkin’s DealBook? On the heels of Sorkin’s column, a new DealBook columnist, ProPublica’s excellent Jesse Eisinger, asks where the prosecutions are.
What Crackdown?: Boy, the Obama administration’s slapdash PR effort to show it’s cracking down on financial fraud sure looks to be failing—and getting some serious blowback. Chittum says it gets even better (and by better, he means worse): Bloomberg’s Jonathan Weil comes along this week with an outstanding column further showing that the feds “crackdown” on fraud is itself bogus.
Out of Turn: In Audit Notes, Chittum points out that New York’s Lieutenant Governor, Richard Ravitch, went off the reservation in a speech, reported by Bloomberg, criticizing the state’s cash cow, Wall Street.