Smackdown! Sorkin vs Taibbi

Interesting he said/she said between Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi (Griftopia) and NYT reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin (Too Big To Fail).

First up is NYT’s Sorkin:

But upon further reporting — talking with executives at Goldman, who pointed me to other documents, and with officials in Washington, and then poring through the report, following the footnotes to the original sources and then cross-referencing them against other public records — I have come to a different and perhaps unsatisfying conclusion for those readers looking for a big scalp: Mr. Blankfein wasn’t lying.

That’s not to suggest Goldman always behaved well. There are other assertions in the subcommittee’s report that detail some pretty egregious activity by certain executives.

But after comparing the report with publicly available filings and documents, there are enough questions about the accuracy of certain parts of the Senate report to raise some red flags.

Next, Rolling Stone’s Taibbi

Now I’m bummed to see that Sorkin has written an elaborate defense of Goldman in the New York Times “Dealbook” section, arguing among other things that Lloyd Blankfein probably did not commit perjury and that the bank did not have a huge directional bet against mortgages in 2007. As evidence, Sorkin cites unsubstantiated Goldman documents and Goldman sources who claim, among other things, that the bank had $5 billion worth of long bets on MBS “in other parts of the company,” offsetting the now-notorious “Big Short.”

The Sorkin piece reads like it was written by the bank’s marketing department, which may not be an accident. In November of last year, the New York Times announced that “Dealbook” was entering into a sponsorship agreement with a variety of companies, including … Goldman, Sachs. This is from that announcement last year:

Who won the smackdown? You make the call!

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