The Phaserl


The Kochtopus Strikes Out at The Big Short Movie

by Pam Martens and Russ Martens, Wall Street on Parade:

Call them astroturf organizations or neoliberal think tanks or corporate front groups – it all adds up to the same thing: big corporate bucks are engaged in a vicious propaganda war to recast the 2008 financial crash and its depression-like aftermath as the product of big government meddling rather than corporate lobbyists strong-arming deregulation of banking and Wall Street. The corporate cartel simply cannot allow mandates for tough new regulations to gain footing in Washington, otherwise the multi-decade work of the Kochtopus goes poof. (Kochtopus is short-hand for the political and front group money machine run by billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch.)

The Koctopus now has its knickers in a twist over the release of the movie, The Big Short, directed by Adam McKay and based on the bestselling book by Michael Lewis, a former Wall Street insider. Prior to his writing career, Lewis worked at the investment bank Salomon Brothers long enough to fully grasp how greed consumes anything in its path on Wall Street. (Salomon was made infamous in 1991 for rigging two-year U.S. Treasury note auctions.) The Kochtopus is further inflamed by Lewis showing up on 60 Minutes on March 30 of 2014 to promote his latest Wall Street expose, Flash Boys, revealing how hedge funds, stock exchanges and investment banks across Wall Street are rigging the U.S. stock market. None of this fits neatly with the Kochtopus mantra that free markets are perfectly able to police themselves if big government will just get out of the way.

The Kochtopus has bragged in the past about its ability to train journalists and get them on board its agenda. We’ve previously written about how that plays out in real life. Thus, we were not too stunned yesterday to see a column appearing at Newsweek, attempting to discredit The Big Short, authored by Jeffrey A. Tucker, “a distinguished fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education,” according to the brief bio at the end of the opinion piece.

In typical Kochtopus formulaic prose, Tucker writes:

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