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September 13, 2009

Washington Post Publishes More Information About Exciting Alternate Universe

Lots of banks had to get a bailout from the federal government. But you know who didn't? The ultra-smart guys at BlackRock investment management, that's who. Here, let the Washington Post explain it to you:

Before the financial crisis, BlackRock's chairman Laurence Fink would speak with federal officials at most a few times a month, for instance when they called him in New York for information about mortgage markets or pensions funds or other areas in which his company was active. But now, as the chief executive of the nation's largest asset manager, Fink says he talks to officials at least once a day. He plans to open an office in Washington by next year to influence policy and has hired the lobbying powerhouse of Quinn Gillespie & Associates...

Treasury and Fed have tapped Fink's expertise. BlackRock emerged as one of their principal advisers as the agencies bailed out major companies and tried to put a price on their toxic assets. BlackRock is also managing tens of billions of dollars worth of AIG assets for the government. In August, officials selected the company to help arrange the purchase, partly using taxpayer money, of toxic assets from banks.

"We made ourselves available on issues that many people don't understand," Fink said.

Although BlackRock, which avoided the plague of toxic assets, has turned to Washington by choice, some firms have been forced to Washington.

Impressive! Impressive work there by BlackRock! Let's stroll over to BlackRock's own website, so we can find out who owns them and extend our congratulations:

Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation, and The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. own approximately...47.4% and 31.5% of BlackRock’s capital stock...


Bailout Recipients

Bank of America $45.0 billion
Bank of America, NA $6.0 billion
PNC Financial Services $7.6 billion

Oh well. There's no need for the Washington Post to report on what's going on in THIS universe. It would only upset and confuse their readers.

PREVIOUSLY: The Washington Post is great at describing a wonderful imaginary world.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at September 13, 2009 05:08 AM

Audit the Federal Reserve.... or we could ignore that and keep arguing about whatever stupid shit over-privileged American crybabies are fascinated with today.

Posted by: tim at September 13, 2009 09:33 AM

I think Tim's tactic of motivation-through-insult is working on me. I'm going to call my Senator and...


Posted by: SteveB at September 13, 2009 11:34 AM

REGULATE 2BIG2FAIL DOWN2 2LITTLE2CARE, call Pelosi @1-202-225-0100. Don't be silent, the bankers aren't.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at September 13, 2009 12:21 PM


In battering the proposal for a public option, Republicans have made effective use of estimates by the Lewin Group, a consulting concern, which said that more than 100 million people might sign up for the government-run insurance plan.

By contrast, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that 11 million to 12 million people might enroll.

Those are paragraphs 18 and 19 of the article. Paragraphs 20, 21, 22, 23 are a bit of blah blah. Paragraph 24 sez:

Many people who cite studies by the Lewin Group do not know it is a unit of Ingenix, a wholly owned subsidiary of UnitedHealth, one of the nation’s largest insurers. John F. Sheils, a vice president of the Lewin Group, said the parent company had no influence over its research.

Oh, hai! Shall we count the ways that this paragraph is ridiculous, in addition to being buried in the article? Or shall we just bang our heads against the desk.

I'm going for option two.

(Hat tip to ... er, somebody on the internets ... digby, maybe? ... for pointing out who the Lewin Group is.)

Posted by: laym at September 13, 2009 01:18 PM

How many people now take Washington Post and New York Times seriously?

I guess the number of people who only relied on these Liars is decreasing. Compared even to the last 6 years when Iraq war began.

I am sure that is the reason they are now faltering.

Has anyone done any study about the impact of Internet on these propaganda organs ?

I am glad they are well on their way to the dustbin of history.

Posted by: Ajit at September 13, 2009 02:47 PM

Great Post.


Don't have your celebration party too soon. We seem to have progressed from reporting and lying to just lying. Bertrand Russell wrote War Crimes in Vietnam using only the NY Times, and I've heard around here that IF Stone used to find gems reading it backwards too. Of course there was a lot of deception too, but if you were smart and knew how to read the Times you could get real information out of it. Whether that was ever true of the Post I'm not so sure.

Like Mark Twain said--those who don't read the newspaper are uninformed, those who do are misinformed. Now that we don't have reporters, being misinformed takes more work.

Posted by: N E at September 13, 2009 08:50 PM

A football coach I highly endear once said to me that the only facts in a newspaper are in it's sport section.

I couldn't agree more.

But speaking of quotations (from people that at least make history book footnotes), the origin of your quote is actually unknown but it is commonly attributed to Mr. Twain and Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson had this to say about newspapers "the man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."

While Mr. Twain, former journalist that he was, is DIRECTLY attributed to saying this, "Journalism is the one solitary respectable profession which honors theft & admires the thief."

Posted by: Nikolay Levin at September 14, 2009 12:47 AM