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Conrad Black Granted Bail
Jul 19, 2010
Black Gets Bail. Conrad Black has been granted bail. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, over the protests of the U.S. government, has granted Conrad Black bail while his appeal is heard by the circuit court, following the Supreme Court's decision in the "honest services" case of Jeffrey Skilling.
Market Cop. Last Saturday, writing about the Goldman Sachs settlement, I mentioned in passing the remarks of the rabidly anti-capitalist U.S. Senator Carl Levin, who mischaracterized the Goldman settlement as being tantamount to a confession of guilt. The lie was standard Levin, but I must admit that the senator was fully entitled to gloat. After all, he had won. Goldman had said it would fight, and it didn’t.
And the reason that it didn’t, as I have noted earlier, is that capital is a coward. It is concerned only with its bottom line. When confronted with thugs such as the SEC and Levin, it retreats, apologizes, and begins to plot the means of making tomorrow’s profit. That is its nature. We cannot expect more of businesses—although we can and should expect far more of businessmen, if indeed there are any left.
But all of that is by the way. What I wanted to note here is that my search for further distortions by Senator Levin led me to a newspaper column that I had not previously known. It is the Washington Post column “Market Cop,” written by someone named Zach Goldfarb. The column’s rather revealing subtitle is “Corporate Crime, Wall Street Excess, and Government Watchdogs.”
Today, Goldfarb interviews and celebrates Levin’s anti-Goldman anti-capitalism and tries to push him further into advocating the criminalization of business. For example, Goldfarb the interviewer says: “But nobody's going to jail and it seems maybe nobody will even lose their [his] job as a result of all this. Do you think this is the proper amount of justice?” Levin, to do him credit, does not take the bait, and says that that is not a legisator’s judgment.
What interested me, though, is the existence of this columnist “Zach” Goldfarb, who calls himself “Market Cop.” A Google search shows that “Zach” graduated from Princeton in 2005, having served as the editor of the college newspaper. Now, think about that. In the course of human events, it is extremely likely that Market Cop Zach is a journalist in his mid-20s. On what conceivable basis of constitutional, legal, and economic knowledge does he think that he possesses the wisdom to evaluate the Goldman Sachs transaction or other such business transactions? And for what conceivable reason did the American capital’s leading newspaper give this “Zach” a column in which to express his opinion on such matters?
What we are witnessing, with Zach and his kind, is the accession to power of the post-1960s academy, from the White House on down. And that is to say that we are witnessing the accession to power of America’s first deeply anti-American elite.
Fabrice Tourre. Apparently, the case against the one person named in the SEC's Goldman suit, VP Fabrice Tourre, goes forward. And its outcome may shape perceptions of Goldman's trades. Certainly, Goldman's failure to back its VP, who does not appear to have been "off the reservation" in his trading actions, shapes perceptions of Goldman's corporate sense of morality far more than any of its Abacus deals.