by Matt Taibbi

“This incredible defense, which the attorneys for all three defendants led with, perfectly expresses the awesome arrogance of the modern-day aristocrats who run our financial services sector.  Corrupt or not, they built this financial infrastructure, and it’s producing the prices they genuinely think are fair for us–and for them.  And fair to them is the customer getting the absolute bare minimum, while they get instant millions for work they didn’t do.  Moreover–and this is the most important part–they believe they should get permanent protection from the ravages of the market, i.e., from one another’s competition.  Imagine Jack Nicholson on the witness stand, dressed in a repairman’s uniform and tool belt.  Who’s gonna fix those refrigerators?  You?  You, Lieutenant Weinberg?  You can’t handle the truth!

“That, ultimately, is what this case was about.  Capitalism is a system for determining objective value.  What these Wall Street criminals have created is an opposite system of value by fiat.  Prices are not objectively determined by collisions of price information from all over the market, but instead are collectively negotiated in secret, then dictated from above.

“‘One of the biggest lies in capitalism,’ says Eliot Spitzer, ‘is that companies like competition.  They don’t.  Nobody likes competition.'”

A long article, but well worth the read.