Search Results for: matt taibbi

The End of ‘Rolling Stone’ As We Know It

33-year-old editor and publisher Jann Wenner at the 1979 relaunch of 'Look' magazine, which would last only a year. (AP Photo/Suzanne Vlamis)

In the end, Jann Wenner was always going to sell Rolling Stone. The current timing is certainly unprompted and a bit of a surprise — Wenner, along with his son Gus, the president and chief operating officer of Wenner Media, announced this week the magazine is now open for bids — but there had been indications in recent years that the once groundbreaking magazine would soon be top edited by someone other than Wenner.

Wenner has passed on opportunities to sell Rolling Stone in the past, including an offer of $500 million that he turned down two decades ago. But in 2017, the timing was too good to pass up. This year is the 50th anniversary of Rolling Stone‘s founding, and not only is the occasion being marked with an HBO documentary co-directed by Alex Gibney, Knopf is publishing the first major Wenner biography this fall, written by Joe Hagan. (Full disclosure: I fact-checked the book.)

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Longreads Best of 2014: Here Are All of Our No. 1 Story Picks from This Year

All through December, we’ll be featuring Longreads’ Best of 2014. To get you ready, here’s a list of every story that was chosen as No. 1 in our weekly Top 5 email.

If you like these, you can sign up to receive our free weekly email every Friday. Read more…

The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.

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A look at Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital:

Marc Wolpow, a former Bain colleague of Romney’s, told reporters during Mitt’s first Senate run that Romney erred in trying to sell his business as good for everyone. ‘I believed he was making a mistake by framing himself as a job creator,’ said Wolpow. ‘That was not his or Bain’s or the industry’s primary objective. The objective of the LBO business is maximizing returns for investors.’ When it comes to private equity, American workers – not to mention their families and communities – simply don’t enter into the equation.

Take a typical Bain transaction involving an Indiana-based company called American Pad and Paper. Bain bought Ampad in 1992 for just $5 million, financing the rest of the deal with borrowed cash. Within three years, Ampad was paying $60 million in annual debt payments, plus an additional $7 million in management fees. A year later, Bain led Ampad to go public, cashed out about $50 million in stock for itself and its investors, charged the firm $2 million for arranging the IPO and pocketed another $5 million in “management” fees. Ampad wound up going bankrupt, and hundreds of workers lost their jobs, but Bain and Romney weren’t crying: They’d made more than $100 million on a $5 million investment.

“Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital.” — Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

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The many ways to dismantle a law: How the 2,300-page Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act has been attacked and weakened since its passage in 2010:

The fate of Dodd-Frank over the past two years is an object lesson in the government’s inability to institute even the simplest and most obvious reforms, especially if those reforms happen to clash with powerful financial interests. From the moment it was signed into law, lobbyists and lawyers have fought regulators over every line in the rulemaking process. Congressmen and presidents may be able to get a law passed once in a while – but they can no longer make sure it stays passed. You win the modern financial-regulation game by filing the most motions, attending the most hearings, giving the most money to the most politicians and, above all, by keeping at it, day after day, year after fiscal year, until stealing is legal again. ‘It’s like a scorched-earth policy,’ says Michael Greenberger, a former regulator who was heavily involved with the drafting of Dodd-Frank. ‘It requires constant combat. And it never, ever ends.’

“How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform.” — Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

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A family, convinced that homeownership was a requisite part of the American dream, ends up with a foreclosure:

We tried to short sale. A realtor named Sharon came by the condo to see the property and talk about our options. Normally a friendly and exuberant child, our two-year-old daughter Amelie was immediately suspicious of Sharon, who was actually quite kind and warm, and so naively optimistic about our short sale chances that we should have realized it wouldn’t work. When Sharon tried to sit on our sofa, Amelie pointed out that it was her sofa. Our daughter had never before looked at anyone with such contempt. We asked Amelie to be nice to our guest. Matt suggested that he and Amelie take a walk to leave me time alone to talk to Sharon and show her the condo. Instead, our daughter glared at Sharon, gripped her tiny hands on the sofa, and declared to all three of us: “This is MY HOME.”

“Housed.” — Aimee Phan, Guernica

See also: “Courts Helping Banks Screw Over Homeowners.” — Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, Nov. 10, 2010

Why Isn't Wall Street In Jail?

Why Isn’t Wall Street In Jail?