“I have concluded that the journalists who write for the New York Times’ “Deal Book” are incapable of embarrassment or introspection. I have waited in vain for Andrew Ross Sorkin to make a New Year’s resolution to make 2014 a fresh start. There are scores of Deal Book article that drive a white-collar criminologist and a (real) financial regulator to despair. I focus here on one article by Sorkin on October 14, 2013 entitled “The Bloodlust of Pundits Swirls Around Jamie Dimon” that exemplifies how much harm Deal Book does because of its pandering to the elite financial CEOs who became wealthy from the frauds that drove the crisis, its ethics-free approach to financial fraud, and its analytical ennui. Deal Book could be a national asset, but it is a net liability. This first installment discussing their “Bloodlust” article analyzes Sorkin’s use of the world “bloodlust.”
“As his title indicates, Sorkin writes to discredit “pundits” who criticize Dimon (CEO and Chairman of the Board of JPMorgan, the largest bank in America). Note that the spin begins in the title. The critics could be described as “independent experts,” but they are labelled dismissively as “pundits.” Far worse, they are supposedly driven by “bloodlust.” That compound noun has two obvious root meanings, both inappropriate and both designed to prejudice the reader against Dimon’s critics. As one reads the column it becomes clear that Sorkin presents no evidence that the critics seek Dimon’s “blood” – they think he should be fired. The column presents no evidence that the critics even want Dimon to be held accountable for JPMorgan’s epic fraud spree by being sued or prosecuted.
“Sorkin presents quotations from a single critic that he interviewed. Please read with me now that critic’s crazed tone. I know you will share my horror at the extent of the critic’s bloodlust.
“By any objective measure, Jamie Dimon should be fired. The compliance failures are egregious and systemic.”
“We can all agree with Sorkin that “bloodlust” is the only word appropriate to capture the depravity, the sheer madness of that statement made by the vile “Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets, a nonprofit Wall Street watchdog.” Please do not allow your children to read Kelleher’s shocking language lest they suffer night terrors.
Read full New Economic Perspectives blog post here