Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Carol Loomis - Water Carrier for America's Financial Overlords

Since Robert Rubin has no official biography, I looked for interviews or magazine artcles about his rise. A writer popped up with two puff pieces that fluff Mr. Rubin as well as shield him from any criticism for his role in the grand scheme of our financial crisis. Looking at the author, Carol Loomis, it appears that she has been a huge outlet for Mr. Warren Buffett. Her puff pieces on Rubin are here and here. Here she is the vehicle for Warren to explain why he's giving all his money to charity. This woman is a PR operator for the extremely powrful and rich.

Ms. Loomis was an editor-at-large for Fortune, was the reporter closest to Buffett and even prepared Berkshire's annual reports. Herpuff pieces on Rubin allow him to absolve himself from any wrongdoing at Citi, while simultaneously avoiding bringing up how he was given the job at Citigroup after forcing through Glass-Steagall which Mr. Weill lobbied millions to get passed to build Citigroup. Here is her description of his job at Citi in 2003:

But his contract, though splendidly lucrative, largely insulates him from executive peril by specifically sparing him line responsibilities. Instead, his beat is "strategic managerial and operational matters." The risk assessment on all that: If the world blows up, and tries to take Citi with it, fixing the mess won't be Rubin's job.

This is a sinecure. It also might be a post that would keep Citi in touch with the goings on in DC as far as regulatory moves. Why is he getting this job if it doesn't involve responsibility and has no risk? It's a payoff for his work as Treasury Secretary during the '90s. Her fluff piece doesn't explore that. Her whole goal is to spotlight just how awesome Robert Rubin is. That is her job with Rubin and Buffett. You are not supposed to begrudge them for their wealth, in fact Buffet wants to be taxed more and give away all his wealth to charity. Didn't you read that interview with the nice lady who set up my company's annual reports?

Loomis has done her part in building up the Buffett myth. It is a shame she would not use her access and voice to explain how Rubin received what are in effect payoffs for his work in the USG. She could ask Buffett why his investments now seem to only be in government backed entities or companies that seem to get a quasi-monopoly due to government interference (Burlington Northern transports oil instead of pipelines Obama keeps blocking). This is a financial example of access journalism. This is the danger of corporatism. This is a human face showing how the media is compromised by financiers.

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