Rolling Stone political journalist Matt Taibbi has won many admirers (and plenty of enemies) with his take-no-prisoners reportage on the crooks responsible for the financial collapse. His approach is questionable it resides somewhere between the foul-mouthed gonzo journalism of Hunter S. Thompson and the rabble-rousing populism of the yellow journalism era. While Taibbi's tone can be overwrought, it's hard to find inconsistencies in his considerable research and grasp of the big picture. Plus, lines like "The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money" are pretty much the only reasonable response to the crimes perpetrated by the billionaire bankers who caused, and profited from, the crisis. Taibbi's excoriating new exposé, Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America, is a bone-chilling look at the common grifters who run the world economy, shot through with a zeal that manages to make topics like derivatives and credit default swaps almost thrilling. Whatever his methods, there's no denying his rage is righteous, and his targets deserve every lash of the tart-tongued bitching he directs their way.
Wed., Nov. 10, 6 p.m., 2010