May 22, 2012

Josh Marshall says Cory Booker did not make a gaffe.



Is Booker in this for himself? Are media folk like David Gregory actually conservative when it comes to financial matters?

ADDED: Chris Matthews accuses Booker of "sabotage" and "betrayal."

AND: Ana Marie Cox endorses Obama's "vampire" metaphor:
[I]t's pretty accurate: private equity firms exist to squeeze liquidity out of companies, then syphon off that profit to investors. The metaphor works on a deeper level as well. Just as with vampires, Americans are morbidly fascinated by hyperbolic success. We have an uneasy relationship with late, post-bailout capitalism: it's sexy, it's parasitical, it's dangerous, it's the product of unseen forces, it carries the promise of immortality at the cost of one's soul.
 Let's remember Booker's word: nauseating.  That appeal to emotion and unreason — seen vividly in Cox — is nauseating.

38 comments:

Original Mike said...

"Is Booker in this for himself?"

Few seem to entertain the possibilty that he's in it "for the country." Demonizing capital is a wet blanket on the economy.

gerry said...

Is Booker in this for himself?

Well, duh.

A little backtracking here and there, but he's now an independent thinker who can be the next governor of New Jersey if Gov. Christie becomes a pariah, eh?

Expat(ish) said...

One thing is clear - most of the people talking about how P/E firms work ... don't know how P/E firms work.

Ann Marie Cox is clearly in that category - "Of course, I can talk that way about private equity firms because I don't have to work with anyone involved in private equity firms. "

Right, thanks.

-XC

dbp said...

I think Cory Booker is actually trying to help Obama.

The anti-capitalist left is large, but not large enough to get Obama across the finish like ahead of Romney.

Boneheaded attacks on the free market system may appeal to every instinct in Obama and those who advise him, but they are not a good idea.

Jay said...

What exactly, would Ann Marie Cox know about private equity?

Matthew Sablan said...

So do companies Bain invest in -become- private equity firms?

Jason said...

That can't be Ana Marie Cox. There's no reference to anal sex.

Scott said...

Marshall's view -- that Booker's defense of Bain Capital is entirely a calculation intended to ingratiate himself with local political interests -- is an incredibly cynical one. Has it occurred to Marshall that Booker might actually believe in what he's saying?

Booker is unusually clean for a New Jersey politician. He actually has some integrity. He's worth giving the benefit of the doubt.

Michael K said...

Cox and Matthews get no closer to P/E firms than their own pension . "Don't try to tell me how it works. Just make sure the checks come on time."

Booker was pretty smart. The Democrats used to have people who understood economics and business. They have largely disappeared from the ranks since Clinton but even he was stymied by his base until the Republicans took Congress in 1994.

CatherineM said...

Booker is smart. He realizes you demonize private equity, you demonize the investments made by state and local pensions which he knows Bain and firms have been very profitable for the unions, pensions and foundations.

Bottom line, anyone, like Cox, who things PE or VC is about destroying a company and then somehow making a profit is a moron. A moron.

traditionalguy said...

The power play of Obama and His Media is going into warp speed.

Socialism Good...Capitalism Bad!

Capitalism coldly has winners and has losers, but that quickly makes everybody richer and makes jobs everywhere.

Socialism loves its poor and enslaved peasants kept starving in the dark with unaffordable utility bills and food shortages.

Marxist tyrant Chavez in Venezuela love his peasants just like Marxist Tyrant Obama loves his. It is so simple. Steal the Rich folks money and nobody has to work again.

The election is about who loves us.

cubanbob said...

AND: Ana Marie Cox endorses Obama's "vampire" metaphor:
[I]t's pretty accurate: private equity firms exist to squeeze liquidity out of companies, then syphon off that profit to investors. The metaphor works on a deeper level as well. Just as with vampires, Americans are morbidly fascinated by hyperbolic success. We have an uneasy relationship with late, post-bailout capitalism: it's sexy, it's parasitical, it's dangerous, it's the product of unseen forces, it carries the promise of immortality at the cost of one's soul.

When the WaPo and the NYT go tits up and the receiver sells the carcass to a private equity firm then she will really get learn what squeezing liquidity means.

Does Ana Marie Cox know anything about anything other than cocks?

bgates said...

I haven't seen much mention of the fact that Booker was upset at both sides:

Stop attacking private equity, stop attacking Jeremiah Wright.

You see, he's as bothered by attacks on Republicans for their support of the free market system that has been the greatest ever driver of wealth for the world, as he is by attacks on Democrats for their support of the hateful racism that has been the greatest ever driver of wealth for prominent black Democrats.

damikesc said...

Ana Marie Cox endorses Obama's "vampire" metaphor:

Yes, I often wonder what a woman whose claim to fame was blowjob jokes involving politicians thinks about economics. Really. Few things fascinate me more.

It is impressive that she uses her abject ignorance as a JUSTIFICATION for her beliefs. Most people would shy away from that, but Cox didn't make her name being intelligent.

And when will Chris Matthews sit up and realize just how much of a buffoon he has made himself over the last 5 years? He went from obnoxious joke to simply being a pathetic clown.

n.n said...

Private equity serves the purpose of "reduce, reuse, and recycle." It is an integral part of the economy, which promotes efficient transition of material and capital resources, and human resources as applicable. It mimics several natural phenomenon, and is a quite natural and indispensable element of the system. As it is itself subject to the internal order, it is most effective when not part of a monopoly, especially one with authority.

Ironically, people who exhibit a preference for evolution (i.e. article of faith), also reject its inconvenient underlying principles (i.e. natural order). Perhaps that's why so many people elect a central order in lieu of a market model. Well, no one claimed -- nor should claim -- that liberty or preserving individual dignity would be easy in a world with finitely accessible resources and a market composed of over 6 billion competing interests.

Icepick said...

Okay, Obama wants to take credit for the bailouts of the auto-companies and the banks. How many people at those companies lost jobs after the infusion of government cash? How many people have lost jobs after Solyndra and related companies took government money? Perhaps Romney should switch the metric the Administration uses: jobs SAVED or created....

If Romney is supposed to take a hit for people losing their jobs after Bain got involved with them, why shouldn't barry Soetoro take the hit for people losing jobs at companies he threw money at? (The big difference, of course, is that Bain was on the hook for the money they spent - Barry just goes back to the Treasury department for more cash when some campaign contributor wants more money.)

Icepick said...

Just as with vampires, Americans are morbidly fascinated by hyperbolic success.

What the fuck is that supposed to mean?

Let me try a sentence out:

"Americans are morbidly fascinated by the hyperbolic success of vampires."

Yeah, that makes sense. Someone needs to tell her that vampires are not having hyperbolic success because vampires are NOT REAL. Stories and movies about vampires are doing okay but that is not the same thing.

Mitchell said...

Barack Obama: Vampire Hunter

John Burgess said...

But, but...

Contemporary vampires sparkle!. They're not threatening protectors! They protect (and knock up) the dim!

Being a vampire is good!!

Sigivald said...

Truly, Ana Marie Cox is awesomely qualified to talk about economics without any partisan influence, right?

Okay, nope, failed the straight face test. She's not even competent to talk about politics.

But, hey, it's the Guardian.

Revenant said...

Extending Cox's metaphor, employees are vampires -- they exist to siphon off their employers' money for themselves.

Icepick said...

Contemporary vampires sparkle!

I'm gettin' old. I remember when vampires were more butch.

Blue@9 said...

I knew Cox was an ignorant buffoon, but goddamn is she a terrible writer.

Sigivald said...

n.n. said: Ironically, people who exhibit a preference for evolution (i.e. article of faith), also reject its inconvenient underlying principles (i.e. natural order).

I don't. But then, I think evolutionary speciation is not much of an "article of faith" - more by far the most parsimonious explanation for a vast array of data.

I mean, I know what you mean - plenty of people spew on about evolution without knowing anything about it and honestly only using it as a status marker for being anti-religion or as a pretense of unearned intellectual credibility.

But that view is not inherent to accepting evolution - as is shown by the Catholic Church having accepted evolution as not contradicting the Faith (evolution of everything except the ensouled nature of human beings - and including humans in their animal being).

(Full disclosure: I'm an atheist. But not the kind who thinks not being one makes someone a fool.)

AprilApple said...

Cox wants to have sex with capitalism. But then she'll feel all dirty afterwards.

X said...

Good Lord Ana Marie. It's staring you in the face. Bain Capital was fucking these companies in the ass. Go with what you know.

AJ Lynch said...

Ann Marie Cox does not understand that profitable companies generate the most liquidity aka value to its owners. Failing companies not so much.

Alex said...

For all you people bashing Ana Marie Cox - what are your qualifications to discuss economics?

damikesc said...

For all you people bashing Ana Marie Cox - what are your qualifications to discuss economics?

One need not have a PhD in biology to recognize that "Evolution is a myth" is a laughable belief.

Geoff Matthews said...

The Media are only conservative when it comes to their money.

Blue@9 said...

Poor Cory Booker. He's finding out just how nasty are the angry minions of the Left. Get ready to hear all about Booker's dirty laundry as the Left goes nuts on him.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quayle said...

Private equity firms exist to squeeze liquidity out of companies, then syphon off that profit to investors.

Cox spews the babelling of a complete dunce.

(How 'reporters' or 'journalists' or history majors think they know or can easily ascertain the complexities of any and all other disciplines is beyond me.)

The reasons PE firms exist are several and varied.

One is to reap the efficiencies to be had by taking a public company private, thus shedding the costs and burdens attendant to publicly held and traded equity.

One is to gain thh efficiencies of a unified board.

One is to free up cash locked in the company that the management team has no incentive to return to the stockholders, and doesn't know where else to profitably invest.

And that freed up cash goes to more profitable opportunities.

And the part that these dunces like Cox utterly miss is that the market of getting control of the company - i.e. the transaction that enables the PE firm to get control - is a free market in and of itself.

Which means that other PE firms, and indeed the existing world of investors in publicly traded companies, are all free to bid up the price and get the company for more than the PE, if it is valuable in a different way than the PE envisions.

And these idiots are incapable of understanding this point.

If it were merely a matter of buying companies and sucking out the blood, the price to get control of the companies would continue to rise until it matched the same amount of blood to be gotten.

Is is almost as if these dopes don't know or understand a single thing about the invisible hand of the market.

Not one single thing.

Alex said...

The left creates this meme that there are these successful companies that all of a sudden get torn part by P/E firms for no reason, leaving thousands of families in destitution. What a lovely narrative!

Chip Ahoy said...

In the book The Vampire Lestat that Mary made me read to her, the vampire explains, in comparing himself with the neurotic self-rapprochement of Louis, [Louie] he was actually a force for good in society that he sought out active murders escaping justice. Lestat got rid of them.

The analogy fails because the vampire takes the energy to himself alone. The body is buried and not recycled.

A is A and B is B and never the twain shall meet. A=B works in math but not logic. It helps to know that all analogies have this fatal flaw so all analogies are fallacious.

A=a is false because A has a pointy top and a is shorter. They're more different than alike.

Fallacious but still useful rhetorically.

Obama campaign will rely upon a cynical understanding that their constituency is economically ignorant, and Intrade cynically agrees. Romney campaign assumes its constituency will not be bored to death with facts.

Originally I had with bald monotone uninflected unaffected hissing sibilant facts but then I thought, no, that's too many adjectives and I'd loose any remaining credibility so I took it out.

furious_a said...

Cory Booker is obviously racist.

AJ Lynch said...

It will be interesting when a private equity company has to ride to the rescue of the NY Times. The PE firm will have to sell it off piece by piece. I wonder if they even will get anything for Maureen Dowd.

Kirk Parker said...

AJL,

"I wonder if they even will get anything for Maureen Dowd"

Oh, come on! What kind of question is that? Or, if it's a real question, then ask yourself: how much would they have to pay you for you to be willing to take her?

Same with Krugman, same with... etc.

It's not like they don't have a few valuable writers there, though; the science guy comes immediately to mind (though not, somehow, his name...)