Wall Street Flacks Have an Increasingly Murky Presence in U.S. Media


by Pam Martens and Russ Martens, Wall Street on Parade:

Yesterday, one of our readers sent us a link to an article at Real Clear Politics by Allan Golombek which makes the same error-filled assertions as those of Andrew Ross Sorkin at the New York Times: that the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act did not lead to the U.S. financial crisis of 2007-2010.

Golombek’s bio at the end of the article says only that he is “a Senior Director at the White House Writers Group.” A check at the firm’s website shows it to be an organization that freely admits to being paid by corporations and other special interests to advance their position in the media. The firm states: “Whether in a campaign or a crisis, we help our clients determine how best to define their messages for media acceptance and then disseminate those messages for maximum exposure and impact.”

There are two key problems here. Not every reader will take the time to ferret out what the White House Writers Group is all about and, more importantly, neither Golombek nor Real Clear Politics discloses who the ultimate client is behind Golombek’s message. If Golombek had disclosed in his bio that his firm was being paid by a major Wall Street bank or trade association to push this position on Glass-Steagall, would Real Clear Politics have run the article? By withholding this information, isn’t the reader left badly misinformed as to motive.

There is also the question as to exactly where the premise of this article originated. According to his LinkedIn bio, Golombek has never worked a day on Wall Street. In fact, he doesn’t even reside in the U.S. His bio says he “resides in his hometown of Toronto.”

His position sounds uncannily like that of Andrew Ross Sorkin at the New York Times and that of the JPMorgan Chase CEO, Jamie Dimon, who also has a curious camaraderie with Andrew Ross Sorkin. Dimon appeared at the 2009 book party for Sorkin’s book, Too Big to Fail, and Dimon headlined the first New York Times DealBook Conference in 2012 where he was interviewed on stage by Sorkin, who serves as the official host of the annual, money-making conference. This year’s upcoming conference on November 9 promises that corporations can “Align your brand with influential consumers, business leaders, entrepreneurs and visionaries through high-impact integrations. Host delegates at private cocktail or dinner receptions, conduct on-site polling, develop custom content, display product and amplify your sponsorship through on-site branding and extensive print, digital and social media promotion.”

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