finem respice

Less Than Desired Duplication

Submitted by ep on Mon, 05/04/2009 - 17:33
things that should not be cloned

A few entries ago, I described the rather unfortunate tale of a supposed confrontation between one of Chrysler's secured lenders and Obama "Car Czar" Steven Rattner. The response has been quite entertaining, particularly the rather uneducated histrionics emanating from those who ignored my warning to treat with something approaching academic detachment the use of the word "fascism." I took great pains to define my terms in this instance, citing no less than Welch, Griffin and Paxton in the process. Ironic, isn't it, that even given the large number of reactionary howls insisting my use of the term was some kind of karmic attack, most of which issued forth from authors with fairly developed vocabularies, no one bothered to actually map the definitions I cited against the actual political climate of the moment? It is also interesting to notice that none of these critics bothered to examine incidents outside of the present Rattner nonsense. By way of reminder, on May 2, 2009 I published this:

This (as yet unproven) yarn goes exactly like this:

Confronting the head of a non-TARP fund holding Chrysler debt and unwilling to release it for any sum less than that to which it was legally entitled without compelling cause, this country's "Car Czar" berated the manager of said fund with an outburst of prose substantially resembling this:

Who the fuck do you think you're dealing with? We'll have the IRS audit your fund. Every one of your employees. Your investors. Then we will have the Securities and Exchange Commission rip through your books looking for anything and everything and nothing we find to destroy you with.1

Several commentators, including the likes of DealBook erroneously assumed that the confrontation I referred to was merely a second description of the now famous "never happened, seriously" dispute between Steven Rattner and Perella Weinberg.

It was not.

What I failed to make clear was that, unlike the supposed experience of Tom Lauria's client, the tale of woe that has been passed to me does not have as its agent of malice the White House Press Corps, which, while certainly annoying, lacks a certain killer instinct and terror inducing reputation. Instead, the creditors to which I refer were purportedly threatened with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service. Moreover, the fund whose tale I am privy to is allegedly not the only entity that was subject to such inducements. There are, according to my source, two others.

Of course, in the present climate it would take a rather courageous witness to come forward and confirm these allegations. Let's hope that comes to pass.

No, scratch that. Let's hope that the entire thing turns out to be a fabrication. While I doubt this, it would be much easier to sleep if it were.

  1. 1. "I Can Only Hope This Proves To Be Inflammatory Nonsense," finem respice (May 2, 2009).
[Art Credit: Badgley Mischk "Olsen Twins," Photograph (February 16, 2006), Badgley Mischka Collection. Badgley-Mischka on the horror of things that should not come in pairs: "Ashley and Mary-Kate have grown up to become America’s young style icons. They have an amazing sense of fashion and individuality that intrigued us. [The twins] reflect the younger, edgier and more sensual glamour that we have incorporated in our latest fall collection."]

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