Return to that Morgenson/Story piece for this on Tim Geithner advising Andrew Cuomo to back off on his Wall Street probes:

Friendly since their days in the Clinton administration, the two met in Mr. Cuomo’s office in Lower Manhattan, steps from Wall Street and the New York Fed. According to three people briefed at the time about the meeting, Mr. Geithner expressed concern about the fragility of the financial system.
His worry, according to these people, sprang from a desire to calm markets, a goal that could be complicated by a hard-charging attorney general.


The Securities and Exchange Commission adopted a broad guideline in 2009 — distributed within the agency but never made public — to be cautious about pushing for hefty penalties from banks that had received bailout money

Read the whole thing. It’s one of the best pieces of the crisis. And it makes Sorkin’s excuse-making look that much worse.

Finally, Sorkin’s “Reality”:

The banks, the financial institutions themselves, they’re probably not going to accept a bailout the next time. And I worry that when the next domino falls…it will fall, and when it does, I’m not sure we know who’s going to be there to catch it.

Does anyone actually believe that banks won’t be demanding bailouts—and getting them—the next time they get into trouble?

Come on.


Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at