Nobody—not even the WSJ—believes that the government has Wall Street under its thumb, much less unable to wreck the global economy again.

That government “fleecing” of banks and its demand “a top-to-bottom overhaul of foreclosure processes even after extorting more than $25 billion in payouts for exaggerated past offenses”? The Journal is referring to the foreclosure scandal, where banks ran roughshod over the courts and the law and hundreds of thousands of homeowners. That’s yet another example of how Wall Street has trampled the government, gone on a crime spree, and still come out relatively unscathed, (most of that $25 billion being phantom money).

The core problem is that the WSJ believes (or, again, says it believes) Big Lie of the Financial Crisis: that it was government, not market failures, that caused the housing bubble and collapse.

Now it’s trying out a Big Lie of the Post-Crisis: that it was the government, not Wall Street that “won” the regulatory aftermath.


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