Thursday Links: Goldie’s Gall, Chait Check, FSA

The Wall Street Journal reported a couple of days ago that Goldman Sachs (an Audit funder) is trying to buy tax credits from Fannie Mae to offset its profits. Take it from here, Floyd Norris:

Goldman, you may recall, was saved with taxpayer money when the panic spread last year. A naïve person might think such a company would see a patriotic virtue in paying taxes.

Fannie Mae is currently a ward of the government. So this boils down to a proposal to pay Uncle Sam perhaps 15 cents to avoid paying 20 cents to Uncle Sam. The gall involved in even proposing such a thing is awesome.

The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait fact-checks The Wall Street Journal op-ed page, which as he points out, is like shooting fish in a barrel. Which can be fun every once in a while, when in one column, for instance, “out of 1,279 words of mostly ideological blather, there are five actual facts that bear any relation to the thesis. And three of them are false.” No correction yet.

— The Journal’s David Wessel—who, let’s emphasize, is on the the news side of the paper—writes a good column on Adair Turner, head of the UK’s Financial Services Authority, who thinks less incrementally than his American counterparts. Some ideas: Finance is altogether too big, and the tax system incentivizes debt rather than equity, things that need to change.

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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 Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.