Punishing the Whistle Blowers
“I saw the crisis coming; why didn’t The Federal Reserve?”
–Dr. Michael Burry, 2012 UCLA Economics Dept. Commencement Address
If you read Michael Lewis’ “The Big Short,” you doubtless remember Michael Burry: the brilliant, one-eyed medical doctor/investment savant with borderline Asperger’s who predicted — and cashed in on — the looming financial and housing crashes.
What you may not have known was that, weeks after The New York Times published Burry’s 2010 Op-Ed piece criticizing the Fed, Congress, and the Administration, his by-then defunct investment funds were audited; Congress demanded his email and phone records going back to 2003; and the FBI investigated him.
According to Burry, the aforesaid harassment cost him “$1 million in legal and accounting fees, and thousands of hours of time wasted . . . all because I asked questions.”
So, there you have it: Wall Street executives who orchestrated the 2008 crash — and government officials who facilitated it — get a pass, while truth-speaking critics like Burry get the “klieg lights” treatment.
Assuming Burry’s allegations are true, I have two questions of my own: 1) exactly who sicced the government interlocutors on Burry?; and 2) isn’t that sort of retaliation illegal? (I associate it with Nixon’s enemies list and other nasty relics).