Attorney General Jerry Brown's Huffington Post piece commenting on CNBC's slant on a bank fraud case was effective enough in calling out the journalists for their shocking unprofessionalism, but still a bit too diplomatic for my taste.
Brown said in his post late Wednesday, "The tone and substance of the interview are symptomatic of the Eastern financial elite, who think that $200 million is small potatoes, and big business should be given the benefit of the doubt."
The pseudo interview by CNN's clown crew concerned an action by Brown seeking $200 million in restitution and penalties from State Street Bank for allegedly jacking up the prices on foreign currency trades made for California's two largest pension funds, CalPERS and CalSTRS.
The allegations claim the Bank added surcharges to over 45,000 transactions since 2001, resulting in a loss of $56.6 million for the funds.
Brown's, titled "Is CNBC Pimping for State Street Bank?", is a reaction to anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera's accusation that Brown is pumping up the litigation to build his credibility in running for governor.
If I were Brown my question to her would be, does she have to pop off with the most cynical angle she can think of to make herself appear to be better at her job than she really is?
Caruso-Cabrera and her co-anchor, Dennis Kneale, smirked at and belittled the merits of Brown's allegations and the $56.6 million as less than worthy of the press it is receiving.
I wonder why then CNBC requested the interview with Brown and why Caruso-Cabrera posted an entire column on the topic Wednesday on the Network's Website?
Kneale, whose mannerisms remind me of one of those frizzy haired large nosed Jim Henson Muppets, asked Brown why the pension funds should care about being ripped off because "if someone quotes you a dollar and you pay the dollar, then what do you care what they paid for it if you thought it was worth the dollar?"
The professional business journalist couldn't seem to wrap his head around the idea of a contractual obligation State Street had to execute the trades at a certain rate.
Defrauding pension funds of millions of dollars in a state that is already on its knees financially is news worthy and Brown was right in treating it as such.
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