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Photo: Dale Robbins

Matt Taibbi

Journalist

Rolling Stone contributing editor Matt Taibbi won a 2008 National Magazine Award for three columns he wrote for Rolling Stone. Taibbi’s most recent article, “The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia,” focuses on the unlawful bid-rigging activities of America’s most powerful banks.

Taibbi moved to Russia in his early 20’s hoping to become a novelist. Instead, he got his first journalism job at an English language newspaper in Moscow, The Moscow Times. In addition to being a freelance reporter, Taibbi played professional baseball in Russia, professional basketball in Mongolia, and worked as an investigator in a Boston-based private detective agency. Eventually, journalism stuck. Taibbi co-edited, with Mark Ames, an English-language satire newspaper called The Exile, a free bi-weekly known for a mixture of humorous stunts and hard-nosed reporting of corruption both in Russian government and in the American aid community.

When Taibbi returned to the U.S. in 2002, he founded the Buffalo-based newspaper The Beast. He left that paper a year later to work as a columnist for the New York Press, and in 2004 he began covering politics for Rolling Stone. Since 2008, Taibbi’s focus has shifted from politics to the financial system. The author of The Great Derangement (2008) and Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History (2010), Taibbi infamously labeled Goldman Sachs “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

Taibbi graduated from Bard College in New York in 1991 and studied at Leningrad Polytechnical University in Russia.