A TPM Bailout?

November 19, 2008 12:50 p.m.

No, don’t fret, we’re not reorganizing as a bank holding company to access TARP funds. And relative to a lot of other companies our finances are holding up well. But we are considering funding our own micro-bailout … well, maybe nano-bailout, of one small sliver of the financial services industry.

What am I talking about? We’re considering hiring a business and finance reporter-blogger. As you’d probably figure, we’re not looking to gin up a TPM version of Squawk Box or have some slicked-back-haired right-winger ranting about zeroing out the capital gains tax or yelling about how undervalued the financial sector stocks are. And business and finance news wasn’t something I’d really imagined TPM getting into. But we’re already making plans to shift a lot of our TPMmuckraker.com resources to muckraking the financial collapse, the resultant bailout and all the shenanigans and self-dealing and new lobbying gambits. One of the things I most prize about TPM is that we’ve been able to stay nimble and light enough to be able to focus our resources on where the story is. And there’s no getting around the fact that this is now where the story is.

We’re not going to try to tell you which stocks to buy and, at least in our news coverage, what policies the government should be following. We’ll focus on our area of core competence: muckraking … finding where the wrong-doing is, the betrayals of public trust, particularly where business and finance intersect with government — as they are now with a mounting frequency. Hopefully we’ll also be pulling together the broader narrative that can be strewn about in a hundred different places and difficult to put together in clear view.

Now, I said above that we’re considering hiring someone. And I put it that way because when we formally advertise a job listing we’re not bluffing. We only list for a job when we’re sure we’re going to be hiring someone. In this case, we’ll still in the planning stages. (I have to think through the finances and how it fits in with the rest of what we’re setting out to do editorially this year.) But if this is an opportunity that interests you we’d like to hear from you. We’re looking for someone in all likelihood with one of two professional backgrounds. Either someone with experience in business/financial journalism or (and here’s where the bailout idea comes in) someone cast off by the rapidly downsizing financial services industry (who knows how things work) and always wanted to get into journalism and finds this a particularly auspicious moment. If you’re interested, drop us a line at talk (at) talkingpointsmemo.com, with a letter and resume and the subject line “finance blogger”.

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