Analysis of Mathew Taibbi’s Article

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About this sample


Words: 832 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Jan 25, 2024

Words: 832|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Jan 25, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Rhetorical Devices Used
  2. Target Audience
  3. Works Cited

Mathew Taibbi’s article, "The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare," is an intriguing and informative news article about a white-collar crime by Mathew Taibbi. It was published in RollingStone on November 6, 2014, and it offers a third-person narration of how Alayne Fleishmann, a securities lawyer and former Chase bank employee, acted as a whistleblower by exposing the mega-corruption scandal involving JP Morgan Chase Bank's top executive officials.

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The author provides an in-depth narrative of how the white-collar crime was planned and orchestrated and how senior government officials and institutions collaborated with the culprits to keep the information from the public. Fleishmann witnessed the crime as it was being executed while working in the bank as a quality control manager and even wrote two letters to senior bank officials to inform them about the dire consequences that would ensue (Taibbi, 2014). She was willing to volunteer information as credible evidence to ensure the culprits were brought to justice. However, the Attorney General and the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) collaborated with Jamie Damion, the bank CEO, to prevent Fleishmann from disclosing the information she had about the case.

Rhetorical devices such as situational irony and metaphor have been used in the article by the author to convey a particular message to the audience. Mathew targets the general public as the audience to inform them about the true account of the biggest white-collar crime in American history. The article unfolds many insider trading activities that occurred but were kept hidden from the public.

This paper aims to analyze different elements of Mathew Taibbi’s news article.

Rhetorical Devices Used

Mathew has used different rhetorical devices to convey a particular message and evoke emotions in the minds of the targeted audience. Situational irony is evident in the article, as evidenced by the Attorney General, Eric Holder, the court system, and the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) deciding to aid in covering up the crime. These institutions were entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring justice prevailed and overseeing proper conduct of activities, but they did the exact opposite, preventing Fleishmann from disclosing crucial evidence (Taibbi, 2014).

Situational irony is also evident when the Chase bank board raised the compensation package of a man who oversaw the largest regulatory fine ever being paid by 74 percent to around $20 million (Taibbi, 2014).

The author has also used a simile in the article to compare financial products with soybeans in processed food. He states, "Like soybeans in processed food, these synthesized financial products wound up in everything" (Taibbi).

Another device used in the article is a metaphor. The author compares the loans sold by Chase bank to rotten dog meat to emphasize how bad they were. The author also uses rhetorical questions to stress a particular statement, as seen when he asks, "How bad were they" (Taibbi, 2014).

Taibbi has also used litotes in the article to emphasize how vague and flimsy the ten and a half-page "statement of facts" document issued by the bank was, rather than a detailed complaint. According to the author, the document was so short that a first-year law student could have read it in the time it would take to eat a tuna sandwich. He further points out that it was so vague that even a moderately intelligent individual could have read it and failed to realize that anyone had committed anything wrong (Taibbi, 2014).

Target Audience

The author targeted the general public as the audience to disclose important information about the mega-corruption scandal in American history. A lot of information related to this scandal was kept from the public, and the author intended to expose it based on Fleishmann's narration.

For instance, Chase Bank CEO, Jamie Damion, agreed to pay $9 billion in fines without facing trial. The Attorney General played a critical role in preventing the disclosure of JP-Morgan's dirty deeds, and the public was prevented from scrutinizing the "sweetheart deal." A significant portion of the money ($7 billion) paid by the bank as fines was not considered a penalty in its books but as a tax write-off. According to the author, this settlement put the American taxpayer on the hook for approximately a quarter of Chase's check (Taibbi, 2014).

The author aims to enlighten the general public about the difficulties in charging senior executives in giant companies who have engaged in fraudulent practices. The institutions mandated to ensure that criminals are brought to justice are the ones covering up for them.

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In conclusion, Taibbi’s article is not only enlightening but also intriguing to read about one of the biggest corruption scandals in American history. The author has made an effort to avoid financial and legal jargon to enhance understanding, as not all individuals have a background in such knowledge. Furthermore, the article is detailed and explains each and every detail. However, the article is lengthy, and the author seems to have gone off-topic by mixing in the personal details of the whistleblower, Alayne Fleishmann.

Works Cited

  1. Taibbi, M. (2014, November 14). The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare. RollingStone.
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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Analysis of Mathew Taibbi’s Article. (2024, January 24). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 13, 2024, from
“Analysis of Mathew Taibbi’s Article.” GradesFixer, 24 Jan. 2024,
Analysis of Mathew Taibbi’s Article. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 13 Jul. 2024].
Analysis of Mathew Taibbi’s Article [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jan 24 [cited 2024 Jul 13]. Available from:
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