Latest on the Rock Band wagon: The Who

The Who are going to do a Rock Band videogame next year, Industry Gamers reports. Roger Daltrey apparently let the cat out of the bag in this Springfield (Mass.) Republican interview, in which he was asked about The Beatles: Rock Band and said:

"The game, yeah, yeah, they're going to be doing a Who one next year. There is one planned. [The idea] is fabulous. Anything that gets non-musical people interested in music is wonderful. In my opinion, music is our last true great freedom. They can burn our books, they can burn our paintings, but they can't stop us singing and making music."

Unless they burn our game consoles.

No wonder Daltrey's enthusiastic. The Beatles' Rock Band version has overtaken Guitar Hero in U.S. sales.

We already knew that Bono was putting his poverty crusade on hold so he can lust after getting U2 its own Rock Band. But that's not a done deal.

Bono probably needs to close that deal, because U2 is basically employing deficit spending to stage its obscenely expensive and lavish tour. Just before its Sunday stop at the Rose Bowl, U2 had played in front of 3 million people and had grossed $300 million — and have barely recovered startup costs. Absurdest excess: a 170-ton, $40 million, four-pronged stage.

Goldman racks up record profit

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Goldman Sachs is setting records, but it's a broken record: The Street's big daddy has "reached all-time highs" in revenue "less than a year after the firm took $10 billion in U.S. rescue funds," as Bloomberg puts it.

That's the real news — or it is for people with short memories: See "The bank that shagged us: Bailout recipient Goldman Sachs now rakes in record sacks of gold," May 6. But the news that's going to piss off people and lead to a lot of bloviating by pols is the totally expected development that Goldman's execs are putting aside a record amount for their own bonuses and pay:

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. set aside $11.4 billion for compensation and benefits in the first half of 2009, up 33 percent from a year earlier and enough to pay each employee $386,429 for the period. ...

After setting a Wall Street profit and pay record in 2007, Goldman Sachs cut compensation 46 percent last year as the financial crisis slashed revenue and the firm accepted government support. The firm repaid $10 billion to the U.S. Treasury last month, freeing itself from restrictions on year- end bonuses. Even so, a compensation bonanza at a company that received taxpayer support could stoke political anger with the U.S. economy in recession.

Time to go back and read Matt Taibbi's screed on Goldman-as-vampire-squid.

Taibbi's not the only one who's tried to kick Goldman in the tentacles. Everyone knows by now that the Obama administration is simply crawling with ex-Goldmanites ("Geithner's inner circle jerks," April 28) and that the big firm has been spending big on pols even when it supposedly was hurting ("Lobbying by Goldman Sachs soared in 2008 while its stock plummeted and it raked in bailout money," April 9)

As usual, Eliot Spitzer makes sense about the economy. If he hadn't fucked his own career, he'd be a valuable resource right now. Albany would never have blown up the way it has, if Spitzer were still governor. And unlike David Paterson, Spitzer understands Wall Street and knows how to point out schnooks.

If only Spitzer had kept his finger out of prostitutes and left it on the public pulse. Here he is talking earlier this morning on Bloomberg about public perception of Goldman's expected record haul:

"The question becomes how does this all play politically? This could be a political explosion. 'Suddenly they're back making their bonuses and we're unemployed.' And you know what? The public is right."

Files not found. See bailout system administrator.

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This web-friendly stuff is starting to wear thin. Barack Obama's minions are bent on being so transparent that...well, you can't make up this shit.

The above is the actual text on FinancialStability.gov, showing that your government is a work in progress.

Financial stability is a long, long way off. That's a given. But even FinancialStability.gov isn't up yet.

The administration's main portal, whitehouse.gov, is still more about blogs and looking all 21st century widescreen than it is about providing basic info on White House activities. (Christ, even the Bush-Cheney regime provided more info.) And we know that budget director Peter Orszag is an inveterate blogger.

Over at Treasury, it's perfectly understandable that Secretary Tim Geithner's crew is a little behind in its work, but here's the problem: When Geithner and other Obama officials unveiled their Financial Stability Plan on February 10, they vowed, under the section "Stronger Conditions on Lending, Executive Compensation, and Reporting," for instance, to give detailed info to the public. Like the vow in this passage:

These firms must submit to Treasury monthly or quarterly reports on their lending by category. This report will also include a comparison to estimates of what their lending would have been in the absence of government support. For public companies, similar reports will be filed on an 8K simultaneous with the filing of their 10Q and 10K reports. All these reports will be put on the Treasury website FinancialStability.gov.

So, three weeks later we go to FinancialStability.gov and see this message at the top: "This site is coming soon."

Yes, there are links on the page to all sorts of information — which just makes the "site is coming soon" line somehow even stranger — but it's not the information we want (and that Treasury promised) about the firms that want the taxpayers' money.