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William K Black , J.D., Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Law and Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Bill Black has testified before the Senate Agricultural Committee on the regulation of financial derivatives and House Governance Committee on the regulation of executive compensation. He was interviewed by Bill Moyers on PBS, which went viral. He gave an invited lecture at UCLA’s Hammer Institute which, when the video was posted on the web, drew so many “hits” that it crashed the UCLA server. He appeared extensively in Michael Moore’s most recent documentary: “Capitalism: A Love Story.” He was featured in the Obama campaign release discussing Senator McCain’s role in the “Keating Five.” (Bill took the notes of that meeting that led to the Senate Ethics investigation of the Keating Five. His testimony was highly critical of all five Senators’ actions.) He is a frequent guest on local, national, and international television and radio and is quoted as an expert by the national and international print media nearly every week. He was the subject of featured interviews in Newsweek, Barron’s, and Village Voice.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 DOJ Trains AUSAs to Chase Mice While Lions Roam the Campsite (1 comments)
Holder made Wagner DOJ's leader on mortgage fraud because Wagner was so willing to propagate the single most absurd, destructive, but so very useful (to the administration and the banksters) lie about mortgage fraud.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 It's Long Past Time for Krugman to Name and Shame NYT's Eurozone Reportage (1 comments)
the New York Times authoring another of its endless articles that assumes that austerity is essential to a eurozone recovery. My problems are with the NYT reporters ignoring Krugman's views -- views shared by the great bulk of economists -- and with their failure to question whether austerity is the proper response to a recession.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014 Implicitly Assuming that the CEO is Not a Crook Misses the Problem (2 comments)
Gretchen Morgenson has brought a revealing study to the attention of the public in her article entitled "The CEO is My Friend, So Back Off." Here's the bad news -- the situation is vastly worse than the authors of the study conclude and the policy advice that experts offered Morgenson in response to the findings would fail where they were most needed.
Company CEOs typically provide a thin veneer of faux ethical trappings...
Thursday, June 12, 2014 Why the Worst Get on Top -- in Economics and as CEOs (9 comments)
Von Hayek implicitly assumes that corrupt CEOs will not control and abuse any political system. Under his own logic CEOs can use the seeming legitimacy, power, and wealth of "their" corporations to serve directly as these demagogues or fund and control proxy demagogues that will serve their interests.
Thursday, June 12, 2014 Yes, Theoclassical "Economists [are] Basically Immoral" (6 comments)
The failures of theoclassical economists and economics are total and myriad. Many of their theories are long-falsified dogmas. Their methodological preference is econometrics -- which gives the worst possible results in bubbles and when accounting control fraud epidemics occur.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 The Criminology of the "Sure Thing" Portrayed as "Risk"
John Coates, a former derivatives trader at Goldman Sachs is now a researcher. He wrote a column in the New York Times entitled "The Biology of Risk" that I hope will be widely read.
Coates' description of the crisis as triggered by a biologically-induced excessive risk-aversion on the part of traders rests on a failure to understand why varieties of financial risk are vastly different.
Monday, June 9, 2014 GM's Cartoon Version of von Hayek's "Road to Serfdom" -- on the 70th Anniversary of D-Day (1 comments)
Thank God that GM warned us all, decades ago, so that we could take a hard right exit off the road to serfdom. Please repeat after me the GM mantra of freedom.
As a further act of unintentional self-parody, a libertarian blogger chose the 70th anniversary of D-Day to post GM's cartoon. The cartoon's premise is the supposed absurdity of the government being competent to plan anything.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 The Troika Continues to Harm the Eurozone and the WSJ continues to Miss the Story (3 comments)
The ECB's failure tells us something enormously important about what is wrong with the eurozone's economy and the troika's bleeding of that economy through austerity. Indeed, its failure has been growing steadily.
(Ed. Note: In Economics, Demand is defined as the desire or need for goods and services AND the ability to pay for it. Actual Demand is only the first part and exists all the time).
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 Madness Posing as Hyper-Rationality: OMB's Assault on Effective Regulation
Rather than leading the emergency, top priority effort to adopt the regulations to end the criminogenic environment in finance, OMB remains a leader of the effort to prevent effective regulation.
In a rational world the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), under Presidents Bush and Obama, would have responded to the financial crisis by demanding an emergency effort as a top national priority.
Monday, May 19, 2014 We've Known for 75 Years Why GM Killing Customers Isn't Treated as "Real Crime" (1 comments)
The recent NY Times article does not report on the number of people who were injured and killed because GM designed a defective ignition system, knowingly hid the defect from its customers and the government, and once it knew that its defective design was injuring and killing its customers GM deliberately covered up the existence of the defect and the cause of the easily avoidable injuries and deaths.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 Geithner's Other Ad Hominem Attacks Against Barofsky (1 comments)
In my first article on Timothy Geithner I exposed the revealing and disgusting nature of his bizarre ad hominem attack on Neil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Assets Relief Program for the great sin of providing his law enforcement officers with side arms and protective vests. In this article I discuss very briefly his other two ad hominem attacks on Barofsky and his staff.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 It's Good - no - Great to be the CEO Running a Huge Criminal Bank (2 comments)
You know what happened; no senior banker or bank was prosecuted. No banker was sued civilly by the government. No banker had to pay back his bonus that he "earned" through fraud.
Every day brings multiple new scandals. At least they used to be scandals. Now they're simply news items strained of ethical content by business journalists who see no evil, hear no evil, and speak not about evil.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 The New Book on Regulation I Just Decided to Write: Blame it on Monaco
Theoclassical economists have mounted an unholy war to discredit and intimidate regulation and regulators -- and to replace them with anti-regulators -- for over a century. This is the third article in a series of columns devoted to financial regulation prompted by the comments of a Swiss academic at the XIIth Annual CIFA Forum in Monaco.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 The 11th Lesson We Need to Learn from Charles Keating's Frauds: Bring back Glass-Steagall (1 comments)
One of the subtle aspects of the savings and loan debacle that is that we ran a real world test of the importance of the provisions of the 1933 Banking Act known as the Glass-Steagall Act. Unfortunately, Glass-Steagall was doomed by the combination of politicians eager for campaign contributions from big finance and theoclassical economists who inhabit a fantasy-based world of dogma that ignored the results. Series: Banking
Sunday, April 6, 2014 The Kamikaze Economics and Politics of Forcing Austerity on the Ukraine (2 comments)
So, our strategy is to play into Putin’s hands by inflicting austerity and turning the Ukraine into “a Western hell.” Not to worry says our man in Kiev. Playing into Putin's hands by inflicting austerity on the Ukraine and producing "hell" is ludicrous.
The Ukraine faces severe problems beyond Russia and its energy dependence on Russia.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 Dr. Draghi Prescribes a Dose of Deflation for Spain as his latest Quack Cure (2 comments)
This morning brought two April Fools' Day articles about France and Italy that are also about the gratuitous second Great Recession (in the core) & the second Great Depression (in Spain, Italy, and Greece) inflicted by the troika's infamous austerity dogmas. In conjunction with quotations from Draghi’s fellow troika-trolls in the articles about France and Italy, they reveal the troika’s fanatical devotion to failed dogma.
Sunday, March 16, 2014 The Most Dishonest Number in the World: LIBOR (2 comments)
The FDIC has sued 16 of the largest banks in the world plus the British Bankers Association (BBA) alleging that they engaged in fraud and collusion to manipulate the London Inter-bank Offered Rate (LIBOR). BBA called LIBOR "The most important number in the world."
LIBOR is actually many numbers that depend on the currency and term (maturity) of the loan. The collusion involved manipulating most of these rates.
Saturday, March 1, 2014 Key House Republicans Almost Get Accounting Control Fraud (1 comments)
To prepare myself for a guest lecture to a class at the University of Kansas I did some research about the House Financial Services Committee, now chaired by Jeb Hensarling (R. TX). I was pleased to learn that the Committee's home page emphasizes the key role that accounting control fraud played at Fannie and Freddie. A description of how such fraud occurs, follows.
Sunday, February 23, 2014 If New York Times Reporters Won’t Read Krugman about Austerity Will they Read Brooks? (5 comments)
NYT columns discussing austerity, particularly in the eurozone, demonstrate that its reporters religiously avoid reading Krugman's scores of columns on austerity.
I have written repeatedly about the New York Times' needs to create a prize in incompetence in macroeconomic reporting (IMR) and suggested that the paper award the IMR prize to its reporters.
Saturday, February 8, 2014 The Troika and the New York Times Bury the Issues, not just the Lead (2 comments)
The troika made Spain its poster child for the success of austerity in late 2013. In early 2014 Spain admitted that unemployment had risen to 26 percent. The “recovery” they hope for is that Spain, by 2024, will exit the “crisis” stage.
Sunday, February 2, 2014 Jamie Dimon's $10 Million Raise is a "Common Sense" Fraud Reward (1 comments)
Modern executive compensation was a leading creator of the criminogenic environment that produced the epidemics of accounting control fraud that destroyed the global financial system.
Andrew Ross Sorkin seemed to have built an insurmountable lead in the race to be declared the most unctuous panderer to the financial plutocrats who grew wealthy by leading the frauds that blew up the economy, but he has new competition.
Saturday, February 1, 2014 The Eurozone's "Nascent" Recovery (1 comments)
The Eurozone has decided to ring out January with more bad news about the economy, but the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal both end their articles with claims that things are actually going pretty darn well.
The NYT refers to the eurozone "recovery" as "nascent."
The reality of both news reports is that what the data actually "display" are "signs of weakness."
Monday, November 18, 2013 Why Does the Media Ignore Timothy Geithner's Disastrous Leadership of the NY Fed? (1 comments)
Remember nine months ago when Timothy Geithner assured us that it was "extremely unlikely" he would take a position on Wall Street? Something else intrigued me as soon as I heard that Geithner was cashing in at Warburg Pincus -- I remembered that I had debated a former leader of that firm about Geithner.
Friday, November 15, 2013 Will the Chilean People Save the U.S. by Electing Michelle Bachelet? (4 comments)
The effort by corporate CEOs to dominate the global economy and global government is reaching the end-game stage. Corporate CEOs view government and democracy as their gravest threats and are constantly seeking to discredit and hamstring government and democratic decision-making. CEOs are particularly eager to discredit, destroy, or capture regulation and they have enlisted enormous support in both major U.S. parties...
Friday, November 1, 2013 The Taylor Rule: Ignore Fraud Epidemics and Worship Markets (2 comments)
In virtually every case, the economists who purported to study natural experiments by "testing precise hypotheses" implicitly excluded control fraud as a possible explanatory variable.
Every day provides multiple examples of the blinders imposed by economists' dogmas reducing their purportedly scientific studies about finance to exercises in self-parody.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 The Oil Oligarchs Want Me to Know How Much They Hate President Correa (1 comments)
Gustavo Coronel, a Venezuelan oil oligarch associated with Cato has written to let me know how much he despises Ecuador's President Rafael Correa.
Coronel has declared that one of my columns "made a failed attempt to whitewash the President of Ecuador, Correa, who is violating environmentally fragile areas of the Amazonia to drill for oil."
Strange comment from a man who has grown wealthy by drilling for oil in Amazonia.
Monday, October 28, 2013 Economics could be a Science if More Economists were Scientists (12 comments)
Chetty thinks critics who point out that economists don't achieve science even though they purport to aspire to it are "unfair and uninformed."
In this article I respond to Chetty's effort to defend economists. The "recipe" for accounting control fraud by a lender has four ingredients...
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 JPMorgan: Fish Rot from the Head (1 comments)
The New York Times' spin of the tentative settlement of JPMorgan's latest myriad felonies begins early and runs throughout the article. JPMorgan and Attorney General Eric Holder have reached a common meme on their settlement he Department of Justice (DOJ) and Holder are stalwarts who have demonstrated their toughness and JPMorgan is a model corporate citizen.
Friday, October 18, 2013 Why is The Economist Chortling over the Prospect of Oil Pollution in Ecuador? (5 comments)
One of The Economist Magazine's perennial hates is President Rafael Correa of Ecuador. Correa, an economist, has committed the unforgivable offense of succeeding through economic policies that The Economist despises. This is strange because Correa's four foundational policies are expanded health care, expanded education, improved infrastructure, and encouraging entrepreneurs by reducing the time and cost of starting a business
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 UPI Treats Monetary Fiction as Fact: Sows the Seeds of the GOP's Efforts to Cause a Recession (1 comments)
In this article I elaborate on yesterday's article that noted scholars' logical incoherence of the belief of the wealthy that reducing the federal budget deficit, in response to the Great Recession, was the most important problem facing America, and my strong support for the opposite policy view that the federal government should run budget deficits as a counter-cyclical fiscal policy to a recession.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 The Faux Hyper-Meritocracy that Threatens to Destroy Us (1 comments)
Two prior columns about Tyler Cowen's praise of the faux "hyper-meritocracy." Cowen assumes that productivity determines personal wealth and is measured by wealth. The support of the wealthy for austerity in response to the Great Recession demonstrates that the wealthy remained the problem even after their frauds drove the crisis. They sought a policy that would have compounded the Great Recession (as it did in the Eurozone).
Monday, October 7, 2013 Bank Failures are "Inconceivable" under the Latest Neoclassical Fantasy
Only theoclassical economics constantly recycles variants of its worst ideas that have proven disastrous when they have influenced policy. Other fields advance because they embrace the scientific method. The theoclassical theory is, as always, the creation of "private market discipline" to prevent bank failures. The most catastrophic bank failures are "accounting control frauds."
Saturday, October 5, 2013 The "Hyper-meritocracy" -- an Oxymoron Led by Criminal Morons (5 comments)
We do not live in a "winner-take-all" Nation. We increasingly live in a "cheater-take-all" system.
This column was prompted by William Galston's review of Tyler Cowen's new book Average is Over. Galston's column worries about the huge, permanent underclass that Cowen envisions will grow in the United States. I write to challenge Cowen's assumption that winners will prevail through a process of "hyper-meritocracy."
Monday, September 23, 2013 The Wall Street Journal Pines for the Return of Liar's Loans (1 comments)
The Dodd-Frank Act bans liar's loans. The WSJ considers this ban so appalling, so obvious a violation of the divine right of banks, that it labels it "micromanage[ment]" and assumes that the label proves the absurdity of banning liar's loans.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 Higher Bank Capital Requirements are Necessary but not Sufficient (5 comments)
Higher Bank Capital Requirements are Necessary but not Sufficient.
The last ditch efforts to save Larry Summers' prospective nomination to run the Fed and the comments about his withdrawing from consideration have prompted further discussions of financial regulation.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 The SEC Flacks Paint Lehman's Looters as the Victims of a "Political" SEC (3 comments)
This is the second installment in a three-part series correcting the NYT propaganda that seeks to transmute the SEC's refusal to hold any of Lehman's looters accountable for their myriad frauds. For the purposes of this article I assume that the reporters have accurately represented the SEC officials' positions. I discuss the journalists' analytical flaws.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 Not with a Bang but a Whimper -- the SEC Enforcement Team's Propaganda Campaign (1 comments)
The New York Times has one of those "inside" stories that unintentionally demonstrate the collapse of justice and financial reporting.
The entire piece is one extended leak by the SEC's enforcement leadership which has been severely criticized for its failure to recover the fraudulent profits that elite Wall Street bankers obtained by running the control frauds.
Monday, September 9, 2013 Creating Effective Regulation is the Imperative Issue at the Federal Reserve (2 comments)
The only positive aspect of the public contest to pick a successor for Ben Bernanke that the White House has inexplicably sparked is that economists are acknowledging that the next head of the Fed must act to create (not "restore") effective regulation by the agency. It is long past time to have a serious discussion about the collapse of regulation by the Fed.
Monday, August 19, 2013 Obama's FBI Channels the Tea Party: Partner with the Banks and Blame the Poor for the Crisis
why the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have failed to investigate and prosecute successfully the largest and most destructive financial fraud epidemic in history.
This is the third column in my series discussing why the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have failed to investigate and prosecute successfully the largest and most destructive financial fraud epidemic in history.
Sunday, August 18, 2013 The Incredible Con the Banksters Pulled on the FBI (5 comments)
focus on the brilliant con that the mortgage lending industry was able to pull on the FBI because the banking regulatory agencies and the SEC failed to provide the FBI with the expertise
Thursday, August 15, 2013 Banksters Love Holder; The FBI's 2010 Mortgage Fraud Report Reveals Why (10 comments)
DOJ has refused to prosecute any elite banker for mortgage fraud.
The Obama administration's refusal to prosecute the elite banksters... has made it clear that the rule of law no longer applies to wide ranges of life and that crony capitalism will continue to reign.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 The Great Betrayal -- and the Cynicism of calling it a Grand Bargain (14 comments)
Obama is telling the media that the Great Betrayal is his first, and overarching, priority should he be re-elected. We are forewarned and we must act now to make clear that we will block the Great Betrayal and crush at the polls any member of Congress who supports it.