Massachusetts First to Sue Equifax Over Massive Hack

NEP’s Bill Black was on The Real News Network and discussing that several government agencies and at least 34 state attorneys general have opened investigations into the Equifax data-breach scandal–which is ‘the gift that keeps on giving.’ You can view with transcript here.

Equifax Data Breach is a 10 out of 10 Scandal

NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News Network and discussing the hacking of consumer credit reporting giant Equifax, and the company’s ‘cynical’ handling of it, is a far-reaching disaster that borders on criminal. You can view here with a transcript.

Low Rate of Unionization in US Consequence of Deregulation

NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News Network and points out that former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers’ recent plea for greater unionization contradicts his actions as a member of the Clinton and Obama administrations, when he promoted financial deregulation, increasing the power of capital. You can view with transcript here.

Trump Proves Again that it is Impossible to Compete with Unintentional Self-Parody

By William K. Black
September 5, 2017      Kansas City, MO

In my immediately prior article I discussed how Politico fell for Third Way’s dishonest discussion of how Democrats should brand themselves as the party committed to jobs.  I explained that progressive Democrats were the party of good jobs in part because they opposed fraudulent for-profit schools while President Trump, the Republicans, and the New Democrats were anti-jobs because they supported the rip offs.  Trump, having run a for-profit “university” so fraudulent that.it was not even a real university, is the most glaring patron of these frauds.

Trump appointed Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education because she is a fierce enemy of public education and loves the for-profit frauds.  Recently, however, DeVos has taken a step so brazen that it adds proof to our family saying that it is impossible to compete with unintentional self-parody.  DeVos chose a prior executive of DeVry, a for-profit school sanctioned for its recurrent frauds, to head the Education Department’s “enforcement” unit responsible for disciplining fraudulent for-profit schools.  In any normal administration, this would be a scandal leading to investigations and resignations in disgrace.  Under Trump, the latest DeVos scandal is already a forgotten footnote in an administration in which absurdity and sleaze are constant companions.

Is Politico or Third Way More Divorced from Reality?

William K. Black
September 6, 2017     Kansas City, MO

The Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party (Third Way) is relentless in trying to bring back the days in which the Democratic Party’s leaders buried the Party in Wall Street’s pocket under the label “New Democrats.”  That period led President Clinton and Vice President Gore to implement disgraceful policies that made Wall Street executives fabulously wealthy at the expense of people.  To deliver on their promises to Wall Street, Clinton and Gore had to betray much of what the Democratic Party stood for.  Clinton and Gore’s destruction of effective financial regulation, which President Bush exacerbated, created the massively criminogenic environment that blew up the global economy.

I have written several times and documented that Third Way is a creature of, and devoted to, Wall Street’s CEOs.  Third Way’s con is describing itself as “centrist.”  Wall Street CEOs are not centrist.  They include the world’s most powerful and destructive predators and parasites.  The “left, right, center” metaphor does not apply to a group like Wall Street’s CEOs.  The latest media sucker to fall for Third Way’s con is PoliticoPolitico fell whole hog, calling Third Way a “center-left think tank.”  Fortunately, Google’s recent purge of New America Foundation scholars has proved that “think tanks” financed by elite corporate CEOs are oxymorons run by regular morons.  The one thing you can never do as a scholar at a faux “think tank” like Third Way is actually think – and then make public the perfidy of the corporate CEOs that fund the non-think tank.

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The Right Wing’s Fake Fake News of Hate

By William K. Black
September 4, 2017      Kansas City, MO

When people do awful things and know they are doing awful things and want to continue to do them they compound their awfulness by playing cute.  The cuteness demonstrates that they know that what they are doing is indefensible to moral people.  The political “dog whistle” is an example of this cutesy tactic.  Rachel Maddow’s September 4, 2017 program presented a classic example.  She showed video of a white supremacist/Neo-Nazi praising Donald trump’s election victory to an all-white audience.  The speaker ended his talk by proclaiming “Hail Trump” and extending his arm in a Nazi salute – except that he was holding a glass of water.  His audience understood the “dog whistle” immediately.  A number of them leaped to their feet to give answering, frenzied Nazi salutes – just as the speaker hoped.  The speaker created this charade because he knew it was not acceptable to moral audiences to praise President-elect Trump as the new incarnation of Hitler and a group of his strongest supporters as neo-Nazis.  The leaders of the worst people in America know they need to hide how awful their followers are from regular Americans.

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LOW EARTH ORBIT—A Preview

By J.D. ALT

I have not written any essays for NEP these last several months because I’ve been working on a longer piece. It’s now finished and available as an ebook on Amazon and ibooks. The title is “LOW EARTH ORBIT—A Novella about the Near Future.” The story imagines the circumstances under which MMT breaks through into political awareness and acceptance. The heroine is an economics professor named Stephanie Eccles. There are, of course, a few comments about what modern fiat money makes possible in terms of architecture. I hope everyone will read it.

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Money and Banking Post 20: Pricing Securities

A Small Detour: Savings Account and Interest Compounding

A typical way to think about interest rates is to study how a savings account works. Suppose Mr. X puts $1000 in a savings account that provides a one percent annual interest rate. In that case, X will get at the end of:

  • Year 1: $1010 = $1000(1 + 0.01)
  • Year 2: $1020.1 = $1010(1 + 0.01) = $1000(1.01)2
  • Year 5: $1051.01 = $1000(1.01)5

Several things are worth noticing:

  • The rate of return is fixed by the issuer of the account (1%)
  • Principal rises over time: The longer X keeps the funds in his saving account, the greater, the total amount of principal due by a bank when X chooses to withdraw all its funds.
  • Income rises over time: Interest income earned is automatically added to the outstanding amount of funds ($1000, $1010, etc.) so income earned changes every year as more funds are accumulated: $10 the first year, $10.1 the second year, $10.2 the third year…

Most securities work quite differently.

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Democrats Should Not Rely on Glenn Simpson and His Hit Piece about Trump and Putin

By William K. Black
August 27, 2017     Kansas City, MO

Like you, I learned recently that Glenn Simpson had given ten hours of testimony before a closed session of the Senate Judiciary Committee and produced tens of thousands of pages of documents to the committee.  Simpson founded a company (Fusion GPS) that hired a former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele to conduct an investigation of Donald Trump’s ties with Russia.  Newsweek reports:

Following Simpson’s testimony behind closed doors, his attorney, Josh Levy, told reporters that his firm is “proud of the work” that Steele produced and Simpson oversaw, and that he “stands by it.”

Fusion GPS bills itself as a place to buy “opposition research.”  In plain English, that means if you pay it lots of money it will produce a hit piece demonizing anyone you hate or fear.  We do not know who hired Simpson to arrange the hit piece on Donald Trump.  The credibility of Simpson’s hit pieces is one of the most important issues for Americans.  The best way to judge that credibility is to evaluate Simpson’s prior hit pieces against national leaders.

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Why Plutocrats Like Carl Icahn Are Almost Never Held Accountable

NEP’s Bill Black appears on the Real News Network and says Trump promised to “drain the swamp” but instead filled his administration with Washington insiders and elite billionaires like Carl Icahn. You can view with a transcript here.