Peggy Noonan Joins George Will in Being Enraged at Rape – Victims

By William K. Black
Quito: May 26, 2015

Peggy Noonan’s column in the Wall Street Journal attacks and mocks a victim of a sexual assault and four of her classmates at Columbia University who supported her in an op ed in the school paper. Here are the facts as Noonan presents them.

Continue reading

The WSJ and Barron’s Apologists for the Banksters Peddle Wallison’s Fables

By William K. Black
Quito: May 23, 2015

Few people’s efforts at myth-making have been as devastatingly refuted as Peter Wallison. But fables that are designed to make the banksters look less criminal are always welcome by the banksters. Any honest discussion of Wallison’s claims would begin with three points. First, Wallison’s adult life has been devoted, on behalf of the banksters, to pushing the three “de’s” – deregulation, desupervision, and de facto decriminalization. He is therefore as culpable as anyone in the world for the epidemics of accounting control fraud that drove the financial crisis and the Great Recession.

Second, he was appointed by the Republican leadership to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) to assure that the banksters would have the benefit of their leading apologist. The chances that he would ascribe any problems to the three “de’s” was always non-existent because he does not have a scholarly instinct in his body. He is rabidly ideological and a willing tool of the banksters.

Continue reading

FUNDAMENTALS: Monetary Policy, Interet-Rate Targeting and the Corridor

The latest in a series of class project videos from Eric Tymoigne’s upper division Modern Money Theory class at Lewis and Clark College. Over the next several days, we will be posting  select videos created by his most recent class. Eric has created a YouTube channel to be the home of MMT videos created by L&C students. You can check it out here.

Krugman Is Half Right

By William K. Black
Quito: May 16, 2015

Paul Krugman has a nice column entitled “Fraternity of Failure” dated May 15, 2015.

In Bushworld, in other words, playing a central role in catastrophic policy failure doesn’t disqualify you from future influence. If anything, a record of being disastrously wrong on national security issues seems to be a required credential.

But refusal to learn from experience, combined with a version of political correctness in which you’re only acceptable if you have been wrong about crucial issues, is pervasive in the modern Republican Party.

Continue reading

Bill McKibben’s and the Climate Movement’s Fatal Misunderstanding of the Role of Demand (for Energy/Fossil Fuels)

By Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.

Last week, Bill McKibben penned an op-ed in the New York Times with the title “Obama’s Catastrophic Climate-Change Denial” in response to the Administration’s decision to allow Shell Oil to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean. Here finally, after years of gentle chiding, I thought, one of the leaders of the US (and worldwide) climate movement would compare the Obama Administration’s rhetoric to the stark reality of the Administration’s negligent policy with regard to energy and climate action.  Obama (whom I campaigned for in 2008) has been treated gently by most progressives in ways that have compromised the content of contemporary progressive politics as well as action on climate change. Of course, the Obama Administration’s actions, such as his EPA regulations on coal-fired power plants are preferable to what is likely the Republicans would have done in office. This McKibben also acknowledges.

Continue reading

New Labour’s Economic Illiteracy Exacts a Terrible Price: “I’m afraid there is no money.”

By William K. Black
Quito: May 17, 2015

One of the great ironies is that just as neo-liberal economics and “modern finance” were falsifying each of their core claims Tony Blair led New Labour to embrace both dogmas. The result was a double economic catastrophe and it also led to the defeat of New Labour at the polls. I have already explained how Blair’s and Gordon Brown’s embrace of the most criminal and corrupt elements of the City of London (and their dogmas) and their resultant unholy war on financial regulation caused the UK financial crises and the UK’s Great Recession.

Continue reading

FUNDAMENTALS: Monetary Instruments, Principles and Logic of Acceptance

The latest in a series of class project videos from Eric Tymoigne’s upper division Modern Money Theory class at Lewis and Clark College. Over the next several days, we will be posting  select videos created by his most recent class. Eric has created a YouTube channel to be the home of MMT videos created by L&C students. You can check it out here.

The FSA’s Defense Against Blair’s Attack on it Shows Why the FSA Failed

By William K. Black
Quito: May 16, 2015

In my immediately prior article I discussed in detail Prime Minister Tony Blair’s May 26, 2005 speech calling on the UK to “win” the regulatory race to the bottom. In particular, Blair singled out the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for blistering criticism.

But something is seriously awry when … the Financial Services Authority that was established to provide clear guidelines and rules for the financial services sector and to protect the consumer against the fraudulent, is seen as hugely inhibiting of efficient business by perfectly respectable companies that have never defrauded anyone….”

Blair’s attack on the FSA bewildered and angered its Chairman, Callum McCarthy, who was busily eviscerating UK financial regulation in accordance with Blair’s earlier declarations of war on effective regulation. By 2005, the FSA was spineless and a cheerleader for the corrupt City of London – which McCarthy, in a pratfall of unintended humor, described as a “clean” center of international finance. Blair did not warn the FSA leadership in advance that he was going to excoriate them “as hugely inhibiting of efficient business.” The good thing, for those of us seeking to document the causes of the financial crises is that Blair’s rant provoked a written response from the FSA’s leader on May 31, 2005. The response proves that the FSA was a Potemkin regulator in the run up to the UK crises, that Blair knew that he and his government had destroyed effective financial regulation – and that his response to that knowledge was to order that any remnants of even modestly effective financial regulation be trampled into the City’s dust.

Continue reading

Fundamentals: Automatic Stabilizers and “Clinton’s Surplus”

The latest in a series of class project videos from Eric Tymoigne’s upper division Modern Money Theory class at Lewis and Clark College. Over the next several days, we will be posting  select videos created by his most recent class. Eric has created a YouTube channel to be the home of MMT videos created by L&C students. You can check it out here.

New Labour Leaders Want to Go Back to Blair’s Policies that Blew Up the UK

By William K. Black
Quito: May 13, 2015

Given the media effort and the push by the Red Tories to lionize former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair I thought it was a good idea to explain just how destructive his war on financial regulation, supervision, enforcement, and prosecutions was. Blair most famously made public his war on regulation and his embrace of “winning” the regulatory race to the bottom in his May 26, 2005 speech on “Risk and the State.” In a classic example of “be careful what you ask for; for you may receive it,” he called on his Nation to embrace greater risk. He claimed that the public’s excessive aversion to risk produced a regulatory nightmare: “The result is a plethora of rules, guidelines, responses to ‘scandals’ of one nature or another that ends up having utterly perverse consequences.” Blair endorsed the Chicago School (and Tory) analysis of the folly of regulation – claiming that it characteristically produces “utterly perverse consequences.”

Continue reading