Author Archives: Devin Smith

Who Said This?

William K. Black
Associate Professor of Economics and Law, UMKC
December 5, 2018     Bloomington, MN  55437

I cannot write many blogs during the fall semesters because I teach four classes (I co-teach one of them).  The fall term of instruction at UMKC is now over so I am writing one piece before turning to grading.  I have recently done additional research on a topic I know is of great interest – the prosecution of elite white-collar criminals.  I have organized it in the form of a game in which the reader guesses who authored the quoted passage. Continue reading

Sears Bankruptcy Engineered to Benefit Executives and Stiff Workers

Executives of Sears stand to gain up to $1 million in bonuses, should Sears be liquidated, and $500,000 if it’s restructured. Meanwhile, ordinary workers at Sears are being laid off without severance payments. NEP’s Bill Black appears on the Real News Network and talks about how US bankruptcy law is rigged to favor executives. You can view with transcript here.

Amazon’s New NYC and DC Headquarters Bilked the Cities

The contest for Amazon’s HQ2 prompted hundreds of cities to put in tax break and subsidy bids. NEP’s Bill Black appears on the Real News Network and says these deals never pay off for the communities involved. You can view with a transcript here.

Trump Probably Engaged in Felony Tax Evasion

NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News Network and analyzes the New York Times investigation into Trump’s tax evasion and argues that if true, these would be considered felonies. However, he will probably never be held to account for this, before he leaves office. You can view here with transcript.

Paying for Hurricanes

By J.D. ALT

What you believe America can build—or rebuild—as a collective society hinges on how you answer one fundamental question: When the U.S. government issues a treasury bond, is it “borrowing” money that must be repaid with future tax-dollars—or is it “creating” money that can be spent to accomplish big and important collective goals?

Getting the right answer to this question could be existentially important. As I’m writing, for example, Hurricane Florence is unleashing historical damage to the U.S. Atlantic coast and inland areas. Over the next weeks and months, the inevitable debate will unfold over how much America can afford to “pay” to make the lives of tens of thousands of families and thousands of local communities whole and functional again. This time, perhaps, the debate will go even further: it might begin to earnestly ask the bigger questions about the future of our coastal cities and infrastructures in an unfolding era of climate change. These bigger questions will not involve billion-dollar budgets, but trillions of dollars of federal expenditures.

Continue reading

Trump Ally Rep. Chris Collins Arrested for Insider Trading – Is the Swamp Drained Now?

NEP’s Bill Black analyzes the significance of Rep. Chris Collins arrest for insider trading along with his son and son’s fiance’s father on 13 counts of wire fraud, securities fraud, and making false statements to the FBI. Collins was first Congressman to endorse Trump and is one of his closest confidants.

European Union Fines Google $5.1 Billion, While Trump ‘Protects Monopolists’

The EU’s Google fine should have been imposed a long time ago, but it comes better late than never. Meanwhile, the Trump administration continues to side with monopolies, leading to worse outcomes for US consumers, says NEP’s Bill Black. You can view with transcript here.

Bill Black: Trump Sees Europe as a “Foe” Because of Key Misinformed Advisor

President Trump’s belief that the European Union’s trade policies are more unfair towards the United States than just about any other trading partner is woefully misinformed and the result of his reliance “nutcase” trade advisor Peter Navarro, says NEP’s Bill Black. You can view with transcript here.

Fed Lets Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Off Hook, Investors Profit Billions

Even though Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley failed the so-called ‘stress test,’ to determine whether these banks can weather a financial crisis, the Fed allowed them to pay billions in dividends and stock buybacks to investors. Former financial regulator and NEP’s own Bill Black explains the consequences. You can view with transcript here.

Most Ignored and Most Far-Reaching Supreme Court Ruling Yet: Anti-Trust Law Hollowed Out

A major Supreme Court ruling, Ohio vs American Express, was completely ignored by most media outlets, even though it will have potentially devastating repercussions for consumers in the so-called ‘platform economy’: Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, Facebook, etc. NEP’s Bill Black explains the consequences. You can view with transcript here.