Author Archives: Devin Smith

Once a Poster Child for Austerity, Latvia Becomes a Hotbed of Corruption

Austerity didn’t produce recovery in Latvia, it produced the semblance of recovery, says NEP’s Bill Black on The Real News. It also led to rampant criminal activity in the banking sector, such as money laundering, taking bribes, and violating sanctions against North Korea. You can view here with a transcript.

A Booming Stock Market Does Not Mean a Strong US Economy

During his State of the Union speech, Trump touted the recent stock market boom as proof of how well the U.S. is doing. However, as NEP’s Bill Black explains, the boom has nothing to do with new investment. You can view with a transcript here.

IRS Private Debt-Collection Program is ‘Indefensible’

Using private debt-collection firms to collect debt from low-income Americans is not only morally reprehensible, but it’s also terrible business, says NEP’s Bill Black in his latest appearance on The Real News Network. You can view here with transcript.

Warren Buffett Wins $1 Million Bet That Hedge Funds Are a Rip-Off

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett bet that hedge funds were a bad investment. Ten years later, Buffett’s wager proved that hedge funds earn only one third of what a stock index investment does. NEP’s Bill Black explains the numbers on The Real News Network. You can view here with a transcript.

Corporations Hoard Their Trump Tax Windfall

After President Trump signed the GOP tax plan into law, some of the bill’s corporate beneficiaries have offered workers minor bonuses. But NEP’s Bill Black says they’re keeping most of the money for themselves — and starting a new global race to the bottom for corporate taxes. You can view here with a transcript.

Trump, GOP Pull Off Their Tax Heist

NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News discussing Congressional Republicans have approved their tax bill, a massive upward transfer of wealth that fulfills a decades-long right-wing goal of permanent tax cuts for corporations. You can view here with a transcript.

Children’s Health Insurance Program to Expire Under GOP Tax Bill

Nine million children will go without health insurance under the new GOP tax bill, says NEP’s Bill Black in his latest appearance on The Real News Network. You can view here with a transcript.

Trump’s Coup on Consumer Protection

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is in limbo as two people claim to be its new acting director. The outgoing head tapped Leandra English as his successor, but Donald Trump then appointed Mick Mulvaney, who has called the CFPB a “sick, sad” joke. NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News Network discussing the attack on CFPB. You can view here with a transcript.

Trump’s CFPB Pick Will Likely Spell Bad News for Consumers

The good news is that President Trump has been slow to nominate heads for regulatory agencies, says NEP’s Bill Black in his appearance on The Real News Network. The bad news is that Trump will pick someone eventually to replace Richard Cordray. You can view here with transcript.

Fragmented Health System Paves Way for CVS-Aetna Merger

In what is being called the biggest merger in the history of the health insurance industry, CVS is making a $66 billion bid to buy Aetna. NEP’s Bill Black discusses the merger’s potential consequences with The Real News Network. You can view here with transcript.