Author Archives: William Black

Hillary: The “Good News” is That China is “Forcing Down Wages”

By William K. Black
October 23, 2016     Kansas City, MO

The general media has been treating the WikiLeaks disclosures of the Clinton campaign documents, particularly the transcripts of her lucrative talks with Goldman Sachs as much ado about nothing.  I have not found any article about the disclosures, however, that reported on the extraordinary statements she made in her talk with Goldman Sachs on June 4, 2013.

Hillary told the Vampire Squid that the “good news” was that China was removing workers’ (meager) legal protections so that their employers could “forc[e] down wages” in order to increase corporate profits.  She used China’s (pathetically weak) legal protections for workers as her exemplar of China’s “structural economic problems.”

Continue reading

Plutocrats Brag: We Win Because You Fail to Vote

By William K. Black
October 20, 2016     Kansas City, MO

The New Democrats and their Republican counterparts’ economic policies have created a rigged system of crony capitalism.  Crony capitalism produces devastating epidemics of elite fraud that have shrunk the overall economic “pie” and distributed the “pie” overwhelmingly in favor of corrupt corporate elites like Donald Trump and their political cronies like the Clintons.  Wall Street has been open about being ecstatic about the rise of what Citigroup infamously labelled and celebrated — a “plutonomy.”

In a plutonomy there … are rich consumers, few in number, but disproportionate in the gigantic slice of income and consumption they take.  There are the rest, the “non-rich”, the multitudinous many, but only accounting for surprisingly small bites of the national pie.

Continue reading

Prosecutors for the Petrocrats Try to Imprison the Media

By William K. Black
October 18, 2016     Kansas City, MO

What happens in the petrocracy formerly known as the State of North Dakota to the tiny minority of reporters who actually expose the misconduct of the petrocrats?  Fracking has perverted many organs of the government in North Dakota into petro-cronies.  They act to protect their petrocrat patrons from criticism from this minority of reporters.  A county North Dakota prosecutor decided to use what is becoming the petrocrats’ favorite strategy to censor Amy Goodman by imprisoning her.

In North Dakota, the petrocrats hired a force of goons with attack dogs to intimidate and attack Native American protesters against the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Amy Goodman, an award-winning journalist most famous for Democracy Now, was the only journalist to cover the attack on the protesters.  The petrocrats were enraged when her video of the private goons and their dogs’ attacks on the protesters attained wide publicity.

Continue reading

Does a Golden Parachute Await Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf?

NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News Network and explains why criminal prosecutions of executives time after time are not happening. The video is below and if you would like to view with a transcript, click here.

Complaining of “Taco trucks on every corner” Is Capitalist Heresy

By William K. Black
September 2, 2016     Bloomington, MN

Donald Trump’s opponents have been having a field day with the latest gift from a Trump surrogate.  One of Trump’s few remaining Latino supporters, Marco Gutierrez, a businessman and founder of Latinos for Trump, made an unintentionally hilarious prediction about how awful America’s future would be if Trump were not elected.

“My culture is a very dominant culture and it’s imposing and it’s causing problems,” he told MSNBC.

“If you don’t do something about it, you’re going to have taco trucks on every corner.”

The context of Gutierrez’s nightmare of a nation besieged by omnipresent taco trucks was his attempt as the founder and leader of Latinos for Trump to make the best case for supporting Trump’s “great wall” and mass deportation of immigrants.  The strongest argument Gutierrez was able to conjure up in support was his fear of omnipresent “taco trucks.”

Continue reading

Trump is Goldman’s Golden Goose

By William K. Black
August 23, 2016     Kansas City, MO

The reporting of Susanne Craig of the New York Times and David Cay Johnston, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting when he was with that paper, and has recently published The Making of Donald Trump, combine to allow us to draw a critical insight about Trump and Goldman Sachs.  From Susanne Craig, we learn:

[A]n office building on Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan, of which Mr. Trump is part owner, carries a $950 million loan. Among the lenders: the Bank of China, one of the largest banks in a country that Mr. Trump has railed against as an economic foe of the United States, and Goldman Sachs, a financial institution he has said controls Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, after it paid her $675,000 in speaking fees.

Goldman Sachs is infamous for two things, both of them relevant here.  Its senior managers encourage the most incestuous of relationships between the government and the firm.  The revolving door is an exclusive penthouse elevator that rockets Goldman executives back and forth from positions of immense power in government and the firm.  As the then President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (now, Deputy Chair of the FDIC) told a small group of us several years ago: “For the last 20 years we’ve been holding an auction to fill the position of U.S. Treasury Secretary – and of late Goldman Sachs has been winning.”

Continue reading

Covering Up Whistleblowers’ Disclosures Should Be Illegal

By William K. Black
August 22, 2016     Kansas City, MO

James Stewart has written a column about Roger Ailes’ alleged sexual predation on female Fox News personnel over the course of many years.  He entitled it “Secrecy of Settlements at Fox News Hid Bad Behavior.”  Ailes was the CEO of Fox News.  I write to show how two concepts Stewart did not employ would aid the analysis and to suggest a fundamental change in the law that would make the world a far better place.

The two concepts I add to Stewart’s analysis are “control fraud” and whistleblowing.  Stewart’s column applies as its sole lens sexual harassment.  That is the obvious lens to employ and it is helpful.  By supplementing this lens, however, we can provide additional useful insights and frame generalized policies of broader applicability.

Continue reading

The CEO’s Great Advice About Whistleblowers Never Mentions Them

By William K. Black
August 22, 2016     Kansas City, MO

The New York Times has a columnist who interviews business leaders.  He interviewed, Bracken Darrell, Logitech’s CEO in a column entitled “Be Sure to Tell the Boss What’s Wrong.”  When we, the co-founders of Bank Whistleblowers United, here a phrase like that our ears perk up.  It is exactly the right message the CEO should send.  The people who most obviously take that message to heart, in the most difficult circumstances for the employee and where following the CEO’s advice is most vital to the firm, are whistleblowers.  Despite the title of the article, and the famous role that whistleblowers played in disclosing the frauds that drove the most recent financial crisis, however, the CEO never mentioned whistleblowers.  The entirety of the discussion of basis for the title of the article is shown below.

Continue reading

WSJ’s Top Reason to Defeat Hillary: She’s Against Rape

By William K. Black
August 15, 2016     Bloomington, MN

The Wall Street Journal’s Deputy Editor, Daniel Henninger, wrote an op ed dated August 10, 2016 designed to convince Republicans to hold their noses and vote for Donald Trump.  His means of attempting to convince them was conventional – play on their hate of Hillary Clinton.  Op eds need to be brief, so Henninger picked as his argument the single policy he felt would be most compelling to the paper’s readers.

It is a testament to how bizarre the WSJ editorial writers are and how bizarre they believe their readers are that Henninger chose as his most dreadful policy supported by Hillary that should enrage the paper’s readership – her opposition to rape.  The specific context was that she opposes the rape of coeds.

Continue reading

Thomas Friedman Worships Lifetime Learning but Refuses to Learn

(4th column in my series on Friedman advising Hillary to Move Hard Right)
William K. Black
August 10, 2016     Bloomington, MN

Thomas Friedman has written two columns advising Hillary Clinton to win the election by adopting traditional Republican economic dogmas.  Friedman despairs that Hillary Clinton refrains from:

[T]elling people the hardest truth: that to be in the middle class, just working hard and playing by the rules doesn’t cut it anymore. To have a lifelong job, you need to be a lifelong learner, constantly raising your game.

Friedman has two big pieces of economic advice for Hillary – financial deregulation and ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  Friedman treats TPP as if the issue were “trade,” but as I explained earlier in this series, TPP is actually crafted by corporate elites to eviscerate effective financial, health, and safety regulation.  Trade is simply the pretext for TPP’s passage.

Continue reading