Author Archives: William Black

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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Thomas Friedman: This Time is Different: Deregulation Makes Banking Safe

(3d column in my series on Friedman advising Hillary to Move Hard Right)

William K. Black
August 8, 2016     Bloomington, MN

In this column I focus on Thomas Friedman’s plea that Hillary Clinton embrace deregulation, desupervision, and de facto decriminalization (the three “de’s”) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as a “knock-out” political strategy against Donald Trump and as a means to produce dramatic economic growth and financial stability.  He claims that embracing the three “de’s” and the TPP creates an “open system.”

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Thomas Friedman Wants A “Center-Left” Democratic Party Based on Austrian Economic Myths

(2d column in my series on Friedman advising Hillary to Move Hard Right)

William K. Black
August 7, 2016     Bloomington, MN

Thomas Friedman has written two columns advising Hillary Clinton to renounce her campaign promises and the Democratic Party’s platform and move to the right of the Republican Party on economic issues.  My first column in this series critiqued the centerpiece of his plea to her – deregulate banking.

This column discusses Friedman’s economic assumption, which he probably does not understand he was making, that is (a) false and (b) dangerous.  Friedman doesn’t cite it as an economic assumption.  Instead, he makes a systems theory assertion without even trying to explain why it would be applicable to his proposed sharp move to the right on economic policies.

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Why Don’t Giuliani’s Critics Attack Him For What He Actually Said?

Part 6 of my series on Race, Crime, and Policing

William K. Black
August 7, 2016     Bloomington, MN

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani made a series of comments on race, crime, and policing on when he was interviewed recently on “Face the Nation.”  I am a strong critic of Giuliani’s approach to the intersection of race, crime, and policing.  Giuliani said several objectionable things in his interview that he could not defend.  The mystery is why his critics keep ignoring those comments and attacking other comments me made in that interview that are essentially correct.  In the course of their efforts to bash Giuliani his critics are repeatedly misstating what he said in the passages they seek to ridicule and demonstrating such fundamental analytical errors that they must be allowing their eagerness to hurt Giuliani shut down their critical faculties.

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