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NET 2 Black

INETeconomics’ Marshall Auerback interviews NEP’s Bill Black. Topic of discussion is the “f” word – fraud.

The New York Times Claims Democratic Leaders in Latin America are “Military Dictators”

By William K. Black

The NYT wrote an extraordinarily arrogant, insulting, dishonest, and hypocritical editorial attacking a series of Latin American democracies. The editorial manages to insult their democratically elected representatives and their electorates. The title of the editorial is “South America’s New Caudillos.” The editorial does not bother to define the word. Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines caudillo as “a Latin American military dictator.”

The editorial claims that it was prompted by the democratic reelection of Evo Morales as President of Bolivia. The editorial concedes that he was reelected in a well-deserved, democratic “landslide.”

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Thomas Curry: The Very Model of the Modern Failed Regulator

By William K. Black

I explained in a 2012 column as soon as Thomas Curry was publicly identified as the likely new head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) why he was such a poor choice to be a regulatory leader. Curry is such a good example of Obama’s crew of failed agency heads because he is neither evil nor stupid. As I explain below, he views morality as a misnomer in banking. He is the rarity among Obama appointees, a true professional regulator. He is well within the top 50% of Obama’s (dismal) appointees in finance and regulation.

Curry is also an abject failure who should be cashiered immediately. No one had to order him to fail or intimidate him into failure. He represents anti-regulation as usual, which has been the pattern in finance since 1993. One can read his speeches and see that he has learned none of the essential lessons from the crisis and lacks even a dying ember in his belly, much less the raging fire required for regulatory success. We know from his record of failure as an FDIC director from January 2004 throughout the crisis that had he been the top federal regulator in the savings and loan debacle rather than Ed Gray cost of the debacle would have grown to trillions of dollars. At that level it would have hyper-inflated real estate bubbles and likely caused a severe recession.

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Live Streams from the 12th Post Keynesian Conference

UMKC is providing live video streaming of some of the key sessions of the 12th International Post Keynesian Conference.

Here is a list of the events they are streaming (all times Central):

  • Wednesday, 6:00-8:00pm: Bruce Greenwald lecture in Royall 111
  • Thursday, 5:45-7:30pm: “What Should We Have Learned from the GFC?”
  • Friday, 5:45-7:15pm: Jamie Galbraith Keynote
  • Saturday, 11:45-1:00pm: Lord Robert Skidelsky Keynote
  • Saturday, 7:00pm: Lord Robert Skidelsky “Economics After The Crash”

To view any of the events, click here to go to the UMKC Streaming Video page and then click on the link at the bottom of the page for the platform you are using to view the stream.

Streams start approximately 15 minutes before the event.

UMKC’s Streaming page is located at: http://www.umkc.edu/ia/streaming/live-streams.cfm

Roger Cohen’s Ode to Colonialism and Imperialism: Why is it “Insidious” to Want Justice for Banksters?

By William K. Black

In another proof of our family rule that it is impossible to compete with unintentional self-parody, Roger Cohen has penned “The Great Unraveling.”  What makes the article perfect is that it brings together Cohen’s worst traits – and ends with praise for Rudyard Kipling, who set the bar for those traits.  Cohen is distressed about many things, but the first one that I focus on is his claim that the Scots’ response to the City of London’s elite financial criminals is “insidious.”  In the passage that he makes this claim Cohen denounces the Scots as childish Celts.

“The northernmost citizens were bored. They were disgruntled. They were irked, in some insidious way, by the south and its moneyed capital, an emblem to them of globalization and inequality.”

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Framing MMT – Modern Money Network

A Modern Money Network contributor – Jason Kessler put together this beautiful graphic based on Randy Wray’s Meme for Money series that appeared here on NEP.

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Bill Black Helps Defendants win “Unprecedented Acquittal”

By Stephanie Kelton

I knew my colleague had been in Sacramento this summer, and I knew he was there to testify in a federal case involving mortgage fraud.  But I didn’t know the details of the case.  I didn’t know the defendants had been the homebuyers or that they were on trial for mortgage fraud. This morning, I learned these details and more in this story from the Sacramento Bee.  The whole thing is astonishing, and I doubt anyone but Bill could have helped to persuade a jury that, in spite of all the evidence, the real fraudsters were the elite bankers who looked the other way, even as borrowers falsified loan applications.

The jurors heard shocking testimony from ‘control fraud’ expert William Black that regular people who got loans they were unable to pay back did not (defraud) the banks. The elite bankers commit the fraud while prosecutors look the other way and prosecute the wrong people.”

Go Bill!

Survey of Bankers Unintentionally Documents their Depravity

By William K. Black

Makovsky is a PR group that specializes in representing banks.  Because of that dual specialization they should be the most skilled shills for fraudulent bankers that money can buy.  This fact makes their annual “reputation” survey delectable.  Each year, the survey unintentionally documents how depraved senior bankers are as a group.  They come to praise Caesar, but end up burying him in a garbage dump.

Here are key findings of their 2014 survey:

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National Retirement Infrastructure – Part 3

By J.D. Alt

1. Why we can afford it—2. Why we need it—3. How we can build it

3. How we can build it.

Cohousing, as briefly explained in Part 1, offers a uniquely supportive context for retired living. Cohousing communities consist of between 10 and 30 privately occupied and maintained dwelling units which share certain common facilities, amenities and, in some cases, social responsibilities and activities. It is this “commons” sharing that can potentially provide a retired person with benefits they otherwise could not afford to have, or have easily. For example, the shared facility might include an apartment for a live-in nurse-assistant/care giver who would provide assistance, in each of the private dwellings, as needed. Or, the “commons” might include a small exercise pool that individual retirees can utilize for a daily work-out. “Traditional” cohousing projects typically include a common cooking and dining facility where at least one meal a week is a shared community event—(individual dwellings have their own small kitchens as well.) In general, the goal is to create a comfortable balance between private autonomy and community activities.

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Sutherland Explained in 1939 Why GM Killing Customers Isn’t Treated as “Real Crime”

By William K. Black

The New York Times headline was dominated by a seemingly strong word:  “G.M. Is Fined Over Safety and Called a Lawbreaker.”

As I will explain, however, the seeming strength of the label “lawbreaker” is undercut by the rest of the title, the text of the article, and the reality of the Justice Department’s refusal to apply the rule of law to powerful domestic corporations and their controlling officers.

The first discordant note is the word “safety.” The article reports that GM, for the purposes of avoiding the expense of repairing a design defect that endangered the lives of its customers, covered up the defect and caused the death and injury of a number of those customers. The article does not report the (minor) cost of GM fixing its design defect. The article does not report on the number of people who were injured and killed because GM designed a defective ignition system, knowingly hid the defect from its customers and the government, and once it knew that its defective design was injuring and killing its customers GM deliberately covered up the existence of the defect and the cause of the easily avoidable injuries and deaths. The article states that GM was finally required to recall 2.6 million vehicles due to the defective design of the ignition switches.

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