Category Archives: William K. Black

A “Perfectly Legal” Scam is Perfectly Unacceptable to Real Bank Supervisors

By William K. Black

Whatever else comes out of the release of the audio tapes by Carmen Segarra, they have harmed the reputation of Mike Silva, the long-term senior supervisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY). The (lengthy) excerpts below are taken from the This American Life program and are necessary to understand the context.

Mike Silva I have to tell you that night that the reserve fund broke the buck and we got that word…

Jake Bernstein It was a moment when it looked like the financial system was going to come crashing down. Big firms were frantically calling the Fed, terrified that economic

Armageddon had arrived. When this happened, Silva was chief of staff for Tim Geithner who, at the time, was president of the New York Fed.

Mike Silva And when I realized that nobody had any idea how to respond to that, I went into the bathroom and threw up. Because I realized this is it, it’s just this small group of people, and right now at this moment we have no clue. I never want to get close to that moment again.

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The New York Times Claims that Opposing EU Austerity Leads to Anti-Semitism

By William K. Black

I have written a series of columns describing the New York Times’ horrific coverage of austerity and the Great Recessions and Great Depressions that it has gratuitously inflicted on the people of the eurozone.  I thought I was safe from such coverage, however, reading a NYT column entitled “Europe’s Anti-Semitism Comes Out of the Shadows.”  Silly me.

It turns out that opposition to austerity is a key cause of Anti-Semitism – at least in the imagination of NYT reporters.

“With Europe still shaking from a populist backlash against fiscal austerity, some Jews speak of feeling politically isolated, without an ideological home.”

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Note to New York Times: EU Austerity is the Problem

By William K. Black

In the latest example of the New York Times’ reporters’ inability to read Paul Krugman, we have an article claiming that the “Growing Imbalance Between Germany and France Strains Their Relationship.”  The article begins with Merkel’s major myth accepted as if it were unquestionable reality.

“It was a clear illustration of the dysfunction of the French-German partnership, the axis that for decades kept Europe on a united and dynamic track.

In Berlin this month, Chancellor Angela Merkel, riding high after nine years in power, delivered a strident defense in Parliament of austerity, which she has been pushing on Europe ever since a debt crisis broke out in 2009.”

No, not true on multiple grounds.  First, the so-called “debt crisis” was a symptom rather than a cause.  The reader will note that the year 2008, when the Great Recession became terrifying, has somehow been removed from the narrative because it would expose the misapprehension in Merkel’s myth.  Prior to 2008, only Greece had debt levels given its abandonment of a sovereign currency that posed a material risk.  The EU nations had unusually low budgetary deficits leading into the Great Recession.  Indeed, that along with the extremely low budgetary deficits of the Clinton administration (the budget went into surplus near the end of his term) is likely one of the triggers for the Great Recession.

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The New York Times’ Coverage of EU Austerity Remains Pathetic

By William K. Black

I have explained in depth why the New York Times’ coverage of the EU troika’s infliction of austerity on the eurozone is dishonest and routinely indifferent to the suffering of the peoples of much of the periphery who have been forced into a second Great Depression.  The latest travesty was in an article entitled “French Premier’s Push Toward Center Opens Rift on the Left.”

The article focuses on the betrayal of the people of France and his own Party by President Hollande, but you won’t learn that by reading the article.  Instead, you’ll learn that Hollande is following the pattern of Tony Blair.  Of course, the article doesn’t mention four things about Hollande’s copying Blair’s neo-liberalism, slavish devotion to big finance, his view of even the most helpful and desirable budget deficits as undesirable, and his betrayal of labor.

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Scotland Should Reject Independence and Form a Joint Football Team with England?

By William K. Black

I’ve explained in prior columns that the groups opposing Scotland reclaiming its independence have been feverishly switching from threats to bribes as the polls on the likely vote on independence became a toss-up.  My favorite proposed bribe was suggested by “Lord Prescott” – a Labor “Peer.”

“Lord Prescott also suggested a combined England and Scotland football team.

‘Perhaps if England and Scotland together had one team, we could at last beat the Germans – who knows?’ he said.”

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Brown and Major Urge Scots to Vote “No” Based on Nostalgia for the Army and World War I

By William K. Black

Politicians are under huge pressure, particularly when things are going horribly wrong as they seem to be with England’s efforts to convince the Scots to spurn independence, to say something profound.  They rarely become politicians because they are capable of profound thinking however, so in every nation their efforts at being thoughtful often turn out tragicomic.  The vote “No” effort is so desperate that it has recruited former Prime Ministers Gordon Brown and John Major, the UK’s most unpopular, failed leaders.  They have made it their mission, very late in the contest, to try to convince Scots not to recover their independence.  The “No” leaders relied primarily on threats to punish the Scots should they dare to vote for independence.  This turned a referendum they were almost sure to win by a wide margin into a PR disaster.  Now, with the polls showing that the “No” forces could succeed in snatching defeat from what should have been a decisive victory, they are casting about desperately for some positive reason that will resonate with the average Scot to make her or him want to be a Brit.  The anti-independence politicians have tried over a dozen variants of this latest strategy in the last two days (along with a switching from extortion to last minute promises of greater autonomy).

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Things About Mortgage Fraud that Holder Should End Today: Suspect Ethnic Groups

By William K. Black

I am returning to my series of articles about the pathologies that have caused the Department of Justice (DOJ) to suffer a strategic failure in prosecuting the banksters that led the three fraud epidemics that caused the financial crisis and the Great Recession.  I have been inspired by Tom Frank’s column in Salon covering our successful defense of a mortgage fraud case in Sacramento.  This column addresses the single most offensive thing I learned in the course of that case.  Under U.S. Attorney Ben Wagner’s leadership the Eastern District of California has begun targeting immigrants of Russian descent for mortgage fraud prosecutions.

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Mick Jagger, Gordon Brown, and Paul Krugman Lead the Charge for British Rule of Scotland

By William K. Black

The “no” campaign against independence has reached the stage of endgame panic that leads to desperately throwing charges and publicity stunts at what the polls indicate are increasing support for independence among Scots.  Over the last several days we have seen a new anti-independence troika emerge – Gordon Brown, Mick Jagger, and Paul Krugman.  I have written previously about the unintended self-parody of making a “rogue” like Brown the “spearhead” of the joint effort by the Tories, Labor, and the (vanishing Lib-Dems) to convince the Scots not to reclaim their independence.  (Note to the “better together” opponents of independence – “spear” metaphors aimed at the Scots are best avoided, particularly when wielded by the kind of Scottish “rogues” that Burns denounced in his famous poem about the corrupt and treasonous origins of Scotland’s “union” with Great Britain.)

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Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation: First RBS, now Gordon Brown

By William K. Black

I just wrote a column noting that the business interests trying to panic the Scots against voting to restore their independence were so clueless that they were citing RBS – the bank that epitomized the fraud epidemics that drove the UK economic collapse.  As I have explained in prior columns, the City of London “won” the race to the bottom with Wall Street and became the most shameful and destructive fraud vector in the world.

In the day since I wrote my column three developments reflect the increasing desperation.  First, a poll showed (for the first time) the “yes” campaign with a small lead.  Second, the UK began to try to entice, rather than threaten, Scotland with vague promises of increased autonomy should the Scots vote against independence.  Third, the “no” campaign has wheeled out Gordon Brown to write a column in the New York Times opposing independence.

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Unintentional Self-Parody: The Failed Banks Warn Scotland Against Independence

By William K. Black

I do not know whether the Scots should vote for independence.  I assume that the odds are they will vote against it.  I do know that the reasons advanced for voting against independence by business interest are false.  Indeed, the opposite of what they claim is far more likely to be true.  What I find a joy to behold, however, is the suggestion by the banksters that the Scots should get their economic advice about independence from a group of failed and often fraudulent parasites and that they should avoid any action that creates “uncertainty” or would cause them to act as a Nation rather than a U.K. province.  There is a serious effort to make independence from the Brits sound like the path of economic madness.

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