Category Archives: William K. Black

Neil Delamere Talks Economics with Bill Black


NEP’s Bill Black talks economics and the Irish economy with Neil Delamere on Neil’s Sunday Best program. You can listen here.

Can the Bank of England’s New ‘Ring-fencing’ Rules Work?

NEP’s Bill Black and Wharton professor of legal studies and business ethics Peter Conti-Brown discuss the Bank of England’s move to re-regulate the banking industry in Britain and protect depositors and taxpayers. You can view the article and listen to the podcast here.

If the Justice Dept Wants to Punish Corporate Crooks, Here’s How

NEP’s Bill Black appears with Richard “RJ” Eskow on the Zero Hour discussing the DOJ’s change in stance regarding prosecuting elite white collar criminals. You can view the video below.

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DOJ’s Rules for Wall Street Are Nothing New

David Cay Johnston, Brandon Garrett and NEP’s Bill Black appear on HuffPostLive discussing DOJ’s rules for Wall Street. You can view it here.


Now the DOJ Admits They Got it Wrong

William K. Black

September 10, 2015

By issuing its new memorandum the Justice Department is tacitly admitting that its experiment in refusing to prosecute the senior bankers that led the fraud epidemics that caused our economic crisis failed. The result was the death of accountability, of justice, and of deterrence. The result was a wave of recidivism in which elite bankers continued to defraud the public after promising to cease their crimes. The new Justice Department policy, correctly, restores the Department’s publicly stated policy in Spring 2009. Attorney General Holder and then U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch ignored that policy emphasizing the need to prosecute elite white-collar criminals and refused to prosecute the senior bankers who led the fraud epidemics.

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The Worst of the Worst of the Worst: New Century and its Economics Shills

By William K. Black
Bloomington, MN:  August 8, 2015

I have often noted the existence of a primitive tribal taboo shared by virtually all economists against using the “f” word – “fraud.”  I have found a new example that sums up many of the pathologies of economics and economists.  It is an article entitled “Going for Broke: New Century Financial Corporation, 2004-2006.”  Given that New Century was a classic accounting control fraud, the use of the long-discredited gambling metaphor (our “autopsies” of S&L failures refuted it in 1984) demonstrates the crippling power of the taboo.  The three economists who authored the September 2010 article are Augustin Landier (Toulouse School of Economics) David Sraer (Princeton University) David Thesmar (HEC & CEPR) (collectively, “LST”).

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The Republican Candidates Agree that the System is Rigged for the Rich

By William K. Black
Bloomington, MN:  August 7, 2015

The Republican debate last night revealed one area of broad agreement among Americans – we now live in a system of crony capitalism that is systematically rigged to favor the ultra-wealthy.  That is all the more remarkable as an admission because the Republican candidates are overwhelmingly (and increasingly) funded by the ultra-wealthy.  It is also remarkable because the Republican policy prescription for crony capitalism is to make the ultra-wealthy wealthier at the expense of the American people.  This last point is logical, but obscene.

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The OSU Band Exemplifies Why Economists Err by Ignoring Culture

By William K. Black
Bloomington, MN:  July 31, 2015

The Ohio State University (OSU) marching band is back in the news, which is a very bad thing.  Sometimes a story that has no obvious connection to economics provides an understandable example of why economic analysis is often so poor.  The OSU band story is featured in the Wall Street Journal in an article entitled “Holocaust Victims Mocked in Ohio State Band Parody Songbook.”  The WSJ has a copy of the “OSU songbook” and the title is not an overstatement.  The lyrics mock the Jewish victims in graphic terms.  The lyrics are also juvenile and lame.  The author(s) of the songbook have no future in any creative activity.  The lyrics to other songs are homophobic and equally lame.  I won’t quote the lyrics and spread the hate.

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Murdoch Warns Pope Francis about Ecuador’s President Correa

By William K. Black
Quito: July 12, 2015

Now that Pope Francis’ visit to South America has ended we can reflect on the Rupert Murdoch’s effort to slam Pope Francis and Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa using the pretext of the Pope’s recent visit here.  The Wall Street Journal warned “Ecuador’s Correa Wants to Co-Opt Pope Francis: The pontiff risks leaving the impression on his visit that the church condones repression.”  Given that Pope Francis is Argentine, the idea that the Murdoch’s minions needed to inform and warn the Pope about President Correa is very funny.

Murdoch’s minions are always reaching for a thesaurus of insults when they write about Correa, and this article is no exception.  The title: “condones repression” gets the verbal assault going quickly.  But the minions are only warming to their task and are a bit repetitive, warning in the second paragraph that “the visit is likely to leave the impression that the church is in solidarity with the repressive Correa machine.”  Note the addition of “machine” at the end of that agitprop.

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LIBOR: History’s Largest Financial Crime that the WSJ and NYT Would Like You to Forget

By William K. Black
Quito: July 8, 2015

I read a BBC story about the LIBOR criminal trial in the UK and was going to write to criticize its woeful analytics. In preparation I checked the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to see how they reported the devastating testimony in the trial. I could not, however, find any coverage in my electronic searches and viewing their web pages.

To review the bidding, the LIBOR bid rigging cartel was the largest cartel in history, manipulating the prices of an estimated $300+ trillion in assets. That is a figure considerably larger than the world’s combined GDP. Here are typical statements by the Department of Justice (DOJ) about the LIBOR cartel.

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