Category Archives: William K. Black

Bill Black on The Real News – Boris Johnson

NEP’s Bill Black appears on the The Real News with Sarmini Peries discussing Boris Johnson. Johnson’s demonization of the EU and virtually all of its leaders in his role as an alleged journalist makes him the worst conceivable person to put in a top diplomatic post. Video below. Transcript available here.

BREXIT – Part 7: NYT Editorial Decrying the Vote

By William K. Black
July 5, 2016     Bloomington, MN

NYT Editorial Decrying BREXIT – Part 7

The NYT editorialized against the BREXIT vote, just in case the six columns it printed attacking the vote might not make it clear where the editorial board stood.  The editorial explained what it saw as the basis for the vote.

It was a cry of anger and frustration from more than half the country against those who wield power, wealth and privilege, both in their own government and in Brussels, and against global forces in a world that they felt was squeezing them out.

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BREXIT – Part 6: Steven Erlanger

By William K. Black
July 5, 2016     Bloomington, MN

The sixth column that the New York Time published on the same date condemning the vote in favor of BREXIT can be dealt with briefly.  It too attacked the legitimacy of democracy, which it presented as a threat to “representative government.”

Steven Erlanger – Part 6

Steven Erlanger quoted with apparent approval this revealing quotation in his column condemning BREXIT.

Bronwen Maddox, former editor of Prospect Magazine and the new director of the Institute for Government, a research institution, commented by email that “there is a growing intolerance for representative government, which is likely to have consequences for the ability of any government to run the country.”

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BREXIT – Part 5: Jim Yardley

By William K. Black
July 5, 2016     Bloomington, MN

Jim Yardley – Part 5

Jim Yardley wrote a column entitled “Populist Anger Upends Politics on Both Sides of the Atlantic.”  Yes, anyone in the UK who supported BREXIT is just like an American supporter of Donald Trump because they are angry.  Indeed, it’s “the same” as every non-establishment politician and political supporter throughout Europe and the U.S.

The same yawning gap between the elite and mass opinion is fueling a populist backlash in Austria, France, Germany and elsewhere on the Continent — as well as in the United States.

As Tony Blair’s column correctly noted, however, the leadership of the pro-BREXIT movement was ultra-elite.  Elite opinion was fractured in the UK along multiple fault lines.  EU “elites” have, of course, brought the EU over a decade of massive bubbles, widespread fraud by financial elites, financial crises, a Great Recession, an economically illiterate response to the Great Recession that forced much of the eurozone into Great Depression level unemployment.  Oh, and those elites have been exposed in far too many cases as tax frauds and cheats.  Oh, and the head of EU Commission is the guy who turned Luxembourg into a “let’s make a secret deal” cesspool for large corporations seeking to evade paying taxes.  The dominant EU elites are colossal failures in terms of competence and ethics.  Any rational, adult citizenry would reject the dominant EU elite “opinion.”  Yardley admits at one point that the rejection is rational.

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Obsessing About The “Thin Blue Lines” While Elite White-Collar Crime Runs Rampant

By William K. Black
July 4, 2016     Bloomington, MN

The New York Times published a book review entitled “Thin Blue Lines.”  The two books reviewed were about street crimes.  Based solely on reading the NYT book review, and wearing my criminology hat, neither book adds materially to the useful literature.  The two books, and the book review, however, share a common characteristic that is worth analysis.  All three conflate “street crime” with “crime” and “police” with “law enforcement.”  The “blue lines,” of course, refer to police, rather than the FBI white-collar crime section that is supposed to investigate elite white-collar crime.  If the American police represent “thin blue lines,” then in comparison the pittance of law enforcement personnel charged with investigating elite white-collar crime represent the sheerest tissue paper – so insubstantial that they must be described as diaphanous or gossamer.

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BREXIT – Part 4

By William K. Black
July 4, 2016     Bloomington, MN

This is the fourth column in my seven-part series discussing the seven-barrel shotgun blast of articles that the New York Times published attacking the vote by those who favored BREXIT.  This column addresses Paul Krugman column on BREXIT.

Paul Krugman [Part 4]

Paul Krugman also wrote an attack on “populist[s].”

It seems clear that the European project – the whole effort to promote peace and growing political union through economic integration – is in deep, deep trouble. Brexit is probably just the beginning, as populist/separatist/xenophobic movements gain influence across the continent.

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The EU’s Failed Neo-Liberal Policies and BREXIT

By William K. Black
June 28, 2016     Kansas City, MO

Andrew Ross Sorkin is back, so unintentional self-parody is again the order of the day.  Wall Street’s sycophant-in-chief, introduces his column with a 98 m.p.h. fastball aimed at the reader’s chin.

This isn’t meant to scare you, but let’s consider the absolute worst-case scenarios of “Brexit.”

Sorkin’s column then presents his specific example of his absolute worst-case scenario.  See if you can spot what is missing from that scenario.

Consider this: Italy’s government is considering pumping as much as $45 billion into its banking system after the Brexit vote. Shares of the biggest Italian banks have fallen more than 20 percent since the results of the vote were announced. And Italian banks are considered particularly vulnerable because they hold hundreds of billions of euros in bad loans. If Brexit forces a material economic slowdown across the Continent, Italy’s banks — without a rescue plan — could significantly suffer.

OK, Italy’s elite bankers made “hundreds of billions of euros in bad loans” that are still on their books nine years after the onset of the Great Recession.  That should have prompted deep analysis by Sorkin about why the bankers made the loans, what role they caused in producing Italy’s crises, and why the regulators have allowed the bankers to “extend and pretend” the bad loans as if they were good loans for nine years.

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BREXIT: Part 3: Tony Blair

By William K. Black
June 24, 2016     Kansas City, MO

Tony Blair

Tony Blair disgraced his office as Prime Minister and continues to disgrace it as lobbyist for murderous kleptocrats.  Blair’s column claims personal credit for a series of supposed triumph, blames the BREXIT vote on the Tories, and throws Jeremy Corbin, his successor as Labour Party leader, under the bus.  The title of Blair’s article refers to the democratic vote in favor of BREXIT as a “coup,” which helps explain why he specializes in getting ever wealthier by fronting for tyrants and kleptocrats who he presents as evolving democrats.  The English language is just one of the things Blair helps torture.

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The Terrible Cost to Democrats and Our Nation of Ignoring Tom Frank’s Warnings

By William K. Black
June 27, 2016     Kansas City, MO

Thomas Frank is a historian and writer.  He is also the man who tried to save the Democratic Party and our Nation from great harm.  He is the great chronicler of one of the most grievous, self-inflicted wounds in modern American history.  Twelve years ago, in What’s the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America, Frank tried to warn the Democratic Party’s dominant elites’ that their policies and contempt for workers were pushing a large part of its base out of the Party.  Many of the workers that were the Democratic Party’s traditional base were leaving the Party and failing to participate in elections, but some were supporting the far-right wing of the Republican Party.  At the national level, the New Democrats’ candidates remained highly competitive, but the Republican Party was able to attain complete political domination of most states.

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BREXIT Part 2: Roger Cohen

By William K. Black
June 24, 2016     Kansas City, MO

Roger Cohen

Roger Cohen published a column decrying BREXIT.

Warnings about the dire consequences of a British exit from President Barack Obama, Britain’s political leaders, major corporations based in Britain and the International Monetary Fund proved useless. If anything, they goaded a mood of defiant anger against those very elites.

This resentment has its roots in many things but may be summed up as a revolt against global capitalism. To heck with the experts and political correctness was the predominant mood in the end. A majority of Britons had no time for the politicians that brought the world a disastrous war in Iraq, the 2008 financial meltdown, European austerity, stagnant working-class wages, high immigration and tax havens for the super-rich.

That some of these issues have no direct link to the European Union or its much-maligned Brussels bureaucrats did not matter.

Yes, “Project Fear” failed in its goal of intimidating voters.  It isn’t simply the “politicians” that failed, it was the “experts” – the elites that rig the system in finance and the ideologues who create the self-inflicted wounds of EU austerity – who designed the failed policies and grew wealthier and more powerful because of those policies.  Cohen ignores that obvious point, but much of the public has come to realize that the foreign policy and financial “experts” are dishonest and self-serving.  Their principal competence is making themselves wealthy at our expense.  I urge people to understand that ideology and self-interest rather than competence is what causes these elite “experts” to act as if they were stupid.  They are typically not stupid; they are skilled parasites.

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