Category Archives: William K. Black

Obama’s Great Lie: What’s Good for Wall Street Felons is Good for America

By William K. Black
April 30, 2016     Bloomington, MN

To no one’s surprise, President Obama lobs periodic attacks on Bernie Sanders’ plans to restore the rule of law to Wall Street elites.  Obama launched his latest attack, fittingly, through Wall Street’s sycophant-in-chief, Andrew Ross Sorkin.  Sorkin’s column expresses his shock at how Obama repeatedly extended their interview for hours beyond its scheduled length.  No one else is shocked that Obama, trying to make the case that bailing out the Wall Street felons was an act of supreme genius, would find Sorkin’s relentless sycophancy towards those felons and their political cronies so endearing.  This is the first segment of my response.  It focuses on the Obama administration’s great lie – the only policy “tools that work” in response to a financial crisis are getting “in bed with the banks” and making even wealthier through federal bailouts the bankers who grew wealthy by leading the fraud epidemics that caused the crisis.

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Talking Appraisal Fraud with Bill Black

BWU/NEP’s Bill Black appears on Phil Crawford’s Voice of Appraisal. Bill discusses past problems with appraisal fraud and the AMC model. He also explains how he would like to work with appraisers in the future!! The introduction starts at about the 11 minute mark with interview starting around the 15 minute mark.

Paul Krugman and Holman Jenkins Shill for the Giant Banks

By William K. Black
April 20, 2016     Bloomington, MN

Holman Jenkins, the ultra-conservative Wall Street Journal columnist who specializes in global climate change denial and elite financial fraud denial, has written recently to join Paul Krugman in defending the systemically dangerous banks.  Jenkins is a member of the WSJ’s loopy editorial board.  Jenkins’ title was “Big Banks Aren’t the Problem.”  Jenkins’ thesis raises obvious and vital questions – he ignores each of them because answering them would falsify his thesis.

The 2008 crisis did not begin in a handful of too-big-to-fail banks, but in incentives cast far and wide among home buyers, mortgage brokers, lenders and others to underwrite tax-advantaged, one-way bets on home prices.

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How Bernie’s Economic Policies Fit into Economic Theory

By William K. Black
April 19, 2016     Bloomington, MN

The journalist Adam Davidson has written an interesting article about economics and Bernie Sanders.  As an economic adviser to Bernie I found his take on Keynesian and institutional economics of considerable interest.  Institutional economics, contrary to Davidson’s take on it, is thriving and the University of Missouri at Kansas City has long been a center of institutional economics.  (I am one of the scholars at UMKC that works largely in this field.)  Davidson treats institutional economics, which overwhelmingly studies microeconomics and the “micro foundations” of the economy as having been rendered obsolete by the transformation that Keynes’ insights sparked in the study of macroeconomics.

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The Old South Renews Its Assault on the LGBT Community

By William K. Black
April 17, 2016     Bloomington, MN

In the first installment of this column I showed how radically the states of the former Confederacy are acting to destroy the policies of the “New South” and disinter the Old South.  I used North Carolina as my example.  This second column focuses on the renewed assault of the Old South on the LGBT community.  In particular, I discuss why so much of the business community reacts so strongly in opposition to this assault.  But what I am most interested in is explaining why the political leaders of the Old South’s renewed assault are flabbergasted by the business community’s opposition and respond to it in ways that reinforce the opposition.  The emerging leaders of the Old South simply cannot understand why national and global business leaders see the assault on the LGBT community as a problem.  I think the anti-LGBT political leadership of the reemerged Old South have three problems that explains this lack of understanding.

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The “New South” Reverts to the Old South

By William K. Black
April 12, 2016     Bloomington, MN

The rise of the “New South” is generally dated to around 1970, when socially and economically conservative white Democratic politicians who were moderate on racial issues began to be elected as governors in many Southern states.  The timing was just right in that, due to hatred for the Republican Party’s role in stopping the spread of slavery and then winning the Civil War, that Party was still anathema to many Southern whites.  The Republican Party’s “Southern strategy” would soon reverse this process and lead to that party’s modern domination of the South.  Today, the New South is rapidly reverting back to the pathologies of the Old South.  This first column looks at North Carolina as an example of this reversion.  The second column discusses the most recent manifestation of disinterring the bigotry that defined the Old South – the atavistic assault on the LGBT community.

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Too Big to Fail From the Eyes of a Specialist

By William K. Black
April 17, 2016     Bloomington, MN

Andrew Ross Sorkin has written a column lamenting that “For a Generalist, ‘Too Big to Fail’ May Be Too Tricky to Judge” about the district court opinion finding in favor of MetLife on the question of whether it would pose a system risk were it to fail.  Sorkin runs the NYT’s “Deal Book,” which is supposed to represent the paper’s specialized expertise with regard to Wall Street.  His column demonstrates that one of the areas of expertise required to understand Wall Street is legal, and that it is beyond his understanding despite having “read hundreds of pages of legal briefs from both sides, and talked to company and government officials and outside experts….”

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Bill Clinton’s Blood Libel of the American People

By William K. Black
April 17, 2016     Bloomington, MN

Hillary Clinton uses a rhetorical device that is too clever by half.  Whenever Bernie Sanders points out that she continues to take millions of dollars for her campaign and over $650,000 personally from the infamous “Vampire Squid” whose frauds caused the financial crisis she responds that this means that Bernie is attacking President Obama too, for in 2008 his campaign’s largest donor was those same Wall Street felons.  She then says that the Dodd-Frank Act proves that campaign contributions do not affect elected officials.  Her devotion to Wall Street funding and her statement that campaign funds have no effect help explain why she does so poorly in the polls on credibility.  As I explained in a prior column, academic research confirms what we all know from life – campaign contributions play a substantial role in the decisions of elected officials.  Indeed, even Paul Krugman’s lecture notes show that he agrees with this point.  (Disclosure: I am an adviser to Bernie on economics, regulation, and criminology.)

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The Austerity Beatings of Greece Will Continue Until Its Morale Improves

By William K. Black
April 17, 2016     Bloomington, MN

The old joke, that conveys a critical truth, is the poster that says “The daily floggings will continue until morale improves around here.”  The troika misses the irony in the poster, for it thinks that the answer to the eurozone nightmare problems caused by austerity is more austerity.  The latest example is three IMF stories that ran contemporaneously.  The IMF, again, lowered global growth forecasts.  Two, the IMF is calling for fiscal stimulus rather than austerity.  Three, the eurozone wants to inflict more severe austerity on Greece, purportedly to make the IMF happy.  If you sense a logical disconnect, you are right. Continue reading

BWU/NEP’s Bill Black on WAMC

Bill appears on In Conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock. You can listen here.