Category Archives: William K. Black

BWU/NEP’s Bill Black on WAMC

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

Clinton Vs. Sanders on Big Banks

[Revised 4/18/16. Added Part 2 and link to Part 2]

Bill Black, adviser to Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton supporter Paul Hodes appear on The Real News and discuss whether the Dodd-Frank legislation is effective at preventing systemic risk from Wall Street monopolies. You can view the videos below or on The Real News‘ site with a transcript. Part 2 on Real News.


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“Liberal” Economists Cheered the New Democrats’ Deregulation of Finance

By William K. Black
April 11, 2016     Bloomington, MN

This is the second part of my series on how Hillary and Bill Clinton and Paul Krugman have pivoted in response to Bernie Sanders’ series of electoral wins and are racing hard right on finance and crime.  In my first column I wore my criminology “hat” to explain how Bill was disinterring outrageous (false and racist) positions that Hillary and he had once championed.  This was all the more bizarre because Hillary and Bill had recently repudiated those positions.  In the mid-1990s, Hillary and Bill sought to spread a “moral panic” about subhuman black “super predators” in order to secure passage of the crime bill that led to mass incarceration and then to maintain the 100-to-one disparity in sentencing for crack v. powder cocaine once it was known that the scientifically baseless sentencing disparity was leading to a dramatic rise in the incarceration of blacks and Latinos.  I also deplored Bill’s false claim that Black Lives Matter protesters were “defending” those who murdered black children.

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Banking Expert Who Exposed Savings & Loan Corruption Joins Sanders Campaign

By Reno Berkeley
Crossposted from Inquisitor.com

An expert in banking corruption and finance has joined the Bernie Sanders campaign. William K. Black, an associate professor at the University of Missouri-KC, is Bernie Sanders’ new economic advisor. Black was one of the central figures in exposing and prosecuting corruption in the savings and loan crisis from the late 1980s and mid-1990s. His addition to the Sanders campaign brings important knowledge in laws pertaining to finance and banking.

The savings and loan banking crisis resulted from a multitude of causes, one of which were two laws that helped deregulate them. The Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980 was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter. That law allowed credit unions and savings and loans to offer checking deposits, and to charge any loan interest rate they chose.
Read the rest here.

Hillary and Bill and Paul Krugman Race to the Right to Stop the Bern

By William K. Black
April 8, 2016     Bloomington, MN

(Crossposted from Huffington Post. Postscript added for NEP)

Remember several weeks ago when Hillary Clinton was complaining that Democrats did not consider her a “progressive?”  Bernie Sanders’ big win in Wisconsin ended that tactic and propelled Paul Krugman and Hillary and Bill Clinton to race to the right, inadvertently proving Bernie’s point that they are not progressives on the key issues.

In the last week, Hillary and her surrogates have pivoted hard right and retreated to their long-held positions on the major issues.  Indeed, in several cases they have gone even farther to the right than the policies they pushed over a decade ago – even though those policies proved disastrous.  They also inadvertently demonstrated the terrible policies that were produced by the Clinton’s vaunted “pragmatism” and compromising with the most extreme Republican demands.  That was the story of Clinton’s infamous welfare “reform” – a policy both Clintons championed.  Tom Frank details in his new book entitled Listen, Liberal how the Clintons’ “pragmatism” and zeal to work with the worst elements of the Republican Party led to the welfare “reform” bill.    Zach Carter has just written the article I was planning to write about that travesty.  He entitled it “Nothing Bill Clinton Said To Defend His Welfare Reform Is True.”  I encourage you to read it.

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The Myth that Obama’s Taking Huge Contributions from Wall Street Was Fine

By William K. Black
April 7, 2016     Bloomington, MN

I am now officially an economic advisor to Senator Sanders, and this column reflects some of that advice.  Part of my advice is not to take money from Wall Street felons.   (I am not taking credit for Bernie’s decision — at most I supported a decision he had already made over a year ago.)  One of the reasons I reinforced Bernie’s decision was witnessing the problems President Obama experienced given his taking very large contributions from Wall Street.  I channeled the prescient warning that Professor Thomas Ferguson (U. Mass, Boston) gave a group of us in 2008.  He predicted, accurately, that Obama would not lead an effective crackdown on the endemic fraud by Wall Street elites that caused the financial crisis.  Tom (he is a personal friend) is the expert on campaign finance.  He authored the classic book on campaign finance entitled Golden Rule (as in the observation that he that has the gold makes the rules.).

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The Fourth Whistleblowers’ Lemons Award Goes to DOJ for Ignoring Citi’s Criminals

By William K. Black

We could, of course, retire the Bank Whistleblowers United’s Lemons title – for ignoring or trivializing elite fraud – by awarding it permanently to the Department of Justice (DOJ).  The current award is particularly close to our hearts because it involves DOJ ignoring the sworn testimony of one our founders, Richard Bowen.  DOJ did not ignore Bowen’s testimony because it was discredited, but because it was proven accurate – and should have led to the indictment of Citigroup’s top leadership team.

Two recent revelations prompt the timing our Lemon award to DOJ.  First, it is five years since the release of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) report, so the criminal referrals that FCIC made were revealed.   Citigroup’s senior managers were the subject of two, separate criminal referrals by FCIC.  One of those two referrals was based on Bowen’s testimony.  (Bowen’s explosive interview by FCIC’s staff was also made public.)   The mainstream press has ignored the referral based on Bowen’s testimony.

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Why the Panama Papers Scandal Isn’t Such a Scandal After All

Crossposted from vice.com

By John Dyer

When news of the Panama Papers broke earlier this week, it was a bombshell. But it later emerged that German prosecutors had reportedly launched an investigation into the Mossack Fonseca law firm at the center of the controversy a year ago. (The investigation is ongoing.) American officials have also for years been trying to track money shifted around the world through shell companies that the firm specializes in establishing.

Though governments around the world have long decried tax havens and have aggressively pursued big banks in Switzerland and other countries, they have not pursued high-profile lawsuits against Mossack Fonseca or its clients despite knowledge of its business dealings.

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Panama: Cheating “Epidemic” Crowds Out Honest Business, Implicates Banks

Cross-posted from ineteconomics.org

The Panama Papers are not simply a story of public corruption as depicted in news outlets like the Wall Street Journal, says former financial regulator William K. Black. They’re a reminder that such corruption destroys the possibility for honest businesses to succeed.

“Markets become completely perverse when cheaters prosper,” explains Black, a leading expert on corruption and finance and frequent speaker at Institute events. When cheating brings a competitive advantage, the victims are not only middle class taxpayers who have to shoulder a heavier burden, and the wider public that suffers from schools not being built and roads not being repaired. A less obvious victim is the honest business person.

“Those who want to do business honestly simply can’t compete against people who don’t pay taxes,” says Black. A company may start out with strong values and principles, but if all of its competitors are cheating, that business will either just fail, or else will “grit their teeth and go for it.” Thus, still more cheaters, and fewer straight shooters.

Read rest of the post here.

AEI Pushes Government Propaganda Telling Women to Marry Schlubs

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

I wrote a two-part column on the joint report by AEI and Brookings on poverty reduction.  Part two of my column focused on the policy that report pushed most prominently – a government program of propaganda urging pregnant women to marry.  My first article, however, criticized Eduardo Porter’s February 2, 2016 column in the New York Times for ballyhooing the supposed wondrous nature of Brookings and AEI working together.  Porter portrayed them as “leading thinkers on opposite sides of the ideological divide.”  I pointed out that a majority of the group had hard-right views and that the group had an exceptionally weak member pushing a single idea – marriage propaganda.  I also pointed out that Brookings had, for decades, played the same very junior partner role of giving AEI cover for “joint” proposals with Brookings to cripple financial regulation.

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