Free Markets Mean Zero Economic Profit – or a 99% Profit Markup

By William K. Black
May 3, 2016     Bloomington, MN

Open up a conventional economics text and you will be taught that high among the glories of “free markets” is the “fact” that they lead to firms earning “zero economic profits.”  Economic profits are not the same as accounting profits.  An economic profit occurs when a firm receives greater profits than the minimum required to be able to raise capital in their industry.  A firm that receives a profit greater than that minimum requirement is receiving monopoly “rents” due to its market power.  Conventional economists used to believe that was a bad thing, but many conventional economists from the right are now openly hostile to antitrust concerns.

Continue reading

Bloomberg Tells Michigan Grads They Must Defeat Bernie’s Plan to Jail Wall Street Felons

By  William K. Black
May 2, 2016      Bloomington, MN

Michael Bloomberg has just published, in Bloomberg, what he describes as “an adaptation of an address to the University of Michigan’s class of 2016.”  Having graduated twice from Michigan, as did our eldest, I was intrigued.  Bloomberg’s title was “Here’s Your Degree.  Now Go Defeat Demagogues.”  What Bloomberg means is that he is frightened that so many young people supported the “Occupy Wall Street” movement and support Bernie Sanders.  I’ve written before about Bloomberg, a Wall Street billionaire, and the myths he tries to spread about Bernie.  Wall Street elites fear Bernie.  They know he won’t take their money, he will end the systemically dangerous banks, and he will imprison their leading felons.  Bloomberg’s hate for, and fear of, Bernie is perfectly rational.  Why he thinks that Michigan students will take his advice and learn to love Wall Street’s felons is a lot less clear.

Continue reading

False Choice or Real Possibilities

By J.D. ALT

The essential ploy in politics is to give people a false choice. For dinner tonight, you can have fried potatoes—which are what I am serving—or you can have watered-down potato gruel, which is what my opponent is serving. Never mind that, if we take time to look, the larder is actually stocked with tomatoes, corn, zucchini, string-beans, hams and pork bellies.

The political false choice is usually quite subtle, and invariably involves whether you want to be taxed or not. The example I continuously stumble upon is Barak Obama’s 2015 State-of-the-Union proposal for universal child-care in America. However eloquently he may have framed it, the choice President Obama eventually gave was this: pre-school child-care for every American family paid for by the federal government—coupled with a new tax on cigarettes—OR hit-and-miss pre-school child-care paid for by private welfare, struggling individual families, and desperate single moms. Never mind looking in the larder to see if there are unemployed resources in America which—without raising additional taxes—could not only provide the child-care services, but could be employed to do so, thereby contributing not only to the gross domestic product and aggregate demand for Main Street businesses, but to the well-being and success of our nation’s school-children. But instead of looking in the larder to see what was possible, we were given Obama’s false choice.

Continue reading

The German Right is Stunned that Plowing Wickedness Has Reaped Iniquity

By William K. Black
May 1, 2016     Bloomington, MN

Republican Party leaders are shocked that their three decades of pursuing the racist “Southern strategy,” California Governor Pete Wilson’s desperate attacks on Latinos, myriad assaults on women’s rights, and repeatedly sponsoring gay bashing propositions designed to energize the (bigoted) base have created a base that champions Donald Trump’s serial hatred.  Key leaders of the hard right in Germany are shocked by the same dynamic.  The prophet Hosea has two verses that warned of this dynamic millennia ago.

Continue reading

Progressives Don’t Let Friends Vote Neocon

By L. Randall Wray

The drumbeat is quickening as Hillary’s surrogates insist that Bernie’s supporters fall in line. Bernie’s chances are said to be hopeless. Continuing to run only plays into the hands of truly despicable Republicans.

And forget about trying to pressure the Democratic Party’s establishment to let Bernie play a role in formulating the convention’s platform. That also would just play into the hands of the Republicans.

Time to unite behind Hillary, and let her move further to the right. No more talk of revolution, of trillions of dollars of new spending, of significant increases to the minimum wage. Let’s talk about Hillary’s issues: regime change abroad, downsizing dreams at home, and protecting Wall Street from the pitchforks.

Continue reading

Bill Black on The Vinny Eastwood Show

NEP/BWU’s Bill Black appears on the Vinny Eastwood show out of New Zealand. Topics of discussion are Financial Fraud, and the Panama Papers.

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Sanders is Representing Agapé [Ag-AH-pay] Love for Millennials (and Beyond)

Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.

Democrats in remaining primary states are now making decisions about whether to continue supporting and campaigning for Bernie Sanders the surprisingly successful underdog in the Democratic primary for President or line up behind the current frontrunner and Democratic Establishment candidate Hillary Clinton.   Sanders still has a chance to win a majority of pledged delegates if primary voters feel positively about Sanders and negatively about his opponent Clinton, that they will support Sanders.  The role of grassroots Sanders campaign volunteers is crucial here.  There are many aspects to voters’ decision-making but I want to highlight one feature of his candidacy that goes beyond differences in policy between Sanders and Clinton.  I think that those decisions revolve also around differing understandings of what kinds of love people need to survive and thrive.

Continue reading