W. Black’s 8/10 Appearance on CNBC’s Closing Bell

By William K. Black

My August 10th appearance on CNBC’s Closing Bell opposite Bethany McLean. The debate topic was the failure to prosecute Goldman Sachs for any role in the financial crisis.



10 responses to “W. Black’s 8/10 Appearance on CNBC’s Closing Bell

  1. Baby-talk, super-model chick against Bill Black. And, I’m not going to say what I think about the silly news commentator talking head. This Orwellian stuff is both frightening and sickening. Good grief. I think I’m gonna be ill.

    I can tell you that the mortgage lenders are already doing what they did before (not that they ever really stopped). They’re circumventing the double-blind (extortionist) “appraisal management” companies, calling the appraisers directly, threatening, intimidating, lying, sending incorrect addresses to be appraised, incorrect contact numbers and contacts, incorrect legal descriptions, hounding on turn around times and fees, waiting till the last moment to order appraisals, having to be asked over and over and over to send even minimal correct information so that appraisals can even be started, etc., ad nauseum … Yeah, things have really changed.

  2. The exchange was interesting but what is the point? We see that Goldman Sachs is not going to be prosecuted, but was that really unexpected? More to the point, so what? I do not mean that this in a cheaply nihislistic way, I mean it in the larger sense of what needs to be done. What needs to be done to make this right? More importantly, can it be done?
    You mention the SnL scandal, the Enron scandal, and now the financial scandal. Where or when does it stop? You state that there is no will to prosecute. It appears to be that system has grown used to this behaviour and, to quote Daniel Moniyhan from a different context, we have defined deviancy down. We now see people justifying such behaviour as the “cost of doing business”. The market accepts that the goal is not to do the right thing, but only to avoid getting caught doing the wrong thing.
    You also mention there is no political will to prosecute. What then is to be done? What can the average citizen do in the face of institutionalized criminality? If, as you claim, Goldman Sachs was engaged in fraudulent behaviour AND the United States Government is unwilling (unable?) to investigate vigorously and prosecute aggressively, then what can be done?
    Who will prosecute? Who has the political incentive to prosecute? Are we, the public, to remain as passive observers to the political wranglings like the grass when elephants dance?

    I would be interested in your views as to how we address this problem as it now seems institutionalized.

  3. I’d actually give that appearance a 10/10. ; )

  4. I was insulted by that interview of you, Bill. The Vanity Fair editor doesn’t have standing to make the claims she did. She was invited because she wrote about the Enron case and because she’s married to a white-collar crime attorney, who no doubt coached her. Why didn’t they put her husband on? That’s would have been a fair conversation.

  5. Bethany MClean is not some brainless bimbo she broke the Enron scandal. If she has sold out it is a shame. But maybe there is something to what she is saying. You might consider offering her the opportunity to make her points on your blog at length.

  6. Alex Morfesis

    in spite of the notion that GS slid past the tag at second base, one of the positive issues is that the noose gets tightened every time the dinosaurs are forced to take an actual position. One of the ways a snake or roach survives is by being able to adjust and squeeze into small spaces where no one will notice. GS played stupid in the seminal case that April Charney had brought in her primary fight with her public legal services organization where she worked. The same type of legal services organization which John Paulson gave 15 million dollars to in an attempt to get these organizations to do his dirty work in pushing the subprime industry over the cliff a good year before it would have faltered…in that same vein, MERS is vulnerable as it took the amusing position in appeals case after appeals case for almost 10 years that it HELD the note, when it never did…in fact, it never holds the mortgage either…another issue that will be coming up here in florida in the next six months…HP/EDS is gonna get some private lawsuit subpoenas soon, as they run the MERS database.
    Having bumped heads with Valerie Jarrett and company in chicago way back when, there is no question she takes a George Patton approach to battle, and just goes around obstacles instead of doing a montgomery silly walk and having a parade for no good reason. There are many positives coming from this mess despite what might appear as banksters gone wild. The only real problem is will the average person become more of a participating citizen?? How many people realize they can walk into any bank and start insisting it comply with the CRA and lend money to local businesses ??? The law has been in place for years, and when in Chicago, used it to develop hundreds of millions of dollars in lending in areas that had been written off…and currently use it in Florida to help homeowners force the banks to settle…it is our secret weapon for our clients who have decent income and the attorneys for the banksters get cute and lose dox 20 times…have not failed in getting a settlement invoking the CRA creatively…the feds have not done a proper CRA review on any of the majors since aug 7, 2007 when BNP Paribas shut down the game of musical chairs. In reality, every major OCC regulated bank should be given an “unsatisfactory” rating for their foot dragging and outright refusal to honestly work on homeowner restructurings…and the ECOA does not give corporations special privileges….how many commercial properties have had principal reductions and repayments/short sales where the original borrowing entity is allowed to keep the property…and how many homeowners get the same treatment…CRA is the key, and that requires the average person to do some work beyond showing up to vote every 4 years…GS and Morgan Stanley try to suggest, as has Standard Chartered, that they are “wholesale” lenders, and are not required to comply with the CRA…funny though…that is not what the OCC regs say…they are specific and have a section all to just covering this issue…GS will be getting a call real soon…woodstock institute is a good place to start for those willing to do the boots on the ground work needed…I dont agree with woodstocks general mindset, but they are a great source of solid information.

    good luck
    be well

  7. Bayard Waterbury

    Wow, Go Bill. You are a hero to all. The obvious speciousness of the arguments made against prosecutions continue to amaze. Maria Bartaromo is such an ass. She loves Goldman, et al, and she “just can’t” believe that these rich bastards could do anything wrong. This is so emblematic of the approach taken by media, but then CNBC is owned by GE, as in GE Capital, a beneficiary of our environment of greed. GE make money on some great products, like jet engines, light bulbs, appliances, etc. Their media empire is structured to support their fellow oligarchs by distorting the news and ignoring simple truths. Bill Black is perhaps the most knowledgeable former public servant to have lived. Bill understands the situation and tells the truth, unvarnished, and uninhibited. He has no political agenda. Time to listen up America, and stop accepting the pandering of crap in the mainstream media. They are there to entertain, to distort, and to ignore the realities that go against their owner’s and supporters agendas. Maria is just another idiot mouthpiece among hordes.

  8. Bill,
    Next time point be sure to point out that McLean is a former GS worker that went on to actively write smear pieces on companies for hedgefunds shorting them…. leading you to conclude that she is a Wall Street media shill aiding the cover up by spreading disinformation.

    Here are her emails from an ongoing criminal lawsuit, Fairfax Financial Holdings vs hedgefunds
    “From: Marc Cohodes
    Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2007 9:51 AM
    To: Bethany McLean
    Subject: ffh

    you hear anything there??? the stock is up 45 points since your piece and I dont understand it… ”

    “From: Bethany McLean
    Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2007 11:51:57 AM
    To: Marc Cohodes
    Subject: Re: ffh

    I’m getting the same question from other people. No, I don’t have a clue. I’m worried they’ve gotten the SEC or the Southern District to take them seriously –”

    “From: Bethany McLean
    Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2007 6:12:48 PM
    To: Marc Cohodes
    Subject: Re: ffh

    Sorry to be a little bad-tempered. This FFH story almost killed me, so I hate hearing that it was pointless. Maybe it’ll be a long, slow thing..”


  9. Captured media, captured journalists. Watch the body language of host and McLean. A set up. Bill you were played.