Daily Archives: April 18, 2016

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