William K. Black

Rejoice! Chris Christie Will Never Be President

No one can know the strengths and weaknesses of an elected official as well as his close aides.  The official, unintentionally, reveals a great deal about himself when he chooses those aides.  It is also the relatively smaller things that are most telling about character.  How do the official and his aides react not to moments of crisis but to the routine disappointments inherent in life?  How does he routinely use power?  What level of empathy do the official and his aides demonstrate in day-to-day life?  Does he and do his aides care about all the citizens or only their political supporters? 

Keep reading... Show less

Plutocrats Plan to Dominate the Planet: But the People of Chile Are Fighting for All of Us

The effort by corporate CEOs to dominate the global economy and global government is reaching the end-game stage. 

Keep reading... Show less

America Has Become a "Cheater-Take-All" Nation

Tyler Cowen’s new book Average is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation warns that inequality will only get worse as a "hyper-meritocracy" of smart, energetic people at the top commanding machines and data speed ahead and the lazy, not-very-bright folks at the bottom fall further behind.

Keep reading... Show less

Conservative Legal Theory? Punish Street Crime, But Let Bankster Criminals Go Free

There are at least four principles that virtually all conservatives purport to support – except when the potential defendant is socially elite.  I have written previously about two of these principles on several occasions – the need for accountability and “broken windows” theory that calls for the prosecutors to make the prosecution of even minor street crimes a high priority if they have, even indirectly, a material effect on the community.

Keep reading... Show less

The White House is Stuffed With People Who are Clueless About Economics

I am a strong supporter of Janet Yellen and believe her support for the fiscal and monetary policies best designed to produce a stronger, prompter recovery from the Great Recession makes her the superior replacement for Ben Bernanke.  The criticism of Larry Summers’ position on fiscal stimulus, however, was generally inaccurate.  Within the Obama/Biden administration, the best known economists (Summers, Christina Romer, and Jared Bernstein) proved dramatically better economists than did the non-economists who eventually came to dominate Obama’s economic policies (Timothy Geithner, Jacob Lew, and William Daley).  Summers, Romer, and Bernstein were strong voices in favor of fiscal stimulus.  Summers deserves some additional praise because he had to break from his mentor’s (Bob Rubin’s) pro-austerity straightjacket to reach his anti-austerian position.

Keep reading... Show less

Stiglitz and Other Heavyweight Champion Economists in Epic Battle Over Austerity Policies That Devastate Millions

This article discusses a simmering feud among five of the most prominent economists in the world (two of them Nobel Laureates).  It was prompted by the August 8, 2013 article by Raghuram Rajan, who has just been selected to run India’s Central Bank, entitled: “The Paranoid Style in Economics.”  (Note: I have deliberately “buried the lead” in my last section.)

Keep reading... Show less

Why Do Conservatives and Libertarians Support Obama in Subsidizing Big Banks?

Glass-Steagall prevented a classic conflict of interest that we know frequently arises in the real world. Commercial banks are subsidized through federal deposit insurance. Most economists support providing deposit insurance to commercial banks for relatively smaller depositors. I am not aware of any economists who support federal “deposit” insurance for the customers of investment banks or the creditors of non-financial businesses.

Keep reading... Show less

Why Did the Fed Refuse to Heed Warnings About Fraudulent Mortgage Lenders?

Real regulators are vital to a nation. They can stop crises in their tracks — or they can let a them explode on an unsuspecting public. The Federal Reserve was warned by many different people, including appraisers, prosecutors, and industry players that the mortgage industry was rife with fraud. Why didn't they listen?

Keep reading... Show less

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.