90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
Prosecuting Financial Titans

Three years and counting since Wall Street collapsed. The case for prosecution of financial titans is still with us.

Occupy Wall Street protestors march towards Wall Street after being heartened by the postponement of a scheduled cleanup of their camp at Zucotti Park that many protestors saw as a de facto eviction, Friday, Oct. 14, 2011, in New York. Some arrests have occurred after a few hundred protesters left Zucotti Park and marched to the area around the New York Stock Exchange. There are barricades and mounted police around the exchange.  (AP)

Occupy Wall Street protestors march towards Wall Street after being heartened by the postponement of a scheduled cleanup of their camp at Zucotti Park that many protestors saw as a de facto eviction, Friday, Oct. 14, 2011, in New York. Some arrests have occurred after a few hundred protesters left Zucotti Park and marched to the area around the New York Stock Exchange. There are barricades and mounted police around the exchange. (AP)

They’re arresting Occupy Wall Streeters for trampling grass in public squares. But the finance titans who trampled the U.S. economy in the collapse of Wall Street, says my guest today, have gone scot free.

William Black is a warrior on finance ethics and legality. He was in the thick of the slew of prosecutions after the 1980s S&L scandal. It’s not too late, he says, to prosecute over the 2008 collapse and its run-up. And we should.

For justice and the future of the country. All the way to the top.

This hour On Point: the unfinished call to prosecute Wall Street.

-Tom Ashbrook


William Black, University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law. He was a senior federal financial regulator during the Savings and Loan crisis.

Lynn Stout, Professor of Law, University of California, Los Angeles. She’s the author of Cultivating Conscience: How Good Laws Make Good People.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Late last week, word leaked out that Mr. Mozilo, who had co-founded Countrywide Financial in 1969 — and, for nearly 40 years, presided over its astonishing rise and its equally astonishing fall — would not be prosecuted by the Justice Department. Not for insider trading. Not for failing to disclose to investors his private worries about subprime loans. Not for helping to create a culture at Countrywide in which mortgage originators were rewarded for pushing fraudulent loans on borrowers.”

International Herald Tribune “It is a question asked repeatedly across America: Why, in the aftermath of a financial mess that generated hundreds of billions in losses, have no high-profile participants in the disaster been prosecuted?”

Huffington Post
“What exactly is the function of the financial sector in our society? Simply this: Its sole function is supplying capital efficiently to aid the real economy. The financial sector is a tool to help those that make real tools, not an end in itself. But five fatal flaws in the financial sector’s current structure have created a monster that drains the real economy, promotes fraud and corruption, threatens democracy, and causes recurrent, intensifying crises.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Roy Mac

    It is positively shameful that three years after having sent up the balloon about impending financial apocalypse, our so-called government has not managed to identify one, ONE, culprit?  The world was on the verge of collapse, yet not even one person can be at least accused??  This situation absolutely defies all reason.  Obama might be brought down by this situation, and, if he is, he will deserve it to a fair-thee-well.

    • JP


      • Roy Mac

        Sorry.  Nice catch!

  • Cory

    Maybe some sort of silly symbolic prosecutions may occur if enough pressure is applied.  Real, in depth prosecutions?  Forget it.  It will not happen.  I’d be willing to bet all my paltry posessions that real consequences will only come to Wall Street by popular revolution.

  • Benedict M Holland

    I am not even sure that anyone in any of these financial houses even did anything illegal. This fact alone should have the US very angry. Rest assured if they did, Obama would be all over it for political reasons, but we must remember that Obama did not cause the collapse or really have anything to do with it.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      On the contrary… I think for political reasons Obama REFUSED to go after the banks and other perps. I think both Bush and Obama were scared. They were in uncharted territory. If the bankers went down, or the banks were broken up… the financial meltdown would be worst. It might be another Great Depression. It’s the same as when amnesty is offered to some murderous dictator just to prevent a meltdown or war. I think it was an opportunity lost to indict these bastards, break up the too-big-to-fail banks, nationalize them under new management, and create a new mission for them… to end all speculation and invest only on productive activities.  

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        I should add that it’s the same cowardice that prevented Obama from going after Bush and Cheney for violating the Constitution… or for an illegal war of aggression.

        Obama needed to restore the rule of law both in the banking sector and for government itself.

        Even if he gets the economy going, gets us out of Iraq and Afghanistan… even if he wins reelection….  Obama’s failures in these two key areas are the reasons I believe the Obama presidency will be a failure.

      • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

        Right on. Another piece of evidence that Obama was and is scared is the fact that he did not stand behind Elizabeth Warren as the head of the consumer protection agency she set up. She was ready to go after these guys and no doubt that’s why he back pedaled on her.

      • Cory

        …and if Obama wouldn’t, what electable person could?

    • Robert Riversong

      Clearly, you didn’t listen to the show. Everything the banks did was fraudulent. Obama has chosen not to hold the financial titans responsible because he has taken more political contributions from them than any other candidate in history.

      Contrary to what some here allege, Obama is not “scared” of the oligarchs – he represents them while pretending to be a populist.

  • Dewracer007

    If Fannie mae and Freddie mack were not required to ultimately guarantee 55% of their loans to people not suitable for mortgages in the first place, we would not be in this mess.  Thank you democrats for pushing the community reinvestment act, thus increasing subprime loans and forcing us into this situation.  Wake up people, it is not Wall Streets fault.  

    • Jeffe68

      Oh please, that old right wing war horse died over a year ago.
      Fannie and Freddie were late players to the default swap game.
      The subprime loan game was being played by big players, such as Lehman brothers, Morgan Stanly and Goldman and host of others.
      Remember BofA bought out Countrywide Financial who had 20% of that junk.

    • Michiganjf

      Yep, the same pea-brained attempt to place the blame anywhere but where it belongs… namely, squarely in Republican hands via the repeal of Glass-Steagall by three Repugnicans in the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act of 1999.

      Look it up and forget the Repugnican talking point stupidities and lies ala Glenn Beck.

      … of course, Clinton was sold on the idea by these slick used car salesmen, and signed the bill after it was pushed through by a Repugnican House and Senate, so Repugnicans were only MOSTLY TO BLAME.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      And precisely where is it in the Community Reinvestment Act that REQUIRES banks to make risky or bad loans? And what about Bush’s own Ownership Society initiative? Don’t you remember him saying Fannie had new loan programs for people with bad credit?  Look, there’s a narrative here designed to get the GOP and Wall Street off the hook. Blame the CRA. Blame Barney Frank… even if the GOP controlled the entire government. And no, I’m not letting corporate Dems off the hook. Clinton was foolish enough to buy into GOP ideas on deregulating the banking and commodity sector.  The REAL question is who wants you to look in the wrong direction and cast blame there? It’s those who 1: want to escape culpability… and 2: those who want to do it all over again. Why would they want to? 1: because they know there remains big money in such schemes, and  2: they are ideologues who can’t believe their perfect market could not regulate itself so the blame MUST lie elsewhere.

      • Michiganjf

        Right on the money, Ultrax.

        … and I’m sure plenty of vids can be pulled up on YouTube of Bush BRAGGING for years about the OWNERSHIP SOCIETY that was being created, even while some were ALREADY sounding the alarm regarding entities like Countrywide and their mortgage bungling (bundling), credit default swaps, derivatives, etc…

        … but no, Pubtards will always tout the Beck line that it was all the two FMs. History rewrites are their only option when historical facts clearly deny their spiel.

        Without a doubt, This American Life’s “The Giant Pool of Money” is still the best synopsis of what was really to blame in the mortgage meltdown:


        If you haven’t yet heard it and want to slice through all the lies and BS, listen to this award-winning hour of first-rate reporting… it will forever provide you with a REALITY-BASED perspective to defend against Republican lies and stupidities.

        • Zing

          I’ve listened to it a couple of times.  It reveals how borrowers knew they had no way of affording the loans they agreed to repay and their complicity in the risky borrowing practices of sub prime. 

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            If banks/lenders make loans to bad credit risks THEN IT’S THE BANK’S FAULT FOR LACK OF DUE DILIGENCE. Sure, there might be some that misrepresented themselves… in which can I believe that’s FRAUD.

            The REAL question here is how many bad loans were approved because lenders wanted the fat commissions for sub-prime loans knowing their bank or loan company was passing on the risk to someone else.

            Zing you are doing everything possible to hold Wall Street and the GOP blameless… and it’s a tribute to your own gullibility and the effectiveness of the Orwellian Right propaganda machine that such a lame rewrite of history has taken hold amongst a large percentage of the population.

          • Michiganjf

            What it reveals is how money pushers were pushing money to greedily make more and more money for themselves with a blatant disregard for the consequences.

            … nice, typical try though.

        • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

          I did listen to that show when it first aired.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      I neglected to add that Bush’s SEC back around 2005, allowed the biggest investment banks to escape regulations on the amount of leverage they were able to exercise. So where the banks had been allowed to leverage 12:1 over assets… the new policy gave them the leeway to leverage up to 40:1. When the market is going up… they could make money hand over foot. When it was going down… it was a certain formula to destroy these banks.

      Oh, but hey… it’s was the CRA and Barney Frank’s fault, right!

    • kaybee

      You know what - the fact that BOTH parties have their share of the blame means that it was a structural problem, and both parties need to come together and clean up their mess, at least they would if they were grownups.  When pigs fly, right?

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        It’s not that political parties are to blame per se… it’s that RIGHT WING IDEOLOGY which DLC Dems like Clinton shared with the GOP that is to blame. If we think only in terms of party, then partisans will be easily misled as they try to protect themselves and point the finger elsewhere. And we see this irrationality at work here… and in the GOP which has metastasized into something even more virulent in the form of the Tea Party which exhibits irrationality on steroids.
        We need to discredit this malignant and destructive right wing IDEOLOGY.


  • Jeffe68

    It wont happen, why even bother doing a show like this.
    These folks own the country and they are not to shy to tell the us, the little people, that can buy elections. Just look a the recent swing of of contributions towards Romney. The arrogance is so out of control in this sector it’s beyond fixing in my view.

    • Cory

      Corporate plutocratic oligarchy anyone?

    • Heidi in DC

      Cynicism, dude. This is what Occupy Wall St is about. The little people are standing up.

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

    I strongly recommend watching Client Nine… the story of Eliot Spitzer rise and fall. The Wall Street schemes he was prosecuting were beyond belief. One hedge fund had a private deal with Bank Of America where they could trade mutual funds after hours. If the bet made money… it went through. If it was going to lose money, they could just cancel it. It was like betting on a horse race AFTER it was run.

    • Zing

      An indictment based on the testimony of an anonymous hooker; sounds like something we can all take to the bank.

      • Cory

        You are probably right.  Nothing like that could ever happen.

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        Sure… these companies paid $40 million in fines without Spitzer having any proof. Are there any intelligent right wingers out there? Didn’t think so.


  • Drew You Too

    Love the pic with the “Golden Calf” (yes I’m fully aware it’s a Bull, if you’re going to go there you might as well disregard the rest of this comment). That pretty much says it all. I am generally the last person to make any remark which refers to religion of any sort. This is not because I am devoid of spirituality but simply a result of it always being counterproductive (Everyone takes offense that someone doesn’t subscribe to their particular belief structure and nothing gets accomplished). However, I’m making an exception this time because that picture really is worth a thousand words.

    If we remove one or two mercury tainted fish from the lake will the water suddenly become safe to drink? I’m going to listen to this (as I listen to all On Point broadcasts I can because On Point ROCKS!!!) but I have no illusions about what the show will achieve.

    • Cory

      Nice!  A bit of wit with my morning coffee!  Thank you.

      • Drew You Too

        My pleasure! And your smile made me smile, funny how that works. Hope you and everyone else out there has a great day.

  • Gina M

    Andy Borowitz is brilliant (and wickedly funny), as usual:

    “NYPD spokesman Frank Hannefy explained the controversial decision to
    arrest Occupy Wall Street protesters while leaving the people who had
    brought the nation’s economy to the brink of Armageddon unmolested.

    “As far as soulless individuals pillaging the country for their
    personal gain, that’s none of our business,” he said.  “But we’ll be
    damned if we’re going to let people march on newly seeded grass.”


    • Zing

      I’m with you.  The OWS Fall Frolic was pretty much of a joke, what with being DOA and all…..

  • Long Time On Point Listener

    If any of the “financial titans” are going to be prosecuted,

    you first have to start with the for-profit, privately-owned, Federal Reserve System which since it’s inception in 1913, has destroyed more than 90% of the value of the dollar.

    It was the Federal Reserve policies of Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke who set interest rates at an artificially low rate, that created the housing bubble we’re currently in and that enabled the likes of JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs to engage in their corporate malfeasance.

    • Anonymous

      Interesting take on history. So your answer is to do away with the federal reserve. I bet you are also into going back to the gold standard. Before you answer, remember that there is not enough gold in the world to cover all the existing currencies of the major players in the global economy. Also there were more problems with economic instability when we had a gold standard. Try reading history.

      • Drew You Too

        Reading history is pointless if you only apply it’s lessons in the manner you see fit. When there is not a concrete basis for our monetary system should we simply continue marching on?

      • Long Time On Point Listener

        So you like the fact that the for-profit, privately-owned Federal Reserve banking cartel has destroyed more than 90% of the value of the dollar since 1913??

        Who ever coined the term “a sucker is born every minute”, clearly had you in mind.

        • Anonymous

          Well I guess all that growth from WW2 through the 70′s means nothing to you. Your answer of going back to a time before the Fed seems to be a bit misguided and a fools errand. You can call me all the names you want, if that makes you feel superior. But you are not dealing with the reality of how the financial markets in this modern time. You seem to be steeped in some kind of nostalgic mind set obsessed with the fed as being the evil doer. The Fed did not create default swaps or bundle up sub-par mortgages and sell them as AAA rated junk. Wait a minute, did I just destroy your thesis in one sentence? I think I did.

          • Long Time On Point Listener

            Still making excuses for the privately-owned, for-profit, Federal Reserve criminal banking cartel??

            You are clearly lacking any common sense,

            but I will give you credit for having the courage to put your I.Q. score next to your name. 

          • Anonymous

            I don’t know how to respond to this.
            Do you really think that anyone should respond to such an ignorant and intolerant rant such as yours?

            First off I never said anything in support of the Federal Reserve.
            I’m not sure about how it has handled the recent downturn.
            It is a major part of our financial and banking system and doing a way with would most likely have dire consequences at this point.
            But then I never hear anything from people like yourself on an alternative except to go back to the arcane system we had before stability was attempted. When we had a gold standard there were many more drastic recessions and depressions. Read some history as you obviously seem to think you’re so smart and try to develop some critical arguments instead of lame insults worthy of a 9 year old child.

  • Anonymous

    In the words of Don Henley from Gimme What You Got ” … a man with a briefcase can steal more money than any man with a gun.”

    The financial sector, with it’s financial vehicles, gimmicks and high speed trading computers serves one primary purpose: identify inefficiencies and exploit them. Its become a gambling system promoted by a tax rates half of those of hard earned income. These institutions no longer serve the interests of America or those of mankind. When upper class tax rates were high, finance was more about identifying opportunity and investing efficiently for long term sustainable growth. When stakes are held for milliseconds, and computer based trades can move markets, robot armies can wage financial war for their owners. The financial sector has become more of a parasite than a symbiotic companion. It is has fed upon its host to the point of threatening death.

  • Anonymous

    Alan Greenspan was an Ayn Rand disciple, he pushed deregulation, and it cratered the economy. Watch him tell Congress how distressed he was to find out, after 40 years, that he was wrong:

    “I made a mistake in presuming that the self interest of organizations, specifically banks and others, was such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders.”


    In a rational world, advocates of even further deregulation would be shunned.

    In our world, they run it.

    • Cory

      The universal problem with deregulation is you then lean on ethics and morality to take over.  The human population at large is much too frail for responsibility like that.

    • Anonymous

      And how short the collective memory of the Trepublican party is that they want to employ the same policies that nearly collapsed the world economy and added 9 trillion to our debt (Ronny, George & Dubya) to stimulate a recovery. I guess they didn’t get the memo from Alan that he was wrong.

  • SteveV

    Obama has done nothing to bring these folks to justice so if he serves 4 more
    years nothing will change. If the Republicans gain the White House………you
    get the picture. Next subject.

    • Cory

      You totally got me with the change-up!  Swung, missed, and spun myself into the dirt!  Well played old chap!

  • Anonymous

    Today’s most recent example of why the self interest of banks offers no protection to their shareholders:

    “Citigroup benefited from a paper gain of $1.9 billion, reflecting a sharp increase in the perceived riskiness of its debt — an accounting adjustment that gave JPMorgan Chase a similar earnings increase last week. Citigroup also delivered another $1.4 billion to its bottom line from money it had previously set aside to cover losses on credit cards and other loans. Together, those items accounted for more than 85 percent of the company’s earnings.”


    In other words, bank executives played stupid pet tricks with their financial statement, reaped a big quarterly bonus, and left the company less able to cover its losses.

    That’s why, in spite of the paper profits, Citigroups’ share price has fallen sharply. 

  • William

    There is little if any accountability being directed towards the federal government and their role in this mess. The same thing happened after 9-11. Few if any federal officials were held accountable and most government agencies were expanded and have received huge budget increases.

    • C O R Y

      Really?  I’ve never heard this topic discussed without Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac being prominently mentioned along with Chris Dodd and Barney Frank.  Are you sure you aren’t raising this point just so you can mention them all again?

      Government’s biggest liability in this in my opinion is deregulation, especially Glass-Steagall.

    • Drew You Too

      There is little if any accountability directed towards anyone, the human race has done it’s best to refine deniability into a science…and it’s been pretty darn effective.

  • Anonymous

    By the way, an interesting documentary to watch that talks about the Financial Crisis is ‘Inside Job’ narrated by Matt Damon.

    Another book, is by the conservative economist Thomas Sowell called ‘Housing Boom and Bust’.  It’s a republican take, but it’s still good to read.

    We can prosecute financial titans, but what about the politicians that were in bed with them?  Or even the law enforcement and regulatory bodies too?  What about the the professors who participated in the mess by getting paid to give ridiculous evaluations to countries like Iceland?  Really go see ‘Inside Job’, and though they could not explicitly state it, if you read between the lines even the FBI participated in the crisis by wire tapping Eliott Spitzer.

    What a crazy time, and most of the principal actors still have their jobs or are still elected and/or are teaching.

    • Drew You Too

      Inside Job is a very decent film, I just also want to toss “The Corporation” up. Brilliant piece of work, more informative than the majority of us are willing to handle.

    • Dave in CT

      Fine film, showing the actions of the puppets. Never delved into our central banking and monetary system or its unaccountable leaders who built their sandbox.

  • Corythatcher

    This is the central nervous system and brain of our free market capitalist system, you can’t destroy it without killing the organism.  The only mitigation is regulation, and even that is imperfect.  If no one speaks about rebuilding the regulations, nothing will change.  The only voices we hear are clamoring for less regulation, not more.

    Trapped in a culture of greed and abuse, we now reap what we have sewn…  God help the innocent.

  • Paul, Boston MA

    Unfortunately, a lot of what the ‘financial titans’ did wasn’t (strictly) illegal. That’s Washingtons’ fault and it’s the reason why the ‘Occupy’ movements exist.

    They want systemic change, not just a couple of scapegoats.

    • Drew You Too

      It’s not Washington’s fault, it is OUR (humans collectively) fault. And fingerpointing will accomplish nothing.

      • Anonymous

        It is Washington’s, Wall Street’s, and many of the borrowers’ faults.  It is not the fault of all humans collectively.  We need more fingerpointing.  Better yet, prosecutions.

        • Drew You Too

          Prosecutions are not fingerpointing, I fully support prosecution of criminals. If we’re going to go there though we’ll have to lock up the mojority of the regulators for the last twenty years in addition to what would likely account for 98% of all involved in the financial sector. And the true problem will still exist.

  • Hidan

    Dude got time off for establishing a charity. 11 yrs but only have to complete 80% of it.

  • Hidan

    Reminds me of the movie

    “Big Stan”


    Sounds like the two tier justice system.

  • CORY

    On Point producers.  “Disqus” keeps defaulting back to my full name, which I would prefer not to use.  I keep reseting my name and it keeps defaulting back.  Can you do something about this?  My name should just appear as “Cory”.  Thanks for the help.

    • CORY

      Thanks!  Although there are several people in my state with my name, I had an irrational fear of Brandstad, Modavations, Gregg and William showing up at my house one night with torches and pitchforks!!!  :)

      • Modavations

        The only guy who stalks and keeps dossiers ,is Ultrax.Oh don’t worry,he only tracks “laissez faire”types.

      • Modavations

        Not irrational,it’s delusional

      • Drew You Too

        Nothing irrational about your fear, but Disqus seems to be extremely glitchy (from my limited experience using it). I’ve had problems with it displaying a blog page of mine when I didn’t input it, failure to remove said link after multiple attempte, resetting comment and like counters repeatedly, and so forth. Best of luck in getting it resolved, and don’t feed the Trolls.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        You let me know, and I’ll be there to defend you.

        Greg Camp

        • Modavations

          Me too.

    • Alex Kingsbury

      We’ll check into it. Thanks, Cory.

  • Modavations

    When I was a young Hippy,we loathed govt..Now our offspring love govt.Give me free education,give me free meds,give me free housing.Good God Almighty

    • Hidan
      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        Where’s the evidence Mo even went to school?

        • Modavations

          When you threatened me4,you said you’d read my dossier.I give you permission to publish it

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            As I said Mo, I never threatened you. If you can’t make a point without distortions or LIES, then you haven’t made a point. I’d ask you to retract but I know you can’t tell the difference between facts and your own dementia.

          • Modavations

            As I said that day,if you ever approach me on the styreet,try to call me,or damage my property,I’ll call the cops.

      • Modavations

        My folks would give me bus money and we’d hitchhike.We’d take the proceeds and buy butts.Ah ,the old days

    • CORY

      The extremes are natural selection and an Orwellian nanny state.  Where exactly do you land in this continuum?

      • Modavations

        Natural Selection ,lwith Monopoly Laws.I’m a Mercantilist,I believe in money and Adam Smith.I loved the City States(run by elected Burghers)of the Rennaisance(?)

  • Modavations

    Govt.isn’t the answer,it’s the friggin problem and I place 50% of the blame on Barney and Chris Dodd.Janet Reno was threatening the banks for Red lining and Bill Clinton(my favorite Prez.after Ronaldus) rescinded Glass Steagall.And no Sn.Ultrax,the Rep.s didn’t hold a gun to his head.

    • Hidan

      Right……………but wait America’s the greatest country in the world right?except it’s government, school systems, health care, wasteful and bloated Defense budget.

      Just think since the republicans took the house, congressional approval are at their lowest in history and managed to drop our credit rating.

      • Modavations

        Dude,we can point fingers all day.The guilty are legion and both of us are right.We need Term Limits and perhaps public financing of elections.If we ever get the debt in control,I recommend return to the Gold Standard.Greenspan might have read Ann Rand,but he’s Keynesian.

        • Anonymous

          Your are such a financial wiz. Did you ever stop to think that there is not enough gold around to do this?

          There isn’t enough gold around in the world to support a gold standard at current gold prices. Rough back of the envelope calculations show that the Fed’s holdings of gold, assuming that it is unencumbered and not lent out, is worth around $200 billion at current prices. Remember that the U.S. Federal Reserve is one of the larger central bank holders of gold in the world. While that change might satisfy the gold bugs, it wouldn’t help the vast majority of the population around the world.

          From Why A Gold Standard Is A Bad IdeaBy Cam Hui


          • Modavations

            Poppycock.The Swiss Franc is still semi-convertible,or was ,until recently.Move back to the Gold Standard and you don’t need the Fed.Interest rates float freely.

          • Anonymous

            What part of there is not enough gold do you not understand?
            Swiss Francs? That’s one small country.
            Move back to the gold standard and you have economic mayhem.
            Of course suggesting that read the history of this is a waste of time because you have not ability to comprehend and are only interested in reading what backs up your world view. Don’t bother responding as I’m done feeding you’re little ego.

          • Modavations

            The first gold coin was created by Croeus in 600 BC.It served us well,right up till Nixon.

          • Steve

            Part of what caused Nixon to finally untether the dollar from gold…

            The spending on the war and the great society.

            Charles de Gaulle recognized the scam and started to exchange Fed fiat currency for gold.

      • http://www.facebook.com/revanformvii Revan Kon

        Right, since current day “republicans” took the seat, but remember Republicans don’t outnumber Democrats that much.  Why is the approval rating so low?  Not because of Republicans, not because of Democrats.   It is because Americans are tired of this preschool bickering and want some plan.   They are ridiculous excuses for “conservatives.”  We want smaller government? We want a government like our Constitution established?  We have to elect someone like Ron Paul, who will and has for the last 30 years, continued to stick to his point to get money out of politics.  He has NEVER voted to raise his own paycheck. You want change?  Want someone who with ACTUALLY bring the troops home?  Ron Paul.  Want someone to help the economy?  Guess who predicted EXACTLY how the financial crisis would come about?  Ron Paul in 2003.  I could go on and on about it.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      Mo, all you’re doing is spouting more self-serving right wing crap. Do you even KNOW what red lining is? It was a banking practice not to lend to even the credit worthy if they lived in certain sections of town. It was NOT a requirement to loan to those who didn’t deserved credit. I’m STILL waiting for someone to show me precisely where in the CRA was there a requirement banks make loans to bad credit risks. As long as the CRA requirement was for standard safe banking practices to credit worthy people, then if these banks were refusing to comply with the law the YES, the government should have gone after them.

      Show me the beef and I’ll eat crow. Otherwise please stop regurgitating more of your lies and distortions here.

      • Modavations

        Janet Reno and her deputy,Eric Holder demanded the banks make the loans.Eric Holder now threatens the banks, because they are making it too tough.Frankie Raines,Johnson and Jamie Gorelicjk, walked from Fannie with 100 million in commissions

        • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

          We’re going to go around in circles because you’re determined to blame the Dems and hold the GOP blameless.

          SHOW ME where Reno forced banks to make loans to BAD RISKS or please retract your comment as IRRELEVANT.

      • Steve

        Not unsympathetic but there is enough blame to go around.

        “I am a welfare mom…who was told it was fine that I could finance a house”…sorry for the paraphrase.

        Should a just society house, educate, feed the poor? Yes.

        Should a just society have requirements that allow/prohibit loans to the poor? Yes.

        Should banks/hedge scams be punished? Yes.

        Should the wealthy skim the pot until it is empty? No.  Will they? Yes.

        From whence the morality to institute laws/punishment? Government as default?

        The people perish for lack of mature leadership.

        • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

          Nice, unattributed anecdote. What does it have to do WITH MY QUESTION!!!!! Where in the CRA was there a REQUIREMENT banks make risky loans.

          • Steve

            My apologies ulTRAX…I was responding to the caller on the live show and not to you.

    • Drew You Too

      No, Human Nature is the problem. Now do something about it.

    • Heidi in DC

      I believe govt has to be part of the solution. When the market and economy do not provide employment, food and shelter, and public health (not to mention infrastructure and education, etc.) to the masses, it is the role of the govt to step in and make the structural changes to the system including how it works. Agreed the repeal of GS was a big mistake; it should be renewed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Sad NO ONE EVER WENT TO JAIL WHEN America bail out the banks.

    When executives still get million dollar bonuses and perks while the American people cannot even borrow a few thousand dollars to pay off their debt when we bail the banks out.

    I am tired and sad with my situation.

  • Anonymous

    William Black is one of the very best and most knowledgeable people when it comes to financial shenanigans, from Savings and Loan on.  He’s like Brooksley Born — one of those people who should have had a louder voice and a more visible presence in our world all along.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Corporate Greed.

    It is like a fairy tale story when a king and queen stroll down the cobble stone road and see beggars with their hands wide open begging for food or money while the royal family just look at them with stare and a numb reaction to poverty.

    When thousands of American children are hungry because of lack of food or HELP from the Corporations and the Government who made our world bitter.

    But I always think that those fairytales are real and it was never fiction.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      The Fiction is that we can never see Wall Street help the American people or the world. For they have one goals in life, to make money and be happy for themselves and screw up everyone else.

      I got my millions get your own thru the expense of the world economy.

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

     When pointing the finger of blame for the financial collapse of the banking sector it’s difficult when it seems there’s lots to go around and no one party seems blameless. If regulators loosen regulations is it their fault if Wall Street banks then go insane? Should we treat those banks as irresponsible children not knowing right from wrong… risky behavior from safe? Or should we EXPECT those banks NOT to engage in reckless behavior despite being freed from regulations?  That these banks WOULD engage in such behavior means they WANTED to be free of those regulations… and no doubt pressured regulators to do so. So when regulators know Wall Street can’t be trusted and succumb to pressure to loosen the choke chain, are they being irresponsible? Of course and they probably cross their fingers hoping the banks won’t do anything stupid.And who knows… it might not all fall apart if the normal lines of responsibility were intact… where banks were responsible for their own loans and refused to leverage too much of their assets. But it seemed  during the Bush years too many forces were gathering that might lead to a disaster. Add to the mix how the normal lines of responsibility started to break down. Lenders were free to dump their bad risks into creative new investment instruments, and banks took advantage of the new deregulated derivative market which created novel forms of insurance. Throw in greed and deregulation into the mix… and how the big investment banks were set free of most leverage restrictions in 2005… and it WAS the perfect storm.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    The Bull is the symbol of Corporate Greed.

    I remembered the movie the Ten Commandments when Moses just got back from Mount Sinai and with him the Ten Commandments. He saw the Israelites worshippping and dancing around a “golden bull”. Moses threw the tablet on the golden bull and the world split apart.

    I hope that happens soon.

    • Drew You Too

      It was a calf but that’s semantics, see earlier comment.     :’)

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        bull or caft it does not matter.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    The problem in this world is not People, It is Money that made Greed a powerful entity. if you don’t have money you are worthless to other people and to the world. You will die.

  • Wes, Cambridge, MA

    Obama said that Wall Street financial institutions did not break any laws and that’s why there have been no prosecutions and convictions. I believe he is wrong. I believe he is making excuses and protecting his financial benefactors who helped pay for his electoral campaign.

    • Anonymous

      Now that some of them have abandoned him, maybe he can go after them.

    • Modavations

      Obama got 1million in campaign contributions, from Goldman

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Brown/1227104716 Tim Brown

    Close to a thousand protestors arrested in NYC in the past month but not a single regulator or banker from Wall St. prosecuted. Sad sign of the times when jay walking is more of an offense than blatant fraud.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    Is it possible to prosecute Wall Street given the current weakness of the SEC? Would strengthening the prosecutorial and oversite powers of the SEC be a viable option?

    • Modavations

      The head of the SEC,Sn Cox, married his daughter off to Maddoff’s son!!!!!!!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

        The question then becomes do we revamp the SEC or do we resort to relying on just the Justice Department to do the dirty work of cleaning up Wall Street?

        • Scott B, Jamestown NY

          Get Harry Mokopolos (or Elizabeth Warren, Simon Johnson, or a host of others)  in their and let him find the right people.  The SEC (and every other three-letter government organization – FDA, EPA, CDC, et at) should be independent and free from meddling, like the GAO and CBO. 

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

      Dubya’s admin gutted the SEC.  It was understaffed; didn’t have enough people trained to know both law and finance;  underfunded – with staffers literally having to go  stand in line at Kinkos because basic office equipment broken or non-existent and supplies were scarce. And let’s not forget that many were busier downloading porn than chasing after people like Madoff – who was chased down by Harry Markopolos (and others) and then IGNORED by the SEC. When the SEC did look into Madoff they only sent a couple inspectors who completely out of their depth.

  • Emjones
    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Do you ever get tired of showing the same screen?

  • Drew You Too

    It was a calf but that’s semantics, see earlier comment.     :’)

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    I’m wondering why Ireland hasn’t used the World Court to sue the banks that sold their banks bad paper, save for the fact that [in particular] Goldman-Sachs, et al, helped cook the books for the Irish banks and the country?

    There’s quite a few people that need to be Bernie Madoff’s new bunkies.

  • Drew You Too

    Actually FAX68, the problem in this world IS people, more to the point it’s Human Nature. I agree with your sentiments but we have to aknowledge the real problem before we can begin to affect a change.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Money is the problem not people. People will not be Greedy if there is no money. how can a person act greedy if there is no money?

      • YesWeAre

        People are not greedy? … Ever see a grocery store when a big storm is approaching?

        People are the problem.

    • Anonymous

      Because we know what we do about human nature and greed, we need to create systems that regulate and curb greed and recklessness. Consider the system, not only its parts.

  • Bill

    Corporatism has become a de facto immunity for all players involved.

    The worst that happens is the corporation will face fines – reducing criminal activity to no more than a (not so) high risk investment.

    • Steve__T

      Yeah, I steal billions, and get fined a few thousand that’ll stop me.

  • BHA in Vermont

    They knew they were selling junk and they were INTENTIONALLY packaging junk mortgages because they had people who wanted to buy investments. What they didn’t tell the investors is they were buying a tiny bit of thousands of sub-prime loans.

    It’s all in the business plan – commission on sales. And there was ZERO financial risk because the loans were sold off.

    They should be in jail.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Can we just have Glass-Steagall back?  Banking isn’t supposed to be exciting. It’s Wall St, not the Vegas strip!

    Remember the WaMu commercials with the grumpy old bankers? The same curmudgeons that used the same math that had been used for centuries were replaced by slicksters hustling “new math”, with formulas that look more like the wacky math from Abbott and Costello routines than something any real banker or economist would recognize.

  • Wes, Cambridge, MA

    Where is the accountability? Where is the justice? Where is the fairness? Without these corporate criminals being held accountable, how can we prevent another financial collapse?

  • Modavations

    We have bailed out Freddie and Fannie to the tune of 250Bill and we arn’t done.The Frank Dodd bill doesn’t even mention them, in the new regs..I think they said,we’ll deal with Freddie-Fannie later.

    • Anonymous

      We bailed out BofA, Citi, Goldman, and all the big banks.

      This is a systemic problem in our financial regulatory system, not an issue of govt vs private banking institutions.

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        Moda, like all rabid and irrational right wingers, has a pathological need to blame government and hold the private sector (and the GOP) blameless. All that leaves are Democrats.

      • Modavations

        They paid the debts back, with interest.Fannie will never pay the money back

  • Joe in Philly

    Tom, on your show on Occupy Wall Street (October 7), I shamed you because you skirted the issue of accountability during the financial crisis. I then suggested the topic be subject of future show: “Accountability? Why we continue to reward state-sanctioned corruption in America” Tom, you listened and delivered. What a show, what a program! God Bless!

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

    There’s a real tendency on part of political partisans to hold their political party blameless and cast all blame on the other party. Such partisanship blinds us to ever thinking clearly, worst to fits of grotesque irrationality.

    My contention isn’t that any one political party was to blame… but an IDEOLOGY surely was to blame.

    That ideology was that of the right wing which favored deregulation… a dementia that even corporate DLC Democrats like Clinton, bought into. If we don’t understand this, then we’ll never fix the problem… worst, we might put back in power those who imploded the economy. It’s clear the GOP shows NO remorse or second thoughts about their insanity… and if ever back in power wants to do the same again… only this time on steroids.

    • Jim J

      Those assertions are both absurd and contrary to the facts. It was the very regulators which required the banks to make loans to those who had not the means to repay them in the first place, under both democrat and republican administrations.  Fannie and Freddie bought those loans knowing that they were bad. The banking industry is the most regulated industry in the US. And Fannie and Freddie’s reaction? To make millionaires out of politicians who could provide protection — such as Rahm Emauel. It was the ideology of greed that began this fiasco and has continued it to this day by covering up and or obscuring the facts of political interference with and manipulation of the market place  — nothing more and nothing less.

      • Will H

        Are you deaf or stupid?  Stop picking sides.  We are talking about finding a solution together as a people, not pick partisan fights.

        • Dave in CT

          It should be fairly obvious, that a large problem in moving forward, is admitting that the Democratic party is the angelic group that so many like to believe.

          Step 1. Everyone realizes both parties are dependent components of our crony-capitalism, corporate welfare, too big to fail, bail out, hide behind fear or impossible to criticize good intentions, funded by debt, system.

          Step 2.  We aren’t even ready for step 2 yet.

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        Jim claims… “It was the very regulators which required the banks to make loans to those who had not the means to repay them in the first place, under both democrat and republican administrations.”

        Nice claim… do you intend to prove it?

        • Modavations

          Between Frankie Raines,J.Gorelik and Herr Johnson, they walked with over 100million in commissions.Of,course they called F.Raines back and confiscated 60 million.As punishment he was allowed to keep 20 million.Where do I sign up

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Mod, DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT A LOGICAL ARGUMENT IS???? If you, Jim, or any other person who buys this right wing narrative, claims government FORCED banks to make risky loans… then THAT’S what you have to prove… not some side show. Gettin’ it yet? Didn’t think so.

          • Modavations

            Dude I don’t read you.You’re verbose.It takes you 2 paragraphs to say what I can in 2 sentences.Also,you’re unbalanced.

        • Dave in CT

          So you HAVEN’T read NY Times writer, Gretchen Morgenson’s, “Reckless Endangerment”?

          No wonder…..

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            I’ve read heard some of her interviews. I do NOT recall her claiming the federal government REQUIRED banks to make risky or bad loans.

            However, I DO have a quote from an adaptation of her book: “Of all the partners in the homeownership push, no industry contributed more to the corruption of the lending process than Wall Street.”

  • Tony – Washington, DC

    Please ask your guest why most of the politicians and regulators are not prosecuted for encouraging, condoning, supporting and participating in this whole house of cards.  Furthermore, while we are at it; why not prosecute the Fed., real estate agents, appraisers, loan officers, mortgage brokers, rating agencies, and consumers who LIED on their loan applications.

  • Mark

    Had any “massive financial institution” or “Major Players” been held accountable at anytime during the lead up to this crises, the pressure on Washington would have squashed any further attempts to control the meltdown.  Money talks and our system is deaf to all but the mighty dollar.  

  • Michiganjf


        I wish, for once, someone in the media (like you) would point out the ABSOLUTE ABSURDITY of the Republican claim that this fiasco was the borrowers, or even the governments fault.

    If business was being “forced” to give loans to people who couldn’t repay them, WHAT KIND OF MULTI-TRILLION (collectively) BUSINESS GROUP WOULD THROW AWAY HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS WITHOUT SO MUCH AS A WHIMPER????!!!!


    One would have to be PEA-BRAINED to buy into this ABSURD Republican perspective!!!!

    • William

      So the Community Reinvestment Act did not start us down the road to this disaster?

    • Tony – Washington, DC

      You are an anti-capitalist, anti-business socialist…

      • Michiganjf

        Thank You!

      • http://profiles.google.com/utahowl June Taylor

        No ad hominem attacks, please….they are the last refuge of scoundrels, and surely you don’t want to be identified as a scoundrel, hmmmm?

  • Eric C. Webster

    From the fall out of this horrific fraud perpetrated upon the American people, we need to prosecute the people who are responsible for this. When are we going to stand up to these Wall Street Billionaires?!?! Our tax dollars have bailed out these people far too many times, over and over and over again! When are we as middle class Americans going to put a stop to this madness?

    I’m apoplectic at the thought that these people will skate away with not so much as a slap on the wrist! We need to do something to them to make an example of those who continue to rob and steal the hard working class people’s money in this country. Please do something to give a voice to those of us who have little or no power to do such things! Please!

  • Anonymous

    Not only should these entitled financiers be punished for they were crminal or criminally incompetent, people should not be paid bonuses for just having a pulse. This society has no shame. It’s not just reflected in Wall Street, it’s reflected in the Republican clowns who call themselves politicians who lie so much, they actually look like believe their own lies. I’m not saying that we don’t have Democratic crooks either. I am just disgusted by the childish discourse today. We need accountability imposed to make people think before acting.

  • Rnadeau77

    we need to call it like it is. When computers trade stocks owned for seconds it’s gambling not investing. Hiding bad investments to attract buyers is fraud not trading. Why should we punish people who cheat thousands of people pay less a penalty than we do the drug addict affecting 1 or 2 people. The are both CRIMINALS!!!! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    Given the current lack of government attention, what would have to be done to galvanize the investigations necessary to prosecute those responsible for the banking crisis? Do you think that the current administration will actually take up this crusade given the growing Occupy Wall Street protests?

  • DMac

     Don’t we need to fix the problem of regulatory capture with the SEC and the revolving door with Wall street insiders before fraud can be contained?

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

      How about FUNDING the SEC?  The Republicans have gradually worn it down to the function of a London Bobby shouting, “Stop! Or I shall have to yell ‘Stop’ again!” and not being able to draw down on them, or sic a big dog on them, all in the name of reducing “big government”.

      • Modavations

        Cox’s daughter married Madoff’s son.How bout the hacks do their jobs,for a change.We have laws and regulators up the yin yang

  • Bill

    Corporations were originally designed to limit personal economic liability. What’s happened is that definition has been informally extended to limited legal liability as well.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Doesn’t the FBI suffer from the refocus on terrorism?  Since 9/11/2001, they’ve had the job of hunting for mad bombers.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      What kind of excuse is that? If Bush cared, he could have requested more funding for the FBI.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        It’s not an excuse; it’s an explanation.

        • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

          No, it’s an EXCUSE. 

          Implicate in your posts is the assumption Bush would have been gung ho to investigate Wall Street if not for 911. WHERE’S THE EVIDENCE??? If Bush believed Wall Street was worthy of investigation even after 911, HE WOULD HAVE ASKED FOR MORE FUNDING even as the FBI was being asked to do more anti-terrorism work.

  • Jerrykammer

    Bill Black is not only a brilliant analyst of our recent history of systemic financial fraud; during the early days of the S&L meltdown in the mid 1980s he worked heroically as a federal regulator to contain the damage. While many regulators quivvered and cowered at the political power of Lincoln Savings’s Charles Keating Black stood firm. He and Mike Patriarca and Ed Gray finally shut Keating down, overcoming the resistance of the Keating Five senators whom the S&L bandit summoned on his behalf. Black is the personification of public service. He could have cashed in on his brilliance. He could have signed on with the bandits and made a fortune. Instead he took them on–heroically, brilliantly, fiercely.

  • Anonymous

     I am an attorney who represented federal regulators in civil law suits during the S&L crisis.  My question to Mr. Black is this:  have decisions against prosecution been made because of potential negative financial consequences that can be brought about when acting against behemouth international banks and investment firms.  During the S&L crisis, the government had the ability to place the S&L’s into receivership.  The “guaranteed” deposits could be transfered to a new bank or bridge bank.  The government would then step in as a secured creditor for its deposit liabilities, and then the civil liabilities of the actors could be determined under court supervision, while the FBI conducted its own investigations.  Accounting firms, insiders, fraudulent borrowers could be sued in a closed system.  When liabilities exceeded assets, the shareholders got nothing.

    • Marc Gottesdiener

      How do I contact the federal regulators on what Countrywide and its Hartford lawyers did to people like me that paid $26,000 to get an assumable mtge in default  current & then they foreclosed again & again just to collect the money so Countrywide would have the cash so as not to go under-until they did? And they ended up saying no to assuming, no to a new loan, but then they bought the new loan the same day I had to pay after a year hard money loan @12% and many points from another mtge lender-( the original VA Assumable loan was fixed at 6 7/8% for 30 yrs) and then Countrywide after all these actions gave me another new loan at 7%? What remedies? What class action- where to turn PLEASE? I had CT atty general  & Senator Dodd on my side until their offices found out I did not live in the home, & I was hoping to help my office manager’s sister buy.
       MARC in Harttford http://www.getwhatyouwantnow.com is anyone else out there with Countrywide acts of terror foreclosing on an assumable LOAN? Please let me know–THANKS 

  • Xumdude

    Are the endusers still required to repay liar loans?

  • kaybee

    You know, the more I think about this, it’s ironic, but if Romney were elected president, these prosecutions might actually occur, because Republicans would have to go along, and Democrats would need to be onboard as well.  Sort of like welfare reform could only have occurred under a Democratic president, and the Clean Air Act under a Republican one.

    • TakeDown

      Are you serious?  Why would Romney do that? 

      Now, Spitzer, that’s a different story: he was trying to make a national name for himself. 

      He may have even done some ‘prosecuting’ before they embarrassed him out of office.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        “They” embarrassed him?  I recall him doing it to himself.

        • HowThingsWork

          They all do that stuff… or stuff like that… that’s how they blackmail them all… it’s just a matter of when they (the people in power) want to ‘pull the trigger’ on you – like Wiener, like Clinton, like how many politicians before and after.

          That’s how you can control democracies through the intelligence communities:

          “If you don’t change your vote, we’ll tell the mrs. or the media”:your gay , or you like young boys, or you like to do farm animals and your assistant at the same time…

          That’s how things work.

  • LikeItMatters

    Gut an agency; put political insiders in charge; perpetuate crimes:

    Aaahhh… memories of the the Reagan administration… good times.

  • BHA in Vermont

    If you DON’T do it now, what will keep the next scum from coming up with yet another “complex financial instrument” to make a fast few millions for themselves and sticking the public?

  • Steve

    They are still after me?

  • BHA in Vermont

    What bank did Sheila in Burlington VT use?

  • Philip

    Why were the mortgage companies that took TARP funds allowed to continue with forclosures?  They essentially said, “Please give me more money so I can take your house.”  They made the bad loans and then got bailed out, why do they get paid twice? 

  • BHA in Vermont

    Credit Default Swaps should be ILLEGAL.

    • FianancialBet

      No, they should just need to go through a clearing house, be rateable, be insurable and be regulated.

      • http://profiles.google.com/utahowl June Taylor

        Thanks, FinancialBet.  Someone who understands how to make something workable.  It’s the “dark market” feature of CDSs that lets them grow to Kraken-like proportions.  The other thing is, make sure that we regulate INSURANCE.  What AIG was doing WAS insurance, and they WERE committing insurance fraud. I’m still baffled as to why they aren’t in court…

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Companies are still buying these swaps. Cambece Law Office in Peabody in Massachusetts loves buying these default swaps.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been reading William Black for years now and so the tale he’s telling is nothing new.  But here’s the difference.  Now, today, we are in the OWS era.  If investigations result from OWS pressure now, the fall guy will likely be Obama because his Justice Department (no better, in many ways, than that of Bush2, in its political appointees) is where the buck stops on its way to Obama’s desk.

    Even so, I’d like to see the political scaffolding –which props up the banks and holds them harmless — dismantled, at whatever cost to the current leadership.

    Yesterday CityGroup announced its third quarter profits.  74% (seventy-four percent) increase.  Compare and contrast… etc.

  • Cindy

    As to the former billionaire who will still have $600-700 million after he gets out of prison, so that Mr Black said that “crime does pay” — my question is, if drug dealers’ illegal profits are clawed back, why aren’t these profits?

    • FinancialBet

      I want to know how the drug money is getting laundered.
      Billions have to be going through our banksters.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        The Drugs confiscated are going back to the streets and the money are gone to banks and politicians.

    • Loring Palmer

      WOW! great point Cindy. Why aren’t these massive hoards of cash, cars, and condos confiscated from these pirates, just as it’s being done to the drug kings?

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Check out Ellen Shultz’s new book “Retirement Heist”, about how the banks did a lot of this so the bank execs could have billions in retirement benefits, and lets not forget the bonuses when they were “working”.

    I hope to hear her on “On Point” soon!


  • Loring Palmer

    Prosecuting the “pirates” is presented by “Mad Max” Keiser in #197 episode in his Keiser Report, recently.  For laughs and insights, view this video as further exploration to this On Point presentation.


  • Anonymous

    Bank of America just reported $6.2 billion profit.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      And will fire 30,000 employees to MAKE MORE PROFIT.

    • Rex

      And they still plan to lay off a whole bunch of employees.

    • NotSoFunny

      I think they made that off my credit card.

    • Modavations

      Sweet.I bought that dog at $10

  • Drew You Too

    “Things they did that were MADE legal”. Right on the nose!

    • Anonymous

      No kidding. Bring back some serious regulations that stop this crap from happening again. The criminal or should I say immoral thing is that the same people who created this mess are fighting to have any more regulations imposed and are even wanting to deregulate more.
      Enough is enough. These so called “geniuses” of finance brought the world to it’s knees. They have proven that they cannot be trusted to self regulate.

    • Dave in CT


      yes, say it, yes…. come on…

      Bipartisan Financial Deregulation and Private/Public partnerships of the Clinton Administrations?

      Yes, Democrats factor largely in that equation.

      Democrats love to be understood as the protector of the coop, as they let the wolves in the back door.

      Republicans don’t bother with the protection racket.

  • Jim J

    In your zeal to tar the banks for making loans to those who could not repay them, you seem to be overlooking the very criminals who directed the banks to make such loans in the first place — the federal regulatory agencies. Under first Carter, then Clinton and Bush, and continued under Obama, the banks you now excoriate were required to make loans to minorities and others incapable of repaying their loans as a condition of continuing their banking license. It was done first under the guise of ending redlining, and subsequently in the name of home ownership and/or “affordable” housing. If we are going to throw bankers in jail, how about the federal so-called regulators who insisted the banks make these loans in the first place, not to mention the politicians in the congress who insisted that the feds push the banks to make the bad loans in the first place?  If you want to jail bankers, lets also jail federal regulators right along with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd both of whom stopped (yelling civil rights abuse) investigations into Fannie and Freddie’s loan practices begun by Jim Leach, then Chairman of the House Banking Committee which had jurisdiction to put the spotlight on their manipulation years before the bubble began, let alone burst.

    • YourSoRight

      And this is why they are “too big to fail” and “too big to prosecute”.

      They whole system is basically corrupt and in collusion.

      That’s why those people want to ‘occupy wall street’.

  • Rnadeau77

    Too big big to prosecute? Really? No regulation and now no prosecution? Are we trying to destroy are country? Certainly looks like it to me.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Lynn is talking about people at the top going to jail, and the cost of prosecuting THAT.  The cost to the banks that might go bust defending themselves.  But on top of that, the ARMIES of foot soldiers who went out and one by one “raked” (in the words of the caller) the money off of as many Americans a possible.  They were the perpetrators, and when you ask how COULD they, and you Joe Q. Public wonder whether you, with your tiny resources could sue the likes of Prudential or whatever the institution was, and you think, forget it.  This is too egregious; it’s the job of lawyers I wouldn’t ever see the shadow of.  But these foot soldiers had been flayed of their sense of right and wrong.  They would go on snow-boarding retreats in Canada and come back feeling totally entitled, refusing to take the good advice of their clients, when it served Mammon to keep raking them over the coals.  I could see the institution-wide backside-covering going on, and I thought, let the big fish deal with this.

  • Bob of newton

    Ms. Stout: The financial sector worked hard to eliminate the rules that limited their ability to play games with other people’s money. They knew what they wanted to do.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Human Nature will not act when there is money.

    • Dave in CT

      Money is part of human nature.

      Rule of Law, not Men.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Grudem/705892686 David Grudem

    Wake up OWS!!! Really! If nothing else comes of this movement, make it about JUSTICE in this massive unpunished fraud.  Change the name to PROSECUTE WALL STREET. Bring all pressure to bear on prosecuting the corporatists that are wallowing in their stolen cash. I repeat…PROSECUTE WALL STREET.

    • Dave in CT

      If they invite Ron Paul for a keynote address, and put down the doobies long enough to listen, we’ll be getting somewhere. Not that Ron Paul is against one’s liberty to do the doob.

      • http://profiles.google.com/utahowl June Taylor

        Ron Paul is more honest than most about just what his plans would cost everyone.  OTOH, he does, like all the rest, leave out important details.  Oh, and he’s a fairly unreconstructed racist, which does not endear him to me.

  • Rex

    How can conservatives call for less regulation when that is the cause of this whole mess?

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      The radical Right wingers are True Believers. You see from them no second thoughts or remorse. They are so convinced of their own infallibility they are not swayed by the disaster they caused. They’ve found some plausible scapegoats and are dying to prove themselves right again… this time with their insanity on steroids.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Start bringing charges against the banks, the execs, and anyone that had their dirty hand in this debacle. Not everyone, nor every bank, is responsible for this debacle, but for those that are – Why do they get off Scot-free? Just because someone might get off, or it might get a bit costly, that’s no reason to not try. 

    Start leveling charges against the banks, and those involved in all this, and watch the banks start getting their act together.  I do realize that the banks will pour money into lobbying, but shaking their tree will make them nervous enough to start heaving the bad actors, and bad practices, publicly overboard.

  • Steve

    If there has been no prosecutable crime there can and still will be justice.

    From where will justice come?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Filipinos always say Under the Mango Tree.

  • Drew You Too

    Gambling in many states is illegal, but it’s acceptable for financial institutions. I love this lady, keep swinging!!!

    • Drew You Too

      An honest gamble. LOL

  • Dh001g

    At the very heart of the housing bubble was fraud and corruption. Just because you pay of politicians to change the law doesn’t mean a crime wasn’t committed. There was criminal intent through out. the difference between this crisis and the savings and loan crisis is that the politicians took the money…and are still taking the money. Its corruption pure and simple.

  • Simon

    Regulations are bad, regulations are bad, regulations are bad. – GOP

    • Ellen Dibble

      We noticed.  Except for whatever the church says; those regulations are good.  Mark Shields on the PBS NewsHour on Friday asserted he had found in the Bureau of Labor Statistics records that only two-tenths of one percent of job losses are due to regulation.  .002, right? 
       And maybe they keep track of the jobs that are created due to regulation, like all the body checkers at the airports?  This sort of makes up for jobs lost due to computers and easier communications due to iPads, and one thing and another.  Might as well have people regulating, if it prevents major crashes.  And if it keeps corruption and danger and so on at bay.

      • Modavations

        50000 oil field workers ,are out of work ,because of regulation

  • L-sigmund

    Reinstate Glass Steagall
    Repeal the Bush Tax Cuts
    Overturn Citizens United

    • Ellen Dibble

      How many times can I click “like”?  I’d like to offer 10.

    • Heleni22


    • Dave in CT

      Might we add, get the government the hell out of managing the economy, and let business fail and criminals be prosecuted?

  • Mark from Billerica, MA

    Just want to point out, They Brought down Main Street not Wall Street, Wall Street, still there, Main Streets retirement funds and housing values have gone down and still are.

  • Anonymous

    Who are the bigger criminals, the millions of convicts doing time for drug possesion or the thousands of financiers who devestated the economy, impovershing millions, stripping trillions in wealth from their retirement savings and foreclosing on millions of homes from millions of hard working people put out of work by these crooks?

  • Jaham00

    Attempts at criminal prosecution and litigation will be futile. We need to repeal Gramm Leach Bliley and seperate investment banks from depository institutions.

    Quit looking in the rear view mirror and attempting to lay blame. We need to fix our problems and move forward before things get worse.

  • EdwardBurke

    Question for Professors Black and Stout: with regard to the mortgage debacle, how liable to prosecution are/would be the heads of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

    • Will H

      Stop picking sides.  Stop this left vs right bull crap.  They are ALL responsible. 

      • EdwardBurke

        Sorry, Will, but I never heard one word in the whole hour’s show about Fannie and Freddie, thus my question.

        • Anonymous

          That’s because Fannie and Freddie were not at the heart of this.
          They came late to the mess and were caught up the mess and I do believe that the former CEO’s, Fannie’s Daniel Mudd and Freddie’s Richard Syron should be prosocuted or at least held accountable. Interesting to note that both were denied the “golden parachute” of up to $25 million in compensation by the Obama administration.

          For the record Fannie and Freddie did not create the bad loans they bought them.

          • EdwardBurke

            jeffe: thank you for the clarification. The fact that Fannie and Freddie bought and processed bad loans through the period (say, 1998 to 2008, since the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the introduction of financial reform took place largely at the behest of Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin) goes to Professor Stout’s point, it seems, that mere legality trumped prudence: if Fannie and Freddie had refused to process shoddy mortgages up front and had not taken the bait offered to them, the mortgage crisis perhaps would not have been prevented but could have been contained before so much damage ensued. –A peril of quasi-public/quasi-private institutions.

          • Dave in CT

            You haven’t read NY Times writer Gretchen Morgenson’s “Reckless Endangerment”.

            I promise its safe to read, it is from a NY Times person, she’s been on Democracy Now etc etc….

  • Erin in Iowa

    This is why we have the tea party AND OWS. Our political system has become a joke, making crimes legal as long as THEIR pockets are full.  I hope citizens begin figuring out that they are GIVING these crooks their money (ie; power) and these crooks turn YOUR money AND power against their customers with lobbyists and politicians.  Move your money people!  Keep your power!

    • http://en-gb.facebook.com/onanov Donald Baxter
      • Michael Sacco

        Ellen,Stop your whining.Don’t you know how much it costs to fuel up your yaght

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

      My money’s going back into the coffee cans I used as a kid. At least then I know where it is and what it’s doing.  I might not be getting interest, but I’m not losing money on endless fees, penalties, and bankers with wild hares up their butts that want to pad their bonuses and retirements on my back pocket.

      • Dave in CT

        Fed will be sure to inflate your coffee can into oblivion. They figured out that escape hatch a loooong time ago.

      • Steve

        Look for real assets, paper is paper.

        I am not talking gold, the market is manipulated by those far more pwerful than you.

        Land, food and water is where I would start.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    There clearly was criminal intent. The helped Ireland and its bank cook the books. They KNEW that they were selling bad paper. If a private business or citizen did that they’d be in jail. But, because these banks are so big, and so entrenched in government (Goldman-Sachs being known as “Government-Sachs”) and being major donators to politicians, they get to walk way, with the excuses of “too big to fail”, “too costly”, blah blah blah from those that should be prosecuted.

  • Dennis

    The “next big one” is likely the $250 TRILLION in Credit Default Swaps that are still being written and are 95% owned by BofA, JPMChase, Goldman and Citigroup. The GDP of the PLANET is $65 trillion. There are not enough assets to settle these claims. This is gambling. It is not BANKING. CDS HAVE GOT TO BE BANNED or this will be the next “big one” which bailout will impoverish the planet while enriching a handful.

  • Anonymous


  • Bill

    When a regulated industry is allowed to deal in unregulated products (credit default swaps, etc.), it is no longer a regulated industry.

    • Dave in CT

      Everyone who had a finger in that pie, from the Congresspeople, to the non-”regulators” (Cox), to the academics who put them on the trading tables, to brokers who juggled them, all need to be corralled, hunted down so to say, and prosecuted.

      All legal you say?

      Tar and Feather.  On C-SPAN. Why not, Obama’s not using it……

  • Steve

    “just chilling”

    For the sake of the country, I hope the wealthy begin to understand this.

  • Rick in MB

    Prosecute them and send them to Texas and maybe we could seek the death penalty!

  • http://en-gb.facebook.com/onanov Donald Baxter

    William Black is my hero today.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    There is an Ark ready for December of 2012. In order to be on the list.

    You will have to pay 1 Billion Euros, for each passenger.

    Well not me but the 1% who has the money will be on board the Ark.

    • Jhsusak

      Could we start early boarding now?

  • Emichaelthomas

    Is it still possible to clawback the ill-gotten gains from those who received the huge bonuses? 

    See Use Clawbacks to Fund Wall Street Bailouts

  • Ellen Dibble

    Lynn I think is asking what other frauds; well, say you cold-call someone to get them to open a retirement account.  The year is I think 1999, and the person has $5,000 and says okay, I don’t want that in my mixed stock accounts, because obviously there is going to be a crash.  I want that money in something likely to weather a crash, something safer.  And you put that money in Worldcom.  And the client watches the stock reports and sees it sliding, sliding, skidding, and every couple of months calls you and tells you, sell it.  Sell that stock.  It isn’t turning out to be all that stable.  But you tell her, “I’m very expensive,” and you hold onto it.  Eventually you do sell it, but then that client has $2,000.  What does the umbrella institution do?  They send out quarterly letters asking do you want to change the risk level of your account?  And the answer is no, I wanted stable and safe, and I continue to want that.  
       Had I said yes, change it, I think the legal responsibility gets vitiated.  It suggests I had said something else to begin with.  And then you sell those accounts to another institution, who sells it to another institution.  Everybody involved takes their profit and disappears.  
       It’s really good to rip people off for about $3,000, because it probably isn’t worth their suing.

  • Anonymous

    Listening to the familiar back and forth between Black and Stout about criminal prosecutions, I find that anything short of removing radical Republicans from Congress (and anywhere else in government) will fail to change the system.  From the Supreme Court to Boehner and McConnell gangs, we have corruption so deep that faulty laws will not be repealed and perps will not be prosecuted. If we needed proof that the political right is, at this time in our history, a criminal gang, we sure have it now.         

    • TFRX

      “Radical Republicans”?

      Isn’t it easier to just checklist the ones who aren’t?

      And, before anyone asks, the Blue Dogs don’t get a break either.

      • Anonymous

        Of course members of both parties are involved.  But the main muscle for corruption is on the right.  And they seem quite proud of it!

        • LeftTroll

          Your profundity of political ignorance is astounding.  

          • Anonymous

            So are you saying that Lawrence Lessig is ignorant?
            Did you listen to the Diane Rehm show?
            In my view he was pretty spot on. Our nation is in a Constitutional crisis in my view. If you disagree please be prepared to show my me why and back it up with facts. Posting some derogatory response will not do. As I have stated that I think Professor Lessig’ thesis is pretty much how I view things, I will leave his review as my link to back my comment for better or worse.

            However having the word troll in your name does bid well in my experience.

            Facts are stubborn things
            John Adams

      • nj

        “Radical Republican” Oxymoron of the day!

    • RadicalIgnorance

      What you talking about?  Are you some sort of ‘left-wing’ troll?

      Who are you and why aren’t you paying attention? 

      They are all crooks.  Republicans and Democrats.

      Are you blind or just blissfully ignorant?

    • Jmc

      registered Democrat myself and to be honest our boy that was elected pretty much hired many of the perpetrators of this mess to run his economic policy, sorry to burst your bubble but republicans do not stand alone in this mess.

      • Anonymous

        JMC:  Absolutely true.  I stand by Ken Silverstein’s extraordinary article in a November ’06 Harpers showing Obama’s eager creation of ties to Wall Street, the PAC’s created by him, etc.  Very much worth reading — or reading again, for those familiar with it.


        • Jmc

          thank you for the link, it is frustrating to see such an implosion, i think campaign finance is the main reason behind many of the probelms.

          • Anonymous

            JMC:  Lawrence Lessig has studied Congress and has tried to get an exact estimate of how much work time members of Congress put into raising campaign cash.  “Somewhere between 30% and 70%” was the best he could do.  But even that 30% shocking.


            (about 15 minutes into the show)

          • IAmShocked

            And this surprises you, how?

        • PrairieIincompatible

          You stand by it, but you probably voted for him anyway.

          That makes you hypocritically, intelligently, blissfully delusional.

          And then earlier you blame the Republicrats. 

          I’m doubting the veracity of your vicissitude.

      • DontGoThere

        “Our boy”?

        It was well known before the 2008 election that Obama was a Wall Street darling.

        Where were you?… On the ‘hope and change’ train? 

        • Jmc

          reeling from the alternative, where were you, celebrating the Bush policies?

          • Dave in CT

            Love that status quo Ping Pong!

  • nj

    What is Ms Stout going on about? We can’t prosecute fraud and pass regulatory reform at the same time??! 

    It’s going to cost a lot of money and effort to prosecute so we shouldn’t do it?!


    Here’s some money for the project:


    And then there’s Obummer saying there was nothing illegal!! Not to be repetitive, but WTF?!

    What the excuse from the Obamabots on this one?

    • kaybee

      That they’re politicians?

  • Michael Sacco

    This is the best show on radio.However, WE ARE SO SCREWED! This government consists of cowards and greedy cowards.I’m done voting and caring..Each for himself from here on out

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      You voted? me never.

    • Heleni22

      Each for himself is the problem that created this debacle of greed.  No.  Not the way to go.  Each man for the wellbeing of the middle class.  That is good for (almost) everyone.  There is a lot of work to do, and many hands are needed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Black is Black I want my baby back” lalalalala.

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    This woman is beginning to sound like a shill for the financial services industry.

    The crime that was committed was that our congress was bribed to make changes to the laws in the 1980′s and 1990′s. They are who should be prosecuted first.

    If we aren’t going to prosecute I would settle for payback of all the money stolen. The bundled mortgages should have been unravelled and allowed to play out instead of foreclosing on everyone in sight.

    Barring payback and prodsecution I would settle for a few dozen executives being Tarred and Feathered in the public square 19th century style.

    The only thing wrong with the Citizen’s United Case is that the Supreme court didn’t explain how corporations are going to be able to fit in a voting booth, oh wait, they already do with the new paperless electronic voting. Never mind.

  • Bob Miller

    Tom, it sounds like you’re really unsure of the need to prosecute these law biding citizens, or maybe you’re playing devils advocate. Even so the question you posed about prosecuting them “after all this time”… after all what time? Three years? Wow, totally awesome, you must be all of 16 years old. Yes, prosecute them. Even if with all of the extraordinary clever lawyers they’ll employ to get them off, it will at least make them squirm.

  • Heleni22

    Both-And:  Prosecute and Regulate.  

    Prosecute.  Yes.  To the fullest extent possible.  Do not forgive.

    It is a moral tragedy.  Do not let fiduciary irresponsibility be a profit center for those who exploited the lenders.  When I had a mortgage I could refinance any time if I wanted to lower my rate.  Why not now?

    If banks fail, fine, let’s use more community banks.  I have already transfered my business to a wonderful community bank because my previous international bank tried to push an excessive home equity loan on me agressively and repeatedly – one that I did not want nor need.  

    I was disgusted.

  • Joe in Philly

    Amen Brother Jim!    Fraud Perpetrators = Terrorists. I’d go one step further: Fraud Perps = Traitors. And, if memory serves, the penalty for treason is death by hanging!

    • WhereToStart

      Treason?  Is that anything like knocking a couple of buildings down in NYC?

      • Joe in Philly

        Brother, our society depends on an all too fragile trust in our institutions. When people undermine this trust and threaten our institutions, they attack the very fabric of our society. Ergo, willful disregard of our laws has consequences that can go far beyond the obvious wrong-doing. And, if I recall, wasn’t Big Ben recently called a traitor? Find a place to start and then follow your heart, my brother!

  • Jmc

    Prosecute the regulators and politicians that accepted campaign funding from organizations that directly gained from lawmaker deregulation, charge them with negligence. Our justice department i would hope is smart enough to see the connection, lack of prosecution of their own is one reason why people have lost confidence in the goverment.

    • Steve

      The Justice Department is in the bag.
      Those who blow the whistle are dispatched as kooks.

      • Jmc

        likely true due based on their apathy to the problem

  • Drew You Too

    Brilliant show as always Tom, keep up the amazing work! I’m out people, hope EVERYONE has a great day.

    • SoDebatable

      Brilliant show as always?  That’s a very debatable comment.

      • Drew You Too

        It was a brilliant show because it did what On Point always does: It generated discourse on a rellevant topic. But of course it wasn’t nearly as brilliant as you creating a username (SoDebatable) in order to try to be antagonistic in what you feel is a clever way. Of course it’s debatable, everything is. Normally I just ignore this sort of juvenile tactic but I’ll respond this time because On Point and Tom Ashbrook deserve it.

        Enjoy the cookie Troll, it’s the last one you’ll get from me.

  • Simon

    The caller is right on point – campaign contributions is the root cause of all the problems. Including why no one is prosecuted for the crime that brought down the world economy.

  • Jhsusak

    What an interesting and irrelevant discussion.  While you discuss whether the actions of Wall Street in 2008 were illegal or simply immoral, millions of Americans support politicians who not only don’t want to re-regulate Wall Street, but are pressing for further deregulation as a cure for the disaster of the original deregulation.  Until we see campaign reform and the smartening up of the American people, we will be in danger of new and more horrible depredations.

    • MoralIrrelevancy

      Until we continue to vote every incumbent out, until they listen to us, until the gangsters and banksters are not able to control our ‘elected officials’, then this will continue.

      • Jeanne

        I think we should limit congress to 2 terms. Then all those politicians with old debts to Big Business for the last 20 years would be out.

    • Leohart8

      Interesting..I agree with most of your statement.  Irrelevant almost makes your statements just so.

    • Dave in CT

      Why do you still trust Frank and Dodd?

      Frank made Fannie Mae nightmare possible.

      Dodd put Investment banks and Insurance companies on the FDIC moral hazard list.

      Mortgages, Goldman Sachs, AIG

      ring any bells?

  • Michael Sacco

    None of these remedies will happen because we are more corrupt than Russia. You can’t even get close enough to these scum to tell them to their face what pigs they really are. Even their kids are brainwashed by these greedy,amoral  #%$&**&^%$@S 

    • SimpleFreedoms

      At least in Russia, you probably know who your paying your bribes to and they don’t pretend to have a democracy.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Are you, by chance, a teacher, trying to figure out how to unbrainwash those kids?

    • Steve

      Justice or “Beirut Rules”

    • Steve

      Is not most schooling socialization (brainwashing)?

  • Bob Quinn

    It is imperative to get congress to clean up the mess they made by allowing this debacle to happen in the first place. I was shocked to hear no procecutions are forthcoming because no laws were broken! Congress makes the laws, this stinks to high heaven and it is the fault of corrupt lawmakers. GO OCCUPY WALL STREETERS !!

    • Ellen Dibble

      Also ten “like” votes for you, but I’m holding my breath.  Remember what happened to the Tea Party?  Didn’t they get backing from some arm of Wall Street?  And now their sense of outrage is more or less whatever sense of outrage Wall Street possesses, that their Bush tax cut might not be permanently renewed or whatever.  Occupy Wall Street could become corrupted too.  Hope, pray, love.

    • Dave in CT

      Time to start learning what “Rule of Law” means and the difference between giving Government official the power to enforce those laws blindly, vs., giving them Discretionary power to rig the system for cronies.

      This is the distinction missing from the national narrative, leaving people to think we have to choose between centrally managed markets/socialism or crony capitalism.

      Rule of Law or Rule of Central Bankers:


    • ComplicitCongress

      Keep voting the incumbents out until they do.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      If regulators deregulate responsible banks, they will continue to act in responsible ways. There’s NO way to pin this just on the regulators UNLESS we admit that banks like Goldman Sachs can NEVER be trusted.

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        And if these banks can’t be trusted, then they will try to control the regulators…

  • Anonymous

    If you can get it (it’s available online and on sat if you don’t get Diane Rehm show on your local station), Rehm will talk this hour — 11 ET — with Lawrence Lessig about reform of just what we’ve been hearing about on On Point.

    Lessig (Harvard Law, Ethics) is behind “Fix Congress First” which is now:


  • Carlo

    Even if we can’t prosecute this is good material for the OWS people.  People say they have no agenda, but this is a huge learning moment – Connect what happened in finance with the Bush / Cheney energy policy written by the oil industry, ‘part B’ written by big pharma, the no bid contracts handed to Haliburton – The list goes on – We are experiencing a new gilded age begun under Bush and the parallels are astounding  - Though the mechanisms may be different from the 19th century the mojo is identical – We need to remember because these things will keep happening as long as we are not vigilant  - Corruption is a by product of the complacency that a successful society automatically creates. – The reason that many corporations and banks are sitting on capital is not ‘uncertainty’ but a calculated agenda to let things get worse so a republican wins the presidency and America can continue it’s backward slide to a new gilded age.

  • Bill

    As a mortgage broker I was prosecuted and served 37 months, while the lender that was demanding re-purchase of the bad loans using the FBI as a threat on one side, had been selling the same loans on the other side for a profit.  We settle in civil court, because I bought back the first loan and secured funding to buy back the 72 additional loans in question, but the lender had already sold them for a profit to an unknown / unsespecting buyer!!!!  The lender suffered no loss!!  But I still did the time!!!

    • HowThingsWork

      Wonder why it’s usually the low-level person doing the time?

      The system is set up for the street-dealer to get caught, not the bankster laundering or defrauding millions, not the gangster providing truckloads or murdering many.

      Except for the occasional “we have to make a example” out of someone (martha stewart), or “they are moving into and threatening our territory” someone (spitzer), or “they are eventually too big to ignore” someone (madoff)

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

    Are people’s memories that short that they don’t remember how predatory lenders marketed their mortgages back in 04-06? There were ads constantly on radio about adjustable rate mortgages then even more insane… interest only loans. These lenders were NOT suggesting people buy a modest home because the bigger the loan the bigger the commission and what did a company like Country Wide care about making risky loans if they could pawn them off on someone else! These companies pushed the idea that we should buy what we could afford. What was affordable? We should only look at our monthly payments.

    But these low monthly payments were temporary…  low introductory rates. Swept under the rug was how much that monthly mortgage bill would balloon once interest rates adjusted upward in a few years. That that once affordable McMansion would soon become anything but.

    • SweptUp

      “How much per month?”, and “Where do I sign?”…

      That’s about all the legalize most regular folks want to understand.

      And the corrupt system took advantage of it.

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        If there’s one lesson a home buyer should know… it’s to keep monthly finances under control. These exploding rate adjustables were almost designed to… explode. And perhaps that’s another area to be looked at. Did anyone benefit from these failures besides Paulson who betted against the housing market?   

  • Jmc

    example of how our elected officials are part of the problem and it has been
    reported on NPR is the Tax Holiday legislation that has bi-partisan support. A
    trillion dollars that is invested in offshore accounts could be brought
    stateside for a one-time deduction from 35% down to I believe 15%. They are
    selling the passage on the fact that it will create jobs although the last time
    this was allowed under the same premise the revenue went back into repurchasing
    stock so companies could as a result inflate their stock price, no jobs. It is
    common sense regulation such as this that makes the average informed American
    feel that corporations and government are not really in it to support the
    country just their campaign contributors.

  • Marc nGottesdiener

    As an appraiser I stopped working for a large CT bank and a large mtge company in the early 2000′s. In 2004 I had a horrible experience with Countrywide and made good on a defaulted VA assumable loan with Countrywide that my office manager’s sister lived in had put down a $5000 deposit/option to buy. They repeatedly tried to foreclose again and again after I paid $26,000 to get my office manager’s sister the right to buy the house. They would not let me assume the mtge after twice the judge went along with the request.The leading forclosure firm and lawyer in CT who forecloses thousands of houses annually-and who I had represented previously intimadated the judge who reversed two earlier rulings. I later got the judge to step down and she is no longer a CT judge serving full-time! How do I get involved in a class-action agianst Countrywide or seek restitution-I lost over $ 40,000 and hundreds of houirs over 4 years! -please help!  I want to join in a class actionj if theree are others who were put in the sdame position nationwide by the old Countrywide!   http://www.getwhatyouwantnow.com
    in CT 877-heres-he lp  or 860-246-5053  THANKS


    • ThatReallyHurts

      Sorry to hear about your story. 

      The system punishes the ‘whistleblower’ and the ‘righteous’. 

      I think that’s why BofA was ‘forced to’ absorb Countrywide, so all of the stories like yours won’t see the light of day or get prosecuted.

  • Jmacknmo

    Great show, but your tendency to cut off callers in the middle of their questions is VERY annoying. I appreciate that you want to get as many calls as possible, but you are falling into the Quantity vs Quality trap of so many North Americans. I suggest you take some pointers from the CBC radio show Cross Country Checkup.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for that comment.  A weekly trip to CBC interviewers would be a great idea for Tom and most others.  We have a little ego problem down here.  Talk show hosts seem to think people are tuning in to listen mostly to them.  Not!

      • Four Elements

        There are very few NPR hosts who do not seem to think they ARE the show. Maybe only Diane Rehm. Are you listening, Inskeep, Simon, Stamberg?

      • Gallogarden

        Wonderful program!  But like Jmacknmo, I cannot tell you how often I grit my teeth when the hosts on Public Radio interrupt their GUESTS.  Two weeks ago a guest was saying something along the lines “but the most important thing to remember…” but was then cut off by the host to change the direction of the discussion!  

        • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

          This is a one hour, fast moving show and Tom has to get as much out of it as possible. It’s not a Charlie Rose or Firing line format with one guest at a time and no callers.  

          • Anonymous

            I’d love to know why NPR, given the nature of its audience and support, has to buy into “hard breaks.” A good discussion running over by 10 minutes is so much better than the breathless, constant interruptions of by-the-clock hostmanship.  On sat radio (which I have instead of TV), public radio has one entire channel made up of public radio goodies strung along one after the other with no sense  of time constraint. Thus, one also gets the invaluable Ted Talks… It’s like endless Christmas stockings!

            We create the most wonderful technology and then let its products draw hard lines — great stress creators — through our lives.  I hope our ability to get media through our computers etc. will lead to a change from habits that only box us in, not liberate us.  Perhaps an OP hour which is expanded in its podcast?  At least?

            Also, Ultrax, callers on most shows, including OP, are often given less time than they should be. For this listener, one of the great benefits of a well-run call-in show is the view it gives us of the view of fellow-citizens in a wide variety of regions are.

  • Barbara

    I am so proud of Prof. William  Black  and his courageous comments.   He’s a national hero regarding the thieves on Wall Street.  They  should be prosecuted and receive jail time.  That would be justice for those that lost  their homes, jobs, dignity and respect for government officials that turn a blind’s eye to  the greed.    If we had more men like him in government we would not be experiencing this  “choke hold” that we’re  now having by the leadership in the House and Senate.  This lack of co-operation has paralyzed our country.   Don’t they know we are fighting two wars?  Where are the diplomats, the peace builders, the patriots? 

    I am so frustrated with the way this country is functioning. What do I have to compete with…. when a  ruling by the Supreme Court states that Corporations are considered more important than I am.  This only encourages more greed and less participation from citizens that love their country.  I hope to hear more from Dr. Black.

  • Marc

    Yes, these crooks should be prosecuted.  But there is a bigger problem.

    If I, as a small business owner, engage in unreasonably risky or corrupt behaviour, I will suffer serious consequences and probably lose my business.  But if a large company engages in unreasonably risky or corrupt behaviour and begins to buckle under it, everybody suddenly cries out that the business is too big to fail, too important to lose, and government steps in to save the company.  Both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of this.

    The intention may be good (to save jobs) but the result is that these companies suffer no business consequences for their bad behaviour.  They are allowed to make these bad decisions and break the law because they are always protected by the government safety net.

    The problem was never too little government regulation but too much government involvement.  Without government interference, the market will naturally correct their bad behaviour.  That is to say that the companies that make bad decisions and engage in bad business practises, will fail and collapse.  You and I will shut them down with our spending power.  The companies that make good decisions will thrive.  Get government out of the way and let the market (the people) determine which companies should be rewarded and which ones should fail.

    • Four Elements

      Why else do they merge and acquire: precisely to become too big to fail and too big to jail. Then they buy a government that encourages bigness and prevents breaking them up. A perfect system – for some.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Didn’t you notice how the big banks protect one another, bailing each other by buying each other, propping up each other’s pay scales by “competitive” rewards, and becoming in a sense the financial/fiduciary monopoly?  Small banks are different, yes.  But market forces against monopolistic-size power aggregations don’t work.  Actually, even government interventions, in the case of our financial infrastructure, barely have the intended effect.

    • Steve

      The problem is always getting from here to there.

      People are in a world of hurt and many more are about to join them.

      I believe:

      Is the baking system corrupt? Yes.
      Is the government corrupt? Yes.
      Is the heart of a society based on consumerism corrupt? Yes.

      re-read Thomas Hobbes vs. John Locke or…

      Calvin and Hobbes :)

      The only option I can come up with is opting out.

  • Anonymous

    To quote Fran Lebowitz: Stop being a consumer and start being a citizen.
    Being a citizen requires work. We all need to get off our behinds.

    • Ellen Dibble

      The Washington Post tweeted to #ows, the occupy Wall Street twitter thread, about a New York Observer site set up for author contributions, and I went to print the list of author names signing on, and my printer turned out very many.  Salman Rushdie has a piece, and there is a poem.  One can apparently contribute without being world famous.  I had suggested something like this last week, as a way to support and inspire and perhaps create a thing to purchase and sell at the site.  That was to a writing website where no one seemed to pick up on it, but apparently it is happening.  Maybe there’s an occupyartists site too.  There’s a occupy Boston twitter stream.  http://occupywriters.com/

  • Earl Shepherd

    Minimally, all of the money that these people received should be taken, and yes, they should be jailed if possible.  If corporations are people, then there should be a way take over (imprison) the corporation, if only for a period of time. 

    • ThereIsTheRub

      Corporations are considered people only with respect to legal or financial liability not human morality or social responsibility.

    • Ellen Dibble

      You mean, all the profits, the nefarious profits, come to the Treasury rather than to the stockholders?

  • Anonymous

    Hasn’t the statute of limitations run?

  • Anonymous

    People should tune into WGBH to the Diane Rehm show with Lawrence Lessig. This man is so right on with his idea of invoking a Constitutional convention to change how Congress does business. His statement about the the polling of the popularity of Congress being 12% as a point where by the government is now completely unable to do the peoples busniess. How low does this have to go for our government to be deemed useless. By the way this is about making our government work, not making to more dysfunctional which what the some segments on the right would advocate.

  • Ida Simmons

    Please thank William Black for participating today.  I hope he writes a book.
    Ida Simmons

    • Guest

      You can see a list of articles that Mr. Black has written here:

      The articles can be downloaded as PDF files if you are interested in reading them. Some article that may be of interest in the list:
      1) Epidemics of ‘Control Fraud’ Lead to Recurrent, Intensifying Bubbles and Crises
      2) Those Who Forget the Regulatory Successes of the Past are Condemned to Failure
      3) Wall St. Fraud and Fiduciary Responsibilities: Can Jail Time Serve as an Adequate Deterrent for Willful Violations?
      4) Neo-Classical Economic Theories, Methodology and Praxis Optimize Criminogenic Environments and Produce Recurrent, Intensifying Crises

  • Guest

    Mr. Black wrote an article titled: Neo-classical economic theories, methodology, and praxis optimize criminogenic environments and produce recurrent, intensifying crises

    It discusses some of the points he made on the program. You can download a PDF of the article here: 

  • Cburnham82

    Nelson D. Schwartz and Eric Dash of The New York Times wrote this past Sunday, that “publicly, bankers say they understand the anger at Wall Street…but when they speak privately, it is often a different story.”  The article summed up that bankers view the protesters as: a ragtag group looking for sex, drugs and rock’n’roll; they do not believe that this is a middle-class uprising – that the protesters are made up of fringe groups; they look upon the protesters with disdain and a degree of caution; some bankers are genuinely befuddled about what they are supposed to do to alleviate the pain/anger; and some actually consider the protesters to be bitter Americans looking for an easy target for their economic woes…and that they should actually show GRATITUDE for Wall Street financial industries.  Lastly, it was said that if Americans want to continue to attack financial services, they can expect further outsourcing of American jobs.

    Wall Street execs, bankers just don’t get it(…or they DO, and they’re just waiting this outrage out).  It is my sincerest hope that the Occupy Movement draft clear goals and expectations, circulating these to the movement’s supporters across the country, so that we can coherently begin to hold our elected officials responsible or get rid of them.

    The perversion of capitalism and democracy has gone on long enough.  Now that so many are unemployed and free of 60-hour work weeks, they’ve actually got the time to focus on our corrupt power-addicted industries and hold them accountable.  We can speak with our voices, action, and spending habits.


    • Ellen Dibble

      Where do you fit the lobbyists for the financial industries, and others, who are said to feel (to say, that is) that they are helping – they are serving – by expediting the writing and passing of bills (to their liking), especially those relating to taxation and regulation.  Serving — serving the Congress and those of us who need laws.  

      Next time, remind me to vote for the lobbyist who has my interests at heart, not the bankers’ who pay their salaries…  Actually maybe I should just vote directly for the banker of my choice and skip the lobbyist and the guy who runs around raising money for campaigns.

  • Lettranger

    W. K. Black is one of the few observers of the recent financial fiasco who is focused, knowledgeable and experienced in the area of white collar crime.

    He is the one-armed economist Truman was seeking.  He readily identifies and refutes the fuzzy, superficial defenses offered on behalf of the WS manipulators and shysters.

    He identifies fraud as fraud.  No double-speak.

    Thanks to W. K.  Black for articulating the pernicious nature, magnitude and remedy for the recent frenzy of investment banker fraud. 

    Jail time for the big boys and real regulatory reform and enforcement.

    Thanks for the unwavering clarity and persistence.

    • FraudAsFraud

      In theory, yes. 
      But, what about in practice? 
      No one is going to hang for this.

  • Anonymous

     The template for prosecution is already in place and used every day to send low level drug sellers (often addicted users themselves), pseudoephedrine (used the make methamphetamine) purchasers, and other extremely small fry to prisons FOR YEARS in our war on drugs.

      These peripheral wrongdoers are then given the option to cooperate and give up the identity of higher ups as their only chance to avoid mandatory minimum sentences of 5 or 10 years in prison, and the process repeated if possible to get to the highest ranking members of the drug dealing operation. 

      The effort by federal and state prosecutors, let alone Congress, which has been blatantly lied to by many of these investment “bankers”, to attempt to bring to justice anyone involved in this conspiracy to defraud is utterly non-existent.

      And will remain so.

  • David Krah

    Sounds like the “DNA” is there and the cases could be won, except for the prolonged time and cost involved, and possible risk to the banks.  Considering the US is in a shambles anyway (spending 7 x what it brings in, massive future debt obligations, etc) why not go for it with big penalties and take the money and pay it toward the debt as an example of old fashioned sound principles?  I doubt any of this will happen, because money and connections always talk. The German weekly Der Spiegel, as well as TIME, have run stories in the past about the connections between DC and Wall St.  It was amazing to see how many high ranking politicians and cabinet members worked on Wall St before and after their political careers. Given that, do you really think there is any interest (as well as any open path) toward prosecuting?  That would be simply biting the hand that feeds you.  I agree with Mr. Black 100% though, but unfortunately dont see it happening unless a lot more people join the protest movement, and it gets somewhat scary to the point that both politicians and big shots get really nervous that they are in danger of being overthrown, stalked, etc.  Short of that, nothing will change until the entire system implodes, which is still a ways off, if at all.  Then, perhaps, those putting it back together again might enact responsible laws, etc to prevent it from happening soon again.

    • Charlie Mc

      Go for it. Too big to prosecute? Ridiculous! Just force the legal proceedings to be done “Pro Bono”, for that’s what all the rest of us are, professional boneheads, to buy what the politicians are doing to us, and the bankers are doing to us, and the military-industrial profiteers are doing to us; and will continue to until they be punished in a proportional way. The last thirty years can be summed up as the successful “hijacking” of the United States of America in a totally legal (since 2002 thanks to the US Congress) but treasonous way.     

  • Modavations

    Today in USA is about about who is to blame for Wall St..The poll was 60% blame the govt. and 30% blame Wall St.

    • Modavations

      I meant USA Today

    • Dave in CT

      were getting closer…..

  • Modavations

    10/12/2011 Ultrax to Modavations….
    “Nice fantasy.As I once said you give away so much personal info it was easy to ID you.I checked…..”

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      The song Motivation by Kelly Rowland inspired Modavations.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      And that in your demented mind is a “threat”? ROTF… Mod you moron, if you want anonymity don’t your business name as a user ID. Why do you think I ALSO told you it was stupid to mention leaving cash in your basement. Don’t blame me because YOU are so careless. Obviously no good deed goes unpunished.
      Are there ANY intelligent right wingers here?????

      • Modavations

        So you decided to investigate me out of altruism?????????

  • Modavations

    “Janet Reno began to outwardly threaten banks and mortgage lenders with prosecution if home loans were not approved….”
         Mr.Ultrax, while you promised an appology if proof was forthcoming,I release you.Your hatred has compromised your intellectuality.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      Gee Mod, you STILL don’t know what a URL is or how to Cut & Paste? It’s not MY job to track down what you claim proves your point. That carefully edited snippet could just as well say Reno was merely enforcing the law… laws that did NOT require banks to make bad loans. THAT is the issue… the right wing claim government FORCED banks to make risky or bad loans.  

      • Modavations

        So you want us to believe that an Attorney General threatening your business, is not coercive.You should try out for the olympics,your acrobatics are profound

        • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

          It’s not coercive if those companies ARE BREAKING THE LAW.

          Now do you have proof the government was forcing banks and other lenders to make risky or bad loans OR NOT?????

          If not… it’s time to retract. But I won’t hold my breath. Such a retraction requires a smidgen of integrity… and there’s been NO evidence you have even that.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            I should rephrase… yes law enforcement by definition often involves coercion. But THAT’S NOT THE ISSUE. The issue is the right wing claim federal law FORCED banks into making risky or bad loans. Aside from the lack of evidence, why would the INSURER of banks through the FDIC put those banks at risk?

          • Modavations

            What bank would make uncollateralized loans ,to people without the wherewithal to pay the loan back.It took Janet Reno ,et al. holding a gun to their heads.The law started with J.Carter,was pumped up by Clinton and continued with Bush.

          • Belinda

            The fees.  The loans were packaged and sold in Asset Backed Securitizations so banks didn’t make a profit from the interest earned over time. (like the old days – think Bailey Building and Loan) We never got that far.  Originate and sell as fast as you can.  That’s where the money was.
            And it wasn’t the government, it was the non-bank lenders eating up market share that drove many banks over the ledge like lemmings.  Thanks Alan Greenspan for keeping the cost of capital so low that anyone could get financial backing and become a non bank lender.

            Sales teams kept pushing the product team to take more risk to keep “volume” high.  Remember, you aren’t making profit over the life of the loan, only the first 30 days once all the fee transactions had cleared.  If I’m losing loans to a competitor, I need to fill the hole – fast.  Most filled it with junk.
            As long as the the loans were being bought up in the ABS market, no one cared.
            Like a giant game of hot potato. Same game in the student loan market as well.

          • ThanksAl

            Create the crap, package the crap and sell the crap as fast as you can.

            What a respectable line of crap they are in.

            Sounds like gangsters selling poor quality booze, drugs or any other commodity.

            That’s why they call them banksters.

            Thank Greenspan for not allowing the regulation of crap.

          • Dave in CT

            Thank Greenspan and the Fed for funding the game!

            Too bad he stopped being a sound-money libertarian before he took the devil’s job……

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            I think around 2005 only about 30% of the loans were even subject to the CRA.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            AGAIN… more empty claims and not a shred of proof there is ANY federal law REQUIRING banks to make risky or bad loans. Repeating it endlessly doesn’t make it true. Your intellectual laziness feeds your delusions of infallibility.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Are you going to provide a CREDIBLE SOURCE to back up your claims there were federal laws REQUIRING banks to make bad loans or not? If not… then please retract instead of playing the right wing weasel game of diversions and moving the goal post.

          • Modavations

            Try Business Week Oct.3 1994.Shawmut Bank Boston ,was coerced and Chevy Chase was triply coerced.Read the caption on Google, for this very show.It reads”Janet Reno began to outwardly….

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            AGAIN Mo, I’m NOT going to do YOUR homework trying to track down YOUR claims. If you have a URL for a CREDIBLE source then post it. Since you’re obviously clueless what a URL is, it’s the address of a website which includes the full address of the article. It usually starts with either http:// or www.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      Hey Einstein, THAT QUOTE IS NOT FROM NPR…. it’s a RESPONSE to the blog article FROM A RIGHT WING LISTENER.  http://www.pbs.org/nbr/blog/2008/10/government_mistakes_contribute_1.html The listener says it was from a liberal paper The San Francisco Chronicle but then ALL the right wing blogs use the exact language which to me makes it look more like a viral email. It is entirely partisan with all the bogus right wing talking points. I can find NO record of it searching the newspaper.   One source says it actually came from http://www.chronwatch-america.com/articles/3623/1/The-Bailouts-Must-Stop but this site is closed. Now do you have ANY evidence to back up your claim or not?

    • TrollYouLater

      Reno was a pawn for the system.
      Remember Waco?
      Why don’t you keep your lousy thinking and fallacy reasoning amongst yourself and other troll friends?

      • Modavations

        I’m the NPR official Though Police….You can’t say that,how dare you think that….

  • Joan Parks

    The US financial mess is contributing to the global (crises…. oh darn what is the plural of crises) so if  the US won’t prosecute would it be possible for the EU to start the process?

    • Four Elements

      Interesting. It could, but it would be mostly symbolic.

      PS Crises is the plural of crisis.

  • Four Elements

    Assuming the Justice Department is the agency that would prosecute, who prosecutes them if they do not act? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
    (Who will watch the watchmen?)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Helen-Etters/100000028017646 Helen Etters

    Not jail time, but huge fines!  We need their money more than we need them in jail.

    • Anonymous

      We do both to drug dealers:  long prison terms AND forfeiture of every asset they and their family acquired during the time they were engaged in a criminal enterprise. 

      In fact, all the problems that are cited by death penalty opponents regarding uncertainty that the correct person was convicted, the lack of deterrent effect on crimes that occur in the heat of passion and on the spur of the moment,etc., are not present in these premeditated and well-thought-out financial crimes that affect way more people than any murder, so I would suggest these types of crimes and the people that commit them should face the death penalty if we’re serious.  Madoff, for one,  should be on death row.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    I think Madoff was paraded to the Media in order for the American people to forget about the People that really made the US Economy crumbled. Did you notice that the entire Madoff event was covered by the Media but rarely broadcast the Wall Street investigation.

    The weird part was that Bernard Madoff was not even part of the Sub-prime mortgage crisis or derivatives. HE had his own Scheme that has nothing to do when the bubble burst.

    But the American Medias were more interested of him because he stole millions of dollars which was a dwarf compared to the billions of dollars that Wall Street gambled.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    OWS protestors.

    The protest is now world wide but I don’t see them a lot on the news. Only a glimpse of OWS protestors.

    • Drew You Too

      A large part of that is our fault. If we focus on other topics it will invariably push the protests out of the spotlight. Want to keep OWS as the center of attention? Only focus on the protest stories, problem solved.

  • James W. Osborne

    I’m an attorney and a former assistant attorney general of a state.  The question “why not prosecute?” should be submitted to this administration.  How does one break through to Obama (whom I heartily supported).  He should address the American people stating exactly “why not”.  Occupy Wall Street has the attention of millions for just this reason.  It is unacceptably simple to say, as did one of your panelists, “Let’s just move forward” and/or prosecution is “too difficult”.     I thought of sending Obama a copy of “Inside Job” as I watched it.  How could I get Professor Black into the White House and appointed to Occupy Wall Street’s board of directors?  Your program this morning was great (I tried, in vain for 45 minutes to call); the only problem aside from making Obama tune to NPR was that an hour is not enough.  

  • Adrian from RI

    Tom, people like your guest professor of Law, William Black, never cease to amaze me. Maybe the Financial Titans were dishonest, but they are amateurs compared to the professor. How can you have a discussion on Prosecuting Financial Titans without mentioning the wild elephant in the room? Without mentioning the many government actions leading inevitable to a thorough corruption of the financial industry and the misery we are experiencing now? Government actions like:  * The Moral Hazards created by FDR’s FDIC and the new moral hazards added by Obama.* The 1968 invention by community activists of “Redlining.” These activist accused banks of discrimination and racism because the banks lived up to their fiduciary responsibility of not giving loans to people who were in no position of ever paying back the loans. * Jimmy Carter in 1977 signing into law the Community Reinvestment Act forcing banks to negate on their fiduciary responsibility and start issuing, what are no called, toxic loans. * Toxic loans that were converted into Mortgage Backed Securities by the magic of the government backed banks, Freddie and Fannie. These government created “securities” caused the value of my IRA to be cut in half, caused the bankruptcy of Iceland, caused banks around the world to lose Billions of dollars; including solid Swiss banks, and caused ordinary people to lose houses and jobs.  * Inviting the founder of Country Wide to Washington to be praised by the likes of Barney Frank and his ilk for making home ownership possible for the masses even if the masses did not have a penny to their name. Now the same morally and intellectually challenged politicians want to throw the founder of Country Wide in jail for having done precisely what the morally and intellectually challenged politicians, egged on by the likes of professor Black, wanted him to do.  But now things are going to get better. After all, we now have Obama’s new 3000 pages of Dodd-Frank banking regulations to protect us from the evil financial titans. However, to put the far from honorable representative from Massachusetts, Barney Frank, in charge of our banking industry is like putting the Godfather in charge of our police departments; except that Don Carleone was a man of honor.  Let me make another point in favor of the government as villain. In a free economy, in a laissez-faire capitalist system there will be businessmen that make mistakes. Some might even be crooks, but that is an ongoing random process. What force can cause all major banks to suddenly look like they are being run by mentally deranged financial titans? What force can synchronize all banks to start acting stupid at the same time? The only force big enough to do that is the force of law, is the gun wielded by our politicians. And the politicians wield that gun on behalf of We the People and the OWS dimwits.  The many commentators here and the “Occupy Wall Street” dimwits should go where the economic damage did originate. They should invade the halls of congress. However, I am afraid the OWS crowd would insist upon more of the same. We are now a democracy were everybody tries to use the political process to steal from everybody else; and as the journalist Henry Louis Mencken (1880 – 1956) cynically observed: “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” Our Founding Fathers tried to protect us from that kind of populism and rule by dimwits. They tried to protect us from that form of democracy that destroyed ancient Athens as it is now destroying America.  By the way, Professor Black sounds to me like a villain straight out of the book Atlas Shrugged.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for putting EVERY false statement about the housing bubble and financial crisis in one (somewhat) concise post.  Hopefully, you will someday have the intellectual capacity to realize how wrong you are about everything.  I’m not optimistic.

    • TrollAlert

      You’ve out done yourself asteriak person.
      So many fallacies in one post again.
      Not even worth countering.
      You are amazing.

      • Modavations

        How dare you say that.How dare you think that.Where’s my “ball peen”….

    • Modavations

      Dodd was a friend of Angelo and got a sweet-heart loan.When asked,he claimed he had no idea.Deval Patrick,Governor of Ma.worked for Countrywide

      • Anonymous

        The troll speaks… You know what’s really pathetic, is that your are a man in his late 40′s or early 50′s and you act like 15 year old entitled child. 

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        True Dodd got this loan… and it should be investigated. But your MO here is to find little things to IMPLY the Dems are guilty, while IGNORING all the BIG things that the GOP and Wall Street did wrong. No doubt you consider that a insightful investigation.  

        • Modavations

          I dare you to go one day without calling the “posters’ names.Do you realize you call every single poster, that does not agree with you, a name. I don’t know your age,but you seem immature.

        • Modavations

          I don’t care about Dems,or Reps.I’m Liberterian.I’d vote for a Venusian, if he were Laissez faire.You have one hell of a chip on your shoulder.I can be your pal,just quit calling me names

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            You can play all the games you want pretending you’re not slavishly right wing. Your posts prove otherwise.  

          • Modavations

            I am right wing economically and couldn’t care less about the social stuff.I do however,find the socialist-communist outlook abhorrent and will stand against you at every possible turn.I don’t think there’s a leftist country in Europe.Even Canada and Mexico are “laissez ffaire”.

    • Anonymous

      So much misinformation one does not know where to begin.
      This is all nothing but tripe served up cold without one once of factual proof to back it up. Only conspiracy theories mixed up with the usual attacks on Barny Frank and FDR. It’s really kind of funny and comedic how some segments on the right are so out in, well right field, it’s pathetic.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      If investment banks were trustworthy and responsible, then Congress and the regulators could remove ALL restrictions on them and they’d continue to act in a trustworthy and responsible manner.

      For you to place ALL the blame on the government is to admit the true nature of these banks is somewhere between irresponsible and criminal.

      Is THAT your position Fluffy? 

      • Bruce

        Yeah…all those laissez-faire libertarians out there, who rail against corporate cronyism and marginalization of the Rule of Law, need to look seriously at the current GOP field of contenders and previous occupant of the White House (as well as Reagan), and ask themselves why as libertarians they tend to align with the GOP–the Party that is clearly more often than not in bed with big business and corrupt elites.  And a party whose leadership over the past several decades has bought into the supply-side tax cutting, deregulation and globalization mania that is largely responsible for our current predicament.

    • Loring Palmer

      Think evolution revolution. Let’s get out of the box and develop an integral economic system that works. The old system is FUBR/finished, and no longer relevant to our needs. This is what the core group of the Wall Street Protesters are working on TOGETHER. Otherwise it’s more re-arranging the deck chairs as the economic ship goes down.
      RE. the Bankster Pirates:  Give them the fate-of-old for pirates, hung out to dry in Boston Harbor. 

  • Dave in CT

    Can’t believe I missed this show…

  • Joe in Philly

    In response to WhereToStart, our society depends on an all too fragile trust in our institutions. When people undermine this trust and threaten our institutions, they attack the very fabric of our society. Ergo, willful disregard of our laws has consequences that can go far beyond the obvious wrong-doing. Are these acts of treason? I say yes. Do I believe that hanging is an appropriate punishment? No, it is too lenient! Take care my Brother!

    • TheNewWay

      I am all for reinventing the system, but violence in not the answer.

      That’s the tool they use.  We are evolved.  We are above that.
      Sure I’d like to see some of our business and elected leaders take the fall.  But it would do us better to remove their access to wealth, power, prestige and privilege by humbling or humiliating them.

      Death or violence is never an appropriate solution.  It’s too quick and some people enjoy the pain.

      Enforcing long-term humility, isolating them from any access and enduring society’s ridicule is an equitable retribution.

      Until they respect the people’s authority, nothing will change.

      • Joe in Philly

        Amen my Brother. I deplore violence and my comments were intended to be tongue-in-check rather than literal, sort of like Cain’s comments about an electric fence on our southern boarder! I do apologize for that; however, we also agree that there has been no accountability and that this appears unlikely given the present conditions and political landscape.

        So the question remains: how can we correct this? Perhaps this is a direct result of the endemic conflicts of interest that pervades our government. But then again, perhaps this is just the human condition playing itself out over and over. Maybe in our post-industrial, post-information based world, the cycle will become more frequent. 

        Think about this, it took about 70 years to go from the Black Tuesday to the dot com bust, but only 18 years more years to get to our Financial Meltdown. With our collective memory afflicted with Alzheimer’s, who knows do we repeat in 2018? 

        • TimingIsEverything

          Yes, they really increased the frequency of bubbles in the last twenty years.  They are a sophisticated theiving bunch. 

          But, this time they went too far. 

          There may be up to 300 to 700 Trillion dollars of bad derivative bets still out there. (No one knows because there wasn’t any regulation or clearing house.)

          The more mortgage foreclosures there are the worse it will get.
          The worse the economy gets, the more foreclosures there are.

          It’s a self-perpetuating downward spiral. 

          The banksters’ and governments’ only answer is for them to spend their way out of it and for us to get screwed through austerity measures.

          I think there is an opportunity here.

          See “GrowingUp”s comment below. 

  • Dave in CT

    If we don’t take the thinking to the level of Central Banking, the nature of the Federal Reserve, and Sound Money, we will get nowhere. Per usual.



    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

      Many of the claims about the Federal Reserve system and its history in these videos are debunked here:


      But I doubt that won’t stop you from reposting this nonsense over and over again. 

      • Dave in CT

        You could debunk half of that stuff, and we should remain quite disturbed and skeptical.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

          “Central banks manage monetary policy and may target the rate of inflation. They have some authority over commercial banks and possibly other financial institutions. They are less concerned with avoiding asset price bubbles, such as the housing bubble and dot-com bubble. Central banks have generally chosen to react after such bubbles burst so as to minimize collateral damage to the economy, rather than trying to prevent or stop the bubble itself. This is because identifying an asset bubble and determining the proper monetary policy to deflate it are matters of debate among economists.[143][144]”

          Bubbles come and bubbles go. What turned the housing bubble (which may have been inflated due to easy credit) into a global crisis was high risk, complex financial products; undisclosed conflicts of interest; and the failure of regulators, the credit rating agencies, and the market itself to rein in the excesses of Wall Street.

          • Dave in CT

            “Bubbles come and bubbles go. What turned the housing bubble (which may have been inflated due to easy credit)”

            This is classic Krugman admission/dismissal baloney, that betrays his slavery to the Keynesian economic lens.

            Bubbles (particularly giant ones) do not just magically come and go, and ‘easy credit’ by unaccountable bankers DOES pump them up. Then, somehow, the rest of the Wall St bankers benefit from the “easy credit”, being empowered to cook up tasty schemes, and collect trading fees while all the “dumb money” comes to the casino. Meanwhile they position themselves to “short” the market, when the bubble inevitably pops.

            The the taxpayers bail out the schemers, we print money to cover our debt, seeding the inflation that destroys the buying power of the money all the rightfully frightened masses stick under their mattress, until convinced again that they need to find better returns in the market.


            That is not a free market to be blamed on free-marketers, its a predictable and profitable set up, hiding behind false technocratic projections and good intentions.

            “This is because identifying an asset bubble and determining the proper monetary policy to deflate it are matters of debate among economists.[143][144]”

            The only debate is in the talking head, status-quo “economist” circles. For most rational, critical thinkers who look at the empirical facts of our history, the case is closed, and the connection all too predictable. Just because Keynesian apologists must ignore reality to maintain their position, doesn’t mean others can see clearly.


  • Cime

    Wealth gain through fraud should be removed! Corrupt animalistic capitalism should be crime against humanity!

  • Shag9y
  • aw888ke

    If you lowly citizens don’t stop complaining about the actions of the 1% elite who rule this country, they will soon launch another 9/11-style, inside-job attack to scare us, distract us, hurt us and take away even MORE of our rights. So be quiet and go back to work!

  • DJP2011

    All the republican Presidential candidates at the last debate blamed the financial collapse entirely on the government . No follow up or questioning of this erroneous position was initiated by the debate moderators. Why ?

    • Dave in CT

      Because they claim that half of the truth.

      Then Dems tell us it is all Business, another half of the truth.

      The ping-pong continues as does our fleecing.

      It’s not Government OR the Market, it’s the nexus, which is Crony Capitalism. The powers must be pitted, not shared.

      Government should be a nasty watchdog with big teeth, blindly enforcing a rule of law of clear, no-loophole guidelines within which the market is set free.

      Business and competition should do what they do best within that.

      When they break the rules, punish harshly, because they threaten our benefits from a fair, free economy, leaving us with the even less efficient and fair models of socialism/communism.

      Dreamy hope of Private/Public partnerships, ala Fannie Mae, are always the beginning of the end. People will be corrupted. Cannot mix the roles of police and policed. That was our bad judgement during the Clinton years, let alone all the Crony Capitalism we have had for so long, and of course the Banking/War issues……

      • Doubting Thomas


        Thank you. It’s easy to get on the Wall Street bashing, and rather fun because every word is true. But what’s not easy to hear is that the policies of “housing for all!” of the Democrats were like opening a gun store that didn’t ask for license. The Republican’s complete financial deregulation, allowing risk to be traded and commodities to be speculated on, was like having a fire sale in that store.

        Who’s responsible for the subsequent murder spree? All of the above. While Wall Street actually pulled the trigger, they would never have been participating in the orgy in the first place without the Dems inviting them over to play, and the Reps giving them the E and the underage minors.

    • CashIsKing

      They don’t have the guts to cross-the-street and get on the people’s side because they no what side their bread is buttered on.

    • Zing

      Because they know Obama is a weak failed president and wish to spare him the embarrassment.

  • Wes, Cambridge, MA

    Financial Titans or Masters of Bullcrap? Seems to me that the Wall Street bull is crapping on you and me. Isn’t it time to stop this crap?

    • Zing

      Maybe you could go on a Fall Camping Frolic…

  • GMG

    Wow, that was a stunning argument from Prof. Stout.  If I understand correctly, she is saying, sure there were crimes, but most of the banks’ transactions were not crimes, so why prosecute.  WHAT!?  I don’t understand how this makes any sense at all.  And also, if there is no prosecution, and crimes were likely committed, how will we ever know their extent?

    • Bubblenomics

      They can collapse the world’s economic system through their gambling devices as long as its legal gambling – no matter what the consequences.

      Oh, you might get some people on technicalities, but it will be hard to prove collusion and conspiracy - which is so wide-ranging and so wide-spread amongst so many agencies and industries - that only some paultry fines would eventually be administered as punishment to the few. 

      In other words, the world’s elite are laughing all the way to the bank and we are picking up their tab.

      It was the biggest swindle in history and it was mostly legal.

      Mad yet?

      • Dave in CT

        We need life sentences for white collar crime.

        • Steve

          With hard time.

    • Andy B

      Miss “Ethics” professor somehow is a complete apologist for the criminal over-class. Shame on you Tom, for having her say a word on this subject.

      • Zing

        We don’t need no freedom of speech dammit

    • Zing

      Because the current White House criminals don’t want you to know.

    • Steve

      I believe her arguement should be:

      The banks made the rules, submitted them to our elected officials for passage into law, and are for the most part legally unassailable.

  • GrowingUp

    All of you, if you haven’t figured this out already:

    The majority of all politicians are bought and paid for.  It doesn’t matter by whom, it matters that it can happen at all.

    (If they are not before they get into office, they soon are.  That’s just the way the system operates.)

    This is what we need to change. 

    By arguing who or which side is worse you are falling into the trap.

    Keep pointing fingers – instead of planning how to change the system we are all dissatisfied with – and we will become even more like them.

    (And you trolls, go somewhere where you are wanted.  You are not needed here.  We’ve got some important work to do and don’t need your diversions and meddlesome comments.)

    The solution:  Keep voting incumbents out until they do what we want.

    Congress every two years; Senate and Executive every four; we can make a lot of changes quickly and get the system to start working for us instead of the corporations, special interests and banksters.

    We will have them running scared in no time.  That’s what they are afraid of – the collective and cohesive “us”.

    Take the money and fund raising necessities out of this system and we will have candidates worth choosing.

    It’s time for us to set the agenda.

    • Dave in CT

      We could try the Constitution. And getting self-educated on what the Rule of Law means again (hint: blind justice vs discretionary legislation/enforcement for cronies).

      It can be looked up and read about.

      People have thought about these issues before in history…….alot in the founding documents and debates.

      Our lack of vigilance and amnesia and distraction by consumerism is our own fault.  Cementing our current trajectory into a China II model of autocratic, technocratic, centrally-planned, illiberal capitalism, would be some ironic, tragic punishment to ourselves indeed.(General Response, not to you GU)

    • Doubting Thomas

      Fair enough; let’s get started. But first we DO need to prosecute fraud, theft and malfeasance. Wall Street supplied the fraud and theft, while anyone in government doing the deregulation supplied the malfeasance. Otherwise, the cleanup will be built on an unstable, cracked and faulty foundation.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

      Without dramatic campaign finance and lobbying reform nothing is going to change. 


      We need to break the Iron Triangle which enables special interests and big money to manipulate our political system.


      The current Supreme Court (and most of the GOP/TP-”libertarians”) are opposed to this. Either we change the composition of the court or we may need to hold a constitutional convention as Lawrence Lessig and others advocate.

      Perhaps OWS is a step in this direction?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

        “Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people. The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any other controlling private power…

        The second truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way as to sustain an acceptable standard of living. Both lessons hit home. Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing.” 

        – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    • Steve

      The entire game is rigged.

      Is there anyone worthy of your vote – save one or two (does not matter from which side the aisle they come) who are immediately labeled as unelectable.

      I live in an urban area – I have no legitimate choice.

      It seems to me that the options will be:
           -leaving the game ( I am not under any illusions that this is
            easily accomplished)
           -or violence.

      Philosophicall/morally I reject violence and so opt to leave the game.  The problem I have is that those still in the game choose theft and violence.

  • Bilbo

    I hear about the influence of corp/fin industry on getting the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. The impications is that in addition of bringing titans to court one would have to bring the 87% of the house of representatives who voted for it. This includes Barney Frank. the assumprtion is that they were bribed to vote for the act and did not act  in the best interests for the general public. So let us not condem some people for their actions and not others that led to some bad events. There is equal responsibility for it. Look at current events and Congress only cares about being voted in and and maintaining power, not about solving problems

    • Modavations

      Some lady from the NYT wrote Reckless Endangerment.I haven’t read it,but heard her on “Laura I.”.She intimated the scandal goes right to the top.Has anyone read iT?

      • Dave in CT

        Of course. That people, especially Dem apologists, given the usual Repub suspects are easy to tag, haven’t read it, and still comment the way they do is somewhere between amusing and terrifying.

        • Modavations

          Davey.Did you read it.Tell us the jist.Every time I try to read a book by a NYTimer,I have the urge,like Oedipus,to pluck out my eyeballs.

          • Gregg

            I’ve got it on my urgent “to do” list, I’ll report back. Is it the same “GretchenMo” that graces this blog? Maybe she’ll be kind enough to let us know. Either way both of’m are great.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Stop pretending you even bother to read ANYTHING Moda… as you admitted, you can’t even manage to read a two paragraph post here:

            Modavations Yesterday 05:45 PM in reply to ulTRAX Dude I don’t read you.You’re verbose.It takes you 2 paragraphs to say what I can in 2 sentences.Also,you’re unbalanced.

      • Dave in CT
        • Gregg

          Great links, thanks.

        • Doubting Thomas

          The story that’s never told :P

          Wall Street responds to incentives. Without deregulation, people couldn’t have acquired subprime loans. Without deregulation, lenders couldn’t have ruthlessly created fraudulent loans. Without deregulation, banks couldn’t have packaged the risk and moved it about without keeping records. Without deregulation, people couldn’t have shorted the housing market, making billions while millions became homeless.

          The big players on Wall Street were guilty as sin; just because a girl is fast asleep on the grass, naked, doesn’t mean that it’s not their fault if they rape her. But government, the ones who drugged her and stole her clothes, are certainly not blameless either. Especially when they pull some strings to get the girl to pay Wall Street’s bail, court fees and then clear Wall Street of all charges.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

        “Fannie Mae was, in a lot of ways, a rogue and quasi-corrupt agency for much of the 90s and aughts, and its behavior ended up costing taxpayers a bundle. That story deserves telling, and any honest telling leads to an obvious conclusion: at a minimum, Fannie and Freddie need to be seriously cleaned up, and quite possibly they should simply be phased out of existence entirely.

        But were they responsible for the housing bubble and its subsequent collapse? Nope. They might have made the very end stages a bit worse than they had to be, but both the bubble and the collapse were almost entirely creatures of the private sector. Strained psychoanalysis of Wall Street aside, the evidence could hardly be clearer on this point.” 


        More than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages came from private lending institutions in 2006 and the share of subprime loans insured by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac decreased as the bubble got bigger (from a high of insuring 48 percent to insuring 24 percent of all subprime loans in 2006).   


    • Doubting Thomas


      I’m actually completely okay with that. You grab the rope, I’ll get the shotguns and pickup. I realized the Reps were protecting their best buds. But then I realized that the Dems were the ones who gave them a loaded gun (the Reps supplied the bullets I suppose, for this analogy).

      The one thing I would like to know though, is if you would hang the most egregious criminals of the bunch, the titans, with the rest of the thieves.

    • SleazyPhilGramm

      Sleazy Phil Gramm inserted the Commodity Futures Modernization Act into a last minute budget bill in late December 2000. He hoped there wasn’t time for anyone to read it and we’re all paying the consequences.


  • Modavations

    Harrisburg,the capital of Penn.,just declared bankruptcy.Mon Dieu

    • Zing

      Knew it was coming.  Can’t wait for the fallout.

  • Dave in CT

    Don’t forget to peruse the Bailout Reader….


    and to contemplate capitalism vs corporatism…


  • twenty-niner

    More change we can believe in…

    Dear President Obama,

    Please upload the following to your teleprompter and read to the country immediately:

    My fellow Americans,
    I’ve had unique moment of clarity and reflection,
    and it occurred to me that I’m a complete fraud.
    Hence, I plan to resign my office effective immediately.
    My vice president also realizes that he’s a doddering fool
    and in no way capable of sitting as President.
    Therefore, I’m interviewing for my replacement.
    Here are the criteria that have seemed to escape me
    from day one:

    You must have moral courage.
    You must have convictions and the ability to stick to them.
    You must not be owned by big banks or other corrupting influences.
    You must be able to lead.
    You must realize who you are working for. Hint: it’s not Lloyd Blankfein.

    Qualified applicants, send me your CVs ASAP.

    • ThrowingDarts

      Applicable in any administration.

      • Zing

        Obama’s is the only one we have now.

  • Hidan

    Wow what a show,

    William Black was great. Sad though someone like him would never be appointed to investigate the banks.

    • Doubting Thomas

      He’s too honest. Those in power prefer people like themselves.

  • Wm. James from Missouri

    This comment goes out to the caller Sheila. I heard your story on the air, my heart goes out to you. Don’t give up and don’t assume, as you said , that you won’t recover. You can and you will. Prices go up and they go down. You may have to position yourself for a possible up swing in the years ahead. Do some reading and research and look into “ rent – option – to – buy “ . Under the right circumstances you may be able to recoup your paper losses. Just a thought. Good luck !

    • Doubting Thomas

      The crisis didn’t affect me. I didn’t lose anything.

      The reason that my rage still burns as hot as it did nearly four years ago as it does today, is because people like Sheila are in fiscal hell, while the same fools who lit the brush that set the country ablaze were given money for themselves to recover. She played by the rules, and was thrown over a barrel for it, her children made to watch. The sorrow is palpable, and the indifference maddening.

      If Geitner is wrong, and he is twiddling while the statue of limitation slowly ticks away to nothing, may God have mercy on our country. Because the wave of populist anger that follows certainly won’t.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

    “In the real world, recent events were a devastating refutation of the free-market orthodoxy that has ruled American politics these past three decades. Above all, the long crusade against financial regulation, the successful effort to unravel the prudential rules established after the Great Depression on the grounds that they were unnecessary, ended up demonstrating — at immense cost to the nation — that those rules were necessary, after all. 

    But down the rabbit hole (where trolls like Modavations, Dave in CT etc. apparently dwell), none of that happened. We didn’t find ourselves in a crisis because of runaway private lenders like Countrywide Financial. We didn’t find ourselves in a crisis because Wall Street pretended that slicing, dicing and rearranging bad loans could somehow create AAA assets — and private rating agencies played along. We didn’t find ourselves in a crisis because ‘shadow banks’ like Lehman Brothers exploited gaps in financial regulation to create bank-type threats to the financial system without being subject to bank-type limits on risk-taking.No, in the universe of the Republican Party we found ourselves in a crisis because Representative Barney Frank forced helpless bankers to lend money to the undeserving poor.” 


    • Dave in CT

      I forgot Bill Clinton, Robert Rubin, James Johnson, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd were Republicans, just like the elite banking pawns Greenspan, Cox, Paulson etc, etc, etc…

      Good luck reforming with half the story.


      Hilarious. Anyone presenting ideas, facts, anecdotes, books, or  links that contradict the “liberal” world view, or whatever you want to label it, are Trolls.

      Convenient. Too easy.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

        “In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion…

        Application of the term troll is subjective. Some readers may characterize a post as trolling, while others may regard the same post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion, even if controversial. Like any pejorative term, it can be used as an ad hominem attack, suggesting a negative motivation.

        Regardless of the circumstances, controversial posts may attract a particularly strong response from those unfamiliar with the robust dialogue found in some online, rather than physical, communities. Experienced participants in online forums know that the most effective way to discourage a troll is usually to ignore it, because responding tends to encourage trolls to continue disruptive posts — hence the often-seen warning: ‘Please do not feed the trolls’.”


        Some of your copious posts might not, strictly speaking, fit the above description (though many do). Would you prefer the term hobgoblin, gnome or kobold?

        • Anonymous

          He’s right about Robert Rubin but conveniently left out Phil Gramm a major player in this financial crisis. Gramm passed or affected two key pieces of legislation that eventually
          helped create the financial meltdown we are experiencing today. The
          first of the two was the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services
          Modernization Act, which repealed the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act
          and allowed financial institutions to merge like crazy and ignore
          longtime regulations and limitations.

          Derivatives were illegal under the New Deal. Reagan legalized them in 1982.

          To blame Frank and Dodd as much as the right do is a bit much. Dodd is more in line with the Wall Street Democrats than Frank so he’s almost up there with Rubin. By the way Summers worked for Rubin.

          • Dave in CT

            rightfully edited to include Gramm and Summers.  The point was bigger. Thanks for pointing out the omission, to what is obviously a very abbreviated list of colluders and compromised individuals.

          • Anonymous

            Read Schumer’s and Bloombergs financial deregulation paper 
            called “Sustaining NY’s and the US’ Global Financial Leadership Services” released Jan. 22, 2007.  In it he endorses all the financial practices which got the bankers into this mess.  Then look at his political campaign contributions.  Does he have a public opinion on occupy wall street.  He sure is vocal about everything else.

          • Zing

            If there can be a liberal whore to Wall Street, it’s Chuckie!

          • SmarterThanZing

            Zing, for once you actually said something intelligent!! Or is someone forging your name?

  • Andy B

    Your female pundit from UCLA said “we really can’t do anything.”

    She is spouting the insidious propaganda that somehow the (unused) ability of the FDIC to shut down the To Big To Fails will not work.

    Wise up. FDIC can shut down all those banks. The politicians, bought and sold, won’t allow it. Withdraw your funds from these banks ASAP.

    • Zing

      Easy to suggest; more difficult to accomplish.

      • Andy B

        Yes, but the Occupy movement, if it decides to empty accounts, may apply the correct pressure.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    It will NEVER really happen!  The GREEDY rich OWN too many Republican politicians, judges, regulators, Supreme Court Justices, and others that can protect these low-life!

    • Zing

      So…why are you railing?   To see your comments in print?

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        Thats seems to be your speciality Z. Why else would one spend so much time at a current events forum and have nothing topical, important or insightful to say except ego?

        • Gregg

          I find your comment offers nothing topical, important or insightful.

  • Usfreedoms

    Outstanding show.   It’s hard to believe this could happen here in America. 

    We need to hang on tight as we say “good-bye” to our once great America . . .  because without the necessary prosecution we are doomed.  After listening to this show, I understand why it happened, and where we are headed. 

    This is one show that needs all the exposure it can get.   Play it again and again and again . . . 

  • Wes, Cambridge, MA

    Wow! William Black is such a powerhouse! I agree with him. Prosecute the corporate criminals! Tighten up the regulations! Let’s clean up this mess!

  • Libby

    I was on the UIT fixed income trading desk at one of the major wall street firms 20 years ago when these instruments, (CMO’s, CDO’s) were in their infancy. We had an internal melt down then as S&P was incorrectly pricing the securities and we were being threatened by a class action law suit. S&P, in private, after about 4 or 5 scotches at Harry’s Bar, admitted they had no idea of how to price these securities. That wasn’t the worst. I learned also that the institutional side of the firm was shall we say “fudging” the numbers and screwing the retail side of the firm by purposely misquoting higher yields on the packages of securites that retail was buying. when this all came to light internally, it was hushed up and brushed under the rug. the pres of my division, however, made his point to no longer screw with him and send him product that no one could price nor no one understood, save 2  or 3 traders on the entire street. you gotta wonder…they’ve had 20 years to get this right and yet, they got it so wrong. or, did they? maybe right for themselves as depicted in this radio program. i do agree wholeheartedly that fannie may and freddie mac were complicit in the deals. wall streeers have constant contact with them as they structure the pools that go into the deals. they knew these instruments were time bombs. so there you have it…all the guilty parties in a microcosm 20 years ago…wall street, s&p and the then quasi gov’t agencies.

    • GreatStory

      Thanks Libby, for the insight and the insider’s view. 

      Of course, everyone was in on the racket, it couldn’t of worked any other way.

      Ironically, the nascent market started after the end of the last real estate bubble.

      I wonder which ‘jolly numbers boy’ first thought of these derivatives.

    • Doubting Thomas

      If only they had the whistleblower laws they do now, you could have reported it with no fear of retaliation, helped clean up the system AND made money off of it to boot. Now THAT’S capitalism!

    • Steve

      Please read and re-read this post.  Then ivestigate for yourselves.

      Libby: as I study, I think the overall problem streches farther back than only 20 years.

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

    Jeffe68 wrote elsewhere: “To blame Frank and Dodd as much as the right do is a bit much.”

    What’s amusing about the attack on Frank I’ve seen on Fox is that they imply Frank had immense power back in 03-04 and single handedly blocked some reforms of Fannie. But the GOP controlled the Whitehouse and both houses in Congress. How much power did Frank have? If the GOP wanted something, they got it. Frank may be a scumbag, but this account seems designed to cover-up whatever the GOP did.

    I’ve raised the point endlessly and I’m STILL waiting for someone to show me how he had this power… and why the GOP could not just crush some Dem whose party was out of power and had almost no influence in the House.

  • Joseph Horgan

    Logic of the criminal intent standard is absurd.  If I rob a bank but had no criminal intent, I shouldn’t be prosecuted?

  • michael

    Who are these “we” Lynn Stout keeps refering to?  I certainly didn’t get a chance to say no to banking deregulation, or letting investment banks and insurance companies get into consumer banking, therefore getting cheap federal funds to continue their betting, without lending.  Another point to consider, is Geitner prosecutable?  Maybe that’s why other prosecutions aren’t moving!

  • Gregg

    I am all for crimes being punished and Mr. Black made a compelling case. That’s not what’s happening here.  What’s happening here is a bunch of losers expecting to have their personal shortcomings compensated. This stupid notion the rich owe the lazy because of existing infrastructure… or something, is DUMB (redundancy intended)! What ever it is that exists for the rich, exists for everyone. And then there’s all this belly aching over the concentration of wealth. So what?! Explain the outrage. Your life will not be improved one iota if the “rich” are punished yet more. Choose your own future.

    It’s all about envy, divisiveness and ginning up animosity in idiots.

    • Dave in CT

      “What ever it is that exists for the rich, exists for everyone.”

      Problem is this part of your analysis is not true in our current Crony Capitalistic, Government/Business system.

      Anger from left, right and center is justified.

      Just wish we could coalesce around a message of Free Markets within a non-discretionary Rule of Law, and harsh punishments for corrupter and colluders, and fraudsters.

      Mr. Black seems on that page, whether or not all the OWS folks are, IMO.

    • Anonymous

      Correction, the rich stole their way to ‘success’ and need to be prosecuted.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      TRANSLATION: Wall Street, the GOP, and the rich are blameless for anything and everything. Who cares who imploded the economy. Leave us alone to count up our gains… and the rest of you peons can f*ck off.

      Did I NAIL it Gregg?

      • Gregg

        Not even close, but that never stopped you.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      Gee Gregg… you’re doing what it seems you always do… pretend to be for high principle, but in practice… you can’t help but support any criminal, thug, or thief that’s either in the GOP or in the private sector.So what’s the deeper subtext? It’s that if the GOP didn’t regulate the sociopaths on Wall Street… then anything they did, no matter how despicable, wasn’t illegal? Therefore anyone who trusted Wall Street with their money are fools and no one should pay any attention to these whiners? Ya, that sounds like something you’d say.

      • Gregg

        I really hope others enjoy the way you invent your own storyline, spiral your logic and project the results, as much as I do. The contortions are quite remarkable.

        • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

          Gee Gregg… I’ve made the infrastructure argument numerous times in the past 6 months… that no one is really rich on their own… that a necessary prerequisite of that wealth are established legal, monetary, physical, educational, public health, military, etc infrastructures… and the BEST rebuttal you can come up with is the idea is “dumb”?

          So Gregg… what IS a killer idea worth in an impoverished 3ed or 4th world WITHOUT those infrastructures?

          • Gregg

            It’s the notion the rich owe the poor because of infrastructure that’s dumb.

          • SmarterThanGregg

            Trax didn’t say that. Trax said the rich owe TAXES in proportion to their use of the commons.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      Gregg wrote… expecting his dime per post from some Orwellian Right propaganda outlet: “This stupid notion the rich owe the lazy because of existing infrastructure… or something, is DUMB (redundancy intended)! What ever it is that exists for the rich, exists for everyone.”

      This seems to be in response to one of my posts which suggested no one made their money on their own. Gregg or any other right winger really has tried to debate this. It’s so much easier to dismiss it.

      Consider this: what is a killer idea worth in an impoverished 3ed or 4th world nation without the necessary infrastructure to exploit that idea? 

      What infrastructure? How about a literate and educated workforce? A legal system that allows for the existence of limited liability corporations, intellectual patent rights, and contract law? A judicial system to oversee such laws? What about stable monetary and banking systems from which to get credit? What about systems for national defense and law enforcement? What about a system to insure public health… from clean water to vaccination programs? What of publicly financed basic research? 
      Without such infrastructures, that killer idea would be worth nothing. 
      The simple truth the far Right doesn’t want us to consider is that the private sector doesn’t perform any miracles on its own nor do those billionaires make their billions on their own. Most new product ideas are built upon a foundation of older ideas. A well developed and well run PUBLIC sector is crucial in making that wealth possible. 
      THIS is the moral basis for a strongly progressive tax code. Perhaps the income tax should be renamed the Opportunity Tax.

  • Conesnail

    Mr Ashbrook,

    This was, truly, a great show.  This guy Black was absolutely impressive.  The only comment I have is did you ask any of the Wallstreet dudes to come on the show and defend themselves (Paulson first, of course, then the rest).  When they said no, you could say, we asked, they wouldn’t talk to us.  If you actually got one, it would have been fun to listen to Professor Black absolutely decimate them because it is clear that he would have.

    Nevertheless, thanks for this show.  It was truly eye opening.  It is hard to know if any of this is prosecutable if you’re not a securities lawyer, so this was invaluable.

    • Doubting Thomas

      They would prefer to look you in the eye and say that they committed no crime :P

    • Maurice

      I agree. Great show but would have been betterwith a competing perspective

  • Anonymous

    When did this financial crisis begin, in this current decade or the last?  Where has NPR and many of the talk shows been for the last few years?  Anyone who has done a little reading or “googling ” for information would have run into William Black’s name and opinions years ago.  Excuse me for being a cynic but NPR and public broadcasting no longer represents it’s little contributor listeners but it’s corporate sponsors. I have an old copy of Harper’s from June, 2006 in which Dr. Michael Hudson writes a article called, ” The New Road to Serfdom, An Illustrated Guide to the Coming Real Estate Collapse.”  Instead of giving equal time to the apologists from the financial industry I would prefer a NPR which is willing to make some enemies in the executive corporate offices, the halls of congress and the office of the president.  NPR’s belief that they have to give a balanced presentation after disaster occurs only lets the perpetrators attempt to lie their way out of their responsibility.

    • GoodOldNPR

      Three years after disaster occurs… On Point arrives.  Totally Agree.

  • Margaret

    Black is right and Stout is wrong!!!

    The idea that you cannot prosecute without criminal intent is ridiculous.  If you commit a crime and someone dies during the commission of the crime you can be prosecuted for felony murder.  I doubt anyone intended to bring down the world economy.  Each person was just trying to steal as much money as they could for themselves.  The world economy was just collateral damage. 

    The idea that we can’t prosecute because we would be hurting ourselves is a joke!  We will be paying for this debacle for years. The stocks of these safe investments – AIG, Bank of America, WAMU –  were loaded into pension accounts and were privately held by seniors because they paid good dividends.  Who will bail out the pension funds, the taxpayers.

    Several people NEED to be prosecuted.   Just like any other White Collar case, someone will goes down because someone will tell to save themselves.  Without a prosecution, you don’t even know who the architects and commissioners of the destruction were.  Litigation uncovers the dirt.  Failure to prosecute is just another cover-up. 

    It is shocking that Madoff had to turn himself in.  The prosecution started after HIS confession.  The current administration has cited the need to give Whistleblowers lots of money but that is a red herring.  The DOJ gets to decide who they prosecute whether they have information or not.  Markopolis exposed Madoff in 2000 but no one did anything.

    The “bailout” has become a fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.  The American people “agreed” to the bailout of the banks because we believed the banks would use the money to do the right thing – ie – fix the mess they made.  However, it is crystal clear now that our trust has once again been violated.

    The bankers broke the laws on the books and the American people need to insist on prosecution now.  If we wait another 4 years perhaps the banks will have Congress re-write the laws.

    • twenty-niner

      If not prosecuted, they can surely be sued. The malfeasance certainly rises to the level to pierce the corporate veil, making bad actors personally liable. My suggestion would be to have the trials at the top floor of a large high rise and make sure that all of the windows are open. 

  • Shoto

    Mr. Ashbrook:  Here’s an On Point for you:

    1.  When you’re featuring someone with the street cred of William Black, can you please do your audience a favor and LOSE the tedious “devil’s advocate” act?  Anyone with more than two brain cells knows that the mega-zombie banks were and are a problem.  Nor will the problem of these zombies be solved without breaking them up, fully investigating, and prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law.  This economic catastrophe was criminally engineered, and there simply isn’t any doubt about it.

    Also, can you please replace the god-awful theme song for your show?  It was awful the first billion times it was played.  It hasn’t gotten any better since then.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      Actually I LOVE the OP theme song and some years ago requested WBUR name it so I could buy it. For those who care, it’s Everything’s All Right by Four Tet.


    • Drew You Too

      Mr. Ashbrook is trying to remain objective, also known as responsible journalism. A concept which is obviously lost on most of us. I love the theme song Tom, I say increase the volume leveling just to tick this moron off. I think I need to get out of here, there’s no way I can be constructve any more tonight.

      • TFRX

        Our host is perfectly capable of remaining objective without parroting every framing device Roger Ailes’ minions pound into the ground, with the weasel-phrasing of “people say”, or “there’s a lot of talk”?

        That’s too much Beltway. Tom does better when he avoids it.

  • twenty-niner

    Nassim Taleb’s, as always, outstanding analysis:


    Mr. Obama, I know you read this blog religiously, so please send Timmy Geithner back to Santa’s Village and replace him with Taleb.

  • Outsideoracle

    As a former trial attorney on the staff of a state prosecuting attorney, I have read broadly about the Wall Street generated crisis to understand the way the mortgage banks at the consumer level sold loans, passed them up the ladder to the wall street investment banks who bundled the loans as securities and sold them to their clients and other trusting investors. I am not interested in whether the “John Paulson’s” of the world were immoral, but rather how many of the investment bankers and others knew that the securities were likely to fail and either knew or should have known that they were selling extremely high risk junk as something more valuable and deceived and defrauded the buyers of those securities. What is galling is that with the knowledge of the low quality of those junk securities, the insiders bet against their own brand of securities to make a fortune while others lost.

    Your interview and your the discourse of your guests clearly explained the financial disaster in the most direct way that I have either read or heard. I suggest that you put a transcript of the program on your website so that all citizens who may have missed the program will have access to the information discussed. Bravo for providing citizens with the facts that are essential to understanding how so many in the financial industry have behaved due to the lack of regulation and lack of referral for prosecution! Where is the deterrent to this kind of criminal activity?

    • twenty-niner

      Goldman Sack was peddling MBS to their clients at the same exact time they were betting against these same securities via credit default swaps with AIG. When the government (AKA Wall Street’s legal division) bailed out AIG, they made sure Goldman was paid 100 cents on the dollar on their bets.

      Here they are on there way to the White House to celebrate:

    • Drew You Too

      I hope they do post a transcript, maybe people will do a better job reading what was said than they did listening to what was said. Nice comment Outsideoracle, I second the motion. Yes I posted this above, maybe repetition is the key here. Jeez

      • twenty-niner

        It was the bailout that was the real problem.

        Yes, the banks were too big to fail, but the shareholders weren’t too big to get wiped out. How is it possible to wipe out all of the shareholders and leave an institution in tact you ask? Just ask a GM shareholder circa 2008.

  • Drew You Too

    WHOOOOOOOOAAAAAAA HORSIES!!! What the $#@! did this discussion turn into? I left, I came back. I think I must have stepped into an alternate reality. Seems many of us might want to listen to the story again. I know I did after reading all the poop flinging that’s going on.
    William Black rocks – CheckCriminals should be prosecuted – CheckProfiteering from destroying lives is evil – Check
    These seem to be the only things that are correctly being stated in here. The crisis did NOT stem from the Obama administration, did NOT stem from the Bush administration, did NOT stem from the Clinton administration. It resulted from legislation occuring during all THREE administrations. Now I could state when the majority of the failed regulations (or more specificaly Deregulation) occured but that would accomplish nothing aside from setting of another Nanny-Nanny-Boo-Boo (rapidly becoming my favorite phrase) tirade.
    People are demonizing Lynn Stout while completely ignoring and/or twisting what she had to say. Mr. Black and Miss Stout AGREE on pretty much everything. They are BOTH right. I know this is impossible for most of you to grasp (for reasons I cannot comprehend) but that does not make it any less true. Come on people! I wonder if Mr. Ashbrook reads any of these comments. If he does I’m certain he is thinking the same thing I ask myself every day lately: Why do I even bother.
    Miss Stout you ROCK!!! Please ignore these idiots. Listen to the show again people! My apologies for losing my temper but a man can only take so much.

    • Doubting Thomas

      I picked a bad day to stop sniffing glue…

      But while you’re right (I came to that conclusion two years ago, actually; most of what went on was semi-legal, or at the very least very hard to prove). In such a case, how is justice achieved? Is anyone actually saying that it’s okay to spend years waiting for a housing bust, then betting HUGE and making tens of billions of dollars while the economy tanks?

      I know one way. But it goes against a lot of other things I believe in.

      … this is the point where it gets too depressing to think about anymore, and one becomes too angry to think straight. The only thing I’ve ever found to do, is keep working hard enough to have my own voice and vote in the discussion. Especially if more and more, my vote’s worth is identical to my net worth.

    • Anonymous

      Whoaaa… when did the train start going of the rails?
      Who was at the helm when ICEBERG AHEAD was cried?
      Who was behind all the anti-regulation sentiment?
      Who is STILL behind all the anti-regulation sentiment?
      … Yikes, I guess I’m just too stupid to live on planet earth.

  • Drew You Too

    I hope they do post a transcript, maybe people will do a better job reading what was said than they did listening to what was said. Nice comment Outsideoracle, I second the motion.

  • Berl

    What is the real threat to our national security? Al Qaeda brought down the World Trade Towers, but Wall Street brought down the world.

  • Ben

    Transcript, please. Essential info

  • Ecomsites

    Good point Berl, but, who do you think it is more likely that could have got NORAD and our whole defense operations to stand down to allow, and then orchestrated the events of 911?   A handful of hillbelly Arabs with box cutters, or faction of the most powerful, controlling bankers in the world – who orchestrate the wars, put Hitler in power, etc., who work to keep the nations fighting each other – and thus occupied, so as to not likely recognize just who is pulling most of the strings?? 

  • Pingback: The unfinished call to prosecute Wall Street. « From My Heart, Out Of My Mind

  • Beez

    To those complaining this is too late…have you heard any other media outlet even bring it up at all? It’s important to discuss the fact that three years later no one has been prosecuted and held accountable.

  • Dgillman

    Stout was so busy praising Black that she didn’t listen to what he said.  Goldman Sachs didn’t take a big gamble.  They played heads I win tails you lose.  Then they lied to Carl Levin under oath.  Prosecute the sons of …. 

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

    Reading “Reckless Endangerment” I found the section (p185-187) on the proposed new oversight legislation of GSEs like Fannie and Freddie. Yes Barney Frank opposed it. He very well might have been a lapdog of Fannie using their talking points. But the right wing claim that Frank was solely responsible for killing this bill is NOT supported in this book. While the legislation was sponsored by a few GOPers, it had trouble getting cosponsors and another GOP representative actually sponsored competing legislation to protect Fannie. In the summer of 03 the Bush joins in supporting the stronger oversight. The legislation may have been masterfully thwarted by Fannie, along with help from it’s allies in Congress and powerful groups like the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Homebuilders… but if the GOP House let this bill die… then it’s hardly Frank’s fault. House rules don’t give minority party members that much power. And there’s not much evidence Bush wanted these reforms so badly to use the same sorts of pressures he did to get something he REALLY wanted… like that illegal war of aggression against a nation that posed no threat to us. For THAT he pulled out all the stops and used every trick in the book. The Orwellian Right rewrites of history that blame Dems are designed to make Bush and the GOP seem blameless in the eventual economic collapse even though they were in power.  

    • Modavations

      Keep on Spinning

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        Read the pages yourself Einstein… oh, that’s right… you admitted you refuse to read… just as you refuse to think.  

        • Modavations

          I taught Einsten physics

          • Anonymous

            It’s spelled Einstein, not Einsten.
            What a maroon.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Make that an ultra maroon!

          • GretchenMo

            Good catch spell police!  Your only contribution to date.

          • zing

            You don’t get it… modavations is correct, he did teach Einsten physics and poor Einsten failed. 

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        So where’s YOUR evidence that Frank WAS the reason there was no new oversight over Fannie in 03? No, some rabid right wing blog posts are NOT evidence… not that you’d know how to post the URL anyway. Hey, I just figured out why you don’t post URLs… YOU CAN’T! You’re an idiobot that can’t get past the Captcha test and are left with no other way to harass this forum but idiobot postings. Seriously, it explains a LOT!!  

        • Modavations

          Idealogues are blind to the obvious.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Gee Moda, maybe you finally are showing some insight into your own dementia!  

            See us regular people who try to be fair have to deal with  inconvenient facts and if we’re honest we have to acknowledge them and modify our positions. You, on the other hand, are happy living a delusion that you can just proclaim something to be true, make no effort to prove it, and you still want the rest of us to take you seriously. And that probably explains why you’re oblivious to the fact you make an ass of yourself here 30 times a day.

    • OpenYourEyes

      Barney Frank is a whore and a shill for the banking and mortgage industries.

      Just look at his top contributors in 2006:

      Why do you think he was and still is the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee?

      He really came down hard on the corruption at Fannie and Freddie.
      (Insert sarcastic tone here.)

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        I’m not saying Frank’s NOT been a whore. So have Chris Dowd to the insurance industry and Chuck Schumer to finance. Damn them all to hell. THAT’S NOT THE ISSUE HERE.
        The right wing narrative is that Barney Frank somehow singlehandedly thwarted some additional oversight Bush wanted over GSEs like Fannie in 2003. FRANK HAD NO POWER IN 2003… THE GOP HELD THE HOUSE AND SENATE. If this bill failed in the GOP House it’s because THE GOP LEADERSHIP FAILED to pass it. If Bush wanted it badly enough BUSH COULD HAVE TRIED UNTIL IT PASSED. The Orwellian Right is rewriting history to cast all blame for Bush’s collapsed economy AWAY from Bush and Wall Street. We KNOW the GOP has shown NO second thoughts about what happened nor any remorse. Frank might not either. If WE don’t stop them, greedy corporations, and their deregulation whores WILL DO IT AGAIN… AND AGAIN.  

        • Modavations

          Give us a break.You’ve been defending him ever since I ran into your pathetic a–.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            See… this is what I mean. You are intellectually incapable of even understanding any argument if you disagree with it.

            My “defense” of Frank has ONLY been that he could not be guilty of the right wing accusations he somehow thwarted any new oversight of Fannie in 2003 BECAUSE THE GOP CONTROLLED THE HOUSE AND SENATE. The section I referenced from Reckless Endangerment back that up. Of course when the Dems held the house he had more power and might have been able to pull off some coup for Fannie. But THAT’S NOT THE TIME PERIOD IN QUESTION.

          • Guest

            Blimey, give up on the bloke. He ain’t worth the bloody effort.

            A sledge hammer couldn’t get through that blockhead.

            He’s like a child screaming for attention and you keep giving it to him.

          • Modavations

            We have bailed out Fannie to the tune of 259Bill.and counting.Dodd-Frank didn’t even address Fannie.Dodd said we’ll take care of that later.Jamie Gorelik,Frankie Raines and Sn. Johnson walked with 100million in commissions,but you defend and defend

          • Anonymous

            Well now your true colors are showing. You are thug and a braggart.

          • Modavations

            Go tell AC to die.Rarely have I been so ashamed at my fellow manI

      • Modavations

        Johnson,Frankie Raines and J.Gorelik took 100million in commissions from Fannie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Modavations

      For the 51st time Orwell was a Lefty,who made the conversion.He would adamantly stand against your intolerant,totalitarian outlook.In Animal Farm the communist says,all animals are equal,but some moreso then others.You are that Politboro Cow,he found so heinous.

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        Thanks for your post. All your countless protests against “name calling” even as you constantly engage in it, are just more proof you’re not just intellectually dishonest in your political views but intellectually dishonest… even oblivious, to your own hypocrisy. I, on the other hand, know I go for the jugular, and have no patience with idiots. It’s one of my personal failings. But at least I TRY to make some intelligent points and back them up with credible sources. I don’t think you’ve made an intelligent or  substantive point since you started plaguing these forums. As I wrote once before, I think you’re truly mentally imbalanced… and I say that having been run countless programs for an MH population. Come to think of it, I believe we’ve met! YES! You’re the crackpot who had delusions of having gone to the best colleges and of being a jet set gem trader! Sorry those remedial writing and logic classes didn’t pan out. Come back to the clinic and we’ll do another intake.
        Now that I got that out of my system… have anything INTELLIGENT to say about the topic I raised? Didn’t think so.

        • Modavations

          I pity your clients.After a few sessions with you,they probably jumped off a bridge

  • Mbterry9

    I was a financial professional 1970-2001, and at times specialized in risk management and trading.  I caught the last half of Bill Black’s appearance and was blown away by his clear grasp and explanation of how that world works.  PLEASE PROVIDE A TRANSCRIPT!!!  That was too good to lose in the rear view mirror!

  • Drew You Too

    Apparently there is still much misconception as to what Miss Stout said. She agreed with Mr. Black that those involved should be prosecuted. She agreed that prosecutions would be a deterrent against this type of behavior (albeit a temporary one). The point where everyone seems to have lost the conversation was when she hesitated about proceeding with the prosecutions (she never stated that we should not prosecute). Her reasoning was correct in that it may be counterproductive due to the fact that it will cost millions (possibly into the billions) in revenue and that the majority of the criminals would likely still walk away thanks to their ability to buy the best priced legal counsel that money can by. Her primary point was that even if we proceed down that path, the problems which allowed the collapse to happen in the first place will still exist. I cannot think of a way to state this any clearer and as there’s few things I dislike more than having to repeat myself, this will be my last attempt. It’s hard to listen when you start jumping up and down and screaming before a view has been completely expressed.

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

    Drew wrote elsewhere: “The crisis did NOT stem from the Obama administration, did NOT stem from the Bush administration, did NOT stem from the Clinton administration. It resulted from legislation occuring during all THREE administrations.”

    I’ve been aware of the argument that we should blame Clinton… even Carter, for Bush’s economic collapse. These are right wing arguments that conveniently leave out what Bush1 did in 1991… and hold Bush2 and Wall Street blameless.

    We can call what happened in 91-99 “seeds” of the eventual crisis if we want. I have to challenge SOME of that logic. If changes to law led to the collapse in 1992 or during the Clinton years, THEN we can then say Bush1 or Clinton were responsible. But these changes in themselves did NOT lead to the economic collapse even if hindsight creates a narrative that links them. With proper oversight or reforms in the Bush2 years, these changes might NEVER have led to the collapse.

    The responsible party/parties are who WERE IN POWER when the alarm bells were ringing and did nothing or next to nothing. We see a small effort on the part of Bush to better supervise Fannie which falls apart in the GOP house. Bush, no doubt, was more interested in his favorite project… invading Iraq. But oversight of Fannie was just a SMALL part of the building problem. The bigger problem the perfect storm of Bush’s own push for the Ownership Society, his trust of markets, and his lack of oversight over reckless loans, derivatives, credit default swaps, the commodity market, etc PLUS reckless regulatory changes like in 2005 when the SEC freed the big investment banks from most leverage restrictions allowing them to go from about 10% leveraging of assets to about 40%.

    While some plausible argument can be made that Bush1 and Clinton are INDIRECTLY responsible for the eventual crash, the real roots of the problem DIRECTLY lie in the Bush2 administration. Even if we know Clinton foolishly signed into law the dangerous deregulation of the banking and commodity sectors… Bush did NOTHING to reverse it… even though he went out of his way to reverse Clinton’s tax policies.

    If I buy a house with a leaky roof and I REFUSE TO FIX IT, I can’t then blame past owners if the roof eventually collapses. I mean I CAN, but it’s intellectualy dishonest.

    Bush had EIGHT YEARS to spot growing problems and correct them. He refused.

    • Drew You Too

      And the point of this lengthy bout of fingerpointing was? Do you think I disagree that both Bush administrations had heavier hands in what played out than did either the Clinton or the Obama administrations? There is a reason that I avoid trying to lay blame as it always achieves the same result. I also stated in that same comment: “Now I could state when the majority of the failed regulations (or more specificaly Deregulation) occured but that would accomplish nothing aside from setting off another Nanny-Nanny-Boo-Boo tirade.” Perhaps you just didn’t read that far. If I were a petty individual, I could also state the extent of responsibility the Reagan administration had in the whole mess but again, it accomplishes nothing. I am neither Democrat nor Republican, I’m American.

      Hope you enjoyed the treat, I’m not passing out any more today.

      • twenty-niner

        Hope you enjoyed the treat, I’m not passing out any more today.

        Oh no…

        Nanny-Nanny-Boo-Boo tirade


        I’ve read a lot of condescending crap on this board but this one takes the cake. Here’s a concept to ponder while you’re sucking your thumb:


        • Drew You Too

          I don’t expect anyone to agree with Lynn Stout, only to aknowledge what was actually said. And if people want to act like 2 year olds…
          I detest condescention but if I deserve to be condesceded to I will gladly accept it without protest. And I don’t believe I ever directly addressed you. Guess I was wrong about being done for the day.

          Maybe it’s nap time.

          • twenty-niner

            For full disclosure, just tell us all what bank you work for.

          • Drew You Too

            If I worked for a bank I would openly state such. You couldn’t possibly be farther off base in who or what you assume I am. I really can’t believe I have engaged in this much fruitless discussion, I won’t be engaging in any more today. If you want to talk about how to begin to fix the problems, I’m down all day every day. However, if you’d rather constantly engage in pointless banter you can count me out. Now I really am done, hope everyone has a good afternoon.

          • twenty-niner

            If you want to talk about how to begin to fix the problems, I’m down all day every day.

            In case you haven’t been keeping up with the news, people here in the US and around the world want blood. Unless they start seeing some prosecutions or efforts to extract justice from culpable parties, the blood they get might wind up being real blood and a lot of it.

          • ArnoldWalker

            I find it hard to believe that a bunch of softy whiners are going to get some blood, it would appear to interfere with their tatoo appointments. 

          • Modavations

            Just tell us what hack,govt.agency you work for,or what school you teach at

          • twenty-niner

            Self employed, and actually make something tangible for a living.

            Must be shocking to a banker.

  • AngryJanitor

    they are probably thinking, “We don’t know if it makes sense to bring a big penalty against a bank that just got a check from the government.”

  • Bill

    Black points out the problem of confidence that consumers must have in the economy. As long as consumers expect that the bankers are free do create a mess all over again, they will not feel comfortable buying what they want instead of what they need.

    • ArnoldWalker

      They can only buy what they want when they can get the bankers to pay for it; with no credit, they’re stuck paying for what they need.

    • Steve

      Let’s always, and only, buy what we need.
      Let’s start with the strategic targeting of some of the most obvious culprits.

      Just a suggestion:

      Withdraw your funds from national banks in favor of local credit unions (not a permanent solution, but some of the larger criminals can be humbled)

  • Steve Marantz

    500 comments.  Speaks for itself.  This is really On Point.  people are furious with Wall Street.  I’m surprised the anger has not ignited violence.

    • ArnoldWalker

      I’m guessing these morons are certainly capable of it, and not much else.

      • Steve

        Is everyone that disagrres with you a moron?

        • Modavations

          No.they’re Trolls.Where ya been.Leave my doppleganger alone

    • Steve


  • Modavations

    In a survey from USA Today,yesterday,64% of respondents blamed Govt., not Wall St..

    • GMG

      The fact that people have these opinions is completely separate as to whether or not they are, in fact, to blame. 

      • Modavations

        No way dude.We know the real culprits are our Solons.The sooner we have Term Limits,the safer we’ll be.Why arn’t we marching on Washington.I’d even dig out my old Gas Mask

        • GMG

          I see you have your opinion and that’s that.  If you don’t care who is, in fact, responsible, then, as far as I can tell, there is no point in discussing it any further.

        • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

          Sure politicians are largely bought and paid for, and many regulators are in bed with those that should be regulated. But as usual, you’re missing the obvious… that while some politicians are corrupt, the bigger problems are some philosophically don’t believe in regulations as you don’t. Then there’s the other side of the coin you sweep under the rug: no politician can sellout unless there’s a special interest willing to buy him/her.

          You’re exposing the naiveté in your own free market beliefs by placing all the blame on government and pretending the private sector is blameless. So your logically your naïve “solution” is term limits as if that will put the evil genii back in the bottle.

          So what are you saying… that politicians MADE Wall Street behave irresponsibly? If an investment bank was responsible, then being freed of regulations would NOT make it behave irresponsibly. These banks WANTED TO BEHAVE IRRESPONSIBLY because they thought they could grab even more cash. They KNEW laws like Glass Steagall were stopping them… and one of the biggest whores in this game was Phil Gramm who sponsored the legislation to deregulate both the banking and commodity sectors… which Clinton foolishly signed. But then Clinton bought into much of this right wing, free market claptrap.

          The REAL solution isn’t your naïve term limits. All that does is leave the real problem untouched and accelerates the speed of corruption to the term limit. We need to reestablish all the New Deal regulations on these banks, reregulate the commodity markets, ban Wall Street from speculation and instead make investments in productive activities. We need to write into law that since corporations get special tax breaks… as do churches, they CAN NOT make campaigns contributions or get involved in politics. Do THAT and we might not even have to enact campaign finance reform. 

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        Moda takes great satisfaction in that the public is as ignorant as him. I think it’s scary.
        Who’s been educating the American public? Sure they know something stinks. But over the years as Obama refuse to prosecute the thieves and scoundrels, the GOP and Wall Street have filled all too many of the public’s heads with plausible scapegoats to point the finger elsewhere. Wall Street thieves don’t want to go to jail nor have new regulations that cramp their style. And the GOP is desperate to rehabilitate their image and get out from taking the blame. They have found some plausible scapegoats to dupe the hard core right, about 25-30% of the public. The Dems are too cowardly to touch this hot potato since three YEARS have passed. If they go after Wall Street now it only raises the obvious question where the hell have they been for 3 YEARS? The Mass media doesn’t do the investigative reporting it use to and they might have too many interconnected interests with Big Money. So ya, perhaps few think to blame Wall Street. But OSW is a new wildcard… especially if the crazies on the far right like Cain blame the public for not being rich or having a job. The rest of the public might catch on that the criminality of Wall Street could never have happened without the pathology of the GOP. Maybe they’ll tie ALL the US’s problems together… from the national debt to unemployment to a party that for the past 30 years has become increasingly crazed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

      Folks are furious with the cops for failing to prevent, investigate and prosecute crime.

      • Modavations

        Cox’s daughter married Madoffs son.We have so many laws and so many regulators,if only they’d do their jobs.If I were Barney Frank I’d be worried,the first to have the cuffs slapped on

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

          What is it with this obsession with Frank? His role in this is a minor one.

          • Steve

            Please do more homework, the problem stretches farther back than is often acknowledged-Barney Frank is one, but only one, of the players in the game.

            Opt out now, to the extent you are able.

          • Modavations

            In my opinion,he was the # 1 Fox ,gaurding the hen house and that creep ,Cox,is.# 2.Reverse the order if you want

    • FireFromHeaven

      In a survey from the OnPoint Blog: 98% of the people with an IQ of more than 120, though they would defend to the death your right to spew nonsense, still  wish you would just shut the fu*k up.

  • Modavations

    I don’t think the Solons don’t want us looking too deeply.I think they know they’d be heading for the penitentary.If I were the gal from NYT,I’d get a body guard

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

    “Money talks in American politics, and what the financial industry’s money has been saying lately is that it will punish any politician who dares to criticize that industry’s behavior, no matter how gently — as evidenced by the way Wall Street money has now abandoned President Obama in favor of Mitt Romney. And this explains the industry’s shock over recent events.

    You see, until a few weeks ago it seemed as if Wall Street had effectively bribed and bullied our political system into forgetting about that whole drawing lavish paychecks while destroying the world economy thing. Then, all of a sudden, some people insisted on bringing the subject up again.” – Paul Krugman


    • twenty-niner

      Street money has now abandoned President Obama in favor of Mitt Romney.

      Not according to today’s headlines:

      “Obama has more cash from financial sector than GOP hopefuls combined, data show”


      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

        “Even so, Obama clearly has trouble appealing to Wall Street fundraisers, who have emerged in recent years as among the most important sources of campaign cash for major national politicians. Put aside the DNC money, for example, and Obama’s numbers look much worse: just $3.9 million from the financial sector, compared with Romney’s $7.5 million.

        Obama’s campaign committee has raised notably less money from major banking firms such as Goldman Sachs, whose employees gave him more than $1 million in the 2008 cycle. So far this year, about two dozen Goldman employees together have given Obama’s committee about $45,000, one-sixth of the amount Romney’s campaign has taken in…

        Obama’s financial advantage is almost certain to narrow in the months ahead. Once chosen, a GOP nominee will be able to raise money jointly with the Republican National Committee.

        Romney is particularly reliant on money from the finance sector, which accounts for about a quarter of his total contributions, the data show. By contrast, about 5 percent of the $90 million raised by Obama’s campaign committee this year came from finance and banking interests.”


        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

          “President Obama is either raising money from the financial sector like a man with many friends and supporters in that field despite his attempts to regulate it.

          Or, he is losing the money race to Mitt Romney, that veteran of the private-equity world, because of his administration’s efforts to clamp down on Wall Street with new regulations.It all seems to depend on which news headline you prefer to go with.” 


          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

            “The gap in Wall Street giving to Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney underscores disenchantment with Mr. Obama in the industry and the challenges both candidates will face in grappling with public anger about the financial world.

            For much of the last year, aides to Mr. Obama have sought to mollify Wall Street executives still bristling over the president’s criticisms of their profits and bonuses, while defending the administration’s program of tougher oversight and regulation as both necessary and beneficial to the industry in the long term.

            But with Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor who once ran the private equity firm Bain Capital, the candidate many in Mr. Obama’s camp believe is his most likely Republican opponent next fall, Mr. Obama’s campaign appears to sense an opportunity to harness public resentment over an industry that has largely thrived while the rest of the economy has not.” 


          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

            The larger point is that investigation/prosecution of those responsible for the financial crisis (or even criticism) is problematic given the enormous influence of the financial sector and structure of our campaign finance and lobbying system. Still there’s reason for hope.  

        • twenty-niner

          Historically, Wall Street plays both sides of the coin. Why not? They have the cash. Come this time next year, my guess is both Obama and his opponent will both be sufficiently bought and paid for.

          From Sep. 2008:

          “Mr. Obama has led the way in contributions during the presidential
          campaign from individuals associated with the securities and investment
          industry, receiving $9.9 million, followed by Senator Hillary Rodham
          Clinton at $7.4 million and Mr. McCain at $6.9 million, according to the
          Center for Responsive Politics.”


    • at

      You have got to be kidding. Obama is their boy.

      As is Cain, Romney and all the other republocrats.
      What can’t you people understand about the fact that if you want different results you must do things differently? Nader was only good man that has graced the political scene in the presidency dept. since Carter, who despite some errors on his part was a good man, and unlike George Bush and that clown from Texas, was a real Christian — mostly. His mistake was downsizing the CIA and they in short order downsized him.

      But the corporate media hates Nader, always has, so you think he can’t win. The US no longer deserves a statesman like Nader. The next step is the tyrant who steps in to quell civil unrest. And you can beat he ain’t gonna be no liberal.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

        “According to a new analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, the financial sector ranks among the top three sectors backing all major presidential candidates, and stands as the No. 1 sector for three of them.Those three presidential contenders are former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. The finance, insurance and real estate sector, also called the FIRE sector for short, ranks as the No. 2 source of campaign cash for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Georgia businessman Herman Cain. Even for the candidates who have relied the least upon the financial sector — President Barack Obama and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) — these interests still rank as their No. 3 financial backer, according to the Center’s analysis.”http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2011/10/mitt-romney-wall-street-money.html

  • ArnoldWalker

    Plausible deniality and criminal intent, done.

    • Steve

      When one writes the laws that define criminality deniabilty is not even required.

    • Modavations

      Are you aware that you are my “Doppleganger”?

  • SuperEntity

    It only takes 147 tightly knit companies.

    “Revealed – The Capitalist Network that Runs the World”

    “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group…

    “It’s disconcerting to see how connected things really are,” agrees George Sugihara of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, a complex systems expert who has advised Deutsche Bank.


  • Tim E

    This broadcast cuts to the chase.  Tom Ashbrook, you did a great job pressing the questions.  I hope this becomes an editors’ top pick, and I wish every American would listen to this and put the kind of pressure on Congress it takes to make it unconstitutional for Congress to prostitute itself to Wall Street’s, or any other industry’s, lobbyists.  It all boils down to American citizens having the political will to force Congress to act on our behalf, not on behalf of its own pocket padding.

  • DirectRisk

    It’s getting worse: Federal Reserve is now ‘backstopping’ $75 Trillion of Bank of America’s Derivatives Trades.

    This broke in the news the afternoon after this show aired.  William Black is quoted in the articles below.

    “This means that the investment bank’s European derivatives exposure is now backstopped by U.S. taxpayers.  Bank of America didn’t get regulatory approval to do this, they just did it at the request of frightened counterparties.  Now the Fed and the FDIC are fighting as to whether this was sound.  The Fed wants to “give relief” to the bank holding company, which is under heavy pressure.

    This is a direct transfer of risk to the taxpayer done by the bank without approval by regulators and without public input.  You will also read below that JP Morgan is apparently doing the same thing with $79 trillion of notional derivatives guaranteed by the FDIC and Federal Reserve.”



    • Steve

      I believe part of the assets of the Federal Reserve are derivatives/junk with little hope of regaining their value (outside of the next big shell-game).

      The American taxpayer was kind enough to backstop/purchase the unprofitble parts of the corrupt banking system.

      • IndirectRisk

        No, I think you misunderstand.

        Private banks created, packaged, marketed and sold the derivatives (sophisticated financial junk bets) all around the world.

        The more the economies around the world contract, the more mortgage foreclosures there will be. These derivatives (sophisticated financial junk bets) are base on mortgages and people’s ability to pay on them.

        And these derivatives are all bundled together like firecrackers in packs. The more mortgages that get foreclosed on, the more these derivatives (sophisticated financial junk bets) blow up or explode, and the bet needs to be payed off.

        It’s such a complicated mess no one knows how to unravel them before one or two firecrackers explode ( a mortgage foreclosure) and set off the entire pack.  

        And we may be talking about SEVERAL HUNDRED TRILLION DOLLARS or more at ‘indirect risk’ around the world.

        No one knows how much ‘indirect risk’ there is because these derivatives (sophisticated financial junk bets) where never regulated or had been monitored and recorded by one clearinghouse.

        Either the banksters fail or we all will.

        • Steve

          I very much like your response but I believe your conclusion…

               “Either the banksters fail or we all will.”

          is incorrect.

          I believe that the failures have been/are being rolled into ever larger shell games and that we all need to get off the train.

          This will be very painful now or war/chaos later.

          However, I would appreciate being proven wrong.

          • DirectRisk

            We are failing now. 

            Creating imaginary money, illusory spending and enforced austerity are just stop-gap measures.  

            There are not enough ‘shell games’ to roll approximately $700 Trillion worth of bad derivative bets into. (Bank of America’s derivatives are alone valued by $75 Trillion.)

            That’s about 10 times the World Domestic Product (WDP).

            The ‘train’ needs to be stopped.  The cars need to be uncoupled.

            Banksters, governmental and regulatory agencies folks who were involved need to rounded up, bets need to be called off, sovereign funds, bondholders and shareholders need to lose.

            Prosecutions and regulations need to occur so this doesn’t happen again. 

            We are talking about decades of economic hurt and damage the world has never witnessed.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      THIS INSANITY HAS TO STOP. Just because some smart college kids figured out how to make money from the ether doesn’t mean we must let them. Markets should NOT exist for derivatives of real assets/goods only for REAL assets/goods. Yet this market DOES exist… and may be in the hundreds of TRILLIONS of dollars. If there’s a collapse of one market, it’s sure to send shockwaves throughout the  entire banking sector. Though derivatives are a phantom market of sorts, there will be REAL losses and banks easily could collapse… and this time the only bailout can come by printing more money.

  • at

    It has taken this long for college students and others with the time and intelligence to figure out just what these bastards did to the country and everyone who isn’t one of their club. When the reality of the extent of their crimes finally dawns on the public we may actually finally see justice. A jail cell for Paulson is just the start. Because these eternal plotters subverted the government with value bribes and political payoffs to change the laws that regulates them does not lessen the evil of what they did it — multiplies it. This should be an additional charge. Here it is once again. The list of the enemies of the People of the United States of America (a highly abridged list but all the big crooks are included). They belong behind bars to the man (and woman) and in some cases the only real justice would be stripping of all their wealth from them and their criminal pals and banish them from our land forever.

    • at

      Wondering why your granny or you will have to pay for the excesses of the richest most powerful people in the world? Me too. Here is the list of the worst of the scumbags to date.


      Alec Litowitz

      Alan Greenspan

      Donald Regan

      Henry Paulson

      George W. Bush

      William Clinton

      Lawrence Summers

      David Koch

      Charles Koch

      Robert Rubin

      Christopher Cox

      Loyd Blankfein

      John Thain

      Joe Cassano

      Angelo Mozoilo

      Philip Gramm

      Frank Raines

      Kathleen Corbet

      Richard Fuld

      Herbert Sandler

      Stanley O’Neal

      James Cayne

      Sandy Weil

      Lew Ranieri

      • Modavations

        Great list,but may I suggest Mr Dodd(friend of Mozilla who took a loan) Barney Frank(who refused due diligence and impeeded an investigation)and Maxine Waters(whose husband owns a phoney-baloney bank in Boston,that was again ,shielded by Mr.Frank)

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

          Would this ongoing absurd Gingrinch-esque obsession with Dodd and Frank who were both in the minority from 1995 until 2006 have anything to do with your opposition to the much needed financial regulation which bears their names? 


          For Frank’s actual role in the crisis see, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barney_franks#Fannie_Mae_and_Freddie_Mac 

          Here’s Frank’s response to Gingrich’s silly comments:


          • Dave in CT

            No it has to do with the Fannie Mae and Bailout history, referenced in the above book, Reckless Endangerment.

            It demonstrates the quicksand that is vehemently defending Democrats and their corruptible, meddling ways.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

            Sure. Joseph Stiglitz, Barney Frank Respond to ‘Reckless Endangerment’ Allegations here:http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2011/07/-rep-barney-frank-d-mass.html

          • Modavations

            Good god man.Stieglitz and Robert(3rd)Reich are propagandists.They are Dem.,Rump Swabs

        • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

          Of COURSE Moda refuses to include any GOP names who ALSO tried to stop any new oversight of Fannie back in 2003… how about from page 186 in Reckless Endangerment… Republicans who wanted to stop the Baker reforms…

          Ed Royce, a California Republican who had received $5,850 in campaign funding from Fannie in the 2002 election cycle, announced his plan to introduce competing legislation to Baker’s. Another Republican, Robert W. Ney of Ohio, refused to support Baker’s plan. Ney, who would plead guilty to conspiracy charges in a lobbying scandal in 2006, warned that he would prefer not to rush through legislation that could disrupt the housing market. Ney had received $10,250 from Fannie during 2002.

          and later that year:

          In April, at the request of Fannie’s lobbyists, Republican senator Kit Bond of Missouri requested that the inspector general of HUD investigate the regulator who was investigating Fannie. By calling OFHEO into question, Fannie hoped to undermine the damaging accounting probe.

          page 193: The 2003 legislation for new oversight of Fannie did not die in the GOP House WITHOUT THE HELP OF REPUBLICANS. Yet Moda and other Orwellian Rightists have rewritten history to just blame Barney Frank who, with the Democrats in the minority, had little power.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            More from Reckless Endangerment. From page 194… this at the end of summer 03:

            This litany of bad behavior was too much even for Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who had defended Fannie for more than a decade. He began ratcheting back his defense of the company. “To the extent that people played games to get bonuses, I am outraged,” he said. “To the extent that there was manipulation, that is very wrong and should be penalized.”Still, Frank clung to the notion that the companies were well managed and presented no threat to the taxpayer. “I have seen nothing in here that suggests that the safety and soundness are at issue,” he said, “and I think it serves us badly to raise safety and soundness as a kind of a general shibboleth, when it does not seem to be the issue.”

            That fall the Inspector General does a damning report on Fannie. But who again leaps to Fannie’s defense? From page 195

            Barney Frank posted the unredacted report for an hour or so on a House Web site, according to a Washington Post article. “The senior management of OFHEO appears to have run roughshod over the judgment of professional staff and seriously compromised OFHEO’s credibility as a financial regulator,” Frank told the reporter. “It is clear that a leadership change at OFHEO is overdue.”
            But GOPer Kit Bond is doing the same… from page 196

            Kit Bond, another Fannie friend, put out a press release castigating OFHEO. “This report reveals that top OFHEO officials have misused their agency and abused the public trust,” he fumed. “OFHEO leadership put their personal agenda above the public good and have permanently damaged the integrity of the agency.”


            “The tempest surrounding the inspector general’s report blew over; Fannie was soon back on its heels as critics forecast that the SEC would determine that the company had violated numerous accounting rules.Senator Bond had one more trick up his sleeve to benefit Fannie. The administration had proposed an increase in OFHEO’s budget to support a larger investigation and examination staff at the regulator, but Bond slipped language into the appropriations bill that would defund OFHEO until Falcon was removed from its directorship.”

            Interesting how the GOP always goes after Frank who had little power but never mentions GOPer Kit Bond who as Senator with the party in power, had much more influence.

          • Dave in CT

            Frank backs away after the lighting the fuse gets him off the hook? Just blame them all, it makes more sense.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            The BIG Question remains… when a far right Supreme Court grants even more rights to that PROPERTY called money over citizen’s rights, how do We The People EVER tame the big monied interests? As if our system wasn’t corrupt enough, under the guise of constitutional rights the Supreme Court has given corruption a green light.

            Hey, I read the book you suggested, now you’re going to quibble because it doesn’t make your argument? I’m only trying to bring some balance to the right’s bogus accusations that Frank was instrumental in preventing new oversight to Fannie. Clearly some on the GOP were as well… and since Baker couldn’t get enough cosponsors for his bill I have to assume a LOT of fellow GOPers did NOT want this new oversight. There’s a reason this bill failed in a GOP run House. You just won’t hear that on Fox. Barney makes a better scapegoat if you’re trying to convince voters to believe in the GOP.

            And NO we can’t blame them everyone since some were in favor of reigning in Fannie AND they were against the deregulation of banking and the commodity markets. Most of these people were on the “left” side of the Democratic Party.

          • Dave in CT

            “bogus accusations that Frank was instrumental in preventing new oversight to Fannie. Clearly some on the GOP were as well… ”

            You read the book? Bogus?

            We all already know the Crony Capitalistic and Wealth hoarding (afraid of real competition), non-free market discretionary, non Rule of Law tendencies of the GOP. The point in so much of this discussion, is raising people’s awarness that if they REALLY, SINCERELY want reform, they cannot keep believing the dream that Democrats are angels, and that there attempt to achieve well-meaning ends through government run programs, that end up corrupted and self-destructive, are the answer.

            Only then can we develop a shared, realistic focus of how to both remain free, and fight the worst tendencies of human nature.

          • Modavations

            Don’t you get it.Guys my age hate govt.,period.We believe in the individual.We don’t want assistance,we don’t need loans

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

            How old are you? Three?

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            No, he just writes and thinks like a three year old rabid right winger. 

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Tell that to all the seniors who are grateful to get Social Security and love the Medicare.

          • Modavations

            You don’t get it,they pay into it their entire lives!!!!!They pay for it, Capiche

        • Dave in CT

          James Johnson. Top of the Fannie empire.

      • Conner44

        All the supreme court justices who voted in favor of Citizens United deserve to be on this list too.  They have also subverted our Republic.

  • Jtuck004

    What a great show. Maybe it will lead to prosecutions. If we don’t how could we ever put anyone else in jail again? They were, and are, like crazed addicts, and have destroyed the lives of tens of millions of people. And they laugh, and laugh.

    A transcript would be appreciated.

  • Outsideoracle

    Your show of October 18 reviewing the lack of prosecution of those Wall Street investment bankers who were responsible for the recent financial meltdown of the US banks was outstanding. The behavior which resulted in catastophic losses to hard-working American citizens is the latest assault on the fundamental values of middle-class America. The investment bankers, not the federal government, created the crisis, not the government paid off the banks.

    Please upload a transcript of your amazing show of October 18th.
    You and your producers gave the public and amazing gift, i.e.,
    knowledge. Thank you so much.

    which bundled mortgages and sold them as securities

  • Outsideoracle

    Correction to previous post: “The investment bankers, not the federal government, created the crisis. But the government paid off the banks.
    If the government pays off losses, shouldn’t the govt share in profits?”

  • Marie

    Two interviews (including transcripts) with Bill

    William K. Black: CSI Bailout, April 3, 2009



    William K. Black on Fraud, April 23, 2010


  • Modavations

    In a USA Today Poll ,60% thought the Govt.responsible for the debacle,while 30% thought it the fault of govt..May I suggest we march on and occupy Wash..I rumaged around the basement and have dusted off my old “gas mask”.

    • Steve

      You are correct but the prosecution of one thief dies not preclude the pursuit of another.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      Is this now the THIRD time you posted this? At LEAST you could do is post a URL if there is one. Oh, that’s right, you don’t know what a URL is or how to cut & paste.

      • Modavations

        Dude, I offered you my hand in peace and you spit in it.Now we war

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

      You are repeating yourself. Many people believe the government didn’t do enough to prevent the crisis (deregulation) and failed to investigate/prosecute the real criminals who made bad loans and repackaged them as AAA securities and fraudulently sold these ticking time bombs to unsuspecting third parties. The government didn’t “force” them to do this (though lack of adequate regulation helped) they did it out of GREED. Obviously these are the folks we need to prosecute. You want to march on Washington to demand better regulation of the financial sector? Go for it! 

      • Dave in CT

        If your blessed, angelic government abuses the Rule of Law concept to use discretion to create malincentives in the market, are you surprised when the logical drivers of self-interest or profit, take advantage of them?

        Talk about naive.

        This nonsense that we can operate in some hand holding society where self-interest and trying to profit by ones effort doesn’t exist is the height of immaturity.

        Those motives (feeding your family, working, saving “profits” of work) are part of human nature, and we have yet to make the reality of scarcity, or the instinctual element of self-preservation disappear as much as we wish it were so.

        A Rule of Law free market recognizes these realities, sets guidelines to protect us from the worst tendencies, and otherwise lets everyone operate with a chance to pursue their wants/needs. It does not, and NO HUMANE SYSTEM CAN, guarantee equal outcomes.

        When we corrupt the level playing field we diminish the equal opportunity for a fair chance.

        Your Gordon Gecko simplistically satisfying rejection of GREED, feels good, but does nothing to face reality.  If you recall, Gordon Gecko was a corrupt, inside trader, like so many we have today.

        Rally against corrupt Wall Streeters, as well as the market interventionists who set the stage for this saga, which, yes, included deregulation or lack of enforcement.  I have never argued against clear and equally applied financial regulation being incompatible with the Rule of Law concept.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

          You go on and on with this non-dscretionary rule of law free market  nonsense and call me naive and immature? You are obviously living is some kind of Laputan fantasy land. 

          • Modavations

            I also call you niave and immature.Congress has a 13% approval because the corruption ,is on par with Caligula.Go look at my gallery  Dorian Grey potraits.Friggin gruesome

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

            Congress has a 13% approval rating because the GOP/TP has been holding the country hostage obstructing and derailing everything they can and pushing the country to the edge of default and disaster. They don’t care about the best interests of the country they are only interested in regime change at any cost and in making the federal government as dysfunctional as possible.

          • Dave in CT

            ” this non-dscretionary rule of law free market nonsense”

            What can I say?

            If you can’t appreciate that centuries old concept and ideal for free people, that’s your loss, and continues to be our problem.

            But thanks for focusing on playing up the “feed the family” analogy which was some attempt to relay the feelings/reasons most productive people want to get up and work.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

            Critics of laissez-faire since Adam Smith have seen the unregulated market as an impractical ideal or as a rhetorical device that puts the concepts of freedom and anti-protectionism at the service of vested wealthy interests, allowing them to attack labor laws and other protections of the working classes. 

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      I know why you keep reposting… you don’t want readers to read RESPONSES to your idiotic posts. Here’s one of mine from your last thread…

      Moda takes great satisfaction in that the public is as ignorant as him. I think it’s scary.

      Who’s been educating the American public? Sure they know something stinks. But over the years as Obama refuse to prosecute the thieves and scoundrels, the GOP and Wall Street have filled all too many of the public’s heads with plausible scapegoats to point the finger elsewhere. Wall Street thieves don’t want to go to jail nor have new regulations that cramp their style. And the GOP is desperate to rehabilitate their image and get out from taking the blame. They have found some plausible scapegoats to dupe the hard core right, about 25-30% of the public.

      The Dems are too cowardly to touch this hot potato since three YEARS have passed. If they go after Wall Street now it only raises the obvious question where the hell have they been for 3 YEARS? The Mass media doesn’t do the investigative reporting it use to and they might have too many interconnected interests with Big Money.

      So ya, perhaps few think to blame Wall Street. But OSW is a new wildcard… especially if the crazies on the far right like Cain blame the public for not being rich or having a job. The rest of the public might catch on that the criminality of Wall Street could never have happened without the pathology of the GOP. Maybe they’ll tie ALL the US’s problems together… from the national debt to unemployment to a party that for the past 30 years has become increasingly crazed.

      • Modavations

        I can’t believe you’re a “shrink”.You’re a bully.How many of your clients jumped off the roof

        • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

          See, there ya go again Moda… you can’t think logically. I never said I was a shrink, yet you assume it. But if you ever do come back to the clinic, I’ll make sure the door to the roof is unlocked for you.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      Here’s my response to your naive claim term limits will solve all the problems:

      Sure politicians are largely bought and paid for, and many regulators are in bed with those that should be regulated. But as usual, you’re missing the obvious… that while some politicians are corrupt, the bigger problems are some philosophically don’t believe in regulations as you don’t. Then there’s the other side of the coin you sweep under the rug: no politician can sellout unless there’s a special interest willing to buy him/her.

      You’re exposing the naiveté in your own free market beliefs by placing all the blame on government and pretending the private sector is blameless. So your logically your naïve “solution” is term limits as if that will put the evil genii back in the bottle.

      So what are you saying… that politicians MADE Wall Street behave irresponsibly? If an investment bank was responsible, then being freed of regulations would NOT make it behave irresponsibly. These banks WANTED TO BEHAVE IRRESPONSIBLY because they thought they could grab even more cash. They KNEW laws like Glass Steagall were stopping them… and one of the biggest whores in this game was Phil Gramm who sponsored the legislation to deregulate both the banking and commodity sectors… which Clinton foolishly signed. But then Clinton bought into much of this right wing, free market claptrap.

      The REAL solution isn’t your naïve term limits. All that does is leave the real problem untouched and accelerates the speed of corruption to the term limit. We need to reestablish all the New Deal regulations on these banks, reregulate the commodity markets, ban Wall Street from speculation and instead make investments in productive activities. We need to write into law that since corporations get special tax breaks… as do churches, they CAN NOT make campaigns contributions or get involved in politics. Do THAT and we might not even have to enact campaign finance reform.

      • Modavations

        I could have said that, in one paragraph.As for term limits,I’ll take my chances.I also suggest “run of the mill” Fed employees, have term limits.Teach them another skill,move them around,keep them fresh.My condolences on your loss of the Dicatator Ghadaffi

        • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

          Odd, nothing you’ve managed to say in one paragraph has ever made any sense. See above.

          (was that concise enough for you Einstein?) 

    • GodAlmighty

      The only question your comments brings to my mind is, “Is this person really that stupid or are they just ignorant?”
      Which is it?

  • Modavations

    Todays kids owe 1 trillion in school loans(you can’t declare bankruptcy).You have gotten a mediocre(in my opinion)education,for an outrageous sum.May I suggest we also march on the Deans office.The Ms. Warrens of the world earn 365,000 per annum

    • Steve

      You are correct but the prosecution of one thief dies not preclude the pursuit of another.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

      “In 2010, Standard & Poor’s 500 Index company CEOs received, on average, $11.4 million in total compensation— a 23 percent increase in one year.[1] Based on 299 companies’ most recent pay data for 2010, their combined total CEO pay of $3.4 billion could support 102,325 median workers’ jobs.[2]
      Fortunately, the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act contains new tools to help limit runaway CEO pay.  Shareholders now have a “say-on-pay” vote on executive compensation, and companies must disclose the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay at each company.”


      Let’s focus on the real criminals. 

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      Moda can’t even get this straight. Someone with an outstanding loan CAN certainly declare bankruptcy. It’s just that in 2005 the GOP made sure that bankruptcy would NOT free one from repayment of student loans.

  • Modavations

    In the spirit of Halloween,how’s this for macabre.Reserve a gallery in BMFA and hang the “Dorian Grey”potraits ,of every current solon,that has served over 20yrs.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      Please note the topic of this forum is “PROSECUTING FINANCIAL TITANS”.  

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

        The “Magic of the Markets” is based on misdirection. 

        A Capitalist, a Teapartier, and a OWS Protester sit down at a table with 12 cookies on it. The Capitalist takes 11 cookies while telling the Teapartier, “Watch out for that Protester he wants a piece of your cookie!”

        • ThePope

          Perfection in a nutshell

  • Proof

    Here’s what I’m mad about in short:  If I have a “liquidity crisis” and even if I am lucky enough to be able to borrow money to get out of it — chances are that my credit rating is negatively impacted.  The U.S. had its credit rating downgraded even though the U.S. is a guarantor of last resort (read — bank bail out).  What has been the negative impact on the banks that through their own risky business, ended up in a situation where they couldn’t pay their bills (read – “liquidity crisis”) and they haven’t had their credit downgraded.  If the U.S. credit is downgraded and the country bailed out the banks — shouldn’t those banks credit be less than AAA?  Use the same logic and what about the people who run the banks — should they have AAA credit?  After all, they created the mess.  If these bank corporations have freedom of speech (read — the ideas and beliefs of their executives) shouldn’t they also be subject to punishment for wreaking havoc with our economy through their fraudulent sales practices?

  • Guest

    What’s the best way to go about it and get all of these crooks?

    William Black didn’t get a chance to tell us.  Thanks Tom.

    • FireFromHeaven

      The best way is with a IED or a remote device, baring that a .343 will do, but the best way would be with an overwhelming mob action that dragged the worst of them out of their penthouses via their private elevators and string them up on the New York lamp posts,  without recourse to upload or resuscitation.

  • WeAreAllAtRisk

    Private banks created, packaged, marketed and sold the derivatives (sophisticated financial junk bets) all around the world.
    more the economies around the world contract, the more mortgage
    foreclosures there will be. These derivatives (sophisticated financial
    junk bets) are base on mortgages and people’s ability to pay on them.
    these derivatives are all bundled together like firecrackers in packs.
    The more mortgages that get foreclosed on, the more these derivatives
    (sophisticated financial junk bets) blow up or explode, and the bet
    needs to be payed off.
    It’s such a complicated mess no one knows
    how to unravel them before one or two firecrackers explode ( a mortgage
    foreclosure) and set off the entire pack.
    And we may be talking about SEVERAL HUNDRED TRILLION DOLLARS or more at ‘indirect risk’ around the world.
    one knows how much ‘indirect risk’ there is because these derivatives
    (sophisticated financial junk bets) where never regulated or had been
    monitored and recorded by one clearinghouse.
    Either the banksters fail or we all will. 

    • ThePope

      I didn’t have a Jewish grandfather, but if I did, he would have told me, “Little Pope, whenever someone makes something for nothing, someone else makes nothing for something.”  And I would have believed him because it is true.  This money didn’t disappear it was transferred from the many who got nothing for something to the few who got something for nothing. Like in the case where the retirement accounts of millions disappeared because they purchased AAA bonds that were really shit on a shingle contrived to fail trenches. This money went directly into the retirement accounts of the bastard thieves at the top of the financial industry.

      These people and their families and associates must be stripped of all their wealth internationally, imprisoned, and later banished from this nation forever. Though some of them should be hung in public as an example to those who would put our precious Republic at risk again with their hideous greed and vast ignorance about what is of real value on a personal and national level.

      Ps. “But Pope, the financial wizards say that it isn’t true that when someone makes something for nothing someone else makes nothing for something, they claim that their figures show that they can create wealth out of air.”

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

    REQUEST TO ON POINT… please do a show on derivatives if you already haven’t. The idea that we can have a derivatives market that in 2008 alone were estimated to equal 680 TRILLION when the annual world GDP is only something like 70 trillion is almost beyond comprehension. Once designed to protect against risk, they’ve become a source of a possible catastrophic economic meltdown.  

    • GretchenMo

      Yes, and On Point, please explain notional value to ultratax.

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        Ya mean that there ain’t really no 680 trillion wooorth of stuff out there??? Golleeee!!!

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        The point is, Smoopie, that we can’t have a healthy economy when too much of its money is diverted to speculation especially when so much of this speculation are bets on bets on bets. Such a web of intertwined debt poses a systemic risk.

        • GretchenMo

          Ignorance as big as yours is really something to behold.  You have no clue what you’re talking about and using terms like systemic risk without understanding it is the clearest indication. 

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Let me see… after learning from the GOP crash of 1929 the New Deal reforms kept a choke chain on the banking sector’s worst practices for close to 70 years and the sector was pretty stable. But the GOP and corporate Dems like Rubin and Clinton buy into free market deregulation which gives free reign to the sociopaths on Wall Street.

            In less than 12 years after mega-banks became free to become monster-banks, and 9 years after the deregulation of the commodity and banking sectors…  the entire banking sector implodes… crashes the economy, puts 8 million people out of work, is costing the government trillions to prop up the economy, and has left behind a tangled web of debt and derivatives most of which we don’t know what to do with… and we’re praying they don’t explode in our faces.

            Hmmm… difficult choice here. Should I now believe that the 10 year experiment that blew up in our faces and brought down the US’s biggest banks is a better approach than 70 year strategy that kept these banks in check.

            Tough one. Let me sleep on it.

            Never mind. I got it… you’re f****** crackpot.

          • ThePope

            Instead of calling uTRAX ignorant (which he/she certainly is not,) why don’t you splain it all to us Lucy?

          • Zing

            Gretch baby, isn’t a systemic risk when industry practices can bring the entire industry down not just one player? Nah, that would never happen. 

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Sadly Gretch, it seems like you’re the one who’s clueless. Here’s a cute little video from NPR Marketplace that explains how these unregulated derivitives, in this case CDSs, could bring the entire banking system down 


            It was made in fall 2008 so the comment that it’s unclear whether CDSs were the main cause of the crash is rather dated.

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

    The US was once a great nation that could do great things. There were once good paying jobs and upward mobility. What happened?

    Over the last century we tamed and humanized capitalism only to have right wing politicians and the corporate Dem allies let it out of the cage again with free trade. If that wasn’t bad enough the Right engaged in a deliberate policy of sabotaging the fiscal health of our federal government. Neocons bleed our soldiers and treasury with an illegal war of aggression. The Right with the help of corporate Dems deregulated the sociopaths and thieves on Wall Street and in the commodity markets. They not only bled the economy with $147 a barrel oil they imploded the banking sector and even three years after the crash the fundamentals of the banking industry are perilous. 

    Do the GOP or corporate Dems show any remorse? Certainly not the GOP. Do they have any second thoughts about the direction they led the nation? No, they want to do it all over again… and the Right wants to do it on steroids.  

    Our country and its dysfunctional political system have allowed the corrupt and insane into halls of power. Obama may have stemmed the implosion of the economy but he and the Dems left intact most of the dysfunctional right wing and corporate Dem deregulation. Obama’s administration  refused to break up the now REALLY too big to fail banks. Where thousands were prosecuted during the S&L scandals in the 80′s, no one went to jail for a economic catastrophe perhaps 40X the scale. The Dowd-Frank “reforms” are a joke. The Wall St sociopaths and thieves are still free to plunder our economy… and plunder they will.

    If the above were the problems that HAD to be solved, we have to now realize Obama nor the Dems never will do so. Obama joins Bush as just another failed president only his failings were a failure to secure the nation against right wing madness. And sadly all the GOP candidates are hundred times worst. Our nation has truly gone insane. 

    What is needed is a truly PROGESSIVE candidate that can clean up the mess the GOP and these corporate Dems have made.

  • Anonymous

    Several days ago I commented on what I perceived as NPR in effect, “leading from behind,” in regards to their timeliness in interviewing critics of the financial crisis and their responsibility. Part of my comments had to do with the NPR’s belief that they had to “balance” their presentations but I wished that they would consider making some people uncomfortable in positions of power by taking a side . Today NPR responded in typical fashion by firing, terminating, or dismissing Lisa Simeone for having an opinion and acting on her beliefs in occupy Wall Street demonstrations.  A person with integrity and values gets fired from NPR. I remember a quote from the days of the Watergate scandal where someone said a “fish stinks from the head down.”  My question is does this apply to NPR?

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      Here’s a post I wrote last April. I didn’t bother to update it…

      When are we going to call a spade a spade: that the extreme Right in the US has gone beyond toxic into the realm of psychosis!Here’s the problem…

      Imagine today’s mainstream media like NPR if back in 1930′s Germany, and trying to be fair and balanced by today’s standards, would have reported on the rise of Hitler and the Nazis. When in their coverage would they have realized that Hitler was a murderous psychopath? Or would they gradually and unconsciously adapt the party line and just reported as a matter of fact that certain minorities were being shipped off to camps or that the war wasn’t going well?

      After the Pentagon Papers and Watergate I liked to believe mainstream US journalism had progressed past that point. But its refusal these past 30 years to expose the radical Right’s cynical, if not dangerous, strategy to undermine the New Deal and Great Society programs makes me think twice. After all, if one of the two major parties has for 30 YEARS been sabotaging government finances to deliberately create a fiscal crisis, why isn’t that being exposed as a political crime against the nation? Is it not a form of treason to undermine the fiscal health of the government and sabotage its ability to respond to crisis?  While it is sickening, it comes as no surprise that the views of extremists on the Right like Paul Ryan are getting equal time even on NPR instead of being exposed as the final stage in the Right’s 30-year long strategy to destroy the New Deal and Great Society, turn the US into a plutocracy, by destroying the fiscal health of our nation.

      When even NPR succumbs to the madness, we all have to fear for the Republic.

      • WonderingToo

        Your last statement is the only reason to be on this comment board.

        Are we already too late?  For instance:

        On 10/18 a story broke in the afternoon about the FED ‘backstopping’ BofA and $75 Trillion of derivatives and William Black was on that morning’s show, “Prosecuting Financial Titans” – it wasn’t even mentioned.  But, when the story broke on Bloomberg later in the day, William Black is quoted in the article.


        Was this sheer coincidence?

        Was the show taped the previous night?

        Was On Point using their ‘crystal ball’ before the Bloomberg story broke?

        And look at very early morning story switch on the Qaddafi story (10/20) coverage.

        Another use of the ‘crystal ball’?

  • thegreengrass

    Even if you can’t prove criminal intent, incompetence that ruins this many people’s lives should absolutely be prosecuted. What they did hurt real people and the real world. And the idea that they’re back at record profits is just ridiculous. Who wants to live in a society where this is ok?

    • Haedo1881

      Hi, I totally agree with you. Having gone through foreclosure and mortgage fraud, my own life has definitely suffered. Yes, whoever has done something to make another person’s life difficult financially and emotionally and knew that they were doing something unethical, should be punished. Eugenia Renskoff

  • Pingback: Raimondo fires back at criticism from mayors on locally run pensions « On Politics

  • http://www.aarp.org/online-community/rdomke33175 Richard Domke

    The level to which greed and avarice drive human productivity and manipulate the questionable merits of “forced competition” between human participants within the predatory environment of capitalism (as it has evolved in the hands of a great many pathetic leaders) not only in America but around the world (as they emulate our example) is appalling.I feel shame and embarrassment to be associated with the human race for the failures and injustices our species has perpetrated within its role as stewards of this planet. I find it difficult at best (anymore) to find any sense of pride and honor in being an American with consideration for the scope of profiteering, corruption and selfishness that has bestowed upon us the facade of materialism that supplants the righteous quest of human necessities by harmonious support and service that should be our hallmark of societal integration. 

    I feel that we are about one short step away from fulfilling the alignment of our political and economic conduct with (my perceived image) of “third world” governments and administrations. In my opinion it is all just unacceptable and unnecessary. If this is the best that our species can attain with the sentience that separates it from all other life forms then I’d just as soon see the termination of our species from existence. We are the greatest threat to life on this planet. If there is intelligent life out in the universe then we probably have not found them because they are smart enough not to be found (by us).

    History may well record that our greatest capacity, even beyond creativity and invention, was for hatred, killing and destruction; we sold out our future for the lures of wealth, power and vanity. I feel that we have proven ourselves unworthy of whatever quality of “Spirit” that was bestowed upon us and that we have rendered moot and inconsequential the life sacrifice (and possibly rejection of salvation) offered by one human of historical record, Jesus of Nazareth. I have to wonder if he were merely a fool…deluded…or a liar in regard for the purported statements he made and the actions he performed on our behalf.

    Whatever the case, I have little expectation that humanity can change from the course upon which it is heading or within in its capacity to recognize that freedom without discipline and accountability are tantamount to reckless self-indulgence. So, whether by asteroid or other cosmological calamity, the end of humanity’s dominion is the best option I have to look forward to with the way things are going.

    • GodAlmighty

      No it is not. Much of you disappointment and grieve is a result of expectations on your part.

      You owe humanity the service of perfecting yourself as much as you are able in a balanced manner that includes intellectual, emotional, and physical aspects of your life. It is your duty to apply the result of your striving to grow in a balanced manner to your public and civic life. And you are expected as a citizen of our Republic to have a civic life, that is distinct and in addition to any social life you may or may not have.  It is your duty as a human being to strive in everything to be as objective and impartial as you are capable of, and to recognize petty motives and rationalizations in yourself and others.  This is the minimal acceptable life for a man to live. No matter the voices that cry that one man’s interests and actions are no better than that of another’s. That is nonsense, has always been nonsense, and will always be nothing more than nonsense. The striving simply to own more, is beneath interest for a real human. As is the simple pursuit of pleasure and titillation.  The ostentatious display of wealth is a character flaw, and a tell that the person is attempting to hide inner poverty and insignificance by such an outer display. The breathless response to such displays, whether by the latest pop star’s desperate attempt at drawing attention to their talent (a semi valid manipulation of this weakness) or the pope glittering in his dress, such a response is only appropriate for tween age girls of dubious intellect.

      But more than a duty to humanity it is duty to yourself.  It is good that you see through the farce, it is good that your heart is moved by the injustice (at least you aren’t a sociopath like many of our leaders {far more than the average among the average}.)  You may or may not be able to change humanity to be more to your liking (probably not.)  You may not even be able to change yourself to the degree that you are not disheartened by things you ultimately have no control over. There is a reason that all the great sages considered life to be sacred, were themselves nonviolent, and were fearless to speak truth to power.  I am sure you are aware to some degree that these people were able to find something of such great worth, and goodness in life that all other concerns seemed to a certain degree — distractions.

      These things are available to some humans now. Some day perhaps  they will be to everyone, who doesn’t have certain genetic irregularities that cause subhuman behavior and fixations of goals beneath the level of significance that would be necessary for a real human to have an interest. So a person is a genetic sociopath, or misanthrope, or, psychopath, perhaps all three. They are probably very likable, are excellent manipulators, and full of charismatic energy.  And of course they find no reason to hesitate to mislead, lie, stab in the back, do whatever it takes to get what they want.  Why wouldn’t they go into politics?  We have been taught that the cream rises to the top. But we find that the science says that the people who rise to the very top of their field, the people who are the most successful in our society are, also the people who are the most self-deceived.  This is not my opinion, it is a fact.  The people who are the happiest and most successful are the people who know themselves and life the least clearly.  The people who have the clearest view of how things really are tend to be slightly depressed, like yourself.

      I decided at a very young age (about fifth grade) that truth was more important to me than happiness.  This has caused me problems most of my life. However I am happy to report to you, that ultimately this has opened vistas of understanding, bliss, and vibrance, of which the poor scurrying soul concerned only about relative status, these power elite, these masters of the universe: unable to do the simplest things like stop the mechanical flow of association that automatically proceeds through them, and ascend to a expanded awareness from which to ecstatically interact with the vastness.

      What do you expect from such people. Really, our leaders are the biggest problem we as a society have. I know that our congressmen all treat one another with upmost respect and deference, but they don’t deserve it. Oh, perhaps some of them are very thoughtful and mild mannered, at least in presentation, as the upper class sometimes are, but I know of no philospher kings.  There is no chance that an enlightened individual will even get on a ballet.  In fact look at the type of persons who are held up as someone extraordinary who is passing on extraordinary information — Chungpra, or whatever his name is, yeh, as Colbert inplied, he’s a real profit.  No the real prophets, Gurdjieff, Jan Cox, Carlos Dwa, Gopi Krishna, are pointedly ignored by the power elite, because they, and their higher view of reality present the real threat to the demented hierarchy of madness and greed that we are imprisioned in, that is: such persons of a new intelligence can’t take the masters of the universe seriously, because like Donald Trump, they are ultimately ignoamus clowns.

      Where do you think a world lead by deluded self-important cosmic ignoramus clowns will go?  About were we find ourselves.  And this like all times, is the very best time, to see you automatic subjective flow, not as yourself, or something to identify with, it is to see it as if it were an object, impartially, not as a contrived further convolution of this process of automatic  association, but as a direct seeing.  Perhaps coming to understand  that YOU lie in another direction from this automatic, ceaseless, subjective, flow of words and images: not the opposite direction, another direction.

      Find this and the world can be as fu*ked up as hades, and though you will do your civic duty, you will not be identified with the whole puppet show, you will be free of it and other such events that would have pushed you around inwardly.  And you will not just be free in a negative sense, that is, free of the repercussions of the slings and arrows of existence, you will also be free to pursue the new vistas of possibility that open  before you in every direction that you look.
      As one anonymous person to another:
      I guarantee it.


  • ItIsUpToUs

    Nice sentiments below. 

    Both so erudite, they look to be written by the same person – part of an ‘endless conversation’ – no matter.

    How are we going to prosecute these puppets of profiteering?

    People need to be held accountable for tanking our economy, not motives, not ideals, nor personality-types.

    Investigations need to happen, people need to be taken down, corporations need to be hung out to dry, and regulations need to be put into place so the banksters, rating agencies, GSEs, and Fed don’t let this happen again.

    Where’s our ‘Hell Hound’ on Wall Street – William Black will you except?
    (Ferdinand Pecora: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Pecora)

    Where’s our Senate Committee investigation?
    Ask and Demand it from our Senators: http://preview.tinyurl.com/USSenateCom-BH-U

    • JRS118

      Outside help is the tool of choice. When an institution can not clean up by means of inside mechanisms the only solution is outside help. Can other countries who suffered from the sale of bogus hedge funds full of  useless mortages bring Wall Street bankers to the Hague for prosecution? There are Piracy laws- entities who trade overseas may be subject to those old laws.

      • Christine Gallo

        I have asked this earlier of an economist on another thread.  His response was that he doubted that countries would have the stomach for it, because the politics of our government is so tied up with those banks…

        Too bad.  Wall Street screwed them just as well as they did our country, if enough of us requested it, maybe we could create a large enough ground swell here and abroad that prosecution would be demanded.

  • Pingback: Dear Citibank « DharmaDwelling

  • Drew You Too

    Still anxiously awaiting that transcript for this show.

    And one simple question: Who will profit from a protracted legal proceeding

    Many toss up the “follow the money” catch phrase. Who gets paid during the course of a lengthy legal battle? And who foots the bill…

  • Cincinnati

    As others have noted, journalism is our last hope.  This topic should be front page of every major news organization.  Expose the banksters, their frauds and the regulatory agencies they captured.   

    • CRose

      Have you read “The Death and Life of American Journalism?”

    • Christine Gallo

      The fourth estate is owned by corporations…very little is printed without advertising, or a corporate agenda.  The internet is still almost free.  Trouble is, in the last 2 years there have been two very aggressive attempts to have corporate takeover here too.

  • Pingback: William Black: S&L Lawman « Xomfort Eagle

  • JRS118

    I was a non-for profit lobbyist in Illinois 20 years ago. I left the career because of the corruption I witnessed. A ” Fetcher Bill” is the inside term for drafting legislation that will be highly troublesome to corporations. Lobbyists then get hired to defend them from these “paper tigers”. They will call the client at key points in the process and ask for money. Some goes to campaign funds. This is racketeering. Corporations have to stand up and stop giving money to politicians. They will never leave you alone until you stop giving them money. Corporations are not always the bad guy. They have been exploited for decades. They need outside help. The 99% needs to help them, and they need to help each other.

    • Drew You Too

      “Corporations are not always the bad guy. They have been exploited for decades.”

      Uhhhhhmmm, what? Not trying to be disrespectful but it seems to me that the majority of the exploitation (both of the political system and the individual) always seems to come from Corporations.

      And yes I’ll keep visiting this show’s board.

      And yes I’ll keep requesting that transcript. It really is that important. On Point you’ve had plenty of requests, now make good on them.

    • nopression

      “They need outside help. The 99% needs to help them, and they need to help each other
      I agree. Just like the French help Marie Antoinette up the steps…

      • JRS118

        The number of Bills introduced in the House and Senate in Illinois increased from 300 per year to over 5,000. Most Bill reintroduced as a means of irritating corporate entities to extract campaign contributions via the lobbyist paid to defeat the bills. The lobbyist paid to defat a bill will call up and ask for a reintroduction so they can wring out more money in the subsequent session.

        • Dave in CT

          That’s the discretionary micromanagement/micro-manipulation of a more core and clear Rule of Law.

          Rule of Law should be clear, equally applied and dispassionate, without legislating outcomes, rather, punishing rule breaking.

          The discretionary, collusive legislative games you cite are a failure in our vigilance to maintain a robust, transparent, fair Rule of Law.

    • Christine Gallo

      Oh Pul-eeeese!  I’m not arguing that what you are describing isn’t going on, BUT what the corporations get in comparison to what they have to give for it isn’t even in the same ball park.  It is the gift that keeps on giving.  Gradually eviscerating Glass Steigal has paid those Wall Street bankers in the trillions and destroyed our economy (in addition to putting us into recessions about 5 times in the last 30 years).

      So, we have a corrupt Congress, and corrupt corporations.  My solution has long been to make lobbying an information only business.  That and make it illegal for anyone in government to work for corporations after leaving office, and I think that will about take care of corruption on both sides of the equation.
      Of course if we had independent attorneys general who could prosecute that would also help.

  • Drew You Too


  • Dave in CT

    Good Lord. Finally getting to listen to this show. Black is totally On Point. Then Lynn Stout comes on and hesitates when asked whether we should be prosecuting the big boys? 

    • Michael Dominguez

      She clearly is in with the big boys… it will take a big uprising , huge protests, people will have to take to the streets in massive numbers.. until then it will be business at usual…

  • Mattinprague

    After listening to this discussion I was reminded of a talk David Harvey gave. I highly recommend listening to this Economic Geographer give an overview of a ‘Brief History of Neoliberalism’ which can be found at youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkWWMOzNNrQ

  • Pingback: #OccupyOakland Raid, Bill Black, and more - Dollars & Sense Blog

  • CRose

    I haven’t had time to read the entire thread (always jumping into these about a month behind, but that’s when I have a moment to listen). I just wanted to thank you for bringing up this important question. How are others working to move forward on this issue. I was particularly touched by the caller who lost her home and has not been let go. I read recently “debt is a promise which is only held sacred when the person owing money doesn’t have any.” People at the top – governments and corporations – have debt forgiven on a regular basis. This needs to be held sacred across the board. Let’s flood the prisons with the people who are the real criminals. A flawed corporate system creates more street crime – it’s the trickle down effect, you know?

  • Drew You Too


  • Terry Reed

    When all the other nonprofits, or grassroots organizations, or whatever you want to call things like MoveOn, et all.. ALL GET TOGETHER .. perhaps under the OCCUPY Movement … then we will have ONE Voice, we will have solidarity and THEN we can do something.  But if we, the People, remain as scattered as we are now … nothing will change until its forced.  I’d hate to see a revolution but if they dont get their acts together (MEANING EVERYONE, THE GOOD AND THE BAD) … it will happen.  Being American does not make us immune to the reality of injustice …eventually, enough people will get pissed off and shots will be fired and then … katy bar the door.  You better hope you arent in the Senate, House or White House or sitting on the Supreme Court.  The People will be lockin’ and loadin’ and aiming well. FACT. Read history.  IT CAN happen here, and it WILL happen where if they dont get their acts together. And reaaaaallllly soon, too. The fatcats will end up dead.  And we’ll start over.  History will repeat this until we get it right, too.

    • Christine Gallo

      Terry, I have been writing Progressive organizations for over a year begging them to get together behind a unified banner, and join with the unions to give working Americans, or all those who have become known as the 99%, some leadership and direction.

      No responses.  No action.  Although there were a couple of progressive groups in attendance in Wisc.  I don’t understand why we are getting 3 and 4 requests for support of the same action.  I don’t understand why the talent we have is being wasted on 350 different organizations, when we need to combine our energy.  Lord knows we are not going to get any unification or direction from the Dems.  they have already sold their souls to the GOP and are hoping we won’t notice.

  • Terry Reed

    BTW …. the Occupy Fairbanks, Alaska group is going at it 24/7 up there!  They need subzero sleeping bags, sweaters, hoodies, gloves, hats, thermal undies, the works!  Contact them via http://www.occupyalaska.org … you CAN help … even from your desk!  OCCUPY!  GAIN SOLIDARITY!

  • Anonymous

    The desire for a simple-minded answer to the question posed
    to the Occupy people, “What do you want?” while understandable is unrealistic.


    It’s equivalent to being wracked by a host of diseases at
    once. You know your sick but can’t single out which disease is plaguing you the
    most. Nevertheless you go to the doctor and he says, “Tell me what is your
    disease. If you can just put it simply I’ll give you the remedy”. Nobody needs
    to know which disease is most critical since all of them are equally deadly.


    Our system is fraught with diseases. The partial list


    A growing gap between the super wealthy and the
    chronically poor.

    An expansion of that poor base resulting from
    destruction of a middle class and immigration from war-torn and other
    poverty-stricken nations.

    A shrinking tax base due to the first two

    An aging infrastructure and dwindling revenues
    needed for upgrades and maintenance (first three points).

    A failing educational system and resulting
    ignorance (also linked to the first three).

    Wildly fluctuating climate patters causing
    colossal environmental devastation.

    The political desire to un-fund safety nets
    needed to bring relief to those harmed by such devastation.

    Rapid expansion of resource depletion and
    resulting competition for those dwindling resources.

    Growing ecological and environmental destruction
    as we race to find untapped resources.

    A polarized and hostile populace, characterized
    by fear, greed and anger.

    Broad-spread political instability at home and
    abroad. The entire Middle East is exploding all at once and whole nations seem
    incapable of finding a way to reconcile significant differences. The virus of
    discontent is spreading out of the Middle East, into Europe and in all
    likelihood will soon wash onto our own shores.

    A shrinking inclination to invest capitol.

    A shrinking base of employment.

    Political alienation.

    An expansion in polarized religious bigotry.

    Eroding family cohesiveness and the
    consequential loss of parental guidance, and

    A skyrocketing demand for illicit drugs.


    Which one of these is more important? And does anyone really
    think that remedying one will solve them all?

  • Drew You Too


  • Jr9del

    If prosecutions for 2008 were in earnest, Americans would know who is, and who is not, a viable candidate for the White House, and a responsible Congress, but the lip service offered as excuses prevents Occupy or anyone from trusting in America for the time being.

  • Pingback: Knowledge is Power | Citizens United

  • Pingback: Crime of the Century | Citizens United

  • Guest

    Pay day providers take the necessary steps to ensure your money is secure and secured. Their acceptance prices are high and their process is clear and understandable. They appreciate the day to day problems everyone looks. They offer debtors the easiest way to get access to cash in a rush without the problem of excessive prices.

  • Pingback: Morals, Ethics, and the Role of Gov’t in a Capitalist Economy | Citizens United

  • Pingback: The Fiscal Cliff | Citizens United

Sep 17, 2014
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson watches from the sidelines against the Oakland Raiders during the second half of a preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (AP/Ann Heisenfelt)

The NFL’s Adrian Peterson and the emotional debate underway about how far is too far to go when it comes to disciplining children.

Sep 17, 2014
Bob Dylan and Victor Maymudes at "The Castle" in LA before the 1965 world tour. Lisa Law/The Archive Agency)

A new take on the life and music of Bob Dylan, from way inside the Dylan story. “Another Side of Bob Dylan.”

Sep 16, 2014
From "Rich Hill"

“Rich Hill,” a new documentary on growing up poor, now, in rural America. The dreams and the desperation.

Sep 16, 2014
Jasmin Torres helps classmate Brianna Rameles with a worksheet at the Diloreto Magnet School in New Britain, Conn., Wednesday Feb. 22, 2012. (AP/Charles Krupa)

More parents are “red-shirting” their children in kindergarten—holding them back for a year, hoping they’ll have an edge. Does it work? We look.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

More »
Beverly Gooden on #WhyIStayed
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

Beverly Gooden — who originated the #WhyIStayed hashtag that has taken off across Twitter — joined us today for our discussion on domestic violence.

More »
1 Comment
Tierney Sutton Plays LIVE For On Point
Friday, Sep 5, 2014

We break out Tierney Sutton’s three beautiful live tracks from our broadcast today for your listening pleasure.

More »