When the 2008 financial crisis hit, Iceland had a very different response than the United States. Iceland let the big banks fail, nationalized them and prosecuted the bankers, sending 26 of the bank executives to jail for fraud and market manipulation. In the US, no high level bankers were prosecuted and the big banks were bailed out through Quantitative Easing which bought bad debt burdening the big banks. The weak response in the US means that fraud and corruption by big finance continue and we are facing an unstable market which many people predict will crash again within the year. We speak with Bill Black of the newly formed Bank Whistleblowers United about the plan they have outlined to instill the rule of law on Wall Street and end fraud with the hope of mitigating the effects of the next financial crisis. And we speak with Randall Wray, an expert in financial instability and macroeconomics, about alternatives to the current financial system that would bring greater stability.
Listen live at 11 am Eastern here:
Relevant articles and websites:
Iceland Sentences 26 Corrupt Bankers to 74 Years in Prison by Grouch E Geezr
Did Financial Giant Goldman Sachs Just Admit the System is Rigged? interview of Bill Black by Jessica Desvarieux
He is the author of “The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One.” He was the Executive Director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention from 2005-2007. He has taught previously at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and at Santa Clara University, where he was also the distinguished scholar in residence for insurance law and a visiting scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. Black was litigation director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, deputy director of the FSLIC, SVP and general counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and senior deputy chief counsel, Office of Thrift Supervision. He was deputy director of the National Commission on Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement. Black developed the concept of “control fraud” frauds in which the CEO or head of state uses the entity as a “weapon.” Control frauds cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime combined. He recently helped the World Bank develop anti-corruption initiatives and served as an expert for OFHEO in its enforcement action against Fannie Mae’s former senior management.
Bill Black has testified before the Senate Agricultural Committee on the regulation of financial derivatives and House Governance Committee on the regulation of executive compensation. He was interviewed by Bill Moyers on PBS, which went viral. He gave an invited lecture at UCLA’s Hammer Institute which, when the video was posted on the web, drew so many “hits” that it crashed the UCLA server. He appeared extensively in Michael Moore’s most recent documentary: “Capitalism: A Love Story.” He was featured in the Obama campaign release discussing Senator McCain’s role in the “Keating Five.” (Bill took the notes of that meeting that led to the Senate Ethics investigation of the Keating Five. His testimony was highly critical of all five Senators’ actions.) He is a frequent guest on local, national, and international television and radio and is quoted as an expert by the national and international print media nearly every week. He was the subject of featured interviews in Newsweek, Barron’s, and Village Voice.
Randall Wray, Ph.D. is Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Research Director with the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability and Senior Research Scholar at The Levy Economics Institute. His research expertise is in: financial instability, macroeconomics, and full employment policy. He also blogs at New Economic Perspectives.