Posts Tagged ‘William K. Black’

William K. Black on ‘Financial Racketeering;’ Government Coverup; a 250% Tax Increase

William K Black on ‘Financial Racketeering;’ Government Coverup; a 250% Tax Increase

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

The interview with William K. Black starts at 13:00 in this video and is well worth seeing.

Gresham’s Dynamic: The least ethically inclined have an advantage in the US financial system (in which regulatory capture nullifies enforcement) driven by perverse incentives of oversized bonuses and the failure to investigate and prosecute criminal activity.

In addition to the overhang of unindicted and undeclared fraud that is still in place, distorting the clearing of the markets, there is the issue of an imbalanced economy in which an oversized financial sector exacts what amounts to a draconian tax on the real economy, that is, fees and tariffs and other unproductive drains in excess of anything that the government is levying.

What Do You Get for a 250% Tax Increase?

As I recall the percentage of financial sector profits to corporate profits recently peaked at 41%, from a long run average of less than 16%. Granted, this is a bit theoretical because of the pervasive accounting fraud in the banks and the corporations.

I wonder what the percentage of profit, pre-bonus, is being enjoyed now?

This can be viewed as a form of a tax. If the government raised taxes from 16% to 41% what do you think the impact on the US economy would be? And yet there is little discussion of this, or the racketeering that accompanied such a festival of looting.

Yet conceptually this is what has been accomplished through the deregulation of the banks and the repeal of Glass-Steagall, and of course, regulatory capture. The financial sector acts primarily as a capital accumulation and allocation system, and secondarily to facilitate wealth transferals through pure investment and speculation, the famous school of winners and losers. I would suggest that this latter function has grown out of control like a cancer, and metastasized to drain and debilitate the better part of the political system and the non-financial economy.

I would suggest that this system is broken, and that there can be no sustainable recovery until it is fixed. How can confidence return when most of those in the know realize that the fraud is still in play? Who can take positions with confidence in such a corrupt…
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How the Servant Became a Predator: Finance’s Five Fatal Flaws

Here’s an excellent, must-read article by William K. Black.  Special thanks to New Deal 2.0. - Ilene

How the Servant Became a Predator: Finance’s Five Fatal Flaws

By Bill Black, Courtesy of New Deal 2.0

money-shark-150 - preditor stateRoosevelt Institute Braintruster William K. Black explains how the finance economy preys on the real economy instead of serving it. He shows how both have become dysfunctional and warns that we must not neglect the real economy — the source of our jobs, our incomes, and the creator of goods and services — as we focus on financial reform.

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.

1. The financial sector harms the real economy.

Even when not in crisis, the financial sector harms the real economy. First, it is vastly too large. The finance sector is an intermediary — essentially a “middleman”. Like all middlemen, it should be as small as possible, while still being capable of accomplishing its mission. Otherwise it is inherently parasitical. Unfortunately, it is now vastly larger than necessary, dwarfing the real economy it is supposed to serve. Forty years ago, our real economy grew better with a financial sector that received one-twentieth as large a percentage of total profits (2%) than does the current financial sector (40%). The minimum measure of how much damage the bloated, grossly over-compensated finance sector causes to the real economy is this massive increase in the share of total national income wasted through the finance sector’s parasitism.

Second, the finance sector is worse than parasitic. In the title of his recent book, The Predator State, James Galbraith aptly names the problem. The financial sector functions as the sharp canines that the predator state uses to rend the nation. In addition to siphoning off capital for its own benefit, the finance sector misallocates the remaining capital in ways that harm the real economy in order to reward already-rich financial elites harming the nation. The facts are alarming:

• Corporate stock repurchases…
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Citi Takes Billions in Taxpayer Bailout Money, Then Focuses on Lending to Those Who Don’t Really Need Loans

Citi Takes Billions in Taxpayer Bailout Money, Then Focuses on Lending to Those Who Don’t Really Need Loans

George

Courtesy of George at Washington’s Blog

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Executives at the New York company plan to narrow the focus of Citigroup’s U.S. branch network to six major metropolitan areas, according to people familiar with the situation. Citigroup also will limit its overall consumer lending in the U.S. primarily to credit cards and "jumbo" mortgages, while catering largely to affluent customers.

Huffington Post writes:

Citigroup, which has received $45 billion in TARP funds — in addition to billions in government asset guarantees — has come up with a brash tax-payer funded restructuring plan: cut U.S. locations and limit most lending to only the wealthy.

Actually, Citigroup got a "secret $230 billion bailout", according to Congressman Alan Grayson.

In any event, as we have been writing for a year, the bailouts won’t do anything to increase loans to those who really need them – average individuals and small businesses. Indeed, just today, the bailout’s Special Inspector General – Neil Barofsky – said that the Troubled Asset Relief Program has failed to increase bank lending. And that, in turn, may mean that the economy won’t recover any time soon.

As Huffington Post puts it:

For U.S. taxpayers, however, the larger question is why taxpayer money should have gone to a bank that is now looking to severely scale back both its lending and retail presence.

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/24/citigroup-locations-to-be_n_298189.html

Note: I understand that some will argue that Citi is just being prudent, shifting from riskier to safer loans.

But as William K. Black – senior regulator during the S&L crisis, professor of Economics and Law, and an expert on white collar financial crime – says, the banks intentionally made loans to people who are uncreditworthy, because they’ll agree to pay you more, and that’s how you grow rapidly. You can grow really fast if you loan to people who can’t you pay you back.

This combination guarantees stratospheric initial profits during the expansion phase of the bubble. But it guarantees a catastrophic subsequent failure when the bubble loses steam. And collectively – if a lot of companies are…
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The Great American Bankruptcy

Here’s an excellent documentary video called "The Great American Bankruptcy."  H/t Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge, who h/tipped Ian.  William K. Black, a white collar criminologist, discusses the financial crisis and our pseudo-capitalistic fraud-ridden system. - Ilene

William Kurt Black is an American lawyer, academic, author, and a former bank regulator. Black’s expertise is in white-collar crime, public finance, regulation, and other topics in law and economics. He developed the concept of "control fraud", in which a business or national executive uses the entity he or she controls as a "weapon" to commit fraud.  

On April 3, 2009 Black appeared on "Bill Moyers Journal" on PBS and provided critical commentary on the U.S. banking crisis. In the interview with Bill Moyers, Black asserted that the banking crisis in the United States that started in late 2008 is essentially a big Ponzi scheme; that the "liar loans" and other financial tricks were essentially illegal frauds; and that the triple-A ratings given to these loans was part of a criminal cover-up.

More at Wikipedia here.  

 


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Zero Hedge

Visualizing Key Generation-Defining Events In US History

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Looking back at history is a necessity when trying to understand what the future may hold.

Using insights from our Generational Power Index 2021 report, along with survey data from Pew Research in 2016, Visual Capitalist's ...



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Phil's Favorites

Here's how much your personal information is worth to cybercriminals - and what they do with it

 

Here’s how much your personal information is worth to cybercriminals – and what they do with it

The black market for stolen personal information motivates most data breaches. aleksey-martynyuk/iStock via Getty Images

Courtesy of Ravi Sen, Texas A&M University

Data breaches have become common, and billions of records are stolen worldwide every year. Most of the media coverage of data brea...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Herd immunity appears unlikely for COVID-19, but CDC says vaccinated people can ditch masks in most settings

 

Herd immunity appears unlikely for COVID-19, but CDC says vaccinated people can ditch masks in most settings

A woman walks by a sign in New York City amid the coronavirus pandemic on March 30, 2021. Noam Galai/Getty Images

Courtesy of William Petri, University of Virginia

When COVID-19 first began spreading, public health and medical experts began talking about the need for the U.S. to reach herd immunity to stop the coronavirus from spreading. Experts have estimated that between 60% and 90% of people in the U.S. w...



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Digital Currencies

Dogecoin Soars After Musk Tweets "Working With Doge Developers To Improve System Efficiency"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Just when you thought things couldn't get any more surreal after the past 24 hours, moments ago Elon Musk, who last night rejected bitcoin because its mining is "bad for the environment" as it consumes a lot of electricity (just wait until Elon discovers how all those rare earth metals that are in every electric car are mined, or what those electric cars run on), moments ago Musk poked the hornets nest again, and shortly after tweeting that 'it's high time there was a carbon tax'...

It is high time there was a carbon tax!

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2021

...

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Chart School

RTT browsing latest..

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Please review a collection of WWW browsing results. The information here is delayed by a few months, members get the most recent content.



Date Found: Sunday, 22 November 2020, 05:47:49 PM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.


Comment: Bitcoin ambitions ...



Date Found: Sunday, 22 November 2020, 05:48:34 PM

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Comment: PMI juiced back up ...



Date Found: Sunday, 22 November 2020, 05:49:42 PM
...

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Politics

If China's middle class continues to thrive and grow, what will it mean for the rest of the world?

 

If China's middle class continues to thrive and grow, what will it mean for the rest of the world?

Over the past few decades, hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens have become part of the middle class. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Courtesy of Amitrajeet A. Batabyal, Rochester Institute of Technology

China’s large and impressive accomplishments over the past four decades have spurred scholars and politicians to debate whether the decline of the West – including the ...



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ValueWalk

Managing Investments As A Charity Or Nonprofit

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Maintaining financial viability is a constant challenge for charities and nonprofit organizations.

Q4 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The past year has underscored that challenge. The pandemic has not just affected investment returns – it’s also had serious implications for charitable activities and the ability to fundraise. For some organizations, it’s even raised doubts about whether they can continue to operate.

Finding ways to generate long-term, sustainable returns for ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Will Historic Selloff In Treasury Bonds Turn Into Opportunity?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Long-dated treasury bonds have been crushed over the past year, sending ETFs like TLT (20+ Year US Treasury Bond ETF) spiraling over 20%.

Improving economy? Inflation concerns? Perhaps a combination of both… interest rates have risen sharply and thus bond prices have fallen in historic fashion.

Today’s chart looks at $TLT over the past 20 years. As you can see, the recent decline has truly been historic. $TLT’s price has swung from historically overbought highs to oversold lows.

At present, the long-dated bond ETF ($TLT) is trading 7.8% below its 200-...



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Mapping The Market

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

 

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

Courtesy of Marcus Lu, Visual Capitalist

The Suez Canal: A Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

On March 23, 2021, a massive ship named Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic in both directions. According to the Suez Canal Authority, the 1,312 foot long (400 m) container ship ran aground during a sandstorm that caused low visibility, impacting the ship’s navigation. The vessel is owned by Taiwanese shipping firm, Evergreen Marine.

With over 2...



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Promotions

Phil's Stock World's Weekly Webinar - March 10, 2021

Don't miss our latest weekly webinar! 

Join us at PSW for LIVE Webinars every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 PM EST.

Phil's Stock World's Weekly Webinar – March 10, 2021

 

Major Topics:

00:00:01 - EIA Petroleum Status Report
00:04:42 - Crude Oil WTI
00:12:52 - COVID-19 Update
00:22:08 - Bonds and Borrowed Funds | S&P 500
00:45:28 - COVID-19 Vaccination
00:48:32 - Trading Techniques
00:50:34 - PBR
00:50:43 - LYG
00:50:48 - More Trading Techniques
00:52:59 - Chinese Hacks Microsoft's E...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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