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Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One

A refreshingly candid video can be found on PBS web site, with Bill Moyer interviewing author William K. Black. (Click to watch) Mr. Black wrote about S&L scandal of the early 90's, writing a book called "The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One", 2005.

If you prefer, a transcript can be found by clicking here.

Mr. Black candidly point out several items about the current USA financial situation, echoing my previous posts, some highlights:
The section below, I marked in Italic, I didn't even know about. The FBI WARNED of the massive fraud of mortgages back in 2004!! So the next time someone says no one could see this coming, refer back to my previous posts from Peter Schiff, Jim Rogers, Marc Faber, and others, and the FBI record by clicking here!
WILLIAM K. BLACK: The FBI publicly warned, in September 2004 that there was an epidemic of mortgage fraud, that if it was allowed to continue it would produce a crisis at least as large as the Savings and Loan debacle. And that they were going to make sure that they didn't let that happen. So what goes wrong? After 9/11, the attacks, the Justice Department transfers 500 white-collar specialists in the FBI to national terrorism. Well, we can all understand that. But then, the Bush administration refused to replace the missing 500 agents. So even today, again, as you say, this crisis is 1000 times worse, perhaps, certainly 100 times worse, than the Savings and Loan crisis. There are one-fifth as many FBI agents as worked the Savings and Loan crisis.
BILL MOYERS: You talk about the Bush administration. Of course, there's that famous photograph of some of the regulators in 2003, who come to a press conference with a chainsaw suggesting that they're going to slash, cut business loose from regulation, right?
WILLIAM K. BLACK: Well, they succeeded. And in that picture, by the way, the other — three of the other guys with pruning shears are the...
WILLIAM K. BLACK: To know everything. To know who committed the frauds. Whose bonuses we should recover. How much the assets are worth. How much they should be sold for. Is the bank insolvent, such that we should resolve it in this way? It's the predicate, right? You need to know the facts to make intelligent decisions. And they're deliberately leaving in place the people that caused the problem, because they don't want the facts. And this is not new. The Reagan Administration's central priority, at all times, during the Savings and Loan crisis, was covering up the losses.
BILL MOYERS: So, you're saying that people in power, political power, and financial power, act in concert when their own behinds are in the ringer, right?
I recently wrote about people acting in concert (no need for conspiracy) to reach common goals.
The entire speech is worth a read or listening to. I wanted to highlight those specific aspects of the interview. Thanks Lou for forwarding the video link!

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