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William Black

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Nomi Prins, All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power

By: Saturday April 26, 2014 1:59 pm

Nomi Prins’ most recent book begins with the 1907 banking crisis and the double myth that it was ended by J. P. Morgan while the U.S. government stood helpless. She shows that it was a double myth in that the crisis was not ended – the underlying banking pathologies grew – and Morgan’s intervention would have failed even as a short-term measure but for Treasury’s largely funding “his” extensions of credit. She begins with the 1907 crisis both because it illustrates her central themes and because it is essential to understand how, when, and why the Federal Reserve System was created in 1913.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes L. Randall Wray, Modern Money Theory: A Primer on Macroeconomics for Sovereign Monetary Systems

By: Saturday January 5, 2013 1:59 pm

I am hosting the Firedoglake discussion of my colleague Randy Wray’s new “Primer” on macroeconomics. Macroeconomics is the study of the overall economy – economic growth, recessions, depressions, inflation, unemployment, and employment are big issues that macroeconomics studies. The key policies it addresses are usually divided into fiscal (tax and spending) and monetary policies (the growth of the money supply and setting interest rates).

The concept of monetary tools has broadened as we have seen the Federal Reserve change what had been a severely constrained “lender of last resort” function of the central bank into the most massive bailout program in history. Similarly, the central bank’s interest rate setting function that was long focused on short-term rates has expanded into large experiments that attempt to lower long-term interest rates (“quantitative easing”).

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Jeff Connaughton, The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins

By: Sunday October 21, 2012 1:59 pm

Jeff Connaughton has authored a powerful, and chilling insider’s perspective on the financial crisis and the pathetic governmental response to it. The second part of his title sums up the result and the first half explains why Wall Street always wins. Many, perhaps most Americans are likely to agree with both parts of Connaughton’s title so this book will not transform the public’s view of the issues. The public largely has this set of issues correct. Connaughton gives the readers unique access to the facts because he had a front row seat to many of the key discussions and he has the analytical abilities and expertise to explain the significance of those facts.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Dylan Ratigan, Greedy Bastards: How We Can Stop Corporate Communists, Banksters, and Other Vampires from Sucking America Dry

By: Sunday January 15, 2012 1:59 pm

Dylan Ratigan is well positioned to author a book, designed to be an enjoyable and informative read by normal humans, on the ongoing financial crisis. He is the wunderkind who became Global Managing Editor for Corporate Finance of Bloomberg, the premier news service that specializes in finance, at an exceptionally young age. He was at CNBC while that network was hyping the housing bubble as a non-bubble offering fantastic investment opportunities.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Matthew Richardson, Guaranteed to Fail: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Debacle of Mortgage Finance

By: Sunday August 14, 2011 1:59 pm

Any analysis that ignores control fraud is certain to distract us from the reforms essential to prevent our recurrent, intensifying financial crises. Ignoring fraud led the authors to propose reforms that are criminogenic.

Obama Haters Praise His Tax Policies Because They Believe Those Policies Will Make Him Fail

By: Tuesday December 14, 2010 6:03 am

The ideal result for supporters of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy is to get them extended in a manner that allows Republicans to escape from the suicidal bargaining position they were in on holding taxes for 98% of American taxpayers hostage and blocking the extension of unemployment benefits, in a fashion in which the Republicans get to take primary credit for all of the tax cuts, and while causing the President to betray his campaign promises and launch an attack on his strongest supporters – an attack taken word-for-word out of the Republican playbook. That is precisely what they’ve achieved. They did not achieve the result through brilliance and they cannot achieve it without cowardice and ineptitude on the part of the Democrats.

If Obama Thinks the Response to the S&L Debacle Failed, Why Is He Adopting It?

By: Monday November 1, 2010 8:45 am

Obama channels former Savings and Loan regulator Dick Pratt’s disastrous cover-up strategy.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Raghuram G. Rajan, Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy

By: Saturday October 23, 2010 1:59 pm

Dr. Raghuram G. Rajan, is a distinguished professor at the University of Chicago’s business school and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Readers familiar with Chicago school economics will see that the crisis has not led to a fundamental reevaluation of that school’s policy recommendations. The title of his book captures his thesis – Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures still Threaten the World Economy. Rajan writes clearly and his book is intended for the intelligent lay reader. His book contains no charts, graphs, or equations, doubtless at the urgings of the Princeton University Press. It is an ambitious book, for it seeks to explain the global crisis and different trends in the real economy and the financial sector in many nations.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Richard D. Wolff, Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It

By: Saturday July 17, 2010 2:00 pm

Dr. Wolff is a prominent Marxist economist who teaches at U. Mass and The New School. The book is composed of scores of short essays he did for Monthly Review beginning in 2005. The publicity blurb sent to potential reviewers states that Dr. Wolff “predicted the economic meltdown years ago.” The book does not contain specific predictions of the meltdown beyond the omnipresent Marxist prediction that capitalism is inherently unstable. Dr. Wolff’s articles take note of the bubble and nonprime assets in the articles in the book after the collapse of the bubble and after the crisis in nonprime assets were obvious. Readers interested in the scholars that predicted the specific crisis should consult Jamie Galbraith’s article.

Dr. Wolff’s emphasis is explaining his overall Marxist critique of capitalism’s defects. The articles can be read easily by the general reader. No economic expertise is required and Dr. Wolff writes in English without the Marxist jargon that non-specialists find confusing.

A Tale of Two Paulsons

By: Wednesday April 21, 2010 7:46 am

The Senate Banking Committee released the findings from its investigation of Washington Mutual – the largest S&L and largest bank failure. My research specialty is “control fraud.” These are frauds led by those that control seemingly legitimate entities and use them as a “weapon” to defraud. Financial control frauds’ “weapon of choice” is accounting. Lenders optimize accounting fraud by following a four-part recipe:

Extreme growth
Making bad loans at high interest rates
Extreme leverage
Trivial loss reserves

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