Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Naming Names: A Baker's Dozen of Financial Rogues

Late last week, in the penultimate edition of Bill Moyer's Journal (which ends forever this week) the best journalist in television interviewed Prof. William K. Black. Refreshingly, Prof. Black names names while discussing who should bear responsibility for bringing the world to the edge of financial collapse during the waning days of the Bush Administration.

It's a crowded, bi-partisan recitation of rogues, sociopaths, and bureaucratic nitwits. The list includes --
  1. Federal regulators who did everything they could to subvert prudential financial regulations;
  2. Alan Greenspan and other directors of the Federal Reserve;
  3. Mortgage loan brokers who deliberately wrote and then palmed off on others "liar's loans;"
  4. Corporate banking executives who fired whistle-blowers and promoted cheats and con-men;
  5. Accountants who deliberately failed to call out liar's loans for fear of losing customers;
  6. "Pathogenic" employee pay policies that rewarded fraud while punishing honesty;
  7. Timothy Geithner, former head of the influential New York FED during the Bush Administration and now Obama's U.S. Treasury Secretary;
  8. Bush appointees (former) SEC chairman Cris Cox and FED chairman Ben Bernanke;
  9. The giant blood-sucking "vampire squid" known as Goldman Sachs;
  10. "Top" Goldman Sachs executives from CEO Lloyd Blankfein on down the corporate chain of command;
  11. The entire "Bush wrecking crew" of anti-regulation regulators who remain to this day embedded in the federal bureaucracy;
  12. Goldman Sachs alum Robert Rubin's many "protégés" whom President Obama has named to virtually every choke-point in the financial regulatory system; and
  13. As a bonus, the extremist ideologues in Academia and on the bench who teach and write that Wall Street doesn't need and shouldn't enforce anti-fraud laws because the system is "self-cleansing." Really. They teach that to young business students.
Undoubtedly, this is only a partial list. Prof. Black didn't even mention former Texas senator Phil (Mr. Enron") Gramm, or Wall Street's bond-rating agencies, or all of the Senators and Congressmen who voted to abolish Glass-Steagall. These self-dealing gamblers all played a major part in bringing about the near-collapse of the American economy, too.

The televised interview can be seen here. A written transcript is here.

No comments: