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Bill Black on Democracy Now!

October 19, 2011

This morning, Amy Goodman interviewed one of my former University of Missouri-Kansas City professors, Bill Black, as Democracy Now! held its live broadcast in the Kansas City area for the public television broadcasters at NETA.

Among the topics Professor Black discussed were the Occupy Wall Street movement, deregulation and fraud. He also took time to lambaste Timothy Geithner, Ben Bernanke and President Obama, in addition to others.

When he was asked about the wrecking crew, Professor Black responded:

And we’ve been living for some years in the time of President Obama, and he has done absolutely nothing to reestablish the criminal referral process. And as a result, there are virtually no prosecutions of any elites.

When people tell you this crisis couldn’t have been stopped—I’ll give you two simple things. First, these liars’ loans that caused this crisis—and it’s overwhelmingly lenders that put the lie in liars’ loans—they were big in 1990 and 1991. We killed them by regular regulatory means and stopped a crisis for a decade. Our successors—I mean, how hard is it to figure out that something called a “liar’s loan” shouldn’t be allowed? This was not tough.

The second thing is, the FBI warned, in open testimony in the House of Representatives, picked up by the national media, in September 2004, that there was an epidemic of mortgage fraud and predicted it would cause a financial crisis—their exact words. And the regulators did nothing, because you had the Alan Greenspans of the world and the Harvey Pitts of the world, who were selected because they were the leading opponents of effective regulation in America. Well, you know, you create a self-fulfilling prophecy of regulatory failure, and then turn around and say, “Well, you can’t trust the government. It fails.”

To listen to the full interview with Bill Black and/or read the transcripts, click here.

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