Sunday, April 25, 2010

See Bill Moyer's Blog: Bush defacto deregulated secuarities and lending

I just got through watching the tv broadcast on PBS and so looked for the blog. It's fascinating and scary. This is just a note to the interested reading about a source that would be good to check out. It's of my usual topic of theology.

William K Balck is he guest. He was an investigator for the Security and Savings and Loan fraud investigation in the 80s. Black tells Bill Moyers on THE JOURNAL that, despite evidence of fraud at the top banks, prosecutions seem far away. "If you go back to the savings and loan debacle, we got more than a thousand felony convictions of the elite. These are not, you know, tellers or something. We today have zero convictions, zero indictments, zero arrests of any of the elite, non-prime lenders that, through their fraud, drove this crisis."

The key sound byte I like best:

"Today's Economics schools are schools for Fraud," from the 
tv broadcast

quoting form the Moyers blog:
On Friday April 16, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission seemed to agree, charging Goldman Sachs with fraud in its representation of collatoralized debt obligations (CDOs) to its investors. At the heart of the case is whether Goldman Sachs was completely honest with potential investors about how the portfolio of CDOs was chosen. The SEC alleges that Goldman Sachs didn't acknowledge that the portfolio was assembled with the help of hedge fund manager John Paulson, who was planning on betting against the portfolio. Black explained why it could be a criminal matter:
It has nothing to do with the buyer being dumb. Any buyer would have wanted to know that this portfolio was set up to fail. That would have been material information within the language of the securities laws. And they were not only not told that, they were told the opposite, that it was picked so that it would succeed. That, if it's true, is a misrepresentation, or in English, a lie. And that would establish securities fraud. And that, by the way, is a felony, not just a civil wrong.

William K. Black, author of THE BEST WAY TO ROB A BANK IS TO OWN ONE, teaches economics and law at the University of Missouri — Kansas City (UMKC). He was the executive director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention from 2005-2007. He has taught previously at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and at Santa Clara University, where he was also the distinguished scholar in residence for insurance law and a visiting scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

A lot more on the Moyer's blog. I urge the reader to check it out.

Back to more theology soon....

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