Former top bank regulator Professor William Black says there is no hiding the cesspool that is Wall Street. Dr. Black says, “People on Wall Street agree that the system is rigged. You get them into a bar, they will say the same thing. When Bernie Sanders says the business plan of Wall Street is fraud, that’s simply an accurate, objective fact. That is their key profit center . . . and it’s not just here. The United States has been in a competition with the United Kingdom (UK) for decades now on this race to the bottom with the City of London and Wall Street. The UK Parliamentary Inquiry, which is run by the Tories, found as a fact that . . . all of the retail profits of the largest banks in the United Kingdom came from the deliberate or ‘mis-selling’ of products to customers. . . . They deliberately ripped off entrepreneurs. They deliberately ripped off their customers, and the Tories found it represented all of their retail profits. . . . You are talking in the range of $80 billion.”
Why have a totally fraudulent financial system? Dr. Black, who is an expert in white-collar crime, says, “It’s hard to make money with competition. It’s really hard. People who have never been in business don’t understand how hard real competition is. Real competition makes it hard to prosper, but if you rig the system, it makes it easy. The reward for rigging is phenomenal. We are talking every year, hundreds of billions of dollars in bonus compensation. It’s far more than their straight salaries, and it is going to folks that it wouldn’t go to them if they didn’t rig the system. And, no one is prosecuted. They don’t even give back the fraud proceeds, even when they catch them red-handed.”
This means that when banks donate to top candidates in both parties, they are donating fraudulent banker profits. So, both the political system and the financial system are based on fraud. Can fraud destabilize the entire system? Dr. Black, who is also a professor of both economics and law at UMKC, says, “Obviously, it is the worst possible thing to do in terms of stability. The way you rig these things doesn’t just make you wealthy, it creates asset bubbles, massive asset bubbles, the biggest in history, and it’s not just in the United States. . . . The biggest asset bubble right now has to be in China. . . . The estimated loss for the United States over the course for ‘The Great Recession’ (or 2008 meltdown) is $24.3 trillion. . . . This has been a catastrophe for much of the world.”
One thing that could trip up the economy, derivatives or trillions of dollars of global debt bets between big banks in the U.S. Dr. Black says, “Not only is the number massive, but 95% of that number is in only six banks in the United States. So, that’s a separate but critical issue. We don’t even have the honesty, and I mean globally, to call these things by their right name. By definition, these are ‘systemically dangerous institutions,’ but we call them ‘systemically important’ like they deserve a gold star. They’re not important. They don’t help the world. Even the Fed says the way you get on this list is because when you fail, you are likely to cause a global crisis. Notice how I used the word ‘when’ not ‘if.’ We have roughly 25 of these systemically dangerous institutions in the United States. We have around 35 of these systemically dangerously institutions globally on top of that. So, we roll the dice just in the United States 25 times every day to see when the next one will blow up. . . . The fraud makes things very fragile.”
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Greg is the producer and creator of USAWatchdog.com. The site’s slogan is “analyzing the news to give you a clear picture of what’s really going on.” The site will keep an eye on the government, your financial interests and cut through the media spin. USAWatchdog.com is neither Democrat nor Republican, Liberal or Conservative. Before creating and producing the site, Greg spent nearly 9 years as a network and investigative correspondent. He worked for ABC News and Good Morning America for nearly 6 years. Most recently, Greg worked for CNN for shows such as Paula Zahn Now, American Morning and various CNN business shows.