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« The Times They Are A-Changin’? | Main | William K. Black on The Prompt Corrective Action Law »

Sharing the Blame for the Economic Crisis?

(Photo by Robin Holland)

Discussing the roots of the economic crisis with Bill Moyers on this week’s JOURNAL, former regulator Bill Black said that much of the blame lies with lenders for issuing “liars’ loans,” in which borrowers’ claims about their financial situation were not verified. He said:

“Liars’ loans mean that ‘We don’t check. You tell us what your income is, you tell us what your job is, you tell us what your assets are, and we agree to believe you. We won’t check on any of those things. And, by the way, you get a better deal if you inflate your income and your job history and your assets.’ We know they said that to borrowers. That’s what you do... They just gutted the verification process. We know that [it produces] enormous fraud under economic theory, criminology theory, and 2000 years of life experience.”

In a special feature published in February, TIME magazine included “American Consumers” in its list of “25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis:”

“In the third quarter of 2008, Americans began saving more and spending less. Hurrah! That only took 40 years to happen. We've been borrowing, borrowing, borrowing — living off and believing in the wealth effect, first in stocks, which ended badly, then in real estate, which has ended even worse. Now we're out of bubbles. We have a lot less wealth — and a lot more effect. Household debt in the U.S. — the money we owe as individuals — zoomed to more than 130% of income in 2007, up from about 60% in 1982. We enjoyed living beyond our means — no wonder we wanted to believe it would never end.”

What do you think?

  • Were lenders committing fraud? Why or why not?

  • How much responsibility, if any, do American borrowers and consumers bear for the present economic crisis? Explain.


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    Comments

    2009 has been a great year. Felony crimes in New York City and Washington DC are at their lowest levels in many years. Home sales and spending are on the rise. The Dow is up 20% from last year at this time. Despite the Republican's attempt to make the economy fail like boycotting GM. Because GOP's are Anti-American/Anti-Government, and because they are pissed their candidate didn't win (sore losers) they would put American workers out of jobs by not buying from them. Not very Patriotic of the Republicans now is it? Of course, it also wasn't very patriotic of GOP's to re-elect Bush (after he lied to start a war in Iraq) or to vote for McCain (who condoned a corrupt war in Iraq) and then send then children off to a nice, safe, fun college instead of enlist them in the military. If Republican's want to be war-mongols, the LEAST thing they could do is back up their vote and send their kids to war. Everyone is happier, oh, except the whiny sore losing GOP's who hate everything and want to make it sound like 2009 was so bad.

    The financial sector that was deregulated by W's Administration was a flop beyond flops.

    Amazing how GOP's NOW are interested in details on what Obama will do with 2 wars, one of which Bush lied in order to start. GOP's didn't care about details or the TRUTH when it came to WAR when idiot Bush was in charge. No exit strategy, no problem. No weapons of mass destruction, no problem.

    For a real though rather alarming account concerning national security and our fight against terrorism, read Against All Enemies:Inside America's War On Terror by Richard A. Clarke.

    Why anyone would ask whether lenders were committing fraud is one for the books. In an earlier day in America, they would have been lynched long ago. In Islam, they would have been shot.

    Anna D | April 10, 2009 12:32 PM

    Hi Anna,
    In all honesty, i had not considered the medical reasons for the existence of Similac when writting that comment. But in all fairness to both of us, I wonder how many of those moms really do use it for medical conditions and how many don't? If it's a 50-50 result, then I recant the part about similac, but I don't think that is the case. My whole argument in that part was about the conditioned upbringing of young females by way of word of mouth, or through family advice or customs, or through friends, or just simply through media (or even doctors advice) that synthetic milk is "okay".... that is, the whole attitude of "yeah sure, what the heck! it's okay i guess...hey, i gotta go to work or i'm too busy or tired and i just don't have the time to breastfeed my baby...the doctor said it was okay, i guesss"

    i think it was chris rock who said "we are the only country where we can afford the luxury of being lactose entolerant" "do you think, someone ir Ruwanda is allergic to milk??" (i'm paraphrasing)

    granted, you do have a case in point, although it's a small one in this context.

    chris dorf | April 10, 2009 1:55 AM

    Thank you Chris,
    you know what surprises me, as many as they are, most people's comments here in this blog and also in Bill Moyer's Journal in general, are indeed intelligent; or at least they seem to write with content. Yet the opposition, meaning the uneducated comformists or the educated defenders of the stablishment, is so vast that it is very very difficult for good-minded folks to make a difference soon enough. At the same time, it goes to show just how the forces of good are superior to those of evil because, although we are lesser in numbers, the world still hasn't exploted with h-boms and bio-weapons; as it would have been the case far too long ago had there not been any good!

    Mr. Johnny: We (MS) made most of our money (slight loss) last quarter in the origination of new residential mortgage instruments as did B of A and Wells. One might ask to whom these contracts were written, the sustainability of the contracts and the market disposition of said instruments in bundles. Have the "bad" practices ended? I suspect not. An enterprise tends to continue doing what produces ready revenue in a crisis. And then we of course have the "full faith and credit of the United States" (taxpayers) behind us, even bolstering our hollow profit reports.
    Our greatest losses last quarter, as were those of others, were in the commercial real estate market, not as much demand for retail and office. Though this is not my area of expertise, wiser heads tell me a wave is building. How big is your Rocket? (brain)

    "Were lenders committing fraud? Why or why not?"

    Lenders created a situation that clearly incentivized fraud to such an extent that it became inevitable. They created a system that penalized honest reporting of income by loan applicants. Didn't individual loan agents often advise applicants to lie?

    When those in desperate need of money are told that their only option is to inflate their income, as directed by a loan officer, what choice do they have? Is is foolish to expect the poor to stand up and demand to be denied a loan.

    However, the most significant fraud began earlier. Rich entities like sovereign wealth funds, in an endless quest to accumulate yet more wealth without honest labor or production, sought new financial markets. To accommodate them, the financial industry invented the idea of bundling mortgage-backed securities. That was a bad idea.

    The real fraud was committed by those who solicited these loans. The bundlers drove this mess, and blew as much into the mortgage bubble as they possibly could.

    When it all hit the fan, the bundlers split, taking the cash with them. The banks they had sold these liabilities to can't go after them, so instead they have taken taxpayer bailouts, and doubled interest rates for even the most responsible credit card customers.

    "How much responsibility, if any, do American borrowers and consumers bear for the present economic crisis? Explain."

    None. The idea that the poor and working class created this mess is as ridiculous as it is insulting. They are to some degree responsible for their own individual financial situations, but have absolutely nothing to do with the creation of this economic fiasco.

    This financial disaster, like most, was created by people of unfathomable wealth. In fact, the only financial disasters not created by the rich are those created by natural disasters like famine, flood and disease. And even those disasters are often exacerbated by economic policies of the wealthy.

    As technology makes it possible to fashion public opinion and perception with greater ease in less time, the rewriting of history occurs ever earlier.

    Those responsible for the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression (at least here in the U.S.) do what any toddler might be expected to do when caught: They blame others.

    Given the gullibility and profound ignorance of many Americans, this is an effective strategy. Working people, and those who were working people before their jobs were sacrificed for the convenience of the corporations they served, need to educate themselves about economics: Not free-market capitalism, but economics.

    - Black makes accusations about slimy CEOs looking out only for their personal bottom line. That may be true, and I am sure it is at some level, but when Moyers asks him about where to send a 'bird dog' to find these guys, Black says, essentially, that it hasn't been done. How then can he say, with any integrity, that he knows there are dirty CEOs when he hasn't seen the facts for himself?

    - He talks about 'liars loans' as a problem for borrowers who aren't honest about their income, but he makes that a problem for the lender and let's the lying borrower off 'Scot free'. That is a core problem for these types of Democrats, in that somehow it can't possible be about personal responsibility, and it always has to be somebody else's fault - especially if the somebody else is a corporate big wig. Moyers heaps on this as he draws attention to the lender's fraud without even a mention of the borrower's fraud.

    - He also does not seem to address any congressinal collusion with the 'gutting' of the verification process. Again ... blame corporate baddies and give personal responsibility a pass.

    - Who started the 'look' into the 'rating agencies' about a year ago? Could it have been someone with the Bush administration? Was it Republicans in congress? We know it wasn't Dodd, Barney Frank, Obama, or Pelosi, since all were shoring up Fannie and Freddie (as they continue to do). Yet is WAS under Dubya's watch.

    - At about 10 minutes in he acknowledges there are already laws on the books to prosecute such fraud, yet a blind eye was turned. Do we really need more laws?

    - He also brings up the FBI warnings in 2004 (that was during the Bush years, if I'm not mistaken ;-), but then goes back to a reallocation of 2001 (post 9/11) FBI personnel, then tries to tie them together as if Bush not replacing those agents means he was complicit in not securing investigations into the problems. We both know the president can't write any checks, so adding 500 (or any number of FBI agents) to research potential fraud in an industry that congress is in bed with (again, see Dodd, Pelosi, Frank, and yes, McCain at some level) can't exactly be laid at Dubya's feet, especially since his charge is more to keep the country safe from events like 9/11 (which he did a pretty good job of, in case we didn't notice ;-)

    - YouTube has the video showing the Republicans in congress calling for more regulation and Democrats like Maxine Waters, and others saying, "No. We're good. Fannie Mae and Freddie are solid" That was during Dubya's years also, yet seems to go unnoticed by Black and Moyers.

    - They get into the regulation discussion after Moyers does a "could it be possible?" that Democrats also were involved, as with Bill Clinton? And even then you'll notice that the sins Black says Clinton committed were 'bi-partisan', but somehow Dubya's sins were not? Wouldn't that be considered a media 'bias'?

    - He reasons at about 14:50 that putting in new people to head the banks, as has been done with GM, doesn't make any sense. He says they wouldn't want to put good and honest people into places where the damage has been done, but they were willing to do that with GM, so what is the real difference? He doesn't quite make that clear.

    - Ah ... some clear truth about Geithner at 15:34, then Obama. Let me say, at this point, that I was no fan of Dubya's 'bailout' out (via Paulson), and am even less of a fan as it fell into the hands of the czar of governmental expansion, BHO. However, all is still being done under the guiding and check writing hand of a Democrat controlled congress.

    - The political/financial incest of Goldman-Sachs/Paulson/AIG described at about 23 minutes in (if accurate) is exactly what I think disillusions people from just about everything that happens in DC and on Wall Street. How do we fight what happens there with our one little vote, and with lives rightly caught up in family, career, etc ? Can you say 'tea party'?

    - I do think he describes an interesting dilemma at about 24:50, because we know the stock market and financial markets often fluctuate on emotion and perception, and since we are all tied into those markets one way or another (our retirement accounts, our savings, the companies we work for, etc) then we have a vested interest in keeping them from emotionally driven roller coaster rides, or massive fluctuations from potentially inaccurate perceptions. Black assumes 'guarding' the status of crises is being done with nefarious intentions, but I think it is possible to be done with altruistic intentions. That altruism can easily be seen as naivete, in hindsight, or criminality, depending on which side of the aisle you sit on ;-)

    - Interesting point at 25:50 where he says it was our own integrity and ethics that kept 90 percent of CEOs from committing fraud, not the FBI and law enforcement. That's a world view that I do not prescribe to. You could say that some did not commit fraud because of personal integrity, etc, but the threat of punishment (or getting caught) has to loom large for most of us. Some 'liberal' thinkers like to say that the threat of jail or the death penalty, and the like, does not deter crime, but I would argue for quite the opposite. Exceptions exist, to be sure, but the thought of jail for most people is indeed a deterrent. Or the thought of losing a home, a wife, a car, a life, whatever you cherish, is a good motivator. We're all 'sinners'. Some of us just have a more well developed 'don't do that' meter, but the 'bad' part of us is still in there, don't ya think?

    - Regulation is becoming too simple a term, especially as Black lauds it. De-regulation has allowed me to get long distance phone calls for pennies a minute, or less. De-regulation allows me to get a cell phone for free, when I paid $600 for a grossly inferior one back in 1990. So the notion of 'deregulation' should not become a dirty word, even if more or different regulation may have been appropriate in this recent economic snafu.


    Chris, why you spamming us man?
    My response was direct, specific to the comments stated by the person!
    I never had any intention of spamming anyone or staying on top, as it seems your intention are.

    “Resolve our functional problems and bring about a revolution rather quickly!”
    I am shock when I read about “revolution” – “tearing each others apart” to resolve
    “functional problems.”
    To resolve functional problem is to eliminate ''oligarchy."
    Mr. Moyer looked it up and states, it means "Government by the few.
    Or a government in which a small group exercises control for corrupt and selfish purposes."
    It is true, “When people are actually threatened to the core, and enough people are
    threatened to the core that they just won't take it anymore.”
    It is a fact we have a system of government in “which a small group exercises control
    for corrupt and selfish purposes."
    STEP ONE -The functional problem is identified “Ramped corruption” in “which a small
    group exercises control for corrupt and selfish purposes."

    STEP TWO – Amend th CONSTITUTION – Empower the people to express their
    “WILL on ALL ISSUES!”

    STEP THREE – RESULTS “TRUE DIRECT DEMOCRACY” No more “OLIGARCHY.”

    William Mook wrote, in part, "Now we are blaming the poor who lost less than half a trillion dollars for a collapse of our banking system caused by wealth foreigners extracting nearly $8 trillion from the US economy during the past 8 years."

    All I keep hearing is how "in debt" USA is to other countries and here you say that the other countries took 8 trillion out of our economy on top of taking out technology and jobs.

    This "story" just keeps getting more nutz.

    Chris, why you spamming us man? haha - I came back this morning to see if I needed to answer any questions and noticed you spammed this group to keep your stuff on top. Well, I read past the first entry, many do, so relax man! haha - Billy Bob is right, you can't mandate honesty - any more than you can mandate 'dont spam' - in fact the stricter and more control you have - the more you have problems. The Soviets found this out. They had absolute control - on paper - but in reality - they went to hell. Same here. One of the cool things about a well functioning market is that it enforces honesty. That's because having dollars is what matters - and you have to have a dollar to have a dollar - you can't say you have it and then not have it and play the game. This causes rules to emerge naturally from the system. Complex instruments complex financial systems give rise to the ability to easily defraud folks. This wasn't the cause of the problems we have today. There was basically a run on the banks during the Bush administration - and the weak link - loans to the poor - collapsed - and Fox news is trying to make us believe that was the cause because it makes political points.

    The best feature of a functioning economy and democracy - in theory its never happened in practice not entirely - in fits and starts pieces and parts yes - but not as a single piece - the best feature is that it is an emergent system. Rules come up naturally and emerge because of the nature of the system. Its the same way ecology works. People often say of the marketplace and the real world - its a jungle out there - recalling nature red in tooth and claw - but stepping back and looking at the balance of the natural world - and the enforced honesty of kill or be killed - we can say at its best - markets function best when they are not managed or a product of thought - but a product of action. Of course we can be wise - we have that option. We can learn about the natural world, about Gaia, about the balance of nature - and externalize it and help it along. Ditto with what is going on with our economy and our political system. There are two aspects - a psychological aspect and a functional aspect. I posted earlier about function. Arrow's Paradox, Leontieff Tensors, and Medioni's feature space. These can resolve our functional problems and bring about a revolution rather quickly in the way democracy and markets work - and make good use of blogs and modern telecom - to bring about a sea change in weeks or months of the first functioning software arising. Not so difficult are the pschological problems - folks who spam - even folks who feel a need to explain things in detail - haha - can be said to have a psychological problem - and here too understanding helps us grow into something better. On the control side, well BF Skinner said it all and said it best in BEYOND FREEDOM AND DIGNITY - David Simon mentioned this briefly whether he knew it or not when he spoke of the guy at the one armed bandit in Vegas - BF Skinner wrote a chapter on the psychology of piece work and why workers routinely choose the worst plans to organize their work - with management help of course. That psychology is well described and a broad reading of Skinner would address it. The other more problematic issue are the deeper problem we ALL have - regarding self-respect. Alice Miller in her book DRAMA OF THE GIFTED CHILD shows that ALL of us have been disrespected as children. This creates in us ALL the NEED for respect, and the unconscious outcome that we disrespect out own children perpetuating the abuse generation to generation. This disease has infected the whole world, and we all suffer from this subconscious enemy. See, when we are disrespected as children, we grow into adults that value nothing more than respect. We do things designed solely to bring us respect, and our greatest fear is that we have lost the respect of others - because we lack self respect. When we look as children, we fear they will have an unearned feeling of self-respect and seek to disabuse them of it to help them - without realizing we are perpetuating the abuse that gave us the disease and are transmitting the disease generation to generation. Since everyone is sick precisely the same way, there are HUGE errors in judgment that none of us see, and lead to mysteries of why they happen. We also have predictable dramas built around predictable stories of respect - projecting blame outward and preserving our own tenuous self respect. But the fact that we ALL suffer is obvious to those who see. What do adults who seek respect above all else do, beyond laugh at the weak denigrate the poor and perpetuate their madness? Well, they seek after money, are fascinated with power, and tend to promote violence and death. They spend $15 trillion wiring the world with 30,000 atom bombs atop 7,000 missiles just to feel that they are respected and safe - and attack anyone who suggests that we should work cooperatively to reduce the threat as weak. That and more Miller speaks of it in her book - that also is a good read. haha - maybe it will allow us to see that we don't need to spam, we don't need to post - and can enjoy ourselves a little more and give up the excessive consumption and violence and drama - and progress in the real world with real solutions to the real problems we face.

    wm mook apr 17 11:59pm
    sounds right on! easy to follow, well written & boiled to the essence.

    Billy bob, Florida

    “Satlin, Hitler, Hussein, Castro ruled with an iron hand, but made exceptions as they wanted.”

    If you read the post carefully you would have notice that our presidents have made exceptions
    as Stalin did for the KGB, Hitler for the SS GESTAPO etc. The report by AP Associate press
    stated:

    “President Barack Obama absolved CIA officers from prosecution for harsh, painful
    interrogation of terror suspects Thursday – 04-16-09!”

    As we were having a cup of coffee in a restaurant I decided to sit by a window where the
    sun was shining in hope that it will be a little warmer. A person across from our table said,
    “let me know when you find a warmer space!” So, please let us know when
    “honesty can be mandated” in a corrupt system.
    “MAY BE..” is not a solution to a problem!

    We sold the farmer the miner the manufacturer out in favor of the banker and the retailer in the 1940s on the basis of national security. We gave manufacturing to our allies. Extraction to our friends. We would specialize in retail and banking. The only problem was, a mining town needs the mine, even if the miners are the lowest paid workers. Without the mine, a mining town shuts down. We gave our mine away in the 1940s and 50s because we had this mistaken notion that if we did, we would be richer than all those other economies that had to deal with mining. It didn't take long for the chickens to come home to roost. We paid people with dollars, but there was nothing in America anyone overseas could buy with dollars. Except gold. And by 1970s we had to go off the gold standard because our supply of gold was being drawn dangerously low. That was the start of the commodity price rises we are still suffering with. Then, when Japan and Germany started buying up real-estate, we opened to China, to knock them back on their asses. Which worked for a while. Then, when problems came again, we opened our banking system - killing George Bailey's S&L and selling out to Mr. Potter's investment bank - so we could organize US debt and sell it overseas. Now, finally we had something foreigners could buy with their dollars - US debt. Chinese workers would make t-shirts and with their dollars buy US mortgages, replacing George Bailey. Peruvian food processors would sell frozen fish sticks and with their dollars buy credit card debt. Oil Sheik's would sell us oil and buy GMAC loans. All was right with the world, it was morning in America. But in addition to the money earned doing their low value work, foreign workers also earned interest on a growing capital base. Furthermore, sea changes in the nature of commodities and nature of manufacturing and the nature of retail and banking - changed the historical value relations - and those low value economies were not low value any more. People wondered, smart people, like Wasily Leontief, wondered, what kept America afloat? The answer was, it was a safe haven for investment. It was less corrupt, safe, reliable, fair compared to the rest of the world. Inattention to these details, like the inattention to a levee in New Orleans during a storm, led ultimately to disaster. A presidential election decided on hanging chads gave foreigners the impression of a stolen election, some took their money and went home. Enron and Worldcom were found to frauds, and major players got away with mountaintop compounds in Hawaii, and more foreigners took their money out of the US. A second devastating attack on the World Trade Center, and an administration that made it the center piece, rather than putting it behind us, caused more to leave American economic system. Finally, unilateral invasions of multiple countries, fear of additional devastating attacks with loose nukes, and no WMDs in Iraq, caused a tipping point. In August 2007 the Chinese exchanges exceeded NASDAQ for the first time in history. In September the housing market imploded due to lack of liquidity, and rule changes not properly vetted by an Administration that wanted to distance itself from Enron, caused more liquidity to vaporize off the books - creating for the first time in history - loans that could sink a bank - insurers were not prepared - and losses mounted, while the Administration gave us platitudes about the wisdom of the market - rather than shoulder any responsibility and actually do something to correct it. Now we are blaming the poor who lost less than half a trillion dollars for a collapse of our banking system caused by wealth foreigners extracting nearly $8 trillion from the US economy during the past 8 years. We pass restrictive legislation and more capital takes flight. We pass restrictions on wages and demonize bankers and the best and brightest take flight to Mumbai, Shangai, Dubai, Rio, and Moscow - building the emerging economies there leaving America to wonder what happened, and blaming those who never had enough money in the game to make a difference. Its a damned shame.

    The organizing paradigm of low wage middle wage and high wage work also changes. The extraction functions become more valuable as resource shortages bid up prices in the face of rising demand. So too the manufacturing function becomes more productive with automation. Computerization and the internet commoditizes the retail and banking function. Dubai Exchange for example was able to match the London exchange by copying and installing their software in a matter of months. SAP gives newly emerging retailers in China the same edge as established retailers in Europe and the USA. These sea changes are ignored while we blindly pursue a defensive paradigm established in the 1940s and operated as if the economic truths of the 1940s still apply 60 years later - all the while ignoring deeper truths about what it takes to create and keep a great nation.

    After world war two the USA decided to maintain a constant war footing. To pay for it the US government exported low-wage jobs overseas focusing on high-wage jobs. That way we could maintain a low tax rate, and outspend others. A dollar's worth of ore became five dollar's worth of iron which made twenty-five dollars when used in a surgery. A dollars worth of wheat becomes five dollars worth of flour which makes twenty-five dollars worth of fine pastry in the hands of a great chef. There is a natural order of work some are low-wage, others high-wage. The thinking went if we focus on the high wage we impose a defacto order of wealth favorable to the US, and the US can avoid a nuclear Pearl Harbor. So that's what we did. That's what we still do. That leads to problems. Even though the bankers, brothel owners, and general store owners make the most money in a mining town, close the mine, and the town disappears. That's what happened to America throughout the last half of the 20th century. We sent our mine overseas and fought hard to keep the town going, while others got rich on what was our mine. Nixon went off the gold standard. Reagan reinvented our banking system. All to keep the town running without the mine. All set us up for our current mess when China, India, Brazil and Russia take their money and go home building their own society leaving us to rebuild without their wealth.

    Equality comes with a huge morgage and a big arm.

    chris apr 17 1:42 am I am not familiar with the system you suggest.
    Satlin, Hitler, Hussein, Castro ruled with an iron hand, but made exceptions as they wanted.

    Believing honesty can be mandated into mankind may be naive.

    I suggested Congress needs a system seniority restructuring & there is a lack of honesty, etc.

    President Change owes his nomination to Senator Kennedy & buds, as evidenced by Teddy selecting which dog the Obama girls could have--is this the tip of the payback iceberg?

    Respectfully,
    Billy Bob, Florida

    “"Ramped corruption" cannot be removed from mankind, (God's chosen people
    chose gold over Him) so the problem may be the lack of honest, fair, balanced
    rules & regulations & Enforcement, which leads right back to Congress & possibly the dept.
    of Justice.”
    Apparently you believe the solution is by “may be...” more of the same -

    status quo - “regulations & Enforcement”, “dysfunctional government” etc!”

    I would say, go back and repeat

    STEP TWO - identify the Solution... empower the people to express THEIR WIIL on ALL ISSUES!

    The STEP THREE – the RESULT. It MUST BE A “DIRECT TRUE DEMOCRACY!”
    “Ramped corruption" cannot be removed from mankind!”
    It is my conclusion, that you have not lived in a system where the rules, laws demanded
    that the accounts, duties and responsibilities, LAWS “SHALL be STRICTLY ENFORCED”
    no exception to anyone! AP Associate reports: “President Barack Obama
    absolved CIA officers from prosecution for harsh, painful interrogation of terror suspects Thursday!”
    This is more of the same. NOT MUCH of a “CHANGE,” new direction, bigger and deeper whole!
    “People chose gold over him!“
    It is my believe that people choose “Apathy” over “Participation” in hope that someone
    else will bring to them, on a silver plater the “TRUE DIRECT DEMOCRACY.”
    Take any code, laws for any authorities, any departments, you will find that their duties,
    responsibilities are “LOOSELY CONSTRUED!” If you believe that they were honest,
    than you must be very naive.
    If the code, rules, laws were strictly construed for those in charge, we would not have
    the problem that we have now. It was not coincident to not have primary election
    in some states.
    “... a state that once was its own nation, a Republican governor... talked about secession...”
    “There was enough to feed opinions for... secession!” The people of Texas are not
    the only one that want to “Secede!" Recipe for disaster!

    Chris apr 16 12:45am
    "Ramped corruption" cannot be removed from mankind, (God's chosen people chose gold over Him) so the problem may be the lack of honest, fair, balanced rules & regulations & Enforcement, which leads right back to Congress & possibly the dept. of Justice.

    AnnD apr 14 1{15 pm
    Voters regurgitated the option of Dem. candidate Obama selected by Senator Kennedy, & his buds Kerry, McGovern, Biden, Edwards, Caroline, & there certainly are some big heads there.
    Same-ole, same-ole.

    What do you think can be done to change our multi-generalizational head-in-the-sand, Mainstreet, follow the warlords, turn our backs on God mindset?

    Change the Congressional Seniority System is a suggested begining.
    Billy Bob, Florida

    B. Dunbar apr 15 1:30pm

    John Walker certainly gave the Navy a major hangover, and i hope you are correct that his acts prove to be worse than this financial crisis.

    Other military branches were not compromised, therefore the extreamly serious info Walker supplied to the USSR did not materalize in changing the lives of US citizens.

    My parents lived thru The Great Depression,and their consertative financial ideas were stick-in-the-mud uninformed--until the last couple of years. The point is, many citizens have experienced a life changing crisis, that hopefully will be limited to the mind & not the body.

    Hopefully time will prove Walker to be worse.

    Billy Bob, Florida

    “Step one - CORRECTLY identify the problem!”
    “Ramped corruption!”
    Step two – “CORECTLY identify Solution to the problem!”
    “AMEND the CONSTITUTION” - Empower the people to express their
    “WILL on ALL ISSUES!”

    Step three – “CORECTLY identify” the RESULTS.
    “DIRECT TRUE DEMOCRACY!”

    The unthinkablehttp://www.truthdig.com/report/page2/20090406_resist_or_become_serfs/

    Name 1 convicted spy that has threatened our country more than Congress, & Financial mgrs. Just one!

    John Walker.

    Congress is disfunctional!

    Billy Bob, Florida

    Posted by: Billy Bob

    Actually, they are following - to the letter of their self-serving "law" - an economic scorched earth policy.

    Secret cults are the puppet masters behind the scenes and we keep focusing on their goofy, weapons of mass distraction puppets as the problem.

    Step one - CORRECTLY identify the problem.

    September 2008 to now - how many people HURLED out onto the streets?

    Okay. Very well done. And now what? Big Giant Head transmission to follow with instructions?

    Name 1 convicted spy that has threatened our country more than Congress, & Financial mgrs. Just one!

    Congress has allowed laws, rules & regs. that serve special interest for the selfish reason of being reelected. SOLD OUT!

    B Talber apr 5 8:38pm people must be in the voting booth Nov. 2010 and vote OUT the RASCLES!

    Alan apr 6 4:25 pm Treason is the appropriate term for all directly involved in the scheme & those that sherked duties to prevent such crimes.

    j arp 6 1:07pm looking for your return post.

    candidate obama 'yes senator kennedy'

    president obama 'yes Teddy
    Uh? Sir? Yes sir! Senator Ted'

    The banks had to be bailed out (Paulson's buds) but when bonus cuts loomed, the banks wanted to return tarp money.
    Isn't that fishy?

    Banks had to be bailed out but when Mark to Market was 'adjusted' profits returned.
    Isn't that fishy?

    Watergate was investigated by Congress.
    Bailoutgate is NOT being investigatedby Congress.
    Isn't that fishy?

    Most or all newly elected to Congress are good, but the Seniority System beats them into Washington Form before they can be heard.

    Congress is disfunctional!

    Billy Bob, Florida

    Lawrence Hannon asks, "Can someone explain how the Sub-prime Mortgage/CDO/CFO instruments underlying this mess fit into the definition of a Ponzi scheme?"

    A Ponzi scheme is a financial confidence game where a conman (or woman) maneuvers a victim into having confidence in his or her scheme/plan. The whole scheme will eventually go bust, because all earnings are artificially constructed only to attract more and more victims/investors, who buy into the system on their own volition.

    The subprime scheme worked in a similar way. The lending market for traditional borrowers with sufficient incomes and job stability had dried up, so lenders started lending to non-traditional borrowers who did not have sufficient incomes and job stability. If the banks the lenders worked for had any intention of holding onto the loans made to these nontraditional borrowers, they would never have made the loans. Their plan was to chop up the loans, package them, and sell the loans to other investors to get them off their books. These lenders knew there would be many defaults, but they did not care. The loans would be sold to others and be off the books, the originating lenders and banks already having made their fees, commissions, and interest payments.

    The underlying thinking that made this whole scheme plausible is that the borrowers involved were encouraged to go through with the process and refinance and or resell at a later date when real estate values presumably were supposed to have increased. The artificial valuing of real estate prices for the past 20 years also helped this scheme along.

    It's easy to blame the victims for not being responsible enough to understand the financial responsibilities in which they were getting involved. But then you would also have to blame the victims of a more traditional Ponzi scheme such as that of Bernie Madoff's, who also should have been more responsible in understanding what they were getting into. What makes such understanding difficult is that in such schemes the victims/investors are encouraged to have complete confidence in getting involved, even when the person or persons involved in concocting the scheme know that the whole thing is a house of cards.

    I keep hearing different people calling the current financial situation a "Ponzi" scheme. I don't see how it fits into the definition. Certainly Bernie Madoff perpetrated a Ponzi scheme when he was paying old investors with new incoming money. Can someone explain how the Sub-prime Mortgage/CDO/CFO instruments underlying this mess fit into the definition of a Ponzi scheme?

    Thanks,

    Lawrence Hannon

    The April 3rd Bill Moyers Journal ever. People all need to watch this, but unfortunately I haven't met a single person who saw it, but I'm telling them it's on You Tube.

    Edwin wrote, in part, "...what do you call SIMILAC and synthetic "mother's milk?" all because the pretty mom doesn't want to ruin her ****!...."

    Hi Edwin,

    I believe you might be confused about why corporations created SIMILAC and how the marketing campaign sold it (appealing to vanity).

    Anything that is "free" (mother's milk) will be the target of someone wanting to turn it into something that you have to pay THEM to get.

    Paying a nurse maid (if the mother was unable to provide it herself because of health reasons) was also cutting out the corporation, plus it was "labor" money and that's the key area to which they never want to "distribute" their precious paper money - labor.

    In the future, if I haven't been successful in getting you to consider another reason for the existence of SIMILAC, please at least use the word "breasts" or if you want to convey some medical knowledge, "mammary glands" works, also.

    Thanks and kind regards.

    Edwin | April 9, 2009 5:17 PM

    Great comments!

    You are indeed a human being of highest hopes!

    Truth is simple and clear; only lies are made to be complicated.

    The MSM is controlled by the same interests that control the banking system, the fed, the military-industrial complex, and worst of all, the pitiful politicians, therefor our government.

    That's why the Iraq War.
    That's why the financail crisis.
    That's why all the ponzi schemes, Madoff and co.
    That's why the US national interests is comprised on behalf of a rogue state.

    This was a good interview by another brave citizen who is not afraid to talk REAlistically and BE SIMPLE.

    I gave up on CNN and MSNBC and all those other high profile "news" networks. As many feel the same way, I can basically summarize it by saying that they are TOO AFRAID OF losing THEIR PAYCHECK TO SAY WHAT THEY REALLY FEEL AND KNOW. I mean, I listen to Interviews, and you practically have to be a decipher of LITERATURE and CODES to abstract what they are trying to say, since they're trying to be very very "politically correct" and "profesional"
    Many times i watched the CNN news and commentators, and left amaAAAAZED at the fact that i DID NOT UNDERSTAND A SINGLE PHRASE they said!! I would shake my head thinking maybe i'm not paying attention or something, but it really was not the case. I mean, I am a Mathematics major with an interest in Philosophy and I know for sure i've comprehended more difficult subject matters than "CNN"

    Major news networks have become so EMPTY IN SUBSTANCIAL MEANING that it reminds me of another similarity i saw in college, that of the new textbooks with the older textbooks.

    Each year, it seems, they keep watering down college textbooks by explaining less concepts and meaning, and replacing them with PICTURES! THe funny thing is that, a basic algebra textbook will set the poor student back about 150 bucks! just for a bunch of pictures with little mathematics at all! And, by the way, many of those textbooks are in their 10th edition! I mean, they got the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, .... 9th editions so wrong that they have to keep improving them??? I mean, if i write a book i will write it PERFECT!...or close. It would be embarrassing for me if i have to keep renewing it all the time! But of course, these pseudo-scientists are in it for the money. They don't want used-textbooks to circulate the campuses because they don't make new money on used textbook! What kind of generation being formed and thrown out into society!?..year after year.

    Meanwhile, you have your idiotic HIP HOP, with it's catchy rythms and sounds (to sort of compensate and distract the young person from realizing how stupid the lyrics are) Meanwhile you have your XBOX and Playstations, and your DORA and DIEGO and MICKEY MOUSE...it seems that we're forced to sorround ourselves with stupidity from DAY 1...yes, day 1 amigos!....what do you call SIMILAC and synthetic "mother's milk?" all because the pretty mom doesn't want to ruin her ****!....yep, that's how good we got it in the US!


    The case is very very different when I watch Bill Moyer's JOurnal, or when I listen to Noam Chomsky, or even good old Michael Moore, or AMy GOODman and others! These are people who are not just intelligent, not just FED up with the LIES, they also happen to have endured the lures of the fake american treats, and remained steady in their culture and education, and progressed to where they have the opportunity to go live with their ideas! THat, my friends, is not easy at all. I wonder how many times BIll Moyers or Noam Chomsky have had to sacrify family time, or have come acrross many stupid people criticizing their views!!

    I wonder though, is it okay to say that I care about changing my country solely for the future benefit of my decendants? Or do I care for all HUMANS to live in a "better" world? But, how better will it be? Would a better democracy constitute of lesser crimes, more cultured and educated people, less numbing news networks, less republicans, and so on and so on? But having a bachelor's degree and working at starbucks doesn't quite make sense. Having a bachelor's degree and teaching junior high for 40,000 a year doesn't quite make sense either! Education is good, and yes, academic education even better. But wait, who's going to do our blue-collar jobs? Who's going to pick berries and corn and etc? Who is going to fix my 50K car? And finally, who is going to give us enough reasons to ARGUE in favor of the good?? Utopia, it seems, is not really what we're after.

    And so, it seems problematic, even to do good!??? Therefore, it may just be that our own desire to END THE LIES and stupidity is primarily so that my children would grow up in a less mean world? but, not primarily for the benefit of the majority? However, if we all try to finish the lies, then it can't work; because then you end up in the "who's going to do the dishes" argument.

    maybe the day will come when we have robots do our lesser jobs? then we can all have phDs!


    can you imagine police officers with PhDs?? Can you picture a Doctorate dissertation in Tactics of the Battle field, by a sargent?


    the only good answer to this dilemma, for me, is that if we just let them (republicans maily, democratics too) continue to lie to us and continue with their oppression, then pretty soon the world will end, literally! SO maybe we're just delaying it, or the constant battle of good vs evil is handed down from the few good to the fewer good ones. while the evil ones continue to gain numbers, but maily as pawns.


    I mean, HOW the heck are you supposed to fix an economic crisis by giving more tax-breaks???? THe republicans are a bunch of morons ssssoo detached from society and MEAN and LIFELESS that they almost seem to me as if they're THE ENEMY. I'm conservative, but I'm DEFINITELY NOT A REPUBLICAN. Many ignorant republicans (the masses) think that words like "patriotic" and "coservative" and "small government" appeals to them because they're strict and don't want none-sense in their country, right? isn't that how they think? Well, guess WHAT!? All that is designed to keep you stupid and a servant; you (the republican) just don't have the "stuff" to see that.


    THE FREEWAY anecdote. Why are people so impatient?? Why is it that 35mph just won't cut it for most of us??? Why does an impatient prick have to move from behind me, just to put himself in front of me on the freeway??? I mean, I always see cars changing lanes left and right, thinking that they're going to arrive faster at their destination, but really they DON'T. Most of the times, I who stay in my lane and move at a constant rate, end up about the same as the other car who changed lanes multiple times! But that's just a sign of how impatient (and posibly how ignorant) those people are. Yes, i said "those" because i'm detaching myself from THEM. THis is the same crowd who is a bi-product of our watered down democracy.

    Bill Moyers Blog April 9, 2009


    If I were king, or if I would have become king, on January 20, 2009, Tim Geithner would not be Treasury Secretary, Ben Bernanke wouldn't be Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and A.I.G. would be in an involuntary Chapter Eleven, where the Bankruptcy Judge would make short work of the bonuses.
    My first priority for a Cabinet appointment would have been for the Attorney General, who would have been of the J. Edgar Hoover mold, someone obsessed with putting criminals in jail. (in fact Hoover, in the thirties, was partial to just killing them) My new Attorney General would have been instructed to hire 1,000 assistant Attorney Generals, on a probationary basis, which would require them to produce two indictments per week for one year. The red flag for the I.R.S. and the Department of Justice would be the high number of one way tickets, and high end charter flights, out of the U.S..
    If the prisons overflowed, I would call on Sheriff Joe in Phoenix.
    There wouldn't have been another dime 'pumped' into Wall Street to 'support' the Dow, after Paulson got his hand out of the till, and the illegal aliens would go home when an employer got six months in jail and a $10,000 fine for hiring one. No jobs, no illegals. And I wouldn't be hanging onto Warren Buffetts coat-tail just because he made Billions when he fell heir to GEICO, (Government Employee Insurance Co,) a psuedo federal agency which came complete with hugh cash reserves, and customer base. I'm not comfortable with Buffetts controlling interest in Moodys Ratings, and his position as the 'big' trader on Wall Street.
    Television sets, washing machines, t-shirts, automobiles, cat food, toys, and medicine would be made in America. And the bookkeeping for Social Security would be done in the U.S.A., not in India.
    There's a lot of thinking that has got to change, along with a lot of Political support.
    Richard F. Byrd, Idaho

    Maybe the POTUS could not do the so obviously right thing even if he wanted to... Who are those in real control?

    This program is a home run for Bill Moyers and shines the brightest light ever on the banking issues. I believe his program here will be remembered as the beginning of the end for the Paulson/Geithner effort. I think Mrs. Obama will personally escort Geithner out the front door.

    Hello,
    I was involved in banking as the boom was occuring. I have a unique look at the retail banking side and also to the current situation to the economy. I have made several clips at http://www.youtube.com/jakefjohnston and hope to someday make a feature or be on TV. If anyone has ideas let me know at jacobjohnston@hotmail.com.
    Thanks

    Bruce Talbee asks why people are not reacting. I believe they are both afraid and patient, but he is right that a reaction is warranted.Media, even the Internet mostly, is a one way street, because people are isolated and don't possess the words or the confidence to express dissent. We need to get together and talk face too face.Young people's demonstrations become taunts and parties because they have never had any good examples. A friend of mine told me Sunday how he became frightened of the "herd mentality and diffuse anger" at a T-party gathering organized by business advocates who oppose any stimulus for public services and infrastructure. A better way is thenewwayforward.org as announced by William Greider right here on Moyer's Journal. You can find a demonstration in your area at that site. Ed Crump and I, avoiding the anxieties inherent in Charlotte, are organizing a simultaneous event in Hickory, NC on the square at 2pm. Come early and sign up . We encourage soft signs, costumes and banners and are ready to let people speak. Protest should start at the grassroots with the working people. anewwayforward.org is tentatively proposing that the several large banks that are insolvent be broken up into smaller institutions. Transparency and honesty with the people would be required before that could happen. I'm in it to make financial reality public before we are pulled down a rat hole by hidden credit default swaps and derivative payoffs. These things have only negative values and should be canceled. If not, our future tax money rewards the worst actors in the entire sorry scheme. Please come out for anewwayforward.org in Hickory and elsewhere the afternoon before Easter. Thanks. You can also email me to find out about the Hickory event. Figgersinstitute@yahoo.com

    When I was growing up after WWII the country worked pretty well for the common man, there were abuses and the impending danger of the military industrial complex that went unheeded, but the middle class was relatively well-to-do. Then along came the conservative onslaught. Anyone who voted for Reagan or Bush or the many conservative scam artists, or who listens to and believes Rush L. shouldn't be complaining now. "Smaller Gov't" is conservative code for "gov't that imposes no restrictions on the greed and excesses of corporations and fat-cat campaign contributors". We have the deregulation a quiescent electorate deseerves; unsafe food, unsafe pharmaceuticals, a badly toxified environment, ruined economy, disastrous wars of choice, unchecked global warming, the dissolution of our industrial base, the impoverishment of the middle class, etc.
    Governments can support and work well for citizens, it does so in other countries that have free universal education, free universal health care, better standard of living, higher longevity, better quality of life, and all without paying more in taxes than US citizens do when you count all the hidden taxes we pay.
    So, can we finally turn off those TVs and start paying attention to civics? Big government is not inherently bad in a democracy, unresponsive government is, and the US gov't is responsive only to big money interests. I hope this crisis will wake people up to the responsibilities of informing themselves and voting wisely, to the shared destiny we have as citizens of the world.

    No one has mentioned that Lehman Bros. and Goldman Sachs are two of the eight shareholders (which is to say owners) of the Federal Reserve. How can you go bankrupt when you can print money at will? This has precipitated a yard sale on America. Abolish the unconstitutional Federal Reserve (Congress has the right to coin money and it is prohibited from assigning its privileges to another body)and elect all new senators and congressmen in 2010. Personally, we can stop telling lies, even "little" ones.

    What you can place 100% confidence in, is that America has had, is having, and will always have the government, not what it expects (theory) but rather what it deserves (reality)! Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic (electing another set of corrupt pupets) will do nothing to stop the unavoidable collapse of the American Empire. The only thing any person can do is to pull out of the "system" by putting all your remaining wealth into gold and silver; by this you declare your independence from the dishonest scam run by the banksters and politicals. May God give you all guidence as to your course of action; for with out that you're toast.

    moyersonpbs@thirteen.org

    Dear Bill Moyer:
    Your interview of William K. Black is incredibly frightening. We found it as depressing as we are sure many did. Perhaps the trouble is that Obama, trying to weigh the politics of it all, has been told by Geithner and Rubin and Summers et al that you have to bail out the frauds that piled up this house of cards or else the whole financial sector will blow up. We wish he would listen to Joe Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, but do not think he has decided on another possible course of action and thus he will stick with what is in the hopper. The only consolation we have for you and everybody else being saddled with this immense debt is that maybe it will lead to stringent regulation (as it well should)--which the same usual suspects will try to water down. The lobbyists for the big bankers are already all over Washington putting pressure on members of Congress (who get so much money from them) to be "reasonable" when it comes to new regulatory measures. Years back, when Glass-Stegal thrown out we said to ourselves, "We are in for big trouble."

    Alas, the damage has largely been done, starting with Paulson's frantic efforts to save the assets of his buddies at Goldman Sachs and the rest of the banker-bandits. (Notice that this charity was not extended to Lehmann Brothers, headed up by a guy for whom Paulson had little love or respect.)

    We just hope the world gets something positive out of this. But it is going, we fear, to be a long recession/depression. The example of what the Resolution Trust operation did with the S&Ls gives us a model that should have been thought of from the git-go--take over the failing banks that are effectively insolvent. Of course this crisis, and the amount of money involved, is greater than the S&L debacle (similarly created by cheats like Keating--at least he went to jail) by many magnitudes. Had we "nationalized" the banks and other institutions we can't imagine that properly qualified people from outside those greedy corporate cultures, even Treasury bureaucrats, could do a worse job than the Masters of the Universe who got us in this mess.

    It is a terrible mess. And those bankers still want their bonuses.

    In conclusion, Bill Moyer, you have done the world a great favor in this remarkable interview and can only hope your outstanding work can be shared with millions more. Thank you.

    Suzanne and Ron Dirsmith

    I keep wondering when the people will wake up and storm Wall St. and tear the bastards apart limb by limb. It just bewilders me that these scumbag grifters can loot the Treasury and GET AWAY WITH IT SCOT FREE!!!!!!
    It's insane. Paulson should be in jail. The fact that they pulled this off right in front of us, even TOLD us what they were going to do...
    Why are people not reacting? What does it take? If the currency detonates then there will be blood in the streets. I'm thankful that Bill Moyers aired this great episode, but now it's time for action. An independent special prosecutor should be appointed to go after the scumbags. If this does not happen, trust will NEVER return to the stock market. Wall St. has sullied the reputation of America so severely that we may never recover. Again, how can they get away with this? Don't Congressman have to look in the mirror every morning? We're talking about world wide misery here. Will it take a revolution? I think that they really don't have any clue as to how incredibly angry we are about this mess. Obama is just a shill; very smooth, to be sure, but just another shill for the elites.
    The information that I now have about my country has ruined my faith in my country. The money grubbers run the show, period.

    Where's JO? She/he said this was her/his first post, but would be back to straighten everybody out?

    Promises, promises, more broken promises...Just like the crooks running our country into the ground.

    Am I alone to ask why nobody stopped the globalists when the US was getting in bed with Communist China?

    The Chinese could take possession of major chunks of this country when we declare bankruptcy.

    And our money ain't worth squat. "Better run down to the $1 store and buy up lots of cheap, toxic Chinese junk."

    Pretty good show for corporate-owned media. Someone said subjects never broached before are surfacing now cause of a drop in viewership.

    Yeah, Glen Beck too seems to be into "revelation" mode these days. Not that I pay any attention to what that two-faced liar has to say.

    Thanks, Stef

    By the way, a "run on the banks" would not cause our currency to collapse, it would cause a liquidity crisis. This could be avoided, I believe. I don't think the government admitting there's been fraud and prosecuting that fraud would cause a run on the banks; just the opposite, in fact. And since the government doesn't even know the extent of damage, it doesn't need to frighten people with that. The fact is, We the People are in deep bantha fodder if the government doesn't prosecute and agressively claw-back the money that's been stolen in this fraud. That's not going to happen without immediate and severe protests.

    What might cause our currency to collapse is the Federal Reserve printing up (or entering it on a computer)all this money. This is what causes inflation. There are two types of inflation. Most people only know about the type that is caused by supply and demand. But the far more insidious and frequent inflation is not the price of products and services going up due to supply and demand inflation, but the appearance of prices going up because the purchasing power of the dollar has decreased--the dollar has been devalued. This is the type of inflation of which I speak. Since the inception of the Federal Reserve, our dollar has been devalued by aprox. 90%! The more you have of something--even money, when it's an un-backed or "fiat" currency--the less it's worth. By creating 12 trillion dollars, out of thin air, we run the almost certain risk of creating hyper-inflation and/or destroying the value of the dollar.

    Many believe that's the whole purpose of this--to destroy the dollar, facilitate the North American Union (and eventually World Government) and the creation of a new North American currency called the "Amero." There are many secretive agencies within the banking circles that adamantly want World Government, such as David Rockefeller, who, in 1991, when he was the head of the Council on Foreign Relations(CFR), gave a speech praising the directors of Time magazine, the Washington Post, the NY Times, and other publications, "whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years.
    It would have been impossible for us to develope our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years.
    But now the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government.
    The supra-national sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-dtermination practiced in past centuries"--David Rockefeller, C.F.R. '91.

    If you read carefully what Rockefeller said, he's talking about the end of sovereign nations [treason, actually] and the establishment of a world government controlled by "intellectual elites" and--of course!--"world bankers."

    I don't know if this is what this is, but I do know it's an all-out attack on everyone who is not part of the corporate/banking elite who are running our government and the world. The fact that the police can't see that they should be on our side just shows how deeply the corporate government's propaganda and brainwashing have taken hold. We are taught from infants to never send punishment UP the chain of command. Punishment always comes down. We are taught to never question this. Many people will "sell out"--turn in their neighboors, etc. for the promise of a place in the elites' New World Order, but those who accept are fools, for these people have no integrity, no honor. They are never to be trusted. The whole corporate model of maximizing profit no matter what the enviromental and social costs has been adapted by many as a personal philosophy. They believe in always looking out for #1. This is how they beat us. Divide and conquer.
    We the people must put aside all our differences to unite under one cause: economic and political equality. Joined together and organized, nothing can defeat us. But there can be no sitting on the sidelines. Everyone must do something!

    I do not believe that ordinary people were to blame much at all for the mortgage crisis--which, by the way, isn't the source of the real crisis in our economy. That is the result of these CDSwaps and various derivatives, which were "replicated" like there was no tomorrow.
    But they have been a part of the problem, but more for homeowners than our economy, though, as I said, they did play a part, just not the central role many believe mortgage default to have played.

    What Black failed to mention about these "liar's loans" is that, while there may have been the nod and wink from the lender about exaggerating one's income to get a better deal, I guarantee you that these predatory lenders didn't point out--and most people can't understand the complicated terms of a mortgage agreement-- was the fine print concerning the "teaser" interest rates, and the fact that they would reset at a drastically higher rate some months down the road. The American people were, and continue to be, the victims in this collaborative fraud between investment bankers of Wall Street, the FED, AIG, Goldman Sachs, the Treasury secs, and the Rating agencies which didn't examine the loans backing up these CDOs, yet gave them triple A ratings. By the way, the list of people and agencies I gave involved in this fraud were in no particular order, nor was it a complete list..but those are the major players.I don't think people would have gotten into these mortgages if they'd known that their payments were going to double a few months down the road. People inherently trust bankers because they believe the bankers don't want to make a loan that the person won't be able to pay. But when that bank is planning to sell the loan, well, then, the lenders don't care.

    Anyone who thinks President Obama is just making mistakes about who he's choosing to address this crisis, is being naive. I had hope for Obama. I wanted Kucinich to win, but obviously the establishment knew he was the real deal--someone who would actually challenge the status quo. Both he and Ron Paul were not allowed to speak at some of the presidential Primary debates. Now, when T.V. networks are limiting our access to candidates and they are determining who is heard, that is nothing less than fascism, or corporatism. Mussolini once said, "Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism, for it is the perfect merger of corporate and State (government) power."
    So, Kucinich wasn't in the race, so it was McCain or Obama, and I chose Obama. Ultimately, I knew it probably wouldn't make all that much difference, but I tried to be hopeful.

    But President Obama has gone back on so many of his promises. What has he really done? He promised to filibuster telecom immunity for warrantless and domestic wiretapping; instead, he voted for the immunity bill! He promised to re-structure NAFTA, then called Fortune 500 and told them it was just campaign rhetoric...which it obviously was. He banned torture! Ha! It just so happens that torture was already banned, and even now, with absolute proof that innocent men were tortured, sometimes to death, and that these orders came directly from Bush and Cheney, President Obama still has not asked his A.G. to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute the Bush admin. officials for these heinous War Crimes!
    President Obama has promised to shut down Guantanamo Bay within a year, but at the same time he's upholding the Bush administration's stance on preventing victims of our torture practices from going to court to sue for grievances. He's denied the prisoner's at Bagram AFB from Habeus Corpus, although this was recntly overturned by a Federal judge. The government is sure to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. So, any goodwill President Obama might have gained from promising (a promise he might break, like his others)to close Gitmo, and "banning torture" is destroyed by his continuing the Bush stance on preventing victims of torture from seeking redress in the courts by invocation of the State Secrets Privilege, the same Act invoked to prevent Sibel Edmonds from telling anyone what she knows about 9/11.

    The President is also breaking his oath of office by not appointing a Special Prosecutor to go after these War Criminals. G.W.B. and Dick Cheney, among others, broke domestic, Constitutional, and International Law by their actions and orders. Prosecution for these crimes is not an option--it's the Duty of the President and Congress.
    Not prosecuting is actually Obstruction of Justice. These people are guilty; we don't need a "Truth Commission," we know what happened, and anything I don't know I would like to discover from a Criminal Trial, not some Senate "pseudo trial" where everyone will get immunity from prosecution for their testimony.
    I mean, I'm not against offering low-level players immunity for testimony, but that should only be done at the discretion of the prosecutor, as part of the trial that MUST take place. Otherwise, the President is not "faithfully executing the laws of this nation."

    It is not a mistake that President Obama has chosen the very architechs of this fraud to fix it. If he appointed real investigators, a lot of these bankers and CEOs would be getting prison sentences for fraud instead of massive amounts of taxpayers' money! He's owned by these interests! It's as obvious as can be, and telling yourself anything different is just wishful thinking. Obama's election was planned. He was chosen instead of a white man on purpose! Because all the criminals in this fraud are white, the PTB (powers that be)decided that the people would think a (half) black man--especially a silver-tongued devil like Obama--would keep people from rioting for a longer period of time. Long enough for them to get all their detainment camps finished, perhaps disarm the people, etc.

    Obama has even kept "rendition" (aka kidnapping) as a "weapon" in the newly named War on Terror, the "Over-seas Contingency Operation" or "OCO." Seems appropriate, except the L is missing.

    In fact, the whole Obama doctrine is just a re-branding game. Nothing is actually supposed to change. Our government is completely corrupt, except for a very few, like Dennis Kucinich; that's why he was not allowed to speak. Look who the media supports to know your enemies, and who they despise to see who might be "for real." I mean the mainstream media, of course, or corporate media.
    Get DISH NETWORK and watch FreeSpeech T.V. They show stuff that even Moyers won't touch--like the fact that the military has been using Depleted Uranium in its munitions (which, when they impact, reduce this DU into particles as small, in ome cases, as .1 micron. A person wouldn't even be safe with most gas-masks)in every war since the first Gulf War. This is the biological cause behind Gulf War Sickness. "Depleted" Uranium doesn't mean it's no longer radioactive; what it basically means is that it's radioactive waste, which we are dumping in the M.East's back yard via bullets! Radiation poisoning is irreversible and very hard to detect (especially when the VA doesn't want to find it) because radistion causes disruptions in basic cell function, which can result in any number of cancers and/or neurological diseases. One has to prove that one's sickness is due to being in the military, which is very hard, especially when records get accidentally lost. If the VA actually acknowledged this problem...well, there's no way they could deal with it. If people knew exactly how radioactive the M.E. was--and this radiation is constantly re-circulated and spread due to the dry climate and dust storms--no one would be signing up to go over there, soliders or civilians. Iraqi birth defects have skyrocketed since the war; mothers now sometimes give birth to mere body parts. Also, soldiers returning home, infact their loved ones, as the radiation poisoning is carried both on clothes and equipment, and in the bodily fluids of those infected, from semen to saliva. There's a documentarythat covers this story in-depth, with interviews from infected soldiers ,and scientists about the effects of DU. It's called "Beyond Treason," and I would love for Mr. Moyers to show some of this and engage in a discussion about this. Like many of our actions, this, too, is against International law.

    We better find our outrage before it's too late.

    Why does Professor Black believe Obama
    chose the individuals he did fo his economic team knowing they were involvd in favoring deregulation and pulling the levers that led us to this crisis:?

    "America What Went Wrong" by Steel and Barlet 1992? Tells how the 1986 Tax Reform Act allowed the wealthy corporation to get out of paying there fair share of taxes pg.44 This book was a window in to the future of what has taken place now. Thank you, paul

    To continue with the information about the Federal Reserve, and the idea of Private Central Banks and bankers, in general, I hereby offer some quotes from some of our greatest Presidents and others:

    "If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks, and the corporations which will rise up around them, will deprive the people of all their property, until their children wake up homeless..."
    --President Thomas Jefferson

    "Give me control of a nation's money supply, and I care not who makes its laws."
    --Mayer Rothschild, private banker.

    In 1835, Andrew Jackson shut down the private central bank that preceeded the Federal Reserve, or FED, and completely paid off the National Debt. He is the only President in history to do this. The way our monetary system works now, if we paid all of our debts, there would be no money ircirculation, because our money is based on credit and debt. This what Woodrow Wlson meant when he said "a great industrial nation is now controlled by its system of credit. This where the idea of wealth creation was again institutionalized in the FED. Of course, wealth creation is actually debt creation. This is what President Jackson said:
    "The bold efforts the present bank has made to control the government...are but premonitions of the fate that awaits the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution, or the establishment of another like it."--President Andrew Jackson. Of course, we were deluded into creating another bank like it--The Federal Reserve.

    Henry Ford once said, "It is well enough that people of this nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorow morning."

    "History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance." President James Madison, main author of the U.S. Constitution, and our 4th President.

    "The bankers own the Earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of a pen, they will create enough money to buy it back again.
    However, take away from them the power to create money, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear, and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in.
    But, if you wish to remain the slaves of bankers, and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let them continue to create money."--Sir Josiah Stamp, Former Director of The Bank of England.

    Finally, here's the last quote, from Abrahamn Lincoln, supposedly President Obama's favorite president. Too bad he's not listening to honest Abe:
    "The government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency.Creating and issuing money is the supreme prerogative of government, and its greatest creative opportunity.
    Adopting these principles will save the taxpayers immense sums of interest, and money will cease to be the master and become the servant of humanity."--President Abraham Lincoln.

    I think the fact that anyone bought into the idea that there was ever a "free market" is absurd, since we have a private corporation most people believe is a government institution called the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve is really a cartel of banks; it is a unique entity. It is above the Federal government, and is not actually a true part of it. The Federal Reserve Act, passed in 1913, gave the power to create money, circulate it, and assign its value to this private corporation of wealthy bankers and CEOs, such as John D. Rockefeller, and J.P. Morgan, who actually wrote up the FED Act, in complete secrecy, in a private club on Jeckyl Island, off the coast of Georgia. The Act was sold to the people as a way to keep the "money trust" from further consolidating its wealth. So, since it was that very same money trust that wrote up the bill, they had to hide this from everyone. President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill into law, but later deeply regretted doing so, saying, "I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is now controlled by its system of credit. We are no longer a government by free opinion and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."
    -President W. Wilson, 1919.

    20 years later, in 1933, the country was nearly bankrupt.
    But asides from having the power to create money--or, rather, as a result of having this power, the FED also had the power to raise or lower interest rates and expand and contract credit. No one knows who the shareholders of the Federal Reserve are. It is suposedly owned by its "member banks." At least, that's what they say. They also claim to be a non-profit organization (which would be funny were it not so sad), but they charge the government fees for "creating" our currency, whether by printing up F.R. notes, or by just entering numbers into a computer, when the government is supposed to do this, which would save it money. Also, since we've gone off the "Gold Standard" under Nixon, our money is no longer backed by anything--gold or silver. Which is why the Federal Reserve Act should actually have required a Constitutional amendment.

    Anyway, when a cartel of banks, with secret shareholders, has the power to create money, raise and lower interest rates, and expand and contract credit, at will, as the Federal Reserve Board does, the idea of a "free market" is total insanity. The FED almost certainly created the first Great Depression. They benefit greatly from crisis, espeially war. So, between the Military and Medical Industrial Complexes, and private, FED, and Wall-street investment bankers, and their CEOs, completely control our government. Of course big oil and others are players, but the ones mentioned above are the real villians. The whole cycle of booms and busts is not a "natural business cycle" but the planned manipulations of the Federal Reserve, and its partners on Wall Street. First, they expand credit, and lower interest rates. Then, they reel them all in, and when they feel they've got a good catch, they suddenly raise interest rates, and contract credit. Then, they go around and clean up for pennies on the dollar.
    The coup d'tat happened in 1913. What we are seeing now is an attempt at the coup de grace. Also, this wasn't caused directly by the FED, I don't believe. It's facilitated, but there have been many players in this end-game. President Obama has proven, by both his actions and Cabinet picks, to be completely owned by these banking interests-hiring the same people who created and designed this disaster to fix it!
    This can also be seen in the drastic double-standard with which G.M. has been treated. When speaking of the banks, contracts are 'sacred' and valued, but the first condition of GM getting any help was for the workers to take about a 50% pay/benefits cut! And Obama says he's looking out for working people! It's easier to save jobs that create new ones. So far, between the FED and Tresury, they've sunk 12 trillion (a trillion is 1000 billion)dollars into these banks, and with no oversight. Yet, Obama is going to probably force GM into banruptcy for want of a relatively minute amount of money: 30 billion. As a result, millions of people, like my 78 yr old mother, will her lose health coverage, and a 300 dollar pension. This will destroy my mother. There are so many people tied to GM...more than are tied to AIG. The difference is, we're poor instead of rich, and the money must go to the rich. It only makes sense, right!?

    Some of these comments seem to have missed the point, as though they didn't hear what Black said, while others seem to just ramble on with their own mad ravings, and still others seemed to want to distill the concepts into some incomprehensible vapor which can't be handled. This is my first post, I'll be back with more soon.

    I have to laugh at the idiot who keeps asking for an end to "capitalism." Dude, you don't understand what's going on...we don't HAVE capitalism! When you socialize losses you don't have a capitalist system. Those who are reckless and lose are supposed to go under and be replaced by the wise and resourceful. Instead, our government REWARDS the thieves!

    If the truth hasn't been evident until this time, then here it is, beyond a shadow of doubt > ''this Goverment is FOR the Banks, BY the Banks and OF the Banks, RUN by Wallstreet''; Amen !

    Like the fish that rots first starting with the head, our politicians from this President down, stand indicted for inaction and trying to maintain the status-quo.

    Allow me to add my vote to those who are imploring Mr. Moyers or, in fact, anyone who can get this information out, to read up on their history of central banking in America, and its most egregious result, the Federal Reserve System.

    I believe Mr. Black is close, but still a bit off, in his pointing of blame at merely the bankers, and collusion with politicians "when a crisis occurs."

    Remember that the same big banks are quite likely members of the Fed, which creates money from nothing in order to fund Government intervention.

    Please study and report on the history and downright destructive behavior of the Fed. Simply changing bank CEOs or adding more regulators will not work, because they really haven't in the last 80 years.

    I think that the 2 questions posed at the top of this thread are dumb. Everybody knows the answers, and here they are, presented at a grade 2 level:

    Lenders clearly committed fraud since they did not properly research borrowers' integrity.

    Irresponsible borrowers also bear some, but less, responsibility. Some to the extent that they knew they wouldn't be able to pay back the loans. Less to the extent that, compared to the lenders, their awareness of and ability to assess risk was less.

    Americans not involved in these loans in any way are innocent victims of the greed of both the irresponsible lenders (more so) and borrowers (less so).

    Also at fault are those who fostered the de-regulation that permitted this to happen. Here in Canada, we have been protected from this fiasco by better regulation.

    I am disappointed that the questions at the top of the thread were not aimed at the more interesting components of the interview with Mr. Black, namely, the apparent scandal in the way that the Obama administration is dealing with the problem.

    Great show. Thanks for ruining my night. 8.6 to 13% unemployment makes it hard for people to pay their mortgages, so I don't think the people are to blame. We all want the American dream. We might be able to get our pound of flesh with investigations and indictments, but it won't change the system. Watching Michelle Obama in Europe makes me think that maybe we should go to her to get to the President, just like Eleanor Roosevelt. I think he will listen to her and maybe wisen up. That said, I am convinced that it doesn't matter what they do. The damage is done and we are in for the long haul. Good luck to all.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Pecora

    Your guest referred to the "Pecora" effect. That is a reference to what Ferinand Pecora did to sort out the last major financial mess after the "Big Depression." It is because of him the SEC was founded. We do indeed need another "pecora."

    I wonder if Obama is afraid that if the American people knew the extent of the fraud and the insolvency of the banks and other corporate entities, if there would be a run on the banks and the currency would collapse?

    Could be a reason for his not doing more... I dunno.

    My beloved Americans,
    Thank you Bill Moyers for your insightful programs. Thanks to you and PBS Americans as well as Canadians are getting informed.
    Your program with W. K. Black reminded me how for decades the whole system on this planet has been manipulated and controled by the elite/ establishment/ and/or secreat sociaties. For decates or sencuries, regardlles of what political persvations governments have been run the people who had voted the governmwent in the office, the result has been that the lives for the people have not changed much or very litle. The ratio between the rich and an average income earner used to be 25:1 in the fifties. Now the ratio is about to 300 - 500. The establishment or the elite has made ubseen profits over the decates and shown very lite social consciousness or social responsibility. If you combined this with what some of the published books revealed about the CEOs beiing mostly psychopaths, than you have a better picture who is running your affairs.
    It boils down to a simple principle that has been practiced for very long time by the elite. PRIVATISE THE PROFITES AND SOCIALIZE THE COSTS.
    Until or unles we the people will demand the change, the same rules/principels will be inforced whether people like it or not. All governements from lef to right have suported this modus operandi.
    My beloved Americans, we must change this modus operadi and instal government of the people, by the people , and for the people. In otherwords, democracy cannot survive without the active participation of its citizents. The democratic sociaty cannot be run by the elite or secret sociaties. Once you alow it you will face dictatiorship, fascisim, or the New World Order.
    I pray for your health and well being.
    Love,
    RWE

    Mr. Moyers - I really admire you but this interview made me sick. I am so tired of this lame argument that everyone who has ever touched the banking industry is a crook and that CEOs of the auto industries that have totally failed are somehow victims or that there is a conspiracy by the Obama administration to go after the autoworkers. This offends me as a thinking liberal who has also been in a management position in business. Mr. Black is right in that a lot of CEOs in MANY industries rape the companies they run. The employees of these companies are used every bit as much or more as the autoworkers. When poor management runs a company into the ground - ANY COMPANY - they are culpable. But enough with calling for Geithner's head. Are we all supposed to follow Paul Krugman off the nationalization cliff?

    Mark: Interesting article about Elizabeth Warren. Also interesting that this news came - not from US news sources, but the UK, instead...

    In any case, thanks for posting it.

    Maybe there is some hope yet - certainly not coming from Obama/Summers/Geitner:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/apr/05/useconomy-regulators

    Bill, PLEASE invite Elizabeth on your show!!!! I first saw her on NOW way back when you were hosting it.

    Finally it makes sense. What can the avarage American do to bring about justice and hold these tyrants accountable? Thank you

    I highly recommend the article that can be found here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/apr/02/bernard-madoff-fraud-victims-sec
    In response to the question: How did Bernard Madoff’s victims fall for his $65 billion scheme? It becomes very clear that Fairfield Greenwich, who had the responsibility for ensuring that audits were carried out re what the financier was doing with its customers' money, turned out to be a new version of the fox protecting the henhouse. It's not enough to have a firm call the auditor to find out if an audit had been done--and take the auditor's word for it without corroboration, we need regulations that will ensure that (proper, need this be said?) audits are done. And that conflicts of interest are avoided. And...and...

    The majority of people commenting here are cognizant of the big picture; unfortunately, a large number still believe:

    1) taking their money out of banks is the smart way to go. The dollar is being devalued, the US will declare "force majeure" in a few months and the new global currency will be foisted upon us all. Any other currency (except perhaps silver, gold etc) be considered obsolete. Did Moyers and Black talk about this? Fat chance!

    2)Global warming: Aw! For heaven's sake GW is a scam! The elite want to tax our very breathing-they want to precipitate humanity back to a feudalistic state.
    In some places, man's oldest and most reliable source of heat, the wood fire, is now illegal. Read what the thousands of REAL scientists have written. Don't take the word of a millionaire politician who owns several mansions! Check: Chemtrails and "Owning the Weather by 2021" military proposal to government.

    3) Federal Reserve:
    My thanks to those who mentioned this hornets'nest...

    4) To those well-intentioned, but naive souls, who think that e-mailing the Whitewash House will "change" anything, save your strength and rather join those who demand to see Barack's birth certificate and other documents. More good will come from that, I assure you. Remember Obama curtsied and bowed to the Queen, not likely Jefferson would have.

    5) 800 concentration (FEMA) camps throughout the US. Those weren't built for nothing, people. See: Baxter live flu virus vaccines.

    6) WACO, WT1, Oklahoma, 911, illegal wars (Iraq/Afghanistan) financial 911...for those who like to connect the dots, these are some of them. A good site to visit is called "What Really Happened".

    7)Mr. Moyers: Your act of attrition includes hosting shows that honestly delve into one, preferably all, of the above mentioned.

    The information is on the Internet, for the time being. The Internet, as it is, is next on the elites to-do list. Let's apply our knowledge (well said, who ever you are) to fight this next attack on our freedoms. Good luck to all, 911Truth

    I highly recommend the article that can be found here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/apr/02/bernard-madoff-fraud-victims-sec
    In response to the question: How did Bernard Madoff’s victims fall for his $65 billion scheme? It becomes very clear that Fairfield Greenwich, who had the responsibility for ensuring that audits were carried out re what the financier was doing with his customers' money, turned out to be a new version of the fox protecting the henhouse. In other words, we need more than values; we need regulators that will ensure that, for example, those who are designated auditors actually ensure that audits are done!

    Greed on every side. OK, go ahead and restructure whatever social structure you wish: capitalism, socialism, facism... any "-ism" you can think of.

    Now, you'll have to put all those people back together again in some new structure - to get food and goods distributed, healthcare, etc. Very soon you'll see the same old processes reborn: greed, selfishness, croney-ism, competitiveness, and the like. These are symptoms of our "HUMAN disease"!

    Take all the people out of a company or a political structure and there's nothing left.

    Until we can regain by a strong, concerted effort: honesty, decency, morality and genuine concern for our neighbor we will all continue to wallow in this mess.

    It's about time we reconstructed our spines, and strive to be RIGHT people.

    I thought the interview with William Black was excellent and I like the fact Bill Moyers was really, really listening to what Black was saying ("A cover up? Are you saying...."). I do think a little more emphasis could have been placed on the collusion between CEO's/CFO of major corporations, their influence/relationship with members of Congress and people like the Timothy Geithner's, the Larry Summers, the Phil Gramm's and Chris Dodd's of the world. And, jumping up and down, banging ones fist on the table, making a point that this is insane, criminal, of the magnitude of any governmental cover-up the U.S. has ever encountered. What Mr. Black was saying, if you really really listened to him is in fact due ultimately, to the lack of moral absolutes this country has. There are no moral absolutes in this country. Everything is relative. What's morally wrong for you is not necessarily morally wrong for me, one man's greed is another man's profit. When there are no moral absolutes and everyone does what is right in their own eyes, the culture is crouching at the door of complete and utter collapse. We have a couple more of these type of cultural catastrophes coming down the road lest you get bored with this one. The Internet...we don't need regulations for the Internet. They say that 70% of all profit made from the Internet is related to the Pornography industry. Let's look at serious criminal activity in this country and those involved usually had some degree of addiction to pornography (look at any interview with serial killers and child sex abusers, hands down). We also minimized regulations for those in the Pharmaceutical industry, Big Pharma. This is another billion dollar industry. They can advertise on TV, in magazines on the radio, wherever they want. Similar to introducing fast food restaurants in America forty years ago and wonder why we now have an obestity epidemic on our hands, in twenty years from now, the new crisis will be...How did we get all these people hooked on pharmaceutical or prescription medications? It all comes down to this no matter what the topic..is man a perfect being or is he a being with many good qaualities but slightly flawed. Before answering that question you need to examine the number of individuals occupying prison cells, the number of law enforcement organizations and the fact crime cuts across all socio-economic boundaries, as exhibited with this crisis and those similar to it. BOTTOM LINE: Mankind needs regulations. Mankind needs moral absolutes. For most men and women, it comes down to a matter of pride. No one wants to be held accountable to a higher authority. Man wants to be his own god. The master of his own world and destiny. He doesn't want to be convicted about his behavior for God forbid, he may have to change something in his life. There is a way which seems right unto a man, but in the end it is the path that leads to destruction. I can't help but think that many who were involved in this fiasco may have thought that some of what they were doing was good and righteous. I wonder what they are thinking now?

    Won't someone tell the president about Mr. Black. I am trying to believe the best of our president that he is following Geithner, Summers and Rubin's advice because he truly wants to avert a meltdown and because he is scared. But he MUST face truth and he MUST know the ideas of Black. He says he wants many viewpoints so PLEASE if anyone in power has the ability to tell him about William Black do so ... IMMEDIATELY ... we have NO time to waste.

    When I look at this program and many others I now believe a global violent revolution is inevatable. Capitalism is failing more than 2/3 the population of teh world. United states which spends more than half the money the world spends on health care only covers realistically only 10% of it's population for serious illness, 1/2 the population is on the verge of starvation. The world's wealthiest 1% are so arrogant to believe this can go on.Sooner than later the explosion will take place. It will be felt worst in the United States the largest home of human injustice. It will be felt in all the countries in the Northern hemisphere more or less depending how they taken care of there citizenry. We are sitting here in 1917 Russia or 1789 France waiting for the explosion and with the same arrogant leadership who believe they can do anything to anybody.

    It is so good to hear your piece. How can we all make the government do what it suppose to do?? Mr. Black should sent his book to the President.

    Fascinating how lame-stream "news" talk-shows etc. start introducing outspoken guests when the ratings plummet, eh?

    Take Moyers for example: He now invites guests who can and DO explain, not fully, never fully, the truth about this newly engineered financial disaster/political corruption (every depression is engineered by Zionist bankers)etc. but only after the Titanic has touched bottom, so to speak.

    This is corporate-owned medias' long anticipated swan-song: "Prestigious" newspapers are shutting down in droves; Hollywood is the "elites'" propaganda machine; and only the voluntarily comatose still watch tv trusting they are getting the "facts." John Swinton called journalists (of his epoch) a bunch of "intellectual prostitutes!" (see Article)
    And, we can be sure, the tradition goes on, regardless of how deeply knitted the "journalists/newsman's" brow is in faked consternation.

    Their excuse for decades of deception? The "great unwashed," the "useless eaters" (that's us, folks) can't handle the truth! Naw, we can. It's they who can't handle their due punishment as traitors. "If one knows there is treason going on, and says nothing, one is also guilty of treason."

    So-called in-depth news analyses shows, such as Moyers's, have only just begun to layer in a few truths over the usual mounds of manure they throw at us, because of the hot breath of enraged populations steaming down their necks. It's torch & pitchfork time again, folks, and they know it.

    Why just yesterday anyone who spoke of black helicopters, loss of freedom etc. or the encroaching New World Order (global communism) was called a whack-job. Today, "respected" journalists are clamouring to make the same announcements. They have taken on some sort of Hermes/Cassandra hybrid role. The masses urgently need to be placated, is all.

    So, please, let's not doff our hats off to Bill just yet. He, and others of his ilk, still have much reparation to make.
    911Truth

    JPS wrote:

    "Hey Bill - you might want to do a story on The Federal Reserve, instead of this distraction. After all - IT is the entity that it guilty of the greatest scam in the history of our country."

    There will be a "Rally to Democratize the Fed on April 15th" in D.C. at the Fedreal Reserve. The organizers say that they "formed to mobilize, transform, and democratize the Fed and its money-creating powers, to save the free enterprise system, and channel new money and credit from the grassroots into a more just, productive, and participatory market economy."

    Join in!

    How will this problem be addressed when the people charged with looking into it do not want to reveal the true depth or nature of the fraud that has been perpetrated on the American people?
    Its terribly depressing to think the Obama administration's vow to bring "change" to America was so quickly jettisoned when the reality of this disaster was revealed.
    If Black's assertions are correct, I think its likely Obama will be a one term President followed by an even more bitter and fractious political campaign that will see a deeply divided country dragged through a decade of stagnation and recrimination. Meanwhile America's overseas enemies will sit, watch and wait for the inevitable opportunities that will arise with a financially weakened America.

    Hey Bill - you might want to do a story on The Federal Reserve, instead of this distraction. After all - IT is the entity that it guilty of the greatest scam in the history of our country.

    The bankers tare in collusion with The Fed - along with our own Treasury Department. The new Treasury Secretary is the former head of the New York Federal Reserve. Do the math.

    This kind of story only serves to distract, while making it look like the bankers alone are the culprits.

    The real culprit is The Fed itself. it is the center of the Onion - and has more power than the President, Congress and Judiciary, combined.

    Go after The Fed, Bill Moyers - if you dare….

    Well read THE GREAT BETRAYAL Patrick Buchanan print 1998
    Then NAZI NEXUS Edwin Black
    Industrieal WAR Machine..
    FELIX Rohatyn, Paris Club.Over (DELPHI) 30 American Companies in BANRUPCY owned by Felix Rohatyn..Nancy Pelosi Select Committee on Energy Independence and global warming..The forum was held with Speakers Larry Summers,Felix Rohatyn Pres. from the AFL-CIO and REp. from Business the private sector and the academic World. Read House democrats work to address the subprime mortgages..12/9/2007.
    www.LaRouchepac.org
    www.50 years.org ....12/0/2007 Also I like to know,
    .U N RES.21 63 CONGRESSMEN sighned that paper.What is it?

    Truly stunning. A system designed to fail from the beginning. The pyramid scheme to top them all, how are the people that helped create this problem trying to lead us out?

    In Case You Missed It

    Needs and Wants and Needs Not Met

    We are trying to live in an economy of wants. We were living in a state of ignorant bliss. Natural law dictates that we can only live in an economy based on meeting needs, if that economy is to be maintained and stable. Aside from the obvious needs of - food, water, and shelter – what are our other needs? Acceptance, approval, being valued, being wanted, being recognized, learning and appreciating, safety, security, and the elimination of risk and fear constitute a social/psychological need! These last needs are non-material.

    Our present economy of wants capitalizes on our social/psychological needs, and in a virtual way attempts to meet or replace these needs with something that can be commoditized and sold, ‘wanted’. Social/psychological needs take individual work, risk, and sometimes perceived sacrifice to achieve. Work, risk, and sacrifice we often set as virtues, but also get another set of signals to avoid, if not to be abhorred in what we see as a pragmatic view of life. If shown something that appears to satisfy one of these needs, we are easily persuaded to purchase it, ‘want it’ to soon find it really doesn’t satisfy the real underlying need and we continue to search, find, want, and buy. This is the basis for our consumption based economy which necessitates ever increasing levels of consumption. The real satisfaction of the underlying needs is not being found, and the need to consume continues.

    Why the need for ever increasing levels of consumption? We can produce what we need today with many fewer hours of human work. We therefore invent jobs to employee those who are not needed to provide for real needs. As we live in a closed system, this can not go on indefinitely. One solution may be to put more people to work for fewer hours producing the products and services that meet real needs. The social/psychological needs presently perceived as wants, may be then realized in the time individuals are not working at paying jobs, but instead interacting socially with others. What changes might evolve in the interrelationships of people over several generations if time was available to meet our social/psychological needs?

    Who are the beneficiaries of ever increasing levels of consumption? We are being encouraged to help our economy grow. How far can an economy grow, forever? What if the paradigm was for a stabile, balanced economy? I’ve not yet heard politicians, or anyone in finance or positions of power suggest that a stable balanced economy is to be desired. Why? For that matter, I’ve not heard anything in the media about the significance of population, technological capacity as it relates to the marketplace or economies.

    i just don't have enough fingers and toes to point blame...but i do have enough to post this link everywhere I can.:)

    I do not exaggerate when I say that our country is under attack from our most dangerous opponent and if we do not respond appropriately we are opening the way for defeat and extinction. Why do I say this? If you look down the course of history you will discover time and again that the defeat of the most powerful nations on earth took place from within. They may have ultimately succumbed to outside forces but only after they weakened their position to defend themselves and brought themselves to the point of vulnerability.

    If you look at the last 50 years it is clear that we are destroying ourselves from within. We ignore the signs of vulnerability and proceed as if the threat was nonexistent. A combination of irresponsibility and arrogance prevails and the false sense of invincibility permeates our society. We have experienced a severe wakeup call in our present crisis, but our response to it simulates past responses, inappropriate and misguided action and a deep sense of denial.

    We have had wakeup calls over the last 50 years but we fail to respond adequately. These have been centered on issues concerning energy, healthcare, education, welfare, jobs, housing, racial divide, and the economy. Our response is one of a band-aid approach at best. We choose complacency and leave the hard choices for another time in place of profits, popularity, and manipulate consensus. We move selfish agendas grudgingly forward by pitting one group against another. In fact elements in the society use this time of turmoil as an opportunity to advance their own selfish hidden agendas of prosperity and greed. And worst of all we give it passive acceptance referring to it as capitalism at work, morality never enters the equation.

    As each crisis approaches and passes we deepen the severity of the next. This present crisis has culminated into the perfect storm, a storm that was just waiting to happen. Through the efforts of increasing profits and the dispensing of goods and services to a vast number of individuals not entitled by their lack of readiness, we have weakened these individuals and in turn society. We have created far more problems than we solved by empowering people under false pretenses. Instead of empowering people by education and increasing their job skills to obtain jobs that would earn their way to the top, we allowed them to take shortcuts via credit to self-serve the greed of capitalists and create a false sense of wealth. At the same time we reduce the prospects of good paying jobs as well as the sustaining secondary jobs necessary as intervening steps to the ultimate job goal or lifestyle.

    This perfect storm comes at a time when we face our greatest threat from the outside. It weakens our position to protect ourselves against our most powerful outside enemies. Yet, the enemy from within remains the biggest threat, not only because it is corrosive but ignored and condoned.

    The perplexing problem is that when attacked by outside enemies our responses are focused and unified. Our technology and military force is for the most part up to the task. The attack from within is far more complex. It is layered with deceit, greed, patronage, institutions, bureaucracy, power and self interests. To go after the perpetuators is to go after our own citizens. This causes potential hardship to a large number of innocent people who are connected to the situation as employees, shareholders, or suppliers. But the perpetrators themselves walk away only with a slap on the wrist. We have the means to fend off this attack but it has been manipulated and crippled by those in power rendering it ineffective for the most part. The channels for active responses are laborious, lack cohesiveness, are limited to individual responses for the most part and thus lead to uncoordinated efforts lacking the proper support for success. Even though our constitution provides the process, it has been diluted and circumvented by the political ranks.

    We are rapidly reaching the point of no return. Perhaps we are already there. In any case time is short, at best, and those who can must act now to turn the tide. We cannot be distracted from this problem. As always, the political structure will try to divert our attention from the real issues by injecting hot button issues to attempt to shift our focus. As important as these hot button issues may be they will receive little resolve without a firm foundation of financial support and will. The firm foundation of financial support does not exist and what will remain is as weak as ever. The current course we are on further lessens the hope of victory.


    Thanks for the information. Much of which had been figured out by other folks like me.The question I have is, What can be done about the situation? I am fed up with the members of our congress. I believe they are as corrupt as any of the people who they may or may not, investigate. Shouldn't this be a matter for the justice dept, or do you suppose they are so neck deep in aligators, they just don't have the will to do any of the required foot work? I applaud Mr. Black and Mr. Moyers......what do you suppose is the solution?

    Yes, the lenders and banks are at fault. They were the experts who were supposed to advise the citizen getting a loan. They were the experts who knew the consequences of these "fraudulent" loans. But why did they still did it? Because they also knew, that as in the past, most of them would be rescued by the government or the Federal Reserve Bank, which by the way is neither federal (a government entity) nor a reserve of money.

    Great interview, very informative. Did we learn anything from history?

    What to do with the Wall-Street (expletive deleted) perpetrators of
    the economic mess, whether there are laws they broke or not?

    Shouldn't the contrivers and executors of the late Wall Street financial
    schemes be regarded as the parricides of their country, the U.S.?

    The South-Sea Company was originated in London by Harley Earl of Oxford
    in 1711. By 1720, this bubble threatened to sink the British economy.
    Charles Mackay, in his book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the
    Madness of Crowds first appeared in 1841, describes the discussions in
    the two houses of parliament.

    "The Lord Molesworth was particularly vehement:

    It was said by some, that there was no law to punish the directors
    of the South-Sea company, who were justly looked upon as the authors
    of the present misfortunes of the state. In his opinion, they ought
    upon this occasion to follow the example of the ancient Romans, who,
    having no law against parricide, because their legislators supposed
    no son could be so unnaturally wicked as to embrue his hands in his
    father's blood, made a law to punish this heinous crime as soon
    as it was committed. They adjudged the guilty wretch to be sewn in a
    sack, and thrown alive into the Tiber. He looked upon the contrivers
    and executors of the villainous South-Sea scheme as the parricides of
    their country, and should be satisfied to see them tied in like manner
    in sacks, and thrown into the Thames."

    If Lord Molesworth was a senator today, we could probably read that:

    "He looked upon the contrivers and executors of the villainous Sub-Prime and related
    schemes as the parricides of their country, and should be satisfied to see them tied in
    like manner in sacks, and thrown into the Hudson."

    The bargin that has been coined for these "liars loans" is the zenith of greed, stupidity and resulting dysfuntion by the parties who enter into it.
    Greed on the quick buck artists who wrote it and were tryin' to "slip it past" whatever regulators that were left who had some, or any sort of conscience about how much actual validity there could be in an instrument written w/o much if any checking on the prospective borrowers financials. Never mind their own lack of conscience as to "doin' the right thing", when it comes to the larger picutre in what possible consequences might ensue if the thing went "belly up".
    It's almost criminally stupid that the person putting themselves under the debt that they either knew they couldn't handle, or would have to work like an animal to keep up with was just as bad in his/her own way as the greedy bastid who wrote the thing in the first place.
    Who to blame more, I'm in favor of the greed head, not by much tho. This was collusionary at such a deep psychological level that neither was either able to, or didn't want to look forward to the possibility of it "goin' to hell in a handbasket" if they defaulted.
    As I said before the scales would get tipped in favor of the greedy bastids because they dreamed up this and pushed this "product", so they could "live in the style they're accustomed to" and have the proliteriet, i.e. workin' sluts, do everything else that need be done to actually have an economic system function, while they could sit on their ass and play with others hard earned money. That, as we're seein' without any consequences for rippin' these supposed home owners off.
    The same kind of get rich quick attitude, and the resultant "payin' fast and loose" applies to the failure with the banking collapse. There the douche bag politicos like Phil Gramm of Tx. with his pushing and repeal of the Glass-Stengle act greased the wheels to the trip to financial hell that we're all livin' with one way or another.
    As Einstein said about problems. "Fear or stupidity has always been the basis for most human actions". Highlight the stupid here, but don't count out fear of some kind that factors into the equation.

    Dear Bill,
    Tim-Bob here again to report that as we suspected there was not one mention of your interview with Bill Black on any broadcast network news on Saturday or Sunday and I watched them all! Also no reports were found at Rueters,AP or the Drudge Report!It looks as if this great timely information that you shared with us who are hoping for truth justice and the American way are about to be let down again.
    I really had high hopes that this would create a groundswell of outrage and action from the good honest folks out there, but...Oh well. Sometimes I wish that my 3rd grade teacher had never selected me to play the part of Patrick Henry in that patriotic play way back in 1963. It's a good thing they don't allow that kind of thing in our schools anymore.Kids can get brain damage believing that liberty is worth dieing for!
    Nice try Bill Black but not enough people are going to hear your message.I suggest you hire a horse and ride through the streets of DeMoines Iowa shouting at the top of your lungs. THE blank ARE COMING, THE blank ARE COMING! (You insert in the blank any one of the bad guys that want to destroy this country) I'd bet a hundred Tootsie Rolls you'd get more listeners than you're going to get on broadcast tv. What you really should have done is when you were asked by Bill M. about your support for Obama was this. I HOPE HE FAILS. That's the kind of first rate investigative reporting that lands one his
    15 minutes of fame on National TV with Katie,Charles or Brian
    You have to have a gimmick. Forget patriotism. It's being exterpated.
    Thanks For Trying
    Tim-Bob

    Thank you PBS, for airing this.

    This information needs to get out. Please continue talking to Bill Black and featuring him on PBS! He truly "gets it". The rest of the MSM is ignoring this.

    Pressure needs to be turned up on our Congress to investigate those responsible for this crisis and prosecute them!

    Bill,
    Bill Black was very interesting. I just fear that money speaks to power, and the banks have so many lobbyists and politicians in their pocket... Alot of us had hopes for Obama, but I am not impressed so far with his administration or choice to just give trillions to the same swindlers who have been cheating the average american for years and possibly decades. I am, like so many others outraged and disappointed in our government. Thank you for doing interviews like these, I would only hope that the mainstream media will follow suite and try to reveal the truth.

    During his interview with Mr. Black Mr. Moyer repeteadly ask 'who is going to uncover this fraud'. It is ironic that on the same episode he honored independent journalist of the "Izy" award. It was shocking to me that there has been no connection (including by Mr. Moyer) of the sharing of the blame of our current financial crisis on the press. Certainly greed and corruption by the banks, the utter faulure of the rating agencies and the lack of governmental oversite are at the core of the issue. However the press is also implicated by their silence. Media should have been 'sniffing out' that there was something amiss in this phantom prosperity with good solid investigative reporting. The failure of having a voice of the press on this issue has certaily allowed teh situation to be exacerbated. If the press fails to dig into the details of this issue of 'who is to blame' then it may be too late when we find out how bad it really is.

    “Our system isn't necessarily better, just better enforced”
    The party of money in USA has rescind the laws that were in place in 1930 and
    thereafter for the benefits of the elite – the establishment. With no
    amendment to our Constitution to empower the people to participate in a
    “Direct True Democracy,” to express their “WILL on ALL ISSUES” - people are powerless!

    Thank you again PBS for doing some fine work. Alas, it is shameful that our congress is not conducting investigations on this level.

    I wish to thank PBS again for another fine work. Too bad the congress is not doing even an iota of investigation on this level.

    I propose a new "stimulus" program--building new prisons to house folks whom did defraud the American people and investors.

    FULL CIRCLE!

    Thank You Bill Moyers and PBS for your April 3, 2009 show with guests WIlliam Black and Glen Greenwald/ Amy Goodman.

    This topic issue of political control and news coverage and viewer access is one and the same problem, and I believe more of a problem every day, which is that a small organized entity of less than moral humans who feel as though they are superior to the laws of our Republic within the United States of America where many of them reside as citizens, and not above these laws, nor the Oath of Office for those who have been elected.

    This topic has nothing to do with the differences between Republicans and Democrats. Yet, and very important to realize, it is both parties who seem to be heading down the same path, identically.

    Please! More Coverage on This.

    Sincerely, Bill - WI

    You asked, "Where is the public outrage?"

    Answer: The public has no vehicles for its outrage: no vital minor parties, only conglomerate-owned media, few unions, few programs like "Bill Moyers' Journal".

    I don't understand your shock, Mr Moyers. Surely, you cannot be surprised that people like tax-cheat Geithner and Larry Summers are liars! Surely, you cannot be surprised that our president, BO, is a liar!

    You ask, "Where is the public outrage?" The public, in the US, has no vehicles for its outrage. We are un-unionized; have no vital minor parties; conglomerate controlled media; a poorly educated electorate. Briefly, our democracy (!) has been castrated.

    Bill, you looked shocked during the interview with Mr. Black. I know I was.

    I have just asked to be taken off the Obama mailing list (have been there since the early days) until Mr. Obama does something real to address this. I was and still am a huge fan of the President. However, the way he does (or does not) handle this may well be his true legacy.

    Perhaps this is something that other Obama list members can do to get this point across to the powers that be?

    Love your show - more please :-)

    Since Canada is the country that probably is most similar to the US, it would no doubt be helpful for the American system to follow the rules that the banks in Canada have followed
    There is no crisis in banking in Canada. There have been loan losses but nothing like those experienced in the US

    Our system isn't necessarily better, just better enforced

    Fascinating and amazing interview. At one point Bill Moyers asks incredulously : "So where is congress ? Where is the press?". I think I have an answer to that. Most people STILL get their news from local news and network nightly news. Not cable, not the internet, not PBS. Local and Network news is still the #1 news source for most folks. Well, as you know local news is often treated as a joke. 1 hour of lukewarm stories, most of it human interest. The 30 minutes Network newscasts are just as bad. 23 minutes of air time, half of that "medical" or human interest. The rest of the 22 hours on TV? Entertainment, comedy, etc. We have had A LOT to talk about in the past three decades, but face it, most of TV is really dedicated to stupid Pet tricks, late night, etc. Now, please don't get me wrong I love entertainment and creativity, but if its 23 hours of entertainment and the rest a completely watered down "news" section, well no wonder people have NO CLUE about anything. This type of interview would never even make it to network news, they barely have 45 seconds a story. Most people STILL are starved for good new journalism on TV and so most of us are still in the dark, never mind knowing in detail what goes on with the bailouts !

    Wow, the most hard hitting conversations about the crimes that have occurred and the ongoing fleecing of the US taxpayer. People need to go to jail. My hat off to Mr Moyers, Outsanding, but..Wasn't Mr Moyers a trustee on the Soros Open Society group? Doesn't the Schumann group receive their support? Isn't dismembering the current nationalist based financial system part of their agenda to create an omnipotent global system? Don't believe me? Read Soros' books. Its there in black and white. We are in the frying pan and had better get out soon, but remember, some of those telling us which way to jump are the ones who brought the matches and the cooking oil.

    Very good video of the clearest and easiest to understand explanation of how we are at where we are at. Congrats to Bill Black!

    Hi there:-)
    It was just great listening to a man with the integrity and courage to call a spade, a spade.
    Some words from a song by Woody Guthrie came to my mind, where he writes; -"Some will rob you with a shotgun, and some with a fountain pen."
    There is in reality nothing new in the situation we are faced with today, except for the fact that the "fountain- pen-robbery" at this time was bigger than the normal day to day one.
    And, the misery caused by it will most certainly lead to an increase in the amount of "shot-gun-robberies".
    A first step to make an end to such misery and to create a better society, would be to make the US population aware of the fact that they live in a plutocracy and not in a democracy.
    However, watching the euphoric masses leading up to the election of president Obama (and his empty slogans), that will take a long, long time.
    That is, unless Dr. Paul Ross is capable to get rid of the FED. That would give a head start to some real change.

    Quotes in Grapes of Wrath, novel and movie (1940), by John Steinback

    "The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It's the monster. Men made it, but they can't control it."

    "They breathe profits; they eat the interest on money. If they don't get it, they die the way you die without air, without side-meat."

    "Men who have created new fruits in the world cannot create a system whereby their fruits may be eaten. And the failure hangs over the State like a great sorrow . . . . [A]nd in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage."

    "They's a time of change, an' when that comes, dyin' is a piece of all dyin', and bearin' is a piece of all bearin', an' bearin' an' dyin' is two pieces of the same thing. An' then things ain't so lonely anymore. An' then a hurt don't hurt so bad."

    "And the great owners, who must lose their land in an upheaval, the great owners with access to history, with eyes to read history and to know the great fact: when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed."

    "How can you frighten a man whose hunger is not only in his own cramped stomach but in the wretched bellies of his children? You can't scare him--he has known a fear beyond every other."

    Where are the artists, musicians, writers, thinkers, and leaders of this place, this time?

    Fellow watchers, I would like somebody who knows more than I do to comment on a Youtube clip of a Fox News broadcast I’ve received from a Canadian friend. This shows clips of McCain, Greenspan, and then-Treasurer Snow warning of the need to regulate Fannie and Freddie, and of Barney Frank (note that his name is spelled wrong, in the quote below) and Chuck Schumer resisting same.

    My suspicions are on alert. First, I note the highly colored character of the e-mail post, flavored as it is by conspiracy accusations against the liberal media. And then I see the Fox-News propaganda techniques as transparently obvious, plainly seeking to rehab George Bush’s legacy by presenting a highly selective and misleading picture. I especially noticed the steady references to the “Bush administration” and a clip of the man himself (but not speaking)). Please note that the sender of the e-mail perpetuates same, by personalizing references to the man as well ("George Bush tried to warn . . . .")

    Here is what showed up in my mailbox:

    QUOTE: Somehow NBC et. al. missed showing this time line when the economy was falling through the floor. Just kept repeating their mantra of it was ALL Bush's fault. This video shows that George Bush tried to warn Congress in 2002 that this economic crisis was coming, if something was not done. But congress refused to listen, along with Barney Franks. This video says it all. Also that the liberal AMERICAN media did not want this video on You Tube, so they had Time Warner threaten a law suit (proprietary rights) if it was not taken off. This link is of the same video but is routed through Canada . Everyone in America needs to see this! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMnSp4qEXNM&NR=1 END OF QUOTE

    Bloggers, I am mindful of George Lakoff’s warning that the conservative thought-machine must be countered. Help, please. I would like to understand the rejoinder to this better than I presently do.

    Re: “Liars’ loans mean that ‘We don’t check. You tell us... and we agree to believe you... "

    The "Liars" loans concept is misleading. Actually there is/was no need to check. They already have more financial and personal information than they need... from "Big Brother is Watching" Credit Bureaus!

    My worries escalated a couple of years ago, when my daughter bought her first house. Now, understand, my daughter did not even have a credit card at that time. She always paid in cash. Poor, but debt-free, would describe her, with an income of around $25K/year. So she finds a house she likes, and applies for a loan. Nada, zilch, they won't give her a loan. You see, she had NO credit rating, never having bought on credit.

    And THEN, here is what the loan company did to give her the loan: they allowed her to get a statement from her UTILITY companies, that she had always paid her bills on time, and they used THAT for her credit score! How inventive!
    Top that off, they told her that she could borrow up to $190,000! For 100% of the value of the home!!!
    God, what a miracle!

    I saw so many red flags I nearly choked. I told her to be 100% sure she got a FIXED-RATE loan, and she was wise enough to listen to my counsel. (Now fortunately, my daughter was bright enough to know that she did not want to borrow that $190K and instead chose a cheaper house, and to her credit, she always paid her mortgage payments on time and even paid extra on some months.)

    But in the larger picture of things, I did some reading and decided that no way was this kind of lending practice safe for the lenders. I remember a time when you had to put 20% down on your home to get a loan, then that dropped to 10% and finally in about 1975 my husband and I got one of the first 5% down loans, which at the time you could only get if you had a really SUPER credit rating.
    But I digress....

    It's shoddy lending practices like these that put us in the fix we are in now. One VERY SIMPLE thing could have prevented this entire fiasco: make the lender who sells the loan, HOLD that loan and worry about getting his money every month. That ONE THING would have stopped this foolishness. But NO, our free-wheeling, "home-in-every-family" president GUTTED our safe lending practices with de-regulation, and VOILA!

    Loan peddlers were selling homes to anyone who could sign his name. Literally. People got loans without any proof of income, without any proof of credit rating, without basically anything except the ability to say YES and sign their names. The loan sellers turned around and SOLD those mortgages for A-1 Rated Securities, and they sold them all over the world. It was like a dog p*ssing on every lamppost he could saddle up to.

    And now AIG and every other bank or lending institution claims that they had NO idea that this thing was in such a mess....NOOOoooo, they had NO idea! Incredulous. This is a total lie. If even I could see this house of cards was going to fall, they surely knew it from the get-go.

    Professor Black shames me for my lack of skepticism about the current crowd of Obama Administration economic advisors and officials.

    What was it he said, "Even without hope, there is persistance"? A wonderful maxim for the world we now live in.

    I am frustrated by the government's lack of any investigation of the whole mortgage industry fraud. I had mortgage bankers, real estate agents, all kinds of schlubs associated with the mortgage industry telling me they could get me a home loan, no matter how bad my credit was and that everyone was fudging their loan apps. I want everyone hauled before a judge who was involved in this fraud - from the top to the bottom. Quit prosecuting drug arrests and put the focus on this fraud now.

    Yes, thanks to Bill Moyers for the William Black interview. Please have him back in a few months for more details.

    I am intrigued with a very small announcement of about two weeks ago regarding John Kerry hiring Jack Blum to head an investigative staff on his Foreign Relations Committee. Blum was the chief investigator back in the 1980's when Kerry first came to attention as a bright freshman on the committee investigating the causes of the S & L demise, and then following his nose, eventually pulled together the information that brought down BCCI. Kerry started that investigation with Blum as a small sub committee, but when BCCI went in directions that caught Bert Lance, Clark Clifford, and was edging toward Jimmy Carter -- the Foreign Relations Chair at the time, Clayborne Pell, pulled the plug on the Kerry investigation. Just the same, Blum eventually handed off his work to the Bank of England, which closed BCCI -- and he gave what was necessary to Robert Morgenthau, the DA in NYC for NYState, and he got convictions and pleas on the US end of things. Kerry also was on the trail of the Bushes who were all wound up in BCCI -- and that may have had to do with why the plug was pulled. In 88 Bush SR. was VP running for President.

    I am just intrigued that now Kerry is "bringing back Blum" who is a possessed investigator of banking fraud. I remember Black from those S & L hearings, and note that the longer books on BCCI and the S & L problems, include thanks by authors for helping sorting through long lists of detailed questions. Blum, of course, did the same with the BCCI materials.

    So could Blum do for the post Glass Steagall Banks, Insurance Companies, and all the rest of the fradulant muck-ups, what he once did leading Kerry's subcommittee into the midst of BCCI?

    Given that this is a Global problem it makes sense for Foreign Relations to take the lead -- also FR is a little less likely to be stuffed with Senators high on campaign money from the Banksters. Black says we need committee hearings to blow the top off the problem -- maybe Kerry with Lugar carrying the Republican side is the right investigative committee, particularly if Blum is running the back room store.

    Thank you Mr. Moyers & PBS for such an excellent program and in particular the interview with Bill Black.

    One has to wonder what else is the government covering up and hence not telling us? What about global warming, peak oil, fractional reserve banking, the war on terror, the war on drugs, the safety of nuclear power, clean coal, safety of GMO's & industrial farming, the safety of vaccines & drugs, etc.?

    I get the feeling that this sort of misinformation campaign has been going on for a long time?

    Example: As it is now known the war with Vietnam was based on a lie - there was no attack of US ships in the straight of Tonkin - but this does not seem to be news worthy anymore. No self examination and reflection of what that actually means.

    I blame the corporate controlled media for this, but it is also our fault - us citizens for becoming too busy & lazy to care what actually goes on the world around us.

    We haven't performed our duty and kept a close eye on our politicians and hence have failed to hold them accountable at election day. It is time to wake up and get involved.

    I have a story suggestion for PBS and listeners/readers:

    Learn about Sibel Edmonds - a former FBI whistleblower that was fired after raising the alarm bell of internal corruption and infiltration by foreign spies.

    Here is her story / documentary:
    Kill The Messanger
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6063340745569143497

    If you don't like what your are seeing, then get up and get involved. Let your voice be heard

    Keep up the good work.


    I live in the Netherlands, but your previous governments incompetent and fraudulent policies affect us us here to.

    What frightens me most is the fact that it seems that they are trying to hide the size of the problem. Maybe (I hope) it is to protect some of the guilty people. But another more frightening possibility is that the problem is to big to handle.

    Why not begin an email campaign to the White House requesting/demanding President Obama meet with Bill Black and report back to us, his assessment of Black's conclusions. It is far from unreasonable to ask he meet with someone who was an outsider, rather than an insider in this whole debacle.
    Come on all your bloggers. Use your computers to make a splash big enough it can't be ignored. We voted for CHANGE, let's do our part to initiate it.

    Do it. I did.

    www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

    I remember reading about President Eisenhower's comment when, in the early 1950s, he refused to commute the Rosenbergs' death sentence for alleged espionage...he said he couldn't do it because he felt their crime was "worse than murder," since at the time it was believed that the leaking of atomic weapons secrets to the Soviets could have led to the deaths of millions of people. I think the phenomenal greed on the part of the financiers that led to the current economic situation is comparable in scope and has had repercussions that are "worse than murder." Every dollar of their ill-gotten gains, and every dollar of taxpayer money that is now going to bail them out and subsidize their bonuses, is a dollar less that went to health care, education, housing, funding for decent jobs, repair of infrastructure, and more. We will never be able to count the number of people who died because they couldn't afford adequate medical care; the people who turned to drink or drugs, or domestic violence, or who committed suicide because of the loss of their home, job, or retirement income--the same people whose tax dollars are now going to take care of these whining thieves. If their firms have to pay them big bonuses with taxpayer dollars in order to retain their services while their institutions restructure, they should be told in the same breath that their bonus has been donated to meet the medical or educational needs of special needs children, or to pay the mortgages or rent of cancer or other chronic disease patients who are in danger of losing their homes. A million dollars would go a long way towards meeting the needs of 10 to 20 individuals or families who find themselves unable to pay for the basic needs of life. Because, after all, when you get to the professional level that these people claim to have attained, it's really not about the money, it's about professional recognition. Right?

    good show with bill black. you left out an important fact THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK and the fact we have a central bank cotrolled by the Rothschild banking groups of London and Paris and their NYC lackeys GOLDMAN SACHS,JP MORGAN,CITI, ET AL ARE THE REAL CULPRITS. We need to rid our country of these low life "BANKSTERS " ASAP!! Geithner and Paulsen are bagmen. Obama is a mere puppet controlled by Wall Street. Just check his campaign contributors. We as a country are in deep trouble. Many good points in the interview. Get Gerald Celente on soon.

    Is Bill Moyers as stupid as he acts? With dim witted pansies like this in media "leadership" roles it is obvious why the the big banking and military /industrialists get away with what they do. Bill Black is wrong about one thing. The bankers have not failed. The have so far succeeded profoundly. They have transferred huge amounts of wealth and political power to them selves with little personal consequence. Let me give the goyim some hints. This is not a financial problem, this is not a problem of simple greed, this is a political problem, this is a problem of tribal warfare. Fascist do not prosecute and punish them selves. If you are going to wait for Obama, Batman, or any one from either the Democratic or Republican party to save you, you will be waiting for a long time. Do Barack Obama, George Bush, and Ben 'I need my blankie' Bernanke really look like people who control their own destinies? In my observation I have to say no. And I don't think it's Henry Paulson or Goldman Sachs lobbyists who ultimately have their hands on the strings.

    In response to John's post...& to Bill Moyers...And didn't Obama recently give something like 600 billion to ACORN?
    Just so they can do more mischief? God save our Nation please!

    Dear Mr. Moyers,
    Please have Stanley Kurtz on your show. The only way to save America is to have everyone know the ABSOLUTE TRUTH BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!
    http://www.eppc.org/publications/pubID.3566/pub_detail.asp
    Planting Seeds of Disaster
    ACORN, Barack Obama, and the Democratic party.
    By Stanley Kurtz
    Posted: Tuesday, October 7, 2008


    ARTICLE
    National Review Online
    Publication Date: October 7, 2008

    ‘You've got only a couple thousand bucks in the bank. Your job pays you dog-food wages. Your credit history has been bent, stapled, and mutilated. You declared bankruptcy in 1989. Don't despair: You can still buy a house." So began an April 1995 article in the Chicago Sun-Times that went on to direct prospective home-buyers fitting this profile to a group of far-left "community organizers" called ACORN, for assistance. In retrospect, of course, encouraging customers like this to buy homes seems little short of madness.

    Militant ACORN
    At the time, however, that 1995 Chicago newspaper article represented something of a triumph for Barack Obama. That same year, as a director at Chicago's Woods Fund, Obama was successfully pushing for a major expansion of assistance to ACORN, and sending still more money ACORN's way from his post as board chair of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Through both funding and personal-leadership training, Obama supported ACORN. And ACORN, far more than we've recognized up to now, had a major role in precipitating the subprime crisis.

    I've already told the story of Obama's close ties to ACORN leader Madeline Talbott, who personally led Chicago ACORN's campaign to intimidate banks into making high-risk loans to low-credit customers. Using provisions of a 1977 law called the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), Chicago ACORN was able to delay and halt the efforts of banks to merge or expand until they had agreed to lower their credit standards -- and to fill ACORN's coffers to finance "counseling" operations like the one touted in that Sun-Times article. This much we've known. Yet these local, CRA-based pressure-campaigns fit into a broader, more disturbing, and still under-appreciated national picture. Far more than we've recognized, ACORN's local, CRA-enabled pressure tactics served to entangle the financial system as a whole in the subprime mess. ACORN was no side-show. On the contrary, using CRA and ties to sympathetic congressional Democrats, ACORN succeeded in drawing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into the very policies that led to the current disaster.

    In one of the first book-length scholarly studies of ACORN, Organizing Urban America, Rutgers University political scientist Heidi Swarts describes this group, so dear to Barack Obama, as "oppositional outlaws." Swarts, a strong supporter of ACORN, has no qualms about stating that its members think of themselves as "militants unafraid to confront the powers that be." "This identity as a uniquely militant organization," says Swarts, "is reinforced by contentious action." ACORN protesters will break into private offices, show up at a banker's home to intimidate his family, or pour protesters into bank lobbies to scare away customers, all in an effort to force a lowering of credit standards for poor and minority customers. According to Swarts, long-term ACORN organizers "tend to see the organization as a solitary vanguard of principled leftists...the only truly radical community organization."

    ACORN's Inside Strategy
    Yet ACORN's entirely deserved reputation for militance is balanced by its less-well-known "inside strategy." ACORN has long employed Washington-based lobbyists who understand very well how the legislative game is played. ACORN's national lobbyists may encourage and benefit from the militant tactics of their base, but in the halls of congress they play the game with smooth sophistication. The untold story of ACORN's central role in the financial meltdown is about the one-two punch to the banking system administered by this outside/inside strategy.

    Critics of the notion that CRA had a major impact on the subprime crisis ask how a law passed in 1977 could have caused a crisis in 2008? The answer has a lot to do with ACORN -- and the critical years of 1990-1995. While the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act did call on banks to increase lending in poor and minority neighborhoods, its exact requirements were vague, and therefore open to a good deal of regulatory interpretation. Banks merger or expansion plans were rarely held up under CRA until the late 1980s, when ACORN perfected its technique of filing CRA complaints in tandem with the sort of intimidation tactics perfected by that original "community organizer" (and Obama idol), Saul Alinsky.

    At first, ACORN's anti-bank actions were relatively few in number. However, under a provision of the 1989 savings and loan bailout pushed by liberal Democratic legislators, like Massachusetts Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy, lenders were required to compile public records of mortgage applicants by race, gender, and income. Although the statistics produced by these studies were presented in highly misleading ways, groups like ACORN were able to use them to embarrass banks into lowering credit standards. At the same time, a wave of banking mergers in the early 1990's provided an opening for ACORN to use CRA to force lending changes. Any merger could be blocked under CRA, and once ACORN began systematically filing protests over minority lending, a formerly toothless set of regulations began to bite.

    ACORN's efforts to undermine credit standards in the late 1980s taught it a valuable lesson. However much pressure ACORN put on banks to lower credit standards, tough requirements in the "secondary market" run by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac served as a barrier to change. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy up mortgages en masse, bundle them, and sell them to investors on the world market. Back then, Fannie and Freddie refused to buy loans that failed to meet high credit standards. If, for example, a local bank buckled to ACORN pressure and agreed to offer poor or minority applicants a 5-percent down-payment rate, instead of the normal 10-20 percent, Fannie and Freddie would refuse to buy up those mortgages. That would leave all the risk of these shaky loans with the local bank. So again and again, local banks would tell ACORN that, because of standards imposed by Fannie and Freddie, they could lower their credit standards by only a little.

    So the eighties taught ACORN that a high-pressure, Alinskyite outside strategy wouldn't be enough. Their Washington lobbyists would have to bring inside pressure on the government to undercut credit standards at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Only then would local banks consider making loans available to customers with bad credit histories, low wages, virtually nothing in the bank, and even bankruptcies on record.

    Democrats and ACORN
    As early as 1987, ACORN began pressuring Fannie and Freddie to review their standards, with modest results. By 1989, ACORN had lured Fannie Mae into the first of many "pilot projects" designed to help local banks lower credit standards. But it was all small potatoes until the serious pressure began in early 1991. At that point, Democratic Senator Allan Dixon convened a Senate subcommittee hearing at which an ACORN representative gave key testimony. It's probably not a coincidence that Dixon, like Obama, was an Illinois Democrat, since Chicago has long been a stronghold of ACORN influence.

    Dixon gave credibility to ACORN's accusations of loan bias, although these claims of racism were disputed by Missouri Republican, Christopher Bond. ACORN's spokesman strenuously complained that his organization's efforts to relax local credit standards were being blocked by requirements set by the secondary market. Dixon responded by pressing Fannie and Freddie to do more to relax those standards -- and by promising to introduce legislation that would ensure it. At this early stage, Fannie and Freddie walked a fine line between promising to do more, while protesting any wholesale reduction of credit requirements.

    By July of 1991, ACORN's legislative campaign began to bear fruit. As the Chicago Tribune put it, "Housing activists have been pushing hard to improve housing for the poor by extracting greater financial support from the country's two highly profitable secondary mortgage-market companies. Thanks to the help of sympathetic lawmakers, it appeared...that they may succeed." The Tribune went on to explain that House Democrat Henry Gonzales had announced that Fannie and Freddie had agreed to commit $3.5 billion to low-income housing in 1992 and 1993, in addition to a just-announced $10 billion "affordable housing loan program" by Fannie Mae. The article emphasizes ACORN pressure and notes that Fannie and Freddie had been fighting against the plan as recently as a week before agreement was reached. Fannie and Freddie gave in only to stave off even more restrictive legislation floated by congressional Democrats.

    A mere month later, ACORN Housing Corporation president, George Butts made news by complaining to a House Banking subcommittee that ACORN's efforts to pressure banks using CRA were still being hamstrung by Fannie and Freddie. Butts also demanded still more data on the race, gender, and income of loan applicants. Many news reports over the ensuing months point to ACORN as the key source of pressure on congress for a further reduction of credit standards at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As a result of this pressure, ACORN was eventually permitted to redraft many of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's loan guideline.

    Clinton and ACORN
    ACORN's progress through 1992 depended on its Democratic allies. Whatever ACORN managed to squeeze out of the George H. W. Bush administration came under congressional pressure. With the advent of the Clinton administration, however, ACORN's fortunes took a positive turn. Clinton Housing Secretary Henry Cisnersos pledged to meet monthly with ACORN representatives. For ACORN, those meetings bore fruit.

    Another factor working in ACORN's favor was that its increasing success with local banks turned those banks into allies in the battle with Fannie and Freddie. Precisely because ACORN's local pressure tactics were working, banks themselves now wanted Fannie and Freddie to loosen their standards still further, so as to buy up still more of the high-risk loans they'd made at ACORN's insistence. So by the 1993, a grand alliance of ACORN, national Democrats, and local bankers looking for someone to lessen the risks imposed on them by CRA and ACORN were uniting to pressure Fannie and Freddie to loosen credit standards still further.

    At this point, both ACORN and the Clinton administration were working together to impose large numerical targets or "set asides" (really a sort of poor and minority loan quota system) on Fannie and Freddie. ACORN called for at least half of Fannie and Freddie loans to go to low-income customers. At first the Clinton administration offered a set-aside of 30 percent. But eventually ACORN got what it wanted. In early 1994, the Clinton administration floated plans for committing $1 trillion in loans to low- and moderate-income home-buyers, which would amount to about half of Fannie Mae's business by the end of the decade. Wall Street Analysts attributed Fannie Mae's willingness to go along with the change to the need to protect itself against still more severe "congressional attack." News reports also highlighted praise for the change from ACORN's head lobbyist, Deepak Bhargava.

    This sweeping debasement of credit standards was touted by Fannie Mae's chairman, chief executive officer, and now prominent Obama adviser James A. Johnson. This is also the period when Fannie Mae ramped up its pilot programs and local partnerships with ACORN, all of which became precedents and models for the pattern of risky subprime mortgages at the root of today's crisis. During these years, Obama's Chicago ACORN ally, Madeline Talbott, was at the forefront of participation in those pilot programs, and her activities were consistently supported by Obama through both foundation funding and personal leadership training for her top organizers.

    Finally, in June of 1995, President Clinton, Vice President Gore, and Secretary Cisneros announced the administration's comprehensive new strategy for raising home-ownership in America to an all-time high. Representatives from ACORN were guests of honor at the ceremony. In his remarks, Clinton emphasized that: "Out homeownership strategy will not cost the taxpayers one extra cent. It will not require legislation." Clinton meant that informal partnerships between Fannie and Freddie and groups like ACORN would make mortgages available to customers "who have historically been excluded from homeownership."

    Disaster
    In the end of course, Clinton's plan cost taxpayers an almost unimaginable amount of money. And it was just around the time of his 1995 announcement that the Chicago papers started encouraging bad-credit customers with "dog-food" wages, little money in the bank, and even histories of bankruptcy to apply for home loans with the help of ACORN. At both the local and national levels, then, ACORN served as the critical catalyst, levering pressure created by the Community Reinvestment Act and pull with Democratic politicians to force Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into a pattern of high-risk loans.

    Up to now, conventional wisdom on the financial meltdown has relegated ACORN and the CRA to bit parts. The real problem, we've been told, lay with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In fact, however, ACORN is at the base of the whole mess. ACORN used CRA and Democratic sympathizers to entangle Fannie and Freddie and the entire financial system in a disastrous disregard of the most basic financial standards. And Barack Obama cut his teeth as an organizer and politician backing up ACORN's economic madness every step of the way.

    -- Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Institute.

    Dear Mr. Moyers,
    Please have Stanley Kurtz on your show. The only way to save America is to have everyone know the ABSOLUTE TRUTH BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!
    http://www.eppc.org/publications/pubID.3566/pub_detail.asp
    Planting Seeds of Disaster
    ACORN, Barack Obama, and the Democratic party.
    By Stanley Kurtz
    Posted: Tuesday, October 7, 2008


    ARTICLE
    National Review Online
    Publication Date: October 7, 2008

    ‘You've got only a couple thousand bucks in the bank. Your job pays you dog-food wages. Your credit history has been bent, stapled, and mutilated. You declared bankruptcy in 1989. Don't despair: You can still buy a house." So began an April 1995 article in the Chicago Sun-Times that went on to direct prospective home-buyers fitting this profile to a group of far-left "community organizers" called ACORN, for assistance. In retrospect, of course, encouraging customers like this to buy homes seems little short of madness.

    Militant ACORN
    At the time, however, that 1995 Chicago newspaper article represented something of a triumph for Barack Obama. That same year, as a director at Chicago's Woods Fund, Obama was successfully pushing for a major expansion of assistance to ACORN, and sending still more money ACORN's way from his post as board chair of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Through both funding and personal-leadership training, Obama supported ACORN. And ACORN, far more than we've recognized up to now, had a major role in precipitating the subprime crisis.

    I've already told the story of Obama's close ties to ACORN leader Madeline Talbott, who personally led Chicago ACORN's campaign to intimidate banks into making high-risk loans to low-credit customers. Using provisions of a 1977 law called the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), Chicago ACORN was able to delay and halt the efforts of banks to merge or expand until they had agreed to lower their credit standards -- and to fill ACORN's coffers to finance "counseling" operations like the one touted in that Sun-Times article. This much we've known. Yet these local, CRA-based pressure-campaigns fit into a broader, more disturbing, and still under-appreciated national picture. Far more than we've recognized, ACORN's local, CRA-enabled pressure tactics served to entangle the financial system as a whole in the subprime mess. ACORN was no side-show. On the contrary, using CRA and ties to sympathetic congressional Democrats, ACORN succeeded in drawing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into the very policies that led to the current disaster.

    In one of the first book-length scholarly studies of ACORN, Organizing Urban America, Rutgers University political scientist Heidi Swarts describes this group, so dear to Barack Obama, as "oppositional outlaws." Swarts, a strong supporter of ACORN, has no qualms about stating that its members think of themselves as "militants unafraid to confront the powers that be." "This identity as a uniquely militant organization," says Swarts, "is reinforced by contentious action." ACORN protesters will break into private offices, show up at a banker's home to intimidate his family, or pour protesters into bank lobbies to scare away customers, all in an effort to force a lowering of credit standards for poor and minority customers. According to Swarts, long-term ACORN organizers "tend to see the organization as a solitary vanguard of principled leftists...the only truly radical community organization."

    ACORN's Inside Strategy
    Yet ACORN's entirely deserved reputation for militance is balanced by its less-well-known "inside strategy." ACORN has long employed Washington-based lobbyists who understand very well how the legislative game is played. ACORN's national lobbyists may encourage and benefit from the militant tactics of their base, but in the halls of congress they play the game with smooth sophistication. The untold story of ACORN's central role in the financial meltdown is about the one-two punch to the banking system administered by this outside/inside strategy.

    Critics of the notion that CRA had a major impact on the subprime crisis ask how a law passed in 1977 could have caused a crisis in 2008? The answer has a lot to do with ACORN -- and the critical years of 1990-1995. While the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act did call on banks to increase lending in poor and minority neighborhoods, its exact requirements were vague, and therefore open to a good deal of regulatory interpretation. Banks merger or expansion plans were rarely held up under CRA until the late 1980s, when ACORN perfected its technique of filing CRA complaints in tandem with the sort of intimidation tactics perfected by that original "community organizer" (and Obama idol), Saul Alinsky.

    At first, ACORN's anti-bank actions were relatively few in number. However, under a provision of the 1989 savings and loan bailout pushed by liberal Democratic legislators, like Massachusetts Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy, lenders were required to compile public records of mortgage applicants by race, gender, and income. Although the statistics produced by these studies were presented in highly misleading ways, groups like ACORN were able to use them to embarrass banks into lowering credit standards. At the same time, a wave of banking mergers in the early 1990's provided an opening for ACORN to use CRA to force lending changes. Any merger could be blocked under CRA, and once ACORN began systematically filing protests over minority lending, a formerly toothless set of regulations began to bite.

    ACORN's efforts to undermine credit standards in the late 1980s taught it a valuable lesson. However much pressure ACORN put on banks to lower credit standards, tough requirements in the "secondary market" run by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac served as a barrier to change. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy up mortgages en masse, bundle them, and sell them to investors on the world market. Back then, Fannie and Freddie refused to buy loans that failed to meet high credit standards. If, for example, a local bank buckled to ACORN pressure and agreed to offer poor or minority applicants a 5-percent down-payment rate, instead of the normal 10-20 percent, Fannie and Freddie would refuse to buy up those mortgages. That would leave all the risk of these shaky loans with the local bank. So again and again, local banks would tell ACORN that, because of standards imposed by Fannie and Freddie, they could lower their credit standards by only a little.

    So the eighties taught ACORN that a high-pressure, Alinskyite outside strategy wouldn't be enough. Their Washington lobbyists would have to bring inside pressure on the government to undercut credit standards at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Only then would local banks consider making loans available to customers with bad credit histories, low wages, virtually nothing in the bank, and even bankruptcies on record.

    Democrats and ACORN
    As early as 1987, ACORN began pressuring Fannie and Freddie to review their standards, with modest results. By 1989, ACORN had lured Fannie Mae into the first of many "pilot projects" designed to help local banks lower credit standards. But it was all small potatoes until the serious pressure began in early 1991. At that point, Democratic Senator Allan Dixon convened a Senate subcommittee hearing at which an ACORN representative gave key testimony. It's probably not a coincidence that Dixon, like Obama, was an Illinois Democrat, since Chicago has long been a stronghold of ACORN influence.

    Dixon gave credibility to ACORN's accusations of loan bias, although these claims of racism were disputed by Missouri Republican, Christopher Bond. ACORN's spokesman strenuously complained that his organization's efforts to relax local credit standards were being blocked by requirements set by the secondary market. Dixon responded by pressing Fannie and Freddie to do more to relax those standards -- and by promising to introduce legislation that would ensure it. At this early stage, Fannie and Freddie walked a fine line between promising to do more, while protesting any wholesale reduction of credit requirements.

    By July of 1991, ACORN's legislative campaign began to bear fruit. As the Chicago Tribune put it, "Housing activists have been pushing hard to improve housing for the poor by extracting greater financial support from the country's two highly profitable secondary mortgage-market companies. Thanks to the help of sympathetic lawmakers, it appeared...that they may succeed." The Tribune went on to explain that House Democrat Henry Gonzales had announced that Fannie and Freddie had agreed to commit $3.5 billion to low-income housing in 1992 and 1993, in addition to a just-announced $10 billion "affordable housing loan program" by Fannie Mae. The article emphasizes ACORN pressure and notes that Fannie and Freddie had been fighting against the plan as recently as a week before agreement was reached. Fannie and Freddie gave in only to stave off even more restrictive legislation floated by congressional Democrats.

    A mere month later, ACORN Housing Corporation president, George Butts made news by complaining to a House Banking subcommittee that ACORN's efforts to pressure banks using CRA were still being hamstrung by Fannie and Freddie. Butts also demanded still more data on the race, gender, and income of loan applicants. Many news reports over the ensuing months point to ACORN as the key source of pressure on congress for a further reduction of credit standards at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As a result of this pressure, ACORN was eventually permitted to redraft many of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's loan guideline.

    Clinton and ACORN
    ACORN's progress through 1992 depended on its Democratic allies. Whatever ACORN managed to squeeze out of the George H. W. Bush administration came under congressional pressure. With the advent of the Clinton administration, however, ACORN's fortunes took a positive turn. Clinton Housing Secretary Henry Cisnersos pledged to meet monthly with ACORN representatives. For ACORN, those meetings bore fruit.

    Another factor working in ACORN's favor was that its increasing success with local banks turned those banks into allies in the battle with Fannie and Freddie. Precisely because ACORN's local pressure tactics were working, banks themselves now wanted Fannie and Freddie to loosen their standards still further, so as to buy up still more of the high-risk loans they'd made at ACORN's insistence. So by the 1993, a grand alliance of ACORN, national Democrats, and local bankers looking for someone to lessen the risks imposed on them by CRA and ACORN were uniting to pressure Fannie and Freddie to loosen credit standards still further.

    At this point, both ACORN and the Clinton administration were working together to impose large numerical targets or "set asides" (really a sort of poor and minority loan quota system) on Fannie and Freddie. ACORN called for at least half of Fannie and Freddie loans to go to low-income customers. At first the Clinton administration offered a set-aside of 30 percent. But eventually ACORN got what it wanted. In early 1994, the Clinton administration floated plans for committing $1 trillion in loans to low- and moderate-income home-buyers, which would amount to about half of Fannie Mae's business by the end of the decade. Wall Street Analysts attributed Fannie Mae's willingness to go along with the change to the need to protect itself against still more severe "congressional attack." News reports also highlighted praise for the change from ACORN's head lobbyist, Deepak Bhargava.

    This sweeping debasement of credit standards was touted by Fannie Mae's chairman, chief executive officer, and now prominent Obama adviser James A. Johnson. This is also the period when Fannie Mae ramped up its pilot programs and local partnerships with ACORN, all of which became precedents and models for the pattern of risky subprime mortgages at the root of today's crisis. During these years, Obama's Chicago ACORN ally, Madeline Talbott, was at the forefront of participation in those pilot programs, and her activities were consistently supported by Obama through both foundation funding and personal leadership training for her top organizers.

    Finally, in June of 1995, President Clinton, Vice President Gore, and Secretary Cisneros announced the administration's comprehensive new strategy for raising home-ownership in America to an all-time high. Representatives from ACORN were guests of honor at the ceremony. In his remarks, Clinton emphasized that: "Out homeownership strategy will not cost the taxpayers one extra cent. It will not require legislation." Clinton meant that informal partnerships between Fannie and Freddie and groups like ACORN would make mortgages available to customers "who have historically been excluded from homeownership."

    Disaster
    In the end of course, Clinton's plan cost taxpayers an almost unimaginable amount of money. And it was just around the time of his 1995 announcement that the Chicago papers started encouraging bad-credit customers with "dog-food" wages, little money in the bank, and even histories of bankruptcy to apply for home loans with the help of ACORN. At both the local and national levels, then, ACORN served as the critical catalyst, levering pressure created by the Community Reinvestment Act and pull with Democratic politicians to force Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into a pattern of high-risk loans.

    Up to now, conventional wisdom on the financial meltdown has relegated ACORN and the CRA to bit parts. The real problem, we've been told, lay with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In fact, however, ACORN is at the base of the whole mess. ACORN used CRA and Democratic sympathizers to entangle Fannie and Freddie and the entire financial system in a disastrous disregard of the most basic financial standards. And Barack Obama cut his teeth as an organizer and politician backing up ACORN's economic madness every step of the way.

    -- Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Institute.

    Laws which used to protect working people are being reworked to benefit corporate interests, in the holy name of the free market and propagandized as financial recovery (eventually) for the working people.You know, trickle down.

    What disturbs me most is the apparent complicity of Obama. I would expect a man with Obama's experience in law to have come up a far more ingenious, productive 'bail out' of the the banks (close them. ) and the people. How deep his complicity is to fraud and what his true intentions are can be seen in what he has not done already: deal harshly with the risky investment and punished those that defrauded, not restoring habeas corpus or posse comitatus. Only someone blinded by Hope would not see how sinister this seems.


    http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/the_end_of_america/

    Bill:

    Thank you so much for this broadcast. This is the story that needs to be told, and retold - so the public knows what is really going on...

    I believe the future of our country is at stake.

    Thanks again.

    Thanks for the great interview, finally someone speaks truth. Obama was hand picked and groomed twenty years ago by the handful of rulers that oppress this country. He was trained for the task of making sure the plan would unfold as designed. These men behind the curtain did not care that he was not constitutionally eligible to hold this powerful seat of the Nation. Obama is one smooth talking puppet and fits their need. If the President, Congress and “The People” do nothing to correct the corruption, then I guess we all know who owns these United States, our labor and most of the World, and who the figure heads are. Without labor of the people there would be nothing. But they give us faith based rag paper and ink to make everyone feel better about working for them. The conspirators of this dastardly scheme have hit the fast forward button because the people are catching on. The tape will only get faster and faster so we “The People” won’t have time to counter their destructive deeds upon this great nation. The idiot solutions of the banksters are to throw more fiat rag paper at it. In reality their throwing thin air at it. The Creature from Jekyll Island has grown too big for its gage and has broken free. This creature can only be tamed with truth, freedom, justice and liberty, returning it to its pre 1913 gage. This is the responsibility of the people and their elected attendants.

    I've heard three increasingly interesting explanations about this "crisis" in the past week. This was superb. I also recommend CBC radio's "Sunday Morning" podcast from Sunday March 29th. The information is there for those of us who have looked for it... is there a way to convince a majority to open their eyes? It will be very bittersweet otherwise.

    I second Gloria's comment (April 4, 2009, 11:27 pm.
    How does one reach Mr. Obama these days?
    Will it be worth it? After defeating Hillary Clinton with many small contributions, it was the big contributors that put him past John McCain and into the White House.
    I have little hope that Mr. Obama will now turn on many of those folks. I hope he finds the insight and the courage.

    James M. Moore Bill,
    You and Bill O'reilly of FoxNEws need to shake hands (get him to stop treating you so bad) and get on with what's good for the USA and get some air time on F-dNews O'reilly factor with Mr. Black as a guest, AND spend more than soundbite time with him.
    I'm so grateful for your show, I watch it faithfully! You're good people, sir!
    Jim Moore
    Granbury, TX
    jmoore_1@charter.net

    It is time to take back our America. Do you really think Congress will do their job. We can see our newly elected "Change We Can Believe In" has been a snow job. One of the best I've witnessed. I read the financial blogs (Karl Denninger, for one) out there instead of the mainstream media's grand mastery of deceptive reporting. IMO, our mainstream media is pathetic to say the least. Karl and a few others have been spot on for the past two years. Kudos for PBS and Bill Moyers for finally doing an excellent interview with Bill Black. It could have and should have come sooner, to the tune of at least two years prior. I've wrote to my Congress people demanding that these TARP funds not be doled out like candy to children. Some of the smaller banks which played by the rules and are not leveraged beyond the moon were still forced to take the TARP monies. Why? Another great cover up from the Government to hide the 10 percent Mr Black was referring to. All this fraudulent activity must stop. The best way is to investigate and prosecute the criminals. I am not an advocate of violence, with that said; we need a peaceful million person march on Washington. I will be the first one on the bus. This is what needs to be done to show our elected officials we are tired of the same old Washington politics. They work for the American Taxpayer, not the banking industry.
    I am sad for my country, as she is to lay in shambles and rot away if the American people do not take her back and rebuild her from what our previous generations have fought so hard to build. Please act with me. For all you mainstream media folk out there...get to work and do some honest reporting. Watergate was unraveled by a few courageous individuals. How was fraud and the many more like it resolved...Follow the money.

    I sent money, I voted for Pres Obama, I joined those crying with relief on inauguration day. Little did I know! Watching the people he is choosing to advise him on this matter - I am losing my faith he has the independence of mind and the sheer guts it will take to deal with this crisis honestly. I fear what awaits may make the Great Depression look like child's play.

    What will it take for Mr. Obama to spend an hour with Mr. Black and listen to this latter day Diogenes with both ears? He must do this!!!

    I do thank you Bill Moyers and thank goodness for what you do in giving important people like this the exposure they merit. This interview was a powerful, lucid and most disturbing confirmation of so many worst fears.

    How many others have also wondered, with heads rolling at GM, how bank CEOs remain in their jobs (instead of at Leavenworth) -- people who attained obscene wealth while bringing down the country -- people who willfully encouraged/coddled/enabled and allowed fraud? These "titans" knew their wealth was built with no value behind it!

    So how is it that Mr. Obama now can find no one better to bring in and empower to "solve the problem," than those like Messrs. Summers or Geitner - tax scofflaws who allowed this mess then drew riches from it? Oh, my.

    It chills me to think that these foxes' guarding the henhouse is purposeful. Pres Obama, please please PLEASE act to prove this wrong...

    STOP
    Put a little joy in life.

    http://tinyurl.com/cd5o3t

    No, Shirley Hicks. Barack Obama studied at Harvard, the same place where the brightest minds whom brought us this global scam received their finance degrees.

    Obama had professional dealings with the hedge fund and derivative industry, and received much campaign $$$ from them.

    Obama taught at the University of Chicago, that cesspool of neocon rhetoric whose ideological push has brought us to the brink of this morass and the Iraq wars.

    Obama has brought in the very people whom profited handsomely off of these shadow banking system and lending frauds, to the tune of hundreds of millions of $$$ each, and we still think that this very bright Constitutional Law professor does not know these things?


    As regards the auto workers; Can you say Reagan and air traffic controllers?

    Excellent interview. My jaw hit the floor a few times at the sheer scale of what William Black was describing. I think that it's very important for Americans to write their congressional representatives and their senators and to press for further investigations. My own take, from outside the US, is that the President has enough firestorms to deal with already and that this is prehaps why this is being papered over - for now. It's going to take pressure from below for the thing to blow wide open - and more pressure from ordinary people in Europe on their leaders in order to unearth the exposure of the European banks. I think William Black is right; this is only the beginning and that it's EXTREMELY important to ensure that transparency and regulation are returned to the system.

    I'm now feeling very lucky that my local Canadian credit union, which has been a very conservative institution regarding lending, made a 5% profit last year, even with the financial meltdown in the final quarter.

    Bill Moyers interview with William black was excellent. It should seem obvious to everyone that our monetary system is seriously flawed and by nature those in control will take advantage of this situation. The solution to this problem has been outlined in a book by E.J. Miller, Ph.D. "A Plan For America, The Means to Economic Health and Preservation of Our Democratic Republic as told by an Entrepreneur." Simply stated:
    1. Make the Federal Reserve System de jure a Federal government agency. Such will give the administrative power over the Fed to a direct representative of the people, the President of the United States, consistent with the Federal constitution, and will allow for a fully positive means of regulating the value of the nation's money while eliminating the need for the Federal government to borrow money on the credit of the United States except under extremely rare occasions. It is necessary and proper for regulating the value of the nation's money, for promoting the general Welfare and for preserving our democratic republic.
    2. Require all commercial banking institutions to maintain 100 percent reserves and all lending institutions to lend no more than their customers’ deposits. Such will eliminate the adverse perturbations in the nation's money quantity that now impedes the smooth flow of economic activity. It is necessary and proper for regulating the value of the nation's money, for promoting the general Welfare and for preserving our democratic republic.
    3. Eliminate all Federal government deposit account guarantees and their associated programs. Such will remove a costly Federal government program, and the "Moral Hazard" such type programs contribute to and will improve economic activity by placing risk on the lender resulting in the due diligence appropriate to all sound investments. It is necessary and proper for regulating the value of the nation's money, for promoting the general Welfare and for preserving our democratic republic.
    4. Eliminate all Federal government pension fund guarantees and their associated programs. Such will remove a costly Federal government program, the "Moral Hazard" such type programs contribute to and improve economic activity by placing risk on the lender resulting in the due diligence appropriate to all sound investments. It is necessary and proper for regulating the value of the nation's money, for promoting the general Welfare and for preserving our democratic republic.
    5. Eliminate in total the Federal government's grants programs. Such will eliminate the unconstitutional Federal government practices of passing money to the states and local governments and to privileged individuals and groups, practices that neither meet the general welfare nor any of the other enumerated powers of the Congress. It is necessary and proper for promoting the general Welfare, for restoring state sovereignty and for preserving our democratic republic.
    6. Reduce military spending to that which is more consistent with other advanced nations of the world. Such will reduced world tensions and cause friendlier relations with the nations of the world and, with the reduced demand on the nation's resources; it will make for a more prosperous nation. It is necessary and proper for providing for the common defense, for promoting the general Welfare and for preserving our democratic republic.
    7. Eliminate the (privileged) Federal government retirement programs. Such will eliminate the inequitable distribution of the nation's wealth, provide greater access to Federal government employment, lessen the power of high government management levels, provide more transparency in government and eliminate many of the laws that result from lobbying by powerful private interests and the executive branches of the Federal government. It is necessary and proper for promoting the general Welfare and for preserving our democratic republic
    8. Eliminate the (illegal) drug laws, laws preventing the use of marijuana, cocaine, etc. Such will protect historic spheres of state sovereignty from excessive federal encroachment and thereby maintain the distribution of power fundamental to our federalist system of government and will cause a more sane and friendly foreign policy while making a favorable impact on our foreign trade deficit and will reduce the cost of the Federal government. It is necessary and proper for providing for the common defense, for promoting the general Welfare, for restoring state sovereignty and for preserving our democratic republic.
    9. Eliminate Federal government intrusion into food and drug and other commodity sales, services and distributions within state boundaries. Such will protect historic spheres of state sovereignty from excessive federal encroachment and thereby maintain the distribution of power fundamental to our federalist system of government. It is necessary and proper for promoting the general Welfare, for restoring state sovereignty and for preserving our democratic republic.
    10. Amend the constitution so as to eliminate all (privileged) government funded retirement programs and any other such programs. Such will eliminate the inequitable distribution of the nation's wealth, provide greater access to state and local government employment, lessen the power of high management levels and provide more transparency in government. It is necessary and proper for promoting the general Welfare, for restoring state sovereignty and for preserving our democratic republic.
    11. Amend the constitution so as to limit the number of persons represented by each congressman to not less than 50,000 nor more than 100,000 persons. Such will draw those who are to represent the people from the people making the elected officials more independent of special interests and more responsive to the wishes of the electorate. It is necessary and proper for preserving our democratic republic.
    12. Grant to each of the electorate an equal share in a National Dividend obtained from the seigniorage of the money creation and from the excess of the revenues over the basic needs of the Federal government. Such will join the electorate with its governments through the strongest stimulus we have, maintaining our livelihood. It is necessary and proper for providing for the common defense, for regulating the value of the nation's money, for promoting the general Welfare, for restoring state sovereignty and for preserving our democratic republic.

    Posted by: Benway

    "teached economics and law"
    That's "taught," Einstein.

    Sad. Truly sad.
    -------------------------

    It's called a typo and lack of proof-reading.

    Wow - what profound insight.

    Bill,
    So the President and Congress dissolved rules and regulations giving the swindlers access to large sums of money and the “banksters”, set up their money looms in the palace. They demanded only the finest minds and dedicated workers, only the best silk suits and the finest gold for them as they pretended to work at their money looms. But they put nothing in the looms. The frames stood empty. The silver, gold and stock options, they stuffed into their bags. So they sat pretending by weaving to make money, and continued to work at the empty loom till late into the night. Night after night they went home with their money and their bags full of silver and gold. Day after day they pretended to work.
    ...The rascals stayed up all hours of the night and worked; everyone could see how busy they were making the suit of clothes ready for the procession. Each of them had a great big pair of scissors and they cut in the air. From pretend cloth they cut … CDOs (collateralzed debt obligations) and MBSs (mortgage backed securities) and sewed them together with invisible CDSs (credit default swaps) thread; “Free Market Capitalism’s new suit of clothes.
    The new suit is as light as a spider's web. You might put gold in its pockets and still … “feel as if you had nothing on, but that is just the beauty of it.” Said the banksters.
    "Magnificent," cried the regulators, they couldn’t see anything wrong; no rules, no guidelines there was no regulation at all.
    "Now if the president and congress would graciously consent to take off their old regulation work clothing," said the ever smiling and smug swindlers, "we could fit on the new ones." So the president laid aside his Glass-Steagall brand clothes… “and the banksters pretended to help him piece by piece into the new ones they were supposed to have made.”
    The President turned from side to side in front of the long glass as if admiring himself.
    "How well they fit. How fabulous the Free Market Suits look, “What gorgeous colors!" the senators and congressmen chorused.
    The President, senators, congressmen and government regulators then in grand procession, paraded through the town. They told the people how industrious the banksters were and that soon everyone could buy more with the government’s “new” free market suit.
    “But you haven’t got anything on! There’s nothing there.” Cried many of the people. “The MBS and CDO suits are invisible!”
    The president and both houses of congress started getting the uncomfortable feeling that what the people were saying was only too true. "But I will have to go through with the bail-outs and if it’s true, the president and his advisors said, there’s no money in the banksters’ looms, well then, we should be magnanimous and give them the funds they need to get the machinery of finance working.
    And with that, he stood himself up and walked purposely on, holding his head higher, and the congressmen and senators followed, holding on to the coat tails that weren’t even there at all.
    Excerpted and paraphrased from:
    www.mindfully.org
    by Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75)
    adapted by Stephen Corrin in Stories for Seven-Year-Olds. London 1964
    apologies to Mr. Andersen and Mr. Corrin; thank you to mindfully.org

    There is an old banking adage that is learned on the first day of work by everyone who is involved in making loan decisions: "A bad loan is bad on the day that it is granted." Bad loans are a result of not applying the three basic criteria for granting a loan, also learned on Day 1, called the "Three Cs": The potential borrower must have good Character, must have the Capacity to repay, and must have Collateral. As sophisticated as the mortgage business has become, the "Three Cs" are -- or should be - still the bottom line.

    Every person who was involved in the mortgage meltdown from top to bottom was well aware of the above and was delinquent in performing the most basic act of due diligence -- applying the "Three Cs" -- or acquiesced to the obvious delinquency of others. There are few innocents in this mess -- only those with different degrees of guilt.

    Kelly J. MORRIS, CCUE
    International Development Consultant
    11710 Emack Road
    Beltsville, MD 20705-1546 USA
    Tel:301.789.2445 or 301.937.3725
    Email: kellyjmorris@comcast.net
    Web: http://home.comcast.net/~kellyjmorris
    Blog: http://smartandwise.blogspot.com
    Book orders: http://www.AtacoraPress.com

    Did you ever ask someone who understands this economic morass if stuffing 3 trillion dollars into the 20 largest banks is prudent when there are more than a several thousand banks in this nation?

    HERE'S SOMETHING TO INVESTIGATE:


    From: http://www.billingsnews.com/stories/index/668

    "A new study released this week by a California advocacy group shows that U.S. Sen. Max Baucus has received more campaign contributions from health insurance firms and pharmaceutical manufacturers over the past four years than any other Democrat in Congress.



    According to the Consumer Watchdog study (www.consumerwatchdog.org) using Federal Election Commission data, Sen. Baucus has received $413,000 since 2005 from insurance companies and drug makers, third behind U.S. Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky." 



    HERE"S MORE:


    Sen Max Baucus, who ruled single-payer health reform off the table, is now pressuring the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to favorably judge his health plan as financially sound--even though it isn’t. The CBO issued a series of recent studies which have found that most savings claimed, in the effort to keep private-for-profit insurance companies in the mix, do not exist.



    Alternatively, a single-payer system would save more than $350 billion per year, enough to provide comprehensive, high-quality coverage for all Americans.



    Tell Senator Baucus we need accurate numbers, and that SINGLE-PAYER SHOULD BE ON THE TABLE AND GIVEN A FULL AND FAIR HEARING BY THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE.


    The facts are here:
    http://www.opensecrets.org/races/indus.php?cycle=2008&id=MTS2

    This was an excellent show. Professor Black connected some more of the financial disaster dots for all of us. It remains to be seen if WE THE PEOPLE do anything with this information and if our elected representatives will even acknowledge that we exist when we knock on their doors to share the info from this show with them.

    I am also somewhat concerned with CPERERA's view of the content of this show. I have a few comments and questions of CPERERA.

    CPERERA asks where Professor Black was when all this was going on. It seems to me that he was writing his book "The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One" and NOT being interviewed by the everyday mainstream media. CPERERA also touted Milton Friedman as "the great academic guru of the Free Markets" ... then my assumption is you agree with some of his followers when they espouse the reason everything went to hell in a hand basket is because the financial community chickened out and did not follow his methods to the end ... that if we had left it alone the free market would have worked and fixed itself. My question to CPERERA is ... TO WHAT END?

    You also speak of basic human nature being "capable of spectacular forms of self destruction." I'm not quite sure why you included that remark in the context of your other remarks but I assume you intended it as an explanation as to why these things happened. I drew that assumption because you then tied that comment to your point of view that Moyers and Black ask for morality in the financial arena of our lives but not in the social areas of our lives. Am I understanding you correctly? You also seem to be saying if someone is financially conservative they should be socially conservative. Is that what you are saying? And just of out curiosity ... do you perceive Milton Friedman to be finanically conservative?

    A final question for CPERERA and a few comments ... are you a devotee of Ayn Rand's?? If you are ... I think you need to re-read Atlas Shrugged because it was not the love of money that compelled John Galt to act. Money was a byproduct of all that he did.

    I actually think that the Bible has summed up the source of this economic disaster quite nicely ...

    THE LOVE OF MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL. And that is the trap that the BANKSTERS and for that matter the MAINSTREETERS fell into.

    And oh ... what a muck and mire it is.

    Thank you Bill Moyers, Bill Black, and PBS. Fraud is rampant in the health insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Can you do a show on that?

    The health insurance companies have played a major role in our current healthcare crisis. They make huge profits and their CEOs make millions, while the rest of us are denied care.

    ANNUAL COMPENSATION OF HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY EXECUTIVES (2006 and 2007 figures):

    • Ronald A. Williams, Chair/ CEO, Aetna Inc., $23,045,834
    • H. Edward Hanway, Chair/ CEO, Cigna Corp, $30.16 million
    • David B. Snow, Jr, Chair/ CEO, Medco Health, $21.76 million
    • Michael B. MCallister, CEO, Humana Inc, $20.06 million
    • Stephen J. Hemsley, CEO, UnitedHealth Group, $13,164,529
    • Angela F. Braly, President/ CEO, Wellpoint, $9,094,771
    • Dale B. Wolf, CEO, Coventry Health Care, $20.86 million
    • Jay M. Gellert, President/ CEO, Health Net, $16.65 million
    • William C. Van Faasen, Chairman, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, $3 million plus $16.4 million in retirement benefits
    • Charlie Baker, President/ CEO, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, $1.5 million
    • James Roosevelt, Jr., CEO, Tufts Associated Health Plans, $1.3 million
    • Cleve L. Killingsworth, President/CEO Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, $3.6 million
    • Raymond McCaskey, CEO, Health Care Service Corp (Blue Cross Blue Shield), $10.3 million
    • Daniel P. McCartney, CEO, Healthcare Services Group, Inc, $ 1,061,513
    • Daniel Loepp, CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, $1,657,555
    • Todd S. Farha, CEO, WellCare Health Plans, $5,270,825
    • Michael F. Neidorff, CEO, Centene Corp, $8,750,751
    • Daniel Loepp, CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, $1,657,555
    • Todd S. Farha, CEO, WellCare Health Plans, $5,270,825
    • Michael F. Neidorff, CEO, Centene Corp, $8,750,751

    This executive compensation could be used to provide quality healthcare for thousands of Americans! GET THE INSURANCE COMPANIES OUT OF HEALTHCARE!
    Americans need a NON-profit, single payer healthcare system that provides healthcare for all.

    If you want to learn more, go to:
    http://www.insurancecompanyrules.org/learn_more/the_roster/

    I guess I am surprised at the chagrin of so many concerning these greedy financiers. Corruption seems to run amok in every fabric and institution of our society. We have corrupt politics. No one would dare argue against that point. We have a dirty and corrupt economic system that drives itself on greed. (greed is good?) Our religious system has failed miserably to set a solid moral foundation for our nation. Corruption is so rife with them that we can’t even trust the clergy around our children! Add to this what Prof Black has been decrying regarding our banking system. Even our entertainment industry is full of corruption and exploitation. One can’t even watch a movie or program without being offended by what is seen. Thus we are seeing the result of a nation with diminishing moral direction. The good professor noticed the difference in how many dishonest bankers per capita during the savings and loan scandal, and what he is currently tallying. I remember when I was a child, we would say, ‘I wouldn’t touch that with a ten foot pole!’ With everything going from bad to worse, we better start getting a longer pole or as individuals, we will be taken down with it.

    I encourage all who have commented (especially those in Arkansas and Arizona who suspect Moyers show was sqelched in their area.) I encourage all reading this to use copy and paste features and create a group email to send to your friends and family and offer them a link to this show's Permalink that contains within a link to video of the Moyers-Black interview. Remember too that KNOWLEDGE is not POWER. Applied knowledge is POWER. The heat on these politicians needs to be turned up. Start with some investigations. No more happy evasive talk from Obama saying he doesn't want to examine the past. Screw you Wizard. The time has come to look behind the curtain and to throw water on the witch

    This interview was superb for bringing together a lot of the history and build-up to the current, entirely foreseeable, financial crisis. What it perhaps could've improved upon was exploration of the pervasiveness of the failed ideologies, still largely in play today, that drove us to this point. There were failures in the academic world of economists and thinkers that predicated this. The fundamentalist belief in the magic of the free market, absent any sort of framework that levels the playing field, allowed many to blind themselves willfully to the consistently predictable failures of such beliefs. Another thing that could be explored further is the institution and worldwide dimensions to this that was lightly touched on. The reason UBS got so much money from the US govt through AIG was their exposure to risks from spreading these types of frauds in Europe; the crisis in Europe is a fascinating story in itself. Furthermore, all types of institutional investors like pensions, nonprofits, large scale funds, and sovereign funds (who are less sympathetic characters) that provided the capital for these phantom promises of returns only even begin to glimpse the reaches of the problems we face.

    PS Brooksley Born is the type of person we should've been listening to during our very own lost decade, the Bush years, instead of those like the "committee to save the world".

    "teached economics and law"

    That's "taught," Einstein.

    Sad. Truly sad.

    "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs. "
    Thomas Jefferson, (Attributed)
    3rd president of US (1743 - 1826)

    Ain't it the truth!

    Time to grow up & get over this national infatuation with capitalism. It only works for the benefit of the @ 5% who own the majority stake in America, Inc. It has never worked for the good of the ordinary person, here or anywhere else. You really have a better chance of winning a lottery than you have of becoming wealthy through honest work.

    It's really OK to be nasty to capitalists. Try it. You'll like it.

    Great interview. But, Bill Moyers should invite Ron Paul on his show to talk about the root cause of the fraud: The Federal Reserve Bank, a PRIVATE corporation with monopoly powers. The clip of Geithner denying that he was a regulator was in response to a question posed by Ron Paul in a Congressional hearing.

    The Banking Elite ToDo List:
    ☑ Control the money supply via Federal Reserve Bank
    ☑ Buy the Congress via lobbyists
    ☑ Control the US Treasury and infiltrate the Administration
    Change we can believe in? Same wars, same men behind the curtain. Our children's future has been stolen while we sit and watch the self-manufactured financial crisis unfold. Both political parties are compromized, it's no longer government for the people and by the people. Will America's citizens awake from their sleep...

    Unfortunealy, the 'rich' understand that once the 'jing' is in their pockets, the rule of law, which they carefully craft to make things which should be illegal, legal, protects them. The police state will, with the force of the 'rule of law', protect the banksters.

    As Bugsy Siegel, the famour Las Vegas gangster said, "If I had to do it all over, I would be a 'legal' criminal.

    Now would be a good time to read Noam Chomsky's book "Manufacturing Consent" regarding creating a compliant public, as THAT has had a lot to do with the last 25 years.

    From 'believing' in 'trickle down economics', which actually created a 'tidal wave upwards', (as David Cay Johnston says), to cutting corporate taxes and taxes on the rich in the 'belief' that they would create wealth for the worker (wealth ALL went to the top 10%), to allowing the repeal of Glass Stiegel Act, and allowing the shadow banking system to operate off the books AND without regulation...well, you see the point.

    When everything seems just TOO good, it most probably is.

    Unbelievable. We should all read Prof Black's book after this interview and understand what honesty and integrity really means when put in the context of selfish greed. This interview had me wishing for a place of torment for these dirty bankers who sold the hard working, honest American down the river of despair. We should remember what caused the French revolution. Charles Dickens so aptly describes the plight of the common folk against the Aristocracy in his book, 'The Tale of Two Cities'. the end for the corrupt rich was a terror beyond imagination.

    The Death of The United States Democracy and Capitalism.
    The greed and lack of moral values of the elite ruling the US, especially that of the CEO’s of banks, other financial corporations, and most of the members of congress is what is destroying The United States Democracy and Capitalism.
    The elite leading this country put their own financial gain above everything else. Unless ordinary US citizens wake up and cause change with their vote and demand that their elected officials change the rules of the financial system this democracy will perish.
    What we need to regain trust and re-establish a real democracy:
    1- More transparency from the CEOs of all financial systems and other corporations. Shareholders need to be vigilant and look at the actions of the CEO’s as well as the Boards of directors especially in terms of risk taking on investments that in the short run bring a lot of profit, and big bonuses for them but in the long run are very dangerous.
    2- More say and involvement on part of the shareholders to award bonuses, who should get them, for what reasons, and the ability to take them away when performance is based on deceit.
    3- Board of directors should be held accountable for their actions. Shareholders need to find about conflicts of interest between the board of directors and the CEOs especially in terms of the bonuses they approve for the CEOs and the salaries raises they take. Shareholders need to change the rules on how the boards of directors are elected.
    4- Shareholders should be able to sue the CEOs and boards of directors when their decisions make the shareholders lose a lot of money while they made a lot of money in bonuses and salaries. They should be made to return the money they made to pay the shareholders.
    5- All elected officials and especially the members of congress as well as the president should put the interest of the country as a whole and of the ordinary people who elect them first. Right now the US is not a true democracy, because lobbyist who contribute to the political campaigns and who offer many perks or gifts in different forms buy most elected officials. That needs to be changed.
    6- Financial institutions that take the risk to lend money to people who do not qualify for a loan or cannot possibly pay a loan should be closed or fined.
    7- Change the tax structure so the richest pay the highest amount on capital gains.
    8- Do not put failed individuals in charge of the countries financial institutions and keep the media independent and unbiased.
    9- We need to ask our congress to pass a law to make white collar crimes equal to drug crimes.
    a. Time in jail be mandatory. Make time equal for value of crime.
    b. All private properties will be lock up upon charges, and take procession by the courts to sell and return funds to the victims.
    c. Any funds to be transfer to family members shall be retaken by the courts.
    d. All funds send overseas shall be confiscated.
    e. Any individuals to be shown to assist and abet in the transfers of funds shall be as guilty as the charged individual.

    I am an Obama supporter. However, I am seriously dismayed by his handling of the Banking Fraud. You can't paper over the massive losses by doing some creative accounting. Expose the fraud now!

    Where is Madame Lafarge? We really need her to set up in Foley Square Court House. I don't even believe in capital Punishment.

    The Bill Black interview was the most powerful on the economic crisis I've seen so far.

    He called out the "banksters" as the
    fraudsters they really are.

    Thank you!

    Dear Mr. Cperera.
    April 4, 2009 2:22 PM

    Thanks for writing, I am sure Mr. Black and Moyers will immediately correct the graves flaw you have so accurately point out to them.

    Your rational is merciless although sometimes it looks like a collection of “cut and paste” borrowed from miscellaneous text. I have only one question though. What Sex has to do with that?

    Please Mr. President, take 27 minutes and watch this.
    I'm becoming increasingly concerned that you've not made the best choice for our Nation in choosing Mr. Geithner and not aggressively exposing and addressing this Nation's banking crisis.
    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04032009/watch.html

    Will I need to now start buying Euros, in anticipation of the collapse of the dollar?

    In my town 147 homes were auctioned off this week. Who do you think bought them?
    Janet Marek janetmarek@sbcglobal.net

    In addition, Harvard, in 1975 turned out 4% of it's graduate students in Finance; today, Harvard turns out 44% of it's graduate students in finance.

    Where do YOU think the huge incomes they were taking were coming from?

    Notice any correlation to the drop in worker wages and benefits in the bottom 90 percentile of wage earners to the rise in finance graduates?

    Think about it.

    cperera,
    It has been a war on the working stiff since the pre-Reagan 70's.

    Facts from US Government figures:

    -High water mark for 'average' wage in the lower 90 percentile of US wage-earners: 1973

    -Since 1980, the United States economy doubled (66% in inflation adjusted dollars) Who got it? : It ALL went to the TOP 10%

    -Compared to 1980, how does the wage of the average wage earner in the bottom 90 percentile compare? : $4,000 LESS in inflation adjusted dollars

    Not only did the US elite RAPE the third world for cheap commodities and cheap labour, they also raped the workers of it's own nation!

    The Bill Black interview, more than revealing new information, served to confirm a lot of my suspicions. We are being ruled by irresponsible, incompetent weasels. In this realm both parties are equally sleazy.
    As April 15th nears, and responsible honest taxpayers send their savings to the IRS, we must all remember the tax cheats that Obama's administration has named to key positions. And... those are the ones that PASSED the vetting process - can you imagine how much cheating and tax evasion they must've found when they vetted the candidates that they rejected if they accepted Geitner and others?
    I can't wait for the next election to vote against all incumbents. We have to wipe the slate clean and start over.

    "M P G" may mean "miles per gallon, but in the USA, it stands for "MONEY, POWER & GREED". a "cancer" that will destroy our way of life.....our country is already on life support!...wake up America !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am a viewer-listener who saw both halves of the April 3rd show as equal. Goodman and Greenwald, as well as Black, gae important insights into what citizen sneed to reform a sick and dying social system.

    The hysteria of the miniority of negative responses to Prof. Black, such as cperera, is to be pitted. Ignorance is still bliss for many. Black is not a hot-shot media journalist (sic.) He is a scholar who has studied-researched long and carefully in order to arrive at his assessments, on which he has the right to be called, informed.
    Everyone has a right to an opinion. Whether it is well-informed or ill-formed is key.

    Bill,
    Great show,great expose',great reporting!I am in awe of this story.This is the kind of thing that the terrorists would like to have caused,but we did it to ourselves!This story has the potential to unite all Americans, regardless of their stripes to a call to action,throw the bums out and fix this great country once and FOR ALL!
    One problem that I see already is that none of the major media outlets.ABC,NBC,CBS,FOX or even the Drudge Report which I reported this story to right after it aired last night have even mentioned it.Are you surprised?I am not.We (you Bill) must not let this story be pushed into the margins.I hope that it makes at least a mention on the Sunday talk shows.PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE I beg you.don't let it die.
    To all others send a link to your Congressman, Senator,The White House,your friends and family. This may be one of the most important stories in recent decades.
    Again thanks Bill and Bill for your courage and don't give up.Do it for your loved ones and for our great country.


    PS,The second segment was just as important and relevant.I've been saying this for years.I wish someone would invent a television lie detector.What we need more than anything else,is truth!

    After swallowing the Moyers/Black interview, I feel Back to Hopeless of the pre-Obama days. Yes, Bill Moyer, please fan the groundswell of distress over W. Black's assessment. We Americans need to "show up" even as we go down the tubes!!!

    Professor Black’s sanctimony makes me sick. How easily your viewers are dazzled and convinced such intellectual fraud? His smirk on his face showed that he enjoyed America’s collective misery─ simply he’s so smug and self-gratified that he might be right! This is typical of academics in America. Where was Professor Black when all this was going on? Professor Black also should understand the fact that those who are been accused of greed and wrongdoing were also made lots of Americans rich. Was that ok? The theoretical framework that justified the uncontrolled and lawless speculation was provided by academics like Milton Freedman, the great academic guru of the “Free Markets.” But liberals like Moyers and Black have the same uncontrolled and free-for-all attitudes towards civil liberties, personal and social values and risky social behaviors, which are referred to as “American Freedoms” and “Civil Liberties” sanctioned by the constitution! Just like the lawless economic meltdown can you imagine what kind of damage is done to Americans by promoting living on the outer limits of the law? While they find fault with America’s economic meltdown and those who advocated de-regulation Bill Moyers and Professor Black turn their blind eye to America’s social disintegration “No Regulations living.” America’s family life has been melting down for decades. But Moyers or Black aren’t capable of seeing it. The era of economic deregulation was ushered by people like Milton Freedman, and his disciples like Martin Feldstein, Alan Greenspan. Remember Marty Feldstein’s book about “Privatizing Social Security…? But he’s still on PBS, MSNBC, CNN, CBS, ABC giving advice on how to deal with the economic collapse! In the last analysis the Professor Black misses an important point about human nature and that all of us are including Bill Moyers and Professor Black himself is capable of similar spectacular forms of self-destruction. But Bill Moyers or Professor Black doesn’t mind same kind of lawlessness in our private or social lives! And there are many other areas such as education and learning, sexuality, family and marriage, schools and community, transportation, energy, science and research that America is spectacularly undoing itself. But Professor Black or Mill Moyers is not seeing any of it, just the way they did not see the America’s economic meltdown before it happened. America is lurching from crisis to crisis. People like Bill Moyers and Professor Black is seeing what they want to see. Their analysis of the economic meltdown is no better than the blind man’s description of the elephant.

    This program was one of the best of interviews. I am inspired to write a letter to President Obama referencing William Black's call to "get rid of" those advisors who got us into this economic mess.Nerves

    The notion that fraud on such a massive scale could happen unencouraged and unassisted by the political establishment in DC is ludicrous. But it is equally ludicrous to blame this on Bush alone. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were signalling to Wall Street that most mortgages in the USA were guaranteed, and this is why Wall Street felt free to gamble as recklessly as it did. Our friends in the Democrat party essentially ran these institutions for decades (and reaped tons of money and perks in the process). When people in the Bush administration did finally speak up and try to regulate these entities, they were accused of racism publicly and shut down.

    Alan Greenspan also shares the blame for this fiasco due to his flooding the system with credit and refusing to recognize that it resulted in a multiple bubbles, first internet and then real estate. Greenspan was given carte blanche by both political parties, not just "the Bush administration."

    IMHO, this interview with Mr. Black should go 'viral' on the internet via the video services.

    If you are capable, start putting this interview online at these various sites.

    Thank you Bill Moyers and Bill Black! You are both brave and honorable! This interview brought tears of relief to my eyes, because I thought that 'truth in journalism' was already completely dead. Thank you thank you thank you. Forward the video to everyone you know!

    This excellent interview is most valuable and demonstrates again that there are two levels of law even in this Republic. Minor non-violent criminals fill our jails, while the major perpetrators of fraud and deception on the population are considered "upstanding members of the community" who are "needed".

    In fact, most of those that allowed or actually perpetrated the liars loans, to those who rated them by misrepresentation, and those who misrepresented them world wide wide are safe, because they have too much influence through personal contacts and political donations. Madoff and Stanford's Ponzi schemes are a minor item compared to what was perpetrated on the US and the world.

    The financial "bad guys" have done infinitely more damage to the US and and the world than the 9/11 attackers. Even the eventual loss of life may approach that of 9/11 via the despair of people affected.

    Great show as always with terrific, honest, intelligent people. This is so frustrating that Obama chose these same ol' cheats and scammers who have been there all the while and will remain. It's such a disappointment. Still when one hears him at his press conferences and town hall meetings he inspires hope and confidence. But these other schemers are still there. It's all very confusing and we must give him some time but never forget that if he makes a wrong turn or two we have to let him know with honesty and truth that if he messes this up we will not stand for it and take steps to remove him from office. As for the congress, both sides, we must remove them, most of them as soon as possible. Where are the young folks who fought for Obama in his campaign? Why aren't they running for office? They seem to be more in tune with the rest of us who want real change not the same ol' change.

    A great show. Bill Moyers looked incredulous as he questioned Mr. Black. Bill Moyers, what planet have you been living on? I was born in 1952 and have been watching our country's decay in every way ever worsening over the course of my whole life. A conspiracy?!! How could it be otherwise with all the money(used for power and control) in the hands of a few, the so called elitests??? Obama has shown his true sold-out colors quickly and I regret voting for him. Voting is a waste of time and changes nothing. It is as Charlie Rose smugly stated on one of his programs during the last election--we will be ruled by elitests, it's just a matter of which one. That's the choice we have. Face reality. Our money is numbers created from nothing and worth nothing. The value our system requires we give it is a total delusion, illusion, deception--a con, a magic trick. Money is a means of control and that control is an illusion we sheeple buy into. A solution--opt out--no violence needed. We need a deep look into our consciences and values. Chaos would not be the result. We are our own worst enemies. Are not the elitests part of us? They have shown themselves incompetent with the power we have given them.

    The sad part is that there HAVE been many voices warning of this for a decade and more.

    No one listened...many were vilified.

    I have been telling people for years the episodes like the Enron, and the current Madoff scam, were small potatoes compared to what actually was occurring.

    No one wanted to believe - they wanted "MAGIC MONEY", where no one worked but the poor in sweatshops, while the 'owner class' took trillions for doing nothing.

    A sad commentary on 1st world human beings.

    Reports of the 'take' over the past few years by out leaders like Paulson and Gietner and Rubins and Summers range from reports of $900 MILLION dollars EACH in some instances to $400 MILLION...add those numbers together with Derivative traders making $2 BILLION/yr, and you see that the taxpayer is paying off the money stolen by the fraudulent leaders - and the world is STILL being lied to about it!

    There should be civil unrest worldwide demanding derivative trades be nullified and restitution made.

    Thank you for being an outstanding journalist and informing us of the fraud being perpetrated by the 10%.

    I am however, pessimistic about our future. I believe President Obama is being held captive by Bond Holders (i.e. China, Japan, Korea,Etc)in order to prevent a collapse of the financial system, a collapse much greater than the great depression. The financial markets in which this debt is held might be based on fraudulent gains, but it is as it is. I beleive Obama is delicately trying to untangle us from it without blowing the lid off and creating a world wide catastrophe that will make the great depression seem like a Dicksonian Debtor's prison.

    However, I believe he's incapable of pulling this off and Mr. Black's assumption panic will not follow is naive.

    We are headed for deep trouble.

    I see that Mr. Black teaches in fields that are similar to what Aaron Director, Milton Friedman, and the other Chicago Boys taught/teach at the U. of Chicago - Law and Economics. The DIFFERENCE is that Mr. Black teaches his material with a moral framework, not the framework of the Chicago School whom follow the inhuman philosophy of Leo Strauss, whom they were disciples of.

    One need only to read the book by John McMurtry "Cancer Stage of Capitalism", the decades of articles by Michael Hudson, "Adam Smith's Mistake" by Ken Lux, and "When Corporations Rule the World" by David Korten to realize that prophetic voices have been writing and speaking about this day for many decades.

    ...and people like Brooksley Born were vilified, and no one in positions of power came to support her...

    Hundreds of millions worldwide have been irretrievably harmed, suicides are rising, and these people are not to make restitution? Where is the justice?

    Top Economics Aide Discloses Income in today’s Washington Post...”Lawrence H. Summers, one of President Obama's top economic advisers, collected roughly $5.2 million in compensation from hedge fund D.E. Shaw over the past year and was paid more than $2.7 million in speaking fees by several troubled Wall Street firms and other organizations…Summers -- who, as chairman of the National Economic Council, is a leading architect of the administration's economic policies and helped shape the response to the global recession -- appears to have collected the most income. Financial institutions including JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch paid Summers for speaking appearances in 2008. Fees ranged from $45,000 for a Nov. 12 Merrill Lynch appearance to $135,000 for an April 16 visit to Goldman Sachs, according to his disclosure form."

    Read today’s Glenn Greenwald - Larry Summers, Tim Geithner and Wall Street's ownership of government…“As much as he campaigned against anything, Obama railed against precisely this sort of incestuous, profoundly corrupt control by narrow private interests of the Government, yet he has chosen to empower the very individuals who most embody that corruption. And the results are exactly what one would expect them to be.” Change we can believe in?

    Excellent interview. Please please stay on top of this issue. So few people understand what is really going on that we need people like you and Mr. Black to coherently lay out what has happened, and what has to be done. I just wonder where the other so-called journalists have gone. Thank you for your invaluable work.

    Didn't Tocqueville talk about how democracy ultimately leads to an "industrial aristocracy"? It's a bit of a tangent point to the interview at hand, but all of this talk about the financial crisis and the fact that the People's government is looking more like Wall Street's government seems like vindication for that little theory...

    and of course, my hat off to Bill Moyers, for being an honest journalist.

    Mr. Black's comments were the most cogent and incisive I have heard to date on the banking/financial crisis.

    I would like to thank Mr. Moyers for conducting this interview. In terms of public interest and public benefit, this episode should be awarded an Emmy.

    It takes real character to say in simple, understandable, and undeniable terms that the Emporer is wearing no clothes and what should be done about it right now!! I hope that we all see Mr. Black on the Today Show and Good Morning America very soon....now that would be something!(But don't hold your breath.)

    Mr. Moyers please do not drop this issue. Please stay on it like a dog on a bone. I cannot praise you enough.

    The issue is non partisan. It is all about fraud, character, and ultimately freedom.

    And the cover up/ delay in getting the truth out to middle America will only serve the interersts of those that committed and/or benefitted from the fraud, i.e. the bankers, Wall Street, and the Washington power elite.

    Thank you Mr. Moyers.

    I had been a career commercial banker from 1970 to 1995...a senior loan producer for one of the largest banks in the world, a subsidiary of one of the largest banks in Japan. Now I pursue an income by solving problems for former clients...primarily real estate developers in California.

    I have interacted with people like Mr. Black for most of my career and I have studied the real estate crisis in Japan and went through the S & L debacle....

    I am afraid Mr. Black is right, we have as a nation comprised our principles of valid competition and capitailism...

    Yes, I am from the "Old School" and we believed in the lending methods that worked for decades...true equity acted as an incentive to stick with it whether it was a major real estate development or a personal relationship. When you invest great amounts of time and effort in a process it is valid to expect success.

    We have a problem that is the product of the reverse...when too many quick rewards came with little effort we lost our way...just watch "House of Cards" form CNBC to learn who some of the players were who originated mortgage loans...Loans on what for most of us was our biggest asset...ex-pizza delivery guys "loan officers" were making hundreds of thousands of dollars to hustle loan applications. Grade school hustlers started mortgage brokerages...and Wall Street bought assets left and right from them...

    OK the loan approval process was reduced to a point system and the person making the final decision was just following a script...but who wrote this program...and who accepted it on Wall Street...Who indeed but the "New School" of Greed is Good.

    Wall street was always considered the most creative place to bet on the future...the brighest and the best of our nation's top business schools competed to gain a place there...The Ivy league schools accounted for the most senior people in the game....

    But the a large part of the game was always to make a fee, a commission, a quick buck to put together a deal...

    The games were not unlike any casino business only much more sophisicated...they were literally bets on a future outcome...and like a casino the house collected a small percentage to provide the opportunity....

    I have also studied in detail the casino industry...It is the single largest form of entertainment in the World...more annual revenue than all other forms of entertainment combined...TV, movies, Books, etc...

    What does this say about human nature...we are gamblers...we are jealous of what apperas to be success without effort...

    We want more than we have and we can be blind to principles when we find a quick way to get it.

    We are in trouble...Big trouble around the world as Wall Street sold these toxic assets in many places...How do you think our reputation plays out in a place that has lost its governemntal services due to this problem...

    As the chairman of Home Depot said "We all drank the Cool Aid"...meaning we all made money when this problem was going on...The land owners...home builders, their workers, the local retailers, the local employers and their employees and of course the lenders...We all made more money than we should have..

    Just like Japan did in the 1980's...they believed their own dialoge too long...

    Now our entire economy has expanded under false pretenses...so how do we get the Genie back into the bottle...It looks like we have to use government to overtax everyone and support the bailout system to prevent a collapse...

    Our VP, Joe Biden said it "Get ready to contribute your share"..they know it and for those of us who played by the rules we have no recourse...we have no resolution...we gained no benefit from being Good....like the faithful spouse who questions why they didn't fool around when everyone else does...we question why we suffer for being good...I don't know the answer...I am married almost 40 years and have sufferred a little through plenty of them but maybe I saw too many who lost the respect of their children or parents...too many who felt a quick pleasure was worth the risk of losing a real committment to a partnership contract...

    Let's attempt to have justice served...lets call for charges and arrest of those who praticed fraud as if it were OK...The last line on all applications is a certification that all that was completed above is "true and correct" to the best of the signors ability...Lets apply that same principle to the "loan officer. who signed the appliaction as well...how I cringe when I use that term today...it used to mean something...

    Lets hold the sponsering mortgage broker to the same standard that all applications were signed by their people who were responsible for the content...

    Let the people who made many millions from this game be charged with fraud...misreprentation and be held responsible...lets publicize who they were...

    If I am paying for this show I want to be entertained...

    The neuvo rich I see today are ready to abandon the USA a country they no longer respect....they see giving up their citizenship as a process to retain their wealth...That's scary...very scary.

    John

    I ask, "What is next to come from America?" I'm American, maybe not so proud.

    We all watched for years the unfolding of events, so call your congress people and tell them you have had enough.

    Those who commit the crimes will justify anything. In my reality the ski is still blue and the grass is still green. Fraud is fraud and I've been calling these people gangsters for years. What color is it in yours?

    For years America has been in decline and now its just another corrupt country that serves the elite at the expense of everyone else. If the discussion with Black isn't convincing enough, are people aware that companies like Goldman Sachs paid only 1% in taxes recently? My small business pays about 30% and we sure don't receive bailout checks or billions laundered through AIG.

    Along with millions of others, I voted for CHANGE but Obama and his team are clearly just more of the same if not worse. The political system we have is broken, corrupt, and totally incapable of dealing with the problems confronting our nation. Only the inevitable collapse of our currency will force much needed change because the government will be broke.

    If Black thinks that the way banks made loans is a Ponzi scheme what does he think about US Treasuries? Even with the Federal Reserve buying them (quantitative easing), yeilds are almost back up to where they were. After all, the Fed just creates money out of thin air - pure inflation.

    Anyway, this is all going to end in a disaster that will make the recent market upheavals look like a walk in the park. Don't be fooled by the current rally in the stock market - get out of the dollar now before the trickle becomes a stampede!


    I noticed John Waynes defense of Geithner and the government in saying that what Mr. Black said was the law wasn't the law. I don't have a code, but the law will be codified in the regulations, not the code. In any case, the FDIC and the government seems to have little trouble closing down the Texas banking system, which was separate from the S&L scandal and Continental Illinois, but they seem to let Citi, Chase and Bank of America operate insolvent over and over again. The common people of the US have no obligation to see to it that a bunch of gamblers get paid, which is what is being done with AIG and I don't believe the normal insurance funds in the subsidiaries would even be touched in a bankruptcy. The AIG financial products outfit, the Wall Street brokers and the hedge funds that were betting against the products being sold by Goldman and the others should have been left to sort this stuff out in bankruptcy. The entire actions should have been deemed unconscionable by a court and reversed. Strange that Goldman and others were selling bets against their own products so they could invent synthetics to multiply the problem. Few discuss the fact these losses were in make believe CDO's, not real loans, but products more like S&P futures. They only marked to the real thing.

    The one thing that has to be clear is that the NY banks and brokers own the government. Most of the Congress are in the pockets of one or more of these institutions. Look at the smokescreen thrown up to cover up GE, which itself became a bigtime bank more so than an appliance manufacturer. GE of course owns a good part of the US television media, including CNBC,which is nothing more than a banker and wall street group of pump monkeys. You might note the guys that took hundreds of millions out of Citi while it was being run off the end of the pier, starting with Sandy (I will get your kid in kindergarten for a buy rating) Weill and Robert (there is no such thing as securities being priced to high)Rubin. Weill used to draw high 8 figure and low 9 figure salaries for the entire decade and I used to see his insider sales in Citi totaling $50 million or more on a regular basis. He and Rubin were also key in the repeal of Glass Stegal.

    The most surprising thing is that regulation isn't needed right now. Only an idiot would touch anything these guys are churning out. An entire generation of Americans, maybe 2 or 3 generations have been had by Wall Street this time. We have all been told there was a financial free lunch and bought into it. Though the Street serves an important purpose, making the average Joe rich isn't one of them. They are in the business of getting your money, not making it for you.

    The primary goat in this game was Greenspan along with the Treasury, starting with Rubin. Rubin and Greenspan created this bubble. The contrary argument is that had they not done what they did, the path of Japan would have started earlier. There is a good case for this, as the truth is that we have been out of good credit for 3 decades. In any case, Greenspan was so accomodative to this mess that monetary policy became knows as the Greenspan put. There are videos on youtube about Congressional defense of the GSE's that are a must watch for the average American so they can see the complicity in all of this. The first step past Greenspan and the link into all this mess are FNMA and FHLMC. The Obama economic team is laced with guilty parties and Obama didn't get $700 million or whatever it was from the black church and poor peoples association. It should be no surprise after watching this that Rubin and Franklin Raines, the man who got rich running FNMA off the end of the pier head his campaign.

    Thank you, Bill Moyers, for sharing your important interview with William Black. What a breath of fresh air. We all know that what's happening in Washington D.C. is nothing less than grand theft larceny from the public purse and that the administration is attempting to cover-up massive systemic fraud. While we know this to be true, it's still good to get confirmation from William Black. He is articulate and morally unambiguous. Thanks again.

    After seeing this segment with Bill Black, I come to realize that the problems you speak about in your programs in PBS, has only one solution. Get rid of Capitalism.

    I greatly appreciated the view of Mr. Black and feel they portray a piece of the puzzle. That piece being when you remove regulation the 10% of folks that tend to be dishonest will be, and when part of that 10% control some of the biggest financial companies in the world....look out!

    But I see this crash going back further in history...I see it as the legacy of Reaganomics. Ronald Reagan of course supported supply side economics declaring that if you gave tax cuts to the wealthy they would then invest and build industry and therefore create more jobs for the middle and lower classes and the "rising tide would lift all boats" and everyone would prosper. This theory is certainly one that could be argued as possible but in real life they forgot one important concept of capitalism...'PROFIT'... and so the rich did get their tax break and got much richer, eventually to the level of the robber barons of the Guilded Age of the early 20th century, but when they did invest, usually they did it in a way to make the most profit, i.e. making shoes in Taiwan or or denim in Mexico or China. So the middle class started to shrink and incomes for the middle class effectively stagnated around 1975 levels when accounting for inflation. As womens rights increased of course more women were in the work force(often voluntarily but also often due to financial need for 2 incomes) 2 income households kept people afloat. But as wages and good middle class jobs stagnated the "middle class" fell further behind and credit usage increased. The final step was to use their house as a final source of credit and income and of course this dramatically increased the human costs of this crisis. For those who want to blame individual Americans completely, remember we were constantly told this is a consumer based economy and we all have to spend to keep it going. As pointed out in one of the blogs, the investment in real estate was no accident because so many of the other more important areas of our economy, manufacturing etc. were not doing well. So the government took the easy way out rather than tackling the tough issues of health care rebuilding the foundations of our economy. Mr. Black pointed out that the massive fraud should have been seen by any 5th grader looking at the overall system. So why wasn't it seen? Why were brilliant men telling us it was ok?

    I feel when the final history of this period is written, it will expose that they did now of course, but at the highest levels the feeling was that"well we know this thing is going to collapse, but hopefully it will give us 10 years or so to build a sounder economy." Unfortunately no one had the courage to look seriously at the economy and nothing changed and ..."that's all I have to say about that".

    To me that is the true crisis of today. We have to use this crisis as the springboard to a new economy. A rehash of Reaganomics the Republicans are presenting is laughable. While I share Mr. Blacks concerns about the success of keeping the banks propped up, there is a real risk of a depression if we don't. Any critic of present policy has to seriously address that. Separate form present crisis management, I see only one way truly out of this crisis. Massive support of transition to a green economy and massive support of infrastructure programs to take us through this century. I think if we do that we can create another 75-100 years of strong middle class jobs.

    Global warming is coming like a freight train rather than a truck but it gives us a true place to rebuild the American middle class, if our government puts in place policies and supports for the market and inventors and business to flourish and build the massive new energy structure needed to save the world and as a by product save our economy. (see Tom Friedman's book "Hot , Flat and Crowded").

    Also health care cost have to be contained and again that requires courage and sacrifice. As a physician I belong to "Physicians for National Health Care" and we feel a single payer system would do what is right, make health care the right of all citizens, yet make it affordable for the economy now and in the future (info@pnhp.com). President Obama in his budget is showing the courage to begin to tackle these problems.
    So there are many paces to find blame....personal financial irresponsibility by Americans, incredible fraud and deceit by wall street that Mr. Black outlined, government mistakes about faith in deregulation, conservative ideology regarding faith in the richest of the rich, but underneath it all is the lack of courage of us all to truly face what needs to be done to rebuild America. I hope President Obama will have the courage to lead us there.

    A final comment. Conservatives continually trace the crisis to the community Reinvestment Act, but the track record of defaults in the first 25 years of that act until was quite good. Jon Stewart of Comedy Central phrased it properly when talking to Jim Cramer. "The guys in the back rooms making these fast daily transactions with piles of cash took a LINEAR PROBLEM AND MADE IT GEOMETRIC".

    Thanks for the show and thanks for the comments here. I appreciate that things aren’t so simple, as, for example, detailed by Mr. John Warne below, where he detailed for flaws in Mr. Black’s argument for a specific governmental approach. But I agree with Mr. Black on the basic contention that the financial debacle is grounded in fraud. If one accepts this basic contention, then the validity of the contracts arising out of those institutions, who engaged in fraud, even if technically legal, can be called into question. It may be that calling into question means only that there is a ‘loss of confidence’. Since we are talking about a very large scale of fraudulent economic activity, this loss of confidence impacts the currency since the currency is based on the confidence of the economic soundness of the United States. This questioning of the currency and of the US economic machine has been echoed by the premier of China, who has vast holdings of US debt.

    I don’t have the solution, but I found Mr. Black to be refreshing thanks to his clear statements on the fraudulent nature of the financial debacle. I know this is quite a mess and folks like John Warne may be completely valid in their criticisms of Mr. Black’s approach.

    What to do with the Wall-Street (expletive deleted) perpetrators of
    the economic mess, whether there are laws they broke or not?

    Shouldn't the contrivers and executors of the late Wall Street financial
    schemes be regarded as the parricides of their country, the U.S.? Or:
    history repeats itself.

    The South-Sea Company was originated in London by Harley Earl of Oxford
    in 1711. By 1720, this bubble threatened to sink the British economy.
    Charles Mackay, in his book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the
    Madness of Crowds first appeared in 1841, describes the discussions in
    the two houses of parliament.

    "The Lord Molesworth was particularly vehement:

    It was said by some, that there was no law to punish the directors
    of the South-Sea company, who were justly looked upon as the authors
    of the present misfortunes of the state. In his opinion, they ought
    upon this occasion to follow the example of the ancient Romans, who,
    having no law against parricide, because their legislators supposed
    no son could be so unnaturally wicked as to embrue his hands in his
    father's blood, made a law to punish this heinous crime as soon
    as it was committed. They adjudged the guilty wretch to be sewn in a
    sack, and thrown alive into the Tiber. He looked upon the contrivers
    and executors of the villainous South-Sea scheme as the parricides of
    their country, and should be satisfied to see them tied in like manner
    in sacks, and thrown into the Thames."

    If Lord Molesworth was a senator today, we could probably read that:

    "He looked upon the contrivers and executors of the villainous Sub-Prime and related
    schemes as the parricides of their country, and should be satisfied to see them tied in
    like manner in sacks, and thrown into the Hudson."

    Great show! Thank you Mr. Moyers for consistantly bringing us information we need to know.

    These questions were asked-

    "Were lenders committing fraud? Why or why not?"

    Yes they were! It is beyond belief that the people who got us in this mess, those that many believe too important to fire did not know they were allowing, supporting, encouraging and benefiting from fraud! Of course they knew but it was making them rich so nothing else mattered. They are the very model of what's wrong with our society. In America and much of the rest of the world greed is good. Buying anything you want whether you can afford it is typical behavior and NOBODY takes their share of the responsibility. Not Wall St, not the SEC, not the Banking Execs, not the Federal Government!

    The people getting shafted most are those who hand zero to do with the crimes at all. I've heard many "experts" say that collateral damage to the innocent is expected and there is nothing to do about it. That's BS!!! Investigate, prosecute and imprison those responsible. From top to bottom! Bankers, Regulators, Loan Officers, RE Agents AND those who lied to get homes they could never pay for! Wall St and the SEC acted as partners in the collapse and should be held responsible.

    "How much responsibility, if any, do American borrowers and consumers bear for the present economic crisis? Explain."

    The borrowers who got liars loans, bought multiple homes and lived off of credit bear a great deal of the responsibility! And I believe that those who did so should be prosecuted also. An easy bankruptcy and several years of inability to borrow again is not bearing their responsibility!

    My husband and I could have done the same. We were often told that we could buy a home with no need to prove our income. And we were looked at as idiots when we chose financial responsibility over desire to be home owners. We chose to do the responsible thing and remain renters because we would not bet our financial future on lies.

    Home ownership is not a right! It's a privilege IF you can pay for it. Nobody has any "right" to buy something they cannot pay for.

    Our society has spent decades selling the idea that if you want it you deserve it and now we are paying the price. When we get the notion through our heads that we only "deserve" the things we can afford to pay cash for savings will rise, the hemorrhage that is interest payments will ease and people will get back sensible spending and personal responsibility. I remember well the pride people used to take in saving for their new car, vacation or home and that has been sadly replaced by an entitlement mentality that is destroying us.

    The mess we have now will exponentially worsen when the credit card industry collapses. When all those who believed they deserved to own right now all that they wanted stop paying en-mass. We haven't seen anything yet...

    After seeing the interview with Bill Black, I think the only problem in America is Capitalism. All your problems you talk about don't mean a thing unless this disease is eradicated.

    The bogus refrain “No one saw it coming” becomes even more transparent with Mr. Black’s comments. Certainly Warren Buffett – not an unknown name – warned of the financial nuclear devastation possible in derivatives in his 2003 shareholder meeting. The FBI warned of epidemic mortgage fraud in 2004. Americans not involved in the financial system may have “not seen it coming”, but does anyone believe that those whose job it is to deal in such things – the Treasury, Federal Reserve, SEC – not see such things being combined to produce economic Armageddon? The S&L was a lesson in real estate fraud. Long-Term Capital Management was a lesson in over-leveraging in derivatives. Yet somehow we are supposed to believe that no-one who’s profession it is saw these two things combined to produce an exponentially greater disaster. No, it is greed and, through the engineered massive debt that follows, pre-fabricated indentured-servitude.

    Great interview. A real eyeopener ! I agree with all your views, observations and facts. But given the inexperienced president - along the wide spread animosity around the world for US - may be our president is made (or he willingly) to cave in and is continuing to support bad. The argument I heard most often for rewarding the culprits is that - there will be more job loss, more strain on govt due to less taxable income and more unemployment benefits etc. So, they are thinking it wrong path is better one currently to avoid the misery (that will eventually come anyways). How do you reconcile these and what would be your suggestions to govt when they present such arguments.

    I watched your interview and already had some pieces of the puzzle,It is just like in any other corrupt third world country,although there they have this nasty little habit of eliminating the voices of truth,sadly it reminded me of Argentina...

    We watched your show, and although it was interesting and showed multiple administrations had a hand in causing this mess, (something many people don't know), we were disappointed he didn't focus more on the congressional hand in opening the door up for this greed. Unfortunately, there are people when given an opportunity will make out like bandits. Not only did lenders, CEOs do so, but many in our government did as well throughout the last 10 or more years. The blame and greed goes to multiple administrations as well as pointed out.
    America has no accountability anymore. Scapegoats are found to take the heat off where it should be focused.

    I watched the interview with Mr Black with the real shock and awe. If any information can detonate a populist movement against fraud and corruption in government and financial institutions, this is it!
    We can have hearings to get at the truth but i lack hope that our present Congress will have the guts to really dig out the evidence to allow the public to know all. Members who have vested interests in keeping a lid on the truth will need to see a 60s style populist movement of protest to know the public demands no less than full disclosure.
    Empty coffers that led to abandoned homes, worthless bank accounts, lost pension funds, and full unemployment lines are grim evidence of failure of the American way.
    Thank you again, Mr Moyers, for airing most relevant stories in journalism today. You and Amy Goodman are my heroes.

    Mr. Black has explained how the mess was originated but that was only the beginning. A scary thought is that many of these bad loans could have been packaged and sold once and then fraudulently repackaged and sold again by desparate organizations. This may have even happened at multiple institutions as these paper warehouses have changed hands. There could very likely not even be a bag left for the taxpayers to hold.

    Rather dan PROGRESS, if USA settled for change, then USA deserve exactly what USA got: Obama's $.02, Chump!Vic Anderson

    I watched the Bill Black interview. What he had to say is absolutely correct. I applaud Bill Moyers for getting to the truth about these bank bailouts. I was one of 1,400+ depositors victims of the first major subprime loan induced bank robberies (failure)in the country - Superior Bank (Hinsdale, IL). The FDIC has a corrupt relationship with Barack Obama’s best friend and Campaign Finance Chairperson Penny Pritzker and her family who owned Superior Bank and are the perpetrators of the bank theft. The FDIC made a sweetheart deal with the Pritzkers, Penny being the Pritzker in charge of the bank at that time. The Pritzker settlement was the smallest settlement in history to be received on the basis of principals to pay. They stole $42 million from depositors. I personally continue to be out $110,490. In addition to being victimized by the Pritzker’s, we 1,400+ are now also being victimized by the FDIC. The FDIC decided payment money made in December 2008 is not going to be distributed to the depositors as it should be. It is, instead, going to be used to repay the $90 million settlement amount associated with the Beal Bank lawsuit brought against the FDIC and won by Beal Bank. The FDIC negotiated a sweetheart deal with the Pritzkers at the time of the bank failure (robbery), giving monies received from the Ernest & Young accounting firm settlement, which rightfully belonged to the Superior Bank depositors, to the Pritzkers. How could this have happened? Shouldn’t the depositors be paid before the perpetrator? This is how the corrupt people in power work. Penny Pritzker is now advising Obama on the ecomony. How can President Obama put someone like Ms. Pritzker on his economic advisory board? He can because Obama is a charlatan. He is no different than any other corrupt politician from Chicago. It would be wise to check out all to the ways in which the Pritzkers have repeatedly bilked the U.S. government over the years. They are tied to AIG with their Western General Insurance business and will benefit from bailout money that is financing a Hyatt Luxury Hotel in the eastern European country of Georgia.

    The Bush administration could have prevented this, if they'd wanted to. From the transcript:

    WILLIAM K. BLACK: The FBI publicly warned, in September 2004 that there was an epidemic of mortgage fraud, that if it was allowed to continue it would produce a crisis at least as large as the Savings and Loan debacle. And that they were going to make sure that they didn't let that happen. So what goes wrong? After 9/11, the attacks, the Justice Department transfers 500 white-collar specialists in the FBI to national terrorism. Well, we can all understand that. But then, the Bush administration refused to replace the missing 500 agents. So even today, again, as you say, this crisis is 1000 times worse, perhaps, certainly 100 times worse, than the Savings and Loan crisis. There are one-fifth as many FBI agents as worked the Savings and Loan crisis.

    Thanks Bill and Bill for shedding some much needed light on the simple truth of our affairs. Here’s some more truth if any dare to see:

    American's have become codependent to a corrupt state of monetary greed. While we point our fingers at the most obvious ills, the government, the banks and CEOs, and AIGs, it is perhaps better to take a closer look at our own selves if we can. Who gambled their money in unsecured money markets, with no guarantees? Who bought houses and cars, and boats, and toys, and educations, with other people’s money, with money before we earned it? Who lives way beyond their means? Who’s tried get rich schemes? Who has asked the state to take care of our own responsibilities, be it our own welfare, our children’s welfare, our health, our retirements, our lives? Who took away our own self-reliance, that today we need the corruption of a state of greed, a codependence to simply survive?
    Ya, we can point our fingers at the bad guys on top the money pile, but it is we the people of the United States that made it so. It is ourselves that are to blame. And in this codependent state of greed we the people have become the United State of denial, afraid to even look at our own selves.

    Please repeat after me: The buck stops not there, but right here!

    =
    MJA

    A foot note: I toured a high school last week and heard the director of the school tell a group of new students that the importance of education is money. Truly we are what we are taught, and we wonder why we are so.



    I trust Public Television and Public Radio. What are we now to do with this situation? Cover-ups, Lying, 'Protecting' the depositer?

    The financial 'engineers' have pulled the biggest heist to date. It looks to me that they are resetting the stage to insure that it will happen again amd again.

    As angry and frustrated as many of us are, the 'system' is not about to bring real change. Honesty, Integrity, Trust and Selflessness pay the price of Patsy. Our government of the people is only for some of the people.

    The rest of us are left explaing to our children how to be honest and tell the truth. But, the USA throws that out as a first casualty of the 'emergency' action.

    Thank you Mr Moyers for all of your guests of the April 3rd show and, as well as, being on the air at all.

    I am grateful that I can still watch such shows on my TV in this country. Now I am trying to integrate this piece of the puzzle with my support of Obama. I still support him because he's still appearing to be going in the right direction. Although we like to think politicians are all dirty, I think we do not take into consideration that they must do their job by finding, not just the right way, the moral way, but the way that can succeed, given the ignorance of the American public. If Obama was aware of all that Black has presented along with everything else in this early time of his administration, and if he intended to act in a moral way himself, how could he pull it off? My hope is that this guy will get to it.(Just finding people who can be vetted has proven so difficult. The idea that our leaders should be able to pass the vetting is really kind of new, isn't it?) I will believe that, given time, Obama will get to all the things he has not yet. I will continue to believe that until someone comes along who it more credible and willing to takethe job. In the meantime, we must keep ourselves informed and stick to our own sense of morality.

    Banksters are corrupt and greedy, no doubt about that. However, someone had to sign on the dotted line when that too-good-to-be-true mortgage was offered. The individual bears a high level of responsibility for the mortgage meltdown. For most of us, a home is the biggest purchase we will ever make, and to keep our eyes wide shut when entering into a contract for a home mortgage is grossly irresponsible. We know how much we make and we know how much we can spend without getting in over our heads, but still that didn't stop us. The combination of the greedy banker and reckless consumer got us where we are today.

    Bill Moyers, I love you.

    "I watched the William Black interview, and it seems to me that he was presenting nothing more than a conspiracy theory. I was very sorry to watch Bill Moyers accept it so passively."
    I was a minor victim of Citigroup in the late 90s and early 00s. I complained to the SEC, DoJ, etc. The issues then are the issues now now as described by Bill Black, only magnified beyond belief.
    Tim Geithner, Larry Summers should go. Sheila Bair and Eric Holder should be given the job of dismantling the Wall Street Mafioso.

    The Death of The United States Democracy and Capitalism.
    The greed and lack of moral values of the elite ruling the US, especially that of the CEO’s of banks, other financial corporations, and most of the members of congress is what is destroying The United States Democracy and Capitalism.
    The elite leading this country put their own financial gain above everything else. Unless ordinary US citizens wake up and cause change with their vote and demand that their elected officials change the rules of the financial system this democracy will perish.
    What we need to regain trust and re-establish a real democracy:
    1- More transparency from the CEOs of all financial systems and other corporations. Shareholders need to be vigilant and look at the actions of the CEO’s as well as the Boards of directors especially in terms of risk taking on investments that in the short run bring a lot of profit, and big bonuses for them but in the long run are very dangerous.
    2- More say and involvement on part of the shareholders to award bonuses, who should get them, for what reasons, and the ability to take them away when performance is based on deceit.
    3- Board of directors should be held accountable for their actions. Shareholders need to find about conflicts of interest between the board of directors and the CEOs especially in terms of the bonuses they approve for the CEOs and the salaries raises they take. Shareholders need to change the rules on how the boards of directors are elected.
    4- Shareholders should be able to sue the CEOs and boards of directors when their decisions make the shareholders lose a lot of money while they made a lot of money in bonuses and salaries. They should be made to return the money they made to pay the shareholders.
    5- All elected officials and especially the members of congress as well as the president should put the interest of the country as a whole and of the ordinary people who elect them first. Right now the US is not a true democracy, because lobbyist who contribute to the political campaigns and who offer many perks or gifts in different forms buy most elected officials. That needs to be changed.
    6- Financial institutions that take the risk to lend money to people who do not qualify for a loan or cannot possibly pay a loan should be closed or fined.
    7- Change the tax structure so the richest pay the highest amount on capital gains.
    8- Do not put failed individuals in charge of the countries financial institutions and keep the media independent and unbiased.

    If only it were as Black and white as portrayed by Prof Black on this week's interview.
    If we make revenge our main focus in this mess we will be cutting off our nose to spite our face.
    I manage my modest retirement and each bank that fails is another lost bond. Everyone who invests in mutual funds, everyone who has a pension or a relative with a pension is at much greater risk from allowing the financial system to collapse now, than they were when Prof Black blazed through the S&Ls.
    And the government's handling of the S&L crisis was at best heavy handed. Many viable economic entities were wiped out because the regulators called in revolving loans that they deemed questionable - without considering where in the developmental cycle the borrowers were. Sort of a scorched earth policy that would be suicidal in the current situation.
    As for the auto makers - their completely unworkable business plans are not remotely analagous to the toxic asset situation with the banks. The two groups cannot be treated the same.
    Solve the problems - then seek revenge. Not the other way around.

    Moyers' has finally caught on to follow the money from tax payer to government to banks but also from our pension funds whose monies fund wall street. People can start by withdrawing their money from money center banks to regional banks loss of deposits to these banks will give the govenment the message of screwing the public.
    There are numerous measures people can take with their money to put government on notice to serve justice but indicting individuals responsible in govenment and financial institutions for collapsing our country into a debtor nation.

    Just as the show turned to remedies, i.e. the need for congressional committees, the Arkansas station went to a black screen and stayed that way for the remainder of the show. Coincidence? Can't help but wonder considering the topic included discussion of trying to get this information out in the mainstream despite the studied media opposition.

    What are we to do about this? Knowledge of what is really happening in this nation seems to lead to even more frustration about the inability to stop what's happening. Where do we turn when even our new president isn't playing it straight? It's hard not to think the dye has been cast and the battle has already been lost. It seems like outrage only equals power when it is first demonstrated then focused, organized and offers a workable alternative.

    We've had a lot of years of the "intolerable" being tolerated. What explains our inability to be outraged? What outlet for meaningful action does one have to deal with outrage? Most of us, especially in rural or midwestern states don't have any means to express ourselves. Not all people are leaders and there is no one to follow. I personally write Congress people and the WH but that does little to comfort or to stop what's happening. Where are the leaders for the street?..not just in NY or Washington, but Sioux Falls, Omaha and Des Moines.

    What are we to do with the invaluable information Bill Moyers gives us week after week?

    There are two ways in which people are controlled, according to Tony Benn, former member of the British Parliament. “First of all, frighten people. And secondly, demoralize them. An educated, healthy and confident nation is harder to govern, and I think there's an element in the thinking of some people - we don't want people to be educated, healthy and confident because they would get out of control. The top 1 percent of the world's population owns 80 percent of the world's wealth. It's incredible that people put up with it. But they are poor, they are demoralized, they are frightened and they think perhaps the safest thing to do is take orders and hope for the best."

    Democracy was the most revolutionary thing in the world. It gave the poor the vote and it moved power from the marketplace to the voter booth, from the wallet to the ballot. If citizens turned out and voted for people who truly represented their interests it would be a democratic revolution.

    It is so disheartening knowing that the Obama administration, along with the banks, is engaged in a cover up to keep us from knowing what went wrong. The system is self-sustaining. This is change we can believe in?

    Thank you Bill Moyers, William Black, Glenn Greenwald, and Amy Goodman for educating us! May the American people continue to get mad as hell and not put up with this anymore! Let the populist rage truly bring change! Let the democratic revolution continue!

    I watched the William Black interview, and it seems to me that he was presenting nothing more than a conspiracy theory. I was very sorry to watch Bill Moyers accept it so passively.

    Thanks to Bill Moyers Journal, the two journalists, and Bill Black,we are learning the truth and hopefully due process will "fire the frauds" and restore the sanity of my country. dmm

    Bill,
    Thank you for having William Black on your program. Wow - a real eye-opener.

    I agree with Alison's comments. Having you do a program on this would serve all Americans very well! We need to understand the truth behind this mess and Washington's elite have no plans to investigate themselves.

    I would love to endorse Mr. Black's view of events; however, he has a major flaw in his argument.

    The Prompt Corrective Action law, to which Mr. Black refers, does NOT mandate severely undecapitalized banks be put into receivership as he states. The law (Title 12 of the US Code, chapter 16, section 1831o) grants the appropriate banking authority the power to EITHER put a "federally insured depository institution" into receivership OR come up with a plan to keep it solvent, both options to be exercised within 90 days. Mr. Geithner and the Administration chose the latter.

    Also note the term "federally insured depository institution." Thanks to Gramm-Leach-Bliley -- which repealed the Glass-Steagall Act and thus allowed banks to get into investment banking and insurance -- entities such as Citicorp and Bank of America (both bank holding companies and not federally insured depsitory institutions) are now so tangled up in financial dealings outside of banking, there is a real question as to whether the law covers them at all. At least, a very credible legal argument could be made that they don't; therefore, had the President done as Mr. Black suggests, there would have been an army of lawyers beating down the doors of every courthouse in America, contesting the action and seeking to enjoin any action the government might make to (in effect) nationalize these institutions. This would only have prolonged the crisis, making things much worse than they are now. And lest you think the President could just take them over anyway, google "Youngstown Sheet & Tube Supreme Court" and see what happened the last time. (And don't even think about eminent domain: The government would still have to compensate the shareholders of these giant corporations, which would prompt long legal battles over what compensation is "just" under the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution and would probably end us up with about the same dollar figure as we're spending now.)

    It appears, Mr. Moyers, you may have been had.

    In an earlier post ( 4/4 3:37am ) I noted that Bill Moyers' Journal was not available in Tucson, AZ on 4/3 so we could view his interview with William Black. I speculated a possible masking of this significant program.

    I just completed researching 29 PBS stations in 18 states. The program was not available in only four other PBS stations: in Atlanta GA, Fargo ND, Provo UT, and Austin MN. The last two stations didn't offer the normal PBS programs. Many stations offered the Journal also in the AM.

    States examined were AZ-2, NM-3, TX-3, CO-1, OK-1, AL-1, GA-1, FL-1, MS-1, TN-2, ND-1, SD-1, NV-2, UT-2, Wy-1, MN-4, IA-1, WI-1.

    I conclude that my city, Tucson, was just too interested in attracting viewers to concerts so they might call and support the station, and there was no deliberate attempt to mask the program.. The more conservative Tempe, AZ made Moyers' Journal available to its viewers.

    Yet, I wonder how many station program directors knew the content of the program before hand?

    As I read most of the comments in this blog, I feel that many didn't detect the unique distinction of what Black was saying - even though they approved what he said. Or, am I reading more into it that is warranted? Although many, in the past few months have called the actions of high finance "criminal", it has been more metaphorical or moral. Black, with his extensive background in white collar crime, makes the charges much more concrete - and out-right conspiratorial.

    The problem is that there are few politicians who have not been tarnished, and the complicity of both political parties makes it a very difficult case to pursue. Only a rapid growing, but moderated, public outrage could push the issue. And, only in the face of coming ecological crises will people be able to move ahead, doing what must be done, and not force punishment on those who just played the game, focusing prosecution only on the conspiratorial plotters. A major challenge.

    Moyers has finally pried up the very, very big rock concealing the biggest criminal conspiracy in my lifetime, Watergate not excepted. A landmark. Now, who in Congress will step up to the plate? And will Obama start to clear the foxes from the chicken coop, er, I mean, the White House and Treasury?

    For the first time, I understand what happened, thanks to your interview with
    William Black.

    I am writing the White House and both Senators forthwith as well as the semi-useless commentators on MSNBC. I see that David Schuster suddenly is no more--wonder why??

    Thanks, Bill Moyers, thanks a million.

    Your interview of Black convinced me to contribute to Penn State's Public TV station, that carried the interview. It was the most important report that I have seen. It should be re-broadcast multiple times. Interesting to note Public Television stations that did not carry it.

    This bank truth may gain traction. Anyone who has a deposit account at the beastly giant banks should move their money now.

    Thank you for the best and most informatie show re the banking crisis in moths.

    Please have Mr. Black back, and continue this pressure on this bank crisis.

    I maintain a R.E. brokers lic (worked for a bank and did not sell R.E. during that time, but was in touch w/ those that were) and between the two jobs was certain that malfeasance was occurring.

    No one would listen to me.

    Keep the pressure on, this will not take as long as Watergate, and though Watergate was a breach of trust, no one became wealthy and rich because of it. I consider these actions perpetrated by these banks the worst financial crimes committed in the last half century, and those that benefited and continue to cover it up, deserve to be investigated at the very least;prosecuted if just and legal evidence is uncovered.

    For many years I was a regular reader of I.F. Stone and found him consistent and honest. With one very significant exception - which I don't blame Izzy for.

    He published an issue that was in full support of the Warren Commission Report on the JFK assassination. His report was in a dictatorial tone, that a person was stupid if they didn't believe the One Assassin Theory. He told all critics to shut up.

    If he was indeed the author (my mailed copy may have been a substitute, authored by others - I have received such bogus publications before), there must have been a very good reason. But, Izzy let his readers know he was forced to do this because of the tone so totally contrary to all his other work.

    This reminds me of the recent, similar tirade attributed to Howard Zinn against all critics of the Official 9/11 Report.

    What kinds of pressure can be applied to such men to force them to do as they did?

    Will the Buzzsaw descend on Bill Moyers? Might we expect a totally "out of character" message, soon? Bill, we will understand, but we hope you will be able to stand firm.

    Mr. Moyers
    Please keep the heat on. The best journalist show I have seen in months, and confirms my waning trust in Mr. O'bama.

    It took time before the public believed the journalists about Watergate. This time I think the public will react faster. I worked in both the banking and real estae fields, and it was so obvious that underlings who wanted to swith to the mortgage dept were not welcome, even though I had a real estate brokers lic. It was an exclusive club, I was told they had 137 mortgage programs. I could not learn them in time. That incident and the jumps in prices of 30% per year in real estat prices convinced me that the banks were in on this ridiculous jump in real estate prices. Brokeres school had taught that prices accrue at 4% and thes statistics go back 60-70 years.

    Indict the whole lot of them, and have Mr. Black back. Excellent show.

    Seeing if you can help me out? Im a 2to3bline in the John Walling.WWW.wallingheirs.net Im not a member try to get some light on it. I will be thank for it.

    Before I watched the interview with William K. Black I had both phoned and emailed our local Tucson PBS station, KUAT, for replaying for the second or third time a concert. Bill Moyers Journal was not available in Tucson tonight.

    Then I went online to view what I missed, enjoying the Izzy awards and was shocked to view the Black interview.

    There must be some powerful support for Bill to have this on PBS - as it could really be the foot in the door for real significant and positive change. There must have been considerable opposition to it.

    It is important for someone to research how many PBS stations actually made this interview available. In Tucson it was masked by a money drive, but they have been done during the Journal before, even highlighting the Journal.

    I will try to look at one PBS schedule at a time, for a sample. If someone knows how to do a whole search for all PBS stations for the Journal on 4/3/09 I encourage them to do so. Please report results to my email: larryvictor@comcast.net

    We must follow closely the response to this critical entry into main media of this important perspective. With a rise of popular support to truly investigate LEGAL ORGANIZED CRIME, we may free Obama to act.

    THANK YOU BILL MOYER and WILLIAM BLACK. Your courage is greatly appreciated.

    Tonight confirmed that Bill Moyer's Journal and Frontline are the best shows on TV. Bill, thank you for your journalistic integrity. William Black's interview should be mandatory viewing for every concerned American. I had much higher hopes for President Obama than I have seen so far. I am now convinced that it will take a serious mass protest movement to reclaim this country from what has essentially become organized crime.

    Dear Mr. Moyers:
    I'm looking for an honest man...Could it be that you and Mr. Black are the only two left in America? We must get the word out on this coverup not only because it is the righteous thing to do for the cause of truth nor because the scandalous rot runs so deep, but because we all have a stake---our collective butt is in the wringer. Personally I plan to force several friends of mine to sit down and watch this episode of your Journal, and I am writing my senators.
    Thank you for your courage and guidance. Please keep up your fight against the forces of ignorance and deception.
    Tim "Diogenes"

    If a bank does a no verification or liar loan and it tanks, the bank should pay for it. However, all loans are packaged, sold and resold, making the initial lender harder to indict. If the bank lies and says it's a AAA loan when it is a B or lower, the loan officer and anyone else who had knowledge should be sent to jail.

    Bill Black was great, he communicates very well. Very inspirational.

    Holy heck, I can't believe it, that was the TRUTH I heard...now what are we supposed to do??!!

    Bill,

    I have followed your shows for years. This is the first time I can say that you have brought in a guest with whom your old nemesis, Barry Goldwater, would wholeheartedly agree.

    Perhaps this will be a truly uniting issue among all honest Americans of all political stripes. Keep an eye open for the spin doctors who revel in confusion. After this show, they should be coming out in full force!

    I boil over this every time I turn on CNBC. I was in the lending business in DFW when all the S&L tycoons hit town. The destroyed the housing industry here for 10 years despite the fact DFW was one of the faster growing cities in the US. It took 3 or 4 years to close these outfits, though I recall having someone tell me a couple of the high flyers were swapping bad loans. They hired the state regulators at almost every chance they had.

    National government in the US has rotted off the vine. Wall Street hasn't peddled a good asset in 20 years. Stocks are sold from Harvard on down to the corner brokerage as can't miss. But, if you really follow the market, it is moved, not from buying and selling but by the market makers themselves. The 2000 peak was 300% the 1929 peak in the SPX. The 2003 bottom was 150% the 1929 peak and the 2007 top was over 150% the 1929 peak. Earnings and China were driven by excessive finance. Greenspan was convinced by Rubin that you couldn't recognize a bubble until it burst. Worst yet, all the Wall Street firms were taken public and once more the bag holders were someone else. They didn't have the partnership to look after this time.

    Bill,
    Thank you so much for having Bill Black on your program. I am requesting for him to return as this crisis continues to unfold so he can offer more details and analysis. Bill needs to be encouraged to write a book on what he knows about this crisis to get his word out to a much broader audience.

    I am retired so I have had the luxury of time to follow the news to this economic meltdown. As I listened to Bill explain how there has been a cover-up by our government’s leaders - I feel betrayed, saddened, and angry by the depth of this political corruption.

    Now, with more Americans continuing to feel betrayed and angry with their elected officials, perhaps protests and a true revolution will take root in this country to turn this country around. Hopefully, voter outrage will vote all of our elected officials out of office for a real change.


    Mr. Moyers:

    Thank you so much for your interview with William Black. I think the criminal aspect of this crisis is the biggest and most tragically unreported story out there. I've been sending variations on the below around, trying to encourage some investigation or at least public dialog without any luck so far. I would really appreciate it if you'd consider having more interviews on the subject or, even better, doing some sort of special along the lines of 'Buying the War'. I think there's easily enough unexplored material here to fill that sort of time, and no one would do it as well as you.

    Anyhow, here's the gist of my suspicions:

    It seems to me that a really enormous assumption has been made en masse about the actions of these financial institutions, and that is this: no actual crimes were committed. This goes all the way to the top, including the president, who recently said on Leno that the ‘dirty little secret’ is that nothing strictly illegal was done. The failure was a regulatory one at best.

    I’m not convinced. It’s not that I’m absolutely sure that crimes were committed; I’m not convinced because I haven’t seen it seriously explored. The press isn't even talking about it. You're the first one I've seen do so. In my opinion, the implications of such a media failure, if in fact crimes were committed, could easily be considered a bigger mistake than their collective failure leading up to the Iraq war. I mean, seriously… think how many people are affected by this crisis in comparison, how many people that are or will be displaced, lives ruined, the poverty, the dangerous discontent and violence, and yes, even the death that will result from this global upheaval.

    I’m going to leave aside the idea of criminal negligence on the part of regulatory agencies for a moment (though it seems like a perfectly legitimate area to explore) because I think the line between criminal negligence and incompetence is a fuzzy one.

    The financial industry did a few things that particularly smack of criminal activity to me. Those NINA loans, those falsified documents that allowed them to give ridiculously inflated loans to people that couldn’t afford them, which in turn inflated the housing bubble and led to worse and worse loans? That’s a basic fraud as Mr. Black explained. When they then had their own ratings agencies (which they fund) hide the nature of those toxic assets by grouping them in a tranche with just a couple good loans and calling the whole thing a-okay so they could sell them to investors? That sounds like money laundering to me.

    When they sold protection (those inscrutable credit default swaps) against the outcome of those fraudulent loans and tranches, an outcome they themselves engineered, well… that sounds like racketeering to me. A new, mutually self-immolating form of racketeering, but a racket nonetheless.

    Not to mention whether or not the particular brand of recalcitrance being exhibited by some of these individuals (give us the money or the economy gets it) counts as extortion (more of a reach, I admit).

    Now, I’m not a lawyer. I could easily be wrong. But doesn’t it strain credulity to think that the entire American economy – and through it much of the world economy – has essentially collapsed, but not a single person apparently broke the law? Madoff and Stanford don't count. Ironically, by merely stealing their clients' money and socking it away in a bank account, they're probably two of only a handful of financiers that had nothing to do with the larger scheme.

    If you could explore this more, I think you'd be doing a really heroic service for the American people.

    Thanks a lot.

    http://www.rense.com/general77/dbch.htm

    China Wins NAFTA
    Super-Highway Battle
    By Jerome R. Corsi
    7-10-7

    Red China is investing heavily in developing deep-water ports in Mexico to bring an unprecedented volume of containers into the U.S. along the emerging NAFTA Super Highway. This move signals China's emergence as the unexpected economic winner in the North American Union free market.

    Hutchinson Ports, a wholly owned subsidiary of China's giant Hutchinson Whampoa Limited (HWL) is investing millions to expand the deep water ports the company manages at Lazaro Cardenas and Manzanillo on Mexico's Pacific coast. Now Hutchinson Ports is pledging millions more to develop Punta Colonet, today a desolate Mexican bay in Baja California. Mexico plans over the next seven years to dredge and convert Punta Colonet into a 10 to 20 berth deep-water port facility capable of processing some 6 million standard 20-foot-long TEUs (industry terminology for the "Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit" that describes a single standard container).

    According to Judicial Watch, "Hutchinson, Whampoa, Ltd. is the holding company of billionaire Li Ka-shing, a well-known businessman, whose companies make up 15 percent of the market capitalization of the Hong Kong Stock Market." A Judicial Watch complaint filed in 2002, at the time HWL was purchasing the then-bankrupt Global Crossing, notes that Li Ka-Shing's holdings includes ports, telecom, and energy assets around the world.

    Topics: Red China, NAFTA Super Highway, Hutchinson Ports, Hutchinson Whampoa Limited, Lazaro Cardena, Manzanillo, Mexico, Mexican bay in Baja California, Li Ka-shing, Chinese Government, Global Crossing, Democratic National Committee, Terry McAuliffe, Robert Pastor, Chinese People's Liberation Army, China Ocean Shipping Company, North American Union, Dubai Ports World, HWL, detect nuclear material, NAFTA corridors, North America's SuperCorridor Coalition Inc, Bush Administration, Wal-Mart, Kmart, and Home Depot, slave labor prison camps, abuses of human rights, George Bush, Bush Administration free-trade policies, Global Policy Forum, William Hawkin, open bordes, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Communist Chinese, super-highway, NAFTA super-highways, European-style North American Union dominated by the Chinese

    According to a declassified U.S. government intelligence report that Judicial Watch obtained in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, "Li is directly connected to Beijing and is willing to use his business influence to further the aims of the Chinese Government." Judicial Watch had objected that "Li Ka-shing's agency relationship to the Communist Chinese should disqualify him from owning Global Crossing's network, which controls a significant percent of all the fiber optics currently leaving the United States."

    Global Crossing was a Clinton Administration darling, noted for turning former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe's $100,000 investment into an $18 million personal fortune. Global Crossing's bold move to control the U.S. international fiber-optics network over-reached, ending in a corrupt corporate melt-down that was an unfortunate prelude to the Enron debacle. Hutchinson Ports was forced to drop the bid to purchase Global Crossing when the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS) refused to approve the transaction on national security grounds.

    Li Ka-shing's Hutchinson Ports also operates both ends of the Panama Canal, which we have previously documented was returned to Panama under the Carter administration by National Security Council advisor, Robert Pastor, whom we have called the "Father of the North American Union." HWL also has business dealings with the China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), China's largest shipping line, which is owned by the Chinese People's Liberation Army. In 1998, Congress blocked on national security grounds an attempt by the Clinton administration to allow COSCO to lease the abandoned Long Beach Naval Station.

    Still, HWL has established a North American beachhead, despite the continuing security concerns. The Standard in China reports that today COSCO has established a little-known presence in U.S. ports, co-managing a terminal with Seattle-based SSA Marine at the mouth of Long Beach's port. Remarkably, in the aftermath of the Dubai Ports World blow-up in Congress, the Bush administration hired HWL to operate in the Bahamas sophisticated equipment designed to detect nuclear material inside TEUs headed for the U.S., without requiring U.S. customs agents to be present. Now, investing millions to deepen Mexico's ports in a plan to access the developing NAFTA corridors, HWL has found perhaps the most effective backdoor of all for gaining access to the continental U.S. market.

    A set of China-promoting business projections are driving the frenzy to open Mexican ports to NAFTA corridors. Container traffic from China and the Far East has exploded, with industry experts expecting the cargo traffic from China to double by 2020. Today jumbo cargo ships containing 8,000 TEUs routinely cruise Pacific Trade routes. Unloading 8,000 containers from a single ship can take up to 3 days, even with experienced dock workers and state-of-the-art cranes.

    West coast ports such as Los Angeles and Long Beach are regularly described as overwhelmed with containers arriving from China and the Far East, resulting in a virtual gridlock that causes expensive delays. As a result, "inland ports" such as the Free Trade Alliance of San Antonio and Kansas City Smartport, both members of the North America's SuperCorridor Coalition Inc. (NASCO), are exploring with enthusiasm opening NAFTA corridors to facilitate the movement from Mexican ports 50% to 60% of all containers entering the U.S. from China that are destined for delivery in the heart of the U.S.

    Why the sudden enthusiasm for cheap goods from China? The Bush Administration continues to give the green light to mass-marketing retailers such as Wal-Mart, Kmart, and Home Depot, to name just a few, to import Chinese and Far Eastern goods without restraint, despite their under-market nature. Evidently the Bush Administration has decided to follow the path set by the Clinton Administration in the decision to turn a blind eye to the repeated accusations that many of the goods from China and the Far East are produced in slave labor prison camps where abuses of human rights are everyday occurrences.

    Opponents of Bush Administration free-trade policies, such as Global Policy Forum, have argued for enforcing "anti-dumping" provisions commonly designed in traditional international trade agreements to prevent the import of under-market goods produced by countries exploiting near-zero labor costs. The argument is that in opening the U.S. to cheap Chinese goods, we are leading a worldwide "race to the bottom," in which "the only priority is cost effective production, at the expense of workers, resources and sustainability." The result is that the international capitalists owning companies such as Wal-Mart earn additional billions, while U.S. manufacturing continues to out-source an increasing number of jobs and poor countries such as Mexico are only pulled deeper into poverty.

    Strong conservatives are concerned today that China is the only clear winning in NAFTA. William Hawkins of the U.S. Business and Industry Council, a strong critic of our open borders with Mexico and Canada, has recently written that Mexico itself has filed 90 complaints against China at the World Trade Organization. Hawkins has argued that "the new energy being put into expanding the transportation network from Mexico into the United States heralds the collapse of NAFTA, and further discredits the trade strategy followed by the administrations of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush."

    Upon closer examination, something other than the "success" of the NAFTA model, as sold to the American voter, is propelling all this transportation and Smart Port activity-and that is the massive wave of imports from the previously unrecognized export superstar, China. U.S. west coast ports are swamped with container ships filled with Chinese goods, and a scramble is on to find new Pacific ports to bring even more Chinese products into the United States.

    Hawkins views the plans to develop NAFTA Super-Highways as a disaster:
    "What is being built is truly a 'Highway of Death' for both NAFTA and CAFTA. The resulting turmoil in the region will be felt in the United States, and will be an additional benefit to Beijing as the rising geopolitical challenger to American power."

    Yet, as sound as Hawkins' arguments are, their subtly is likely to be lost on the Wal-Mart capitalists who see rising quarterly profits and handsome executive bonuses from importing an ever-increasing volume of cheap Chinese goods into the U.S. market. So too, the Robert Pastor enthusiasts can be counted upon to welcome any reason to knit together the U.S., Canada, and Mexico into a North American Union, even if the driving force turns out to be a super-highway and inland port transportation scheme designed to benefit the Communist Chinese. Cheap Mexican remarkably undercut by the Chinese in manufacturing and assembly can still be used in transport, to land the Chinese goods on Mexican docks and then carry the Chinese containers by truck and train into the heart of North American.

    Increasingly gone is the dream that NAFTA would stimulate the development of a Mexican middle class as a means of economically developing Mexico itself. At the dawning of NAFTA, few expected that Chinese slave labor would be allowed to undercut the sweat-shop maquiladoras that developed south of the border in the 1990s. Even fewer expected that the only Mexican labor that would remain competitive under NAFTA would be Mexican dock workers, truck drivers, and railroad workers -- and these only because these Mexican "government union" workers undercut U.S. Longshoremen, Teamsters, and United Transportation Union labor.

    As for Mexico's underclass masses, Vicente Fox and his successor can be relied upon to maintain their mantra, "Go North," at least as long as President Bush and Congress remain unwilling to secure the border. In the end, the American middle class will pay the tab of increased social costs for millions of more uneducated, unskilled Spanish-speaking immigrants from Mexico and the other Hispanic countries south of the border. At the same time, the squeeze on middle class employment opportunities will intensify as NAFTA super-highways and U.S. "inland port" cities replete with Mexican custom facilities encourage yet more outsourcing to China.

    All this sounds like a good deal for China. But are cheap sneakers at Wal-Mart really worth the damage being done to the most successful middle class ever built in world history? Aristotle's Politics give reason to ask whether the U.S. constitutional republic we have enjoyed for 230 years will long endure a middle class squeezed by an original NAFTA market that evolves into a European-style North American Union dominated by the Chinese.

    Wonderful as Bill Black was, let me take a slightly contrarian view.

    Does anybody remember how the housing bubble started? The other sectors of our economy, such as manufacturing, services, and technology, were in serious trouble. Then the lightning bolt came from Alan Greenspan and the Fed to prop up the economy with home equity and home financing. If we can't manufacture our own goods because foreign labor is too cheap to hire anybody over here, the Fed reasoned, at least we can use home construction industries and build wealth that way. And look what happened.

    Bill Black's points are extremely well taken, but corruption and astronomical executive pay in investment banks, obscene as it was, was not the original source of the problem. When the Federal Reserve opened up the printing presses to loan money for real estate, it was medicine to remedy another problem.

    The Government has done too much to "protect" lives and property, but NOTHING to protect our livelihoods.
    American industries and American workers must have value. The work on Main Street is what makes Wall Street possible, not the other way around!

    thanks

    It's odd to me that so many people continue to give Obama the benefit of the doubt, when clearly he's playing the role of apologist for a corrupt system. This is true beyond just this Wall Street mess, applying equally to his role in escalating the war, in designing economic stimulus that props up a fundamentally unsustainable, exploitative system, in backing a for-profit healthcare system, etc.

    It was fantastic to see this segment with all its vital outrage on PBS the same night that Frontline aired its tainted documentary about the healthcare industry. Check out Russell Mokhiber's piece here: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/04/03-7

    Thnk you Mr. Moyer for the Bill Black segment and for the segment from Glen Greenwood and Amy Goodman. I have read about 10 books on the recent economic crisis and I knew Geithner was hand picked to help Wall Street hide the truth of the extent of the crisis and to keep those Wall street titans in power. Obama had better get the picture real soon that Geithner must go or his honeymoon with the American people will come to an abrupt end! We as a nation can no longer tolerate the corruption of Wall Street, our government, and our media. We cannot continue the way we have been going the last 30 years, we simply will collapse due to the enormity crime and corrupt allowed to run rampant.

    Was Argentina used as a petri dish to learn how to bring down the USA?

    Argentina - La Toma (The Take) 2004 - Fragmento 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rm97EeqKzsc

    Can the IMF and World Bank be trusted? Can Obama be trusted?

    I wish you could have Mr. Black back to go into even more of the disgusting detail. The WSJ reported that billons of taxpayer
    money was funneled thru AIG to Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank to pay off their hedge fund clients who had bet that mortgage backed securities would decline.

    It is really nice to see people like William Black that are finally coming forward. I wish they were 10 years earlier, like Brooksley Born. Perhaps if many people did something 10 years ago, we could have stopped the long fraudulent activity which has brought the wporld to poverty.

    Bill, thanks for the segment with William K. Black. It was excellent. Black's call for an investigation that would lay bare exactly how this meltdown disaster occured is the right approach. He suggests that Congress should establish the investigation through a non-partisan fact finding committee. The reason this has not been done yet is that Congress is complicit in the causes of this fraud. This is where the American people must apply pressure. The American people must demand a full accounting of Congress's role in the causes of this fraud. Yes, until we get a complete accounting of what happened, like an airplane-crash investigation, this nation can not make the necessary changes to move forward. All of Congress's deregulation actions must be analyzed and put into perspective, including political contributions. This non-partisan investigative committee should look at everything that happened from 1980 through 2000, and perhaps longer. Of course the role that each of the administrations played in this must be documented as well. My perception is that given the Clinton Administrations march forward on deregulation, it was as if we had a continuous right-wing, laissez-faire capitalism agenda from 1981 through 2008. President Obama likes to say "the buck stops with him" like President Truman said. But the truth is that in our American system of government the buck stops with Congress. Congress writes the laws. Congress wrote the laws in the 1930s that gave us a reasonably regulated financial. Congress wrote the laws that turned loose the monster through deregulation. The main-stream press also bears responsibility for not investigating and reporting what they knew to be happening. And finally, the implicit two-party system in the U.S. is part of the problem. Ralph Nader had it right, ultimately there is not that much difference between the Democrats and Republicans, especially when it comes to accepting political contributions.

    http://www.eppc.org/publications/pubID.3575/pub_detail.asp
    Spreading the Virus
    How ACORN and its Dem allies built the mortgage disaster.
    By Stanley Kurtz
    Posted: Monday, October 13, 2008


    ARTICLE
    New York Post
    Publication Date: October 13, 2008


    TO discover the roots of to day's economic crisis, consider a tale from 1995.

    That March, House Speaker Newt Gingrich was scheduled to address a meeting of county commissioners at the Washington Hilton. But, first, some 500 protesters from the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) poured into the ballroom from both the kitchen and the main entrance.

    Hotel staffers who tried to block them were quickly overwhelmed by demonstrators chanting, "Nuke Newt!" and "We want Newt!" Jamming the aisles, carrying bullhorns and taunting the assembled county commissioners, demonstrators swiftly took over the head table and commandeered the microphone, sending two members of Congress scurrying.

    The demonstrators' target, Gingrich, hadn't yet arrived - and his speech was cancelled. When the cancellation was announced, ACORN's foot soldiers cheered.

    Editorial writers from Little Rock to Buffalo condemned ACORN's action as an affront to both civility and freedom of speech. Editorialists also pointed out that the "spending cuts" the protesters railed against were imaginary - Gingrich proposed merely to slow the growth in some welfare programs and turn control back to the states.

    Yet ACORN had only just begun. Two days later, 50 to 100 of the same protesters hit their main target - a House Banking subcommittee considering changes to the Community Reinvestment Act, a law that allows groups like ACORN to force banks into making high-risk loans to low-credit customers.

    The CRA's ostensible purpose is to prevent banks from discriminating against minorities. But Rep. Marge Roukema (R-NJ), who chaired the subcommittee, was worried that charges of discrimination had become an excuse for lowering credit standards. She warned that new, Democrat-proposed CRA regulations could amount to an illegal quota system.

    FOR years, ACORN had combined manipulation of the CRA with intimidation-protest tactics to force banks to lower credit standards. Its crusade, with help from Democrats in Congress, to push these high-risk "subprime" loans on banks is at the root of today's economic meltdown.

    When the role of ACORN and congressional Democrats in the mortgage crisis is pointed out, Democrats reply that banks subject to the CRA represent only about a quarter of the loans that led to our current troubles. In fact, the problem goes way beyond the CRA.

    As ACORN ran its campaigns against local banks, it quickly hit a roadblock. Banks would tell ACORN they could afford to reduce their credit standards by only a little - since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the federal mortgage giants, refused to buy up those risky loans for sale on the "secondary market."

    That is, the CRA wasn't enough. Unless Fannie and Freddie were willing to relax their credit standards as well, local banks would never make home loans to customers with bad credit histories or with too little money for a downpayment.

    So ACORN's Democratic friends in Congress moved to force Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to dispense with normal credit standards. Throughout the early '90s, they imposed ever-increasing subprime-lending quotas on Fannie and Freddie.

    But then the Republicans won control of Congress - and Rep. Roukema scheduled her hearing. ACORN went into action to protect its golden goose.

    IT struck as Roukema aired her concerns at that hearing. Pro testers, led by ACORN President Maud Hurd, stood up and began chanting, "CRA has got to stay!" and "Banks for greed, not for need!" The protesters then demanded the microphone.

    With the hearing interrupted and the demonstrators refusing to leave, Roukema called the Capital Police, who arrested Hurd and four others for "disorderly conduct in a Capital building" - a charge carrying a penalty of a $500 fine, six months in prison or both. As the police arrived, two of the protesters menacingly approached Roukema's desk, still demanding the hearing microphone.

    Requests to the Capital Police to release the activists from Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass,) failed. Then Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) showed up at the jail and refused to leave until the protesters were released; the Capital Police relented.

    Meanwhile, instead of repudiating ACORN's intimidation tactics, Rep. Kennedy berated Roukema for arresting one of his constituents and accused the Republicans of preparing for "an all-out attack on CRA." He also promised to introduce legislation to expand the CRA's coverage to mortgage bankers and large credit unions.

    THIS little slice of political life from 1995 had a variety of ripple effects. Above all, ACORN's intimidation tactics, and its alliance with Democrats in Congress, triumphed. Despite their 1994 takeover of Congress, Republicans' attempts to pare back the CRA were stymied.

    Instead, Democrats like Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Reps. Kennedy and Waters allied with the Clinton administration to broaden the acceptability of risky subprime loans throughout the financial system, thus precipitating our current crisis.

    ACORN had come to Congress not only to protect the CRA from GOP reforms but also to expand the reach of quota-based lending to Fannie, Freddie and beyond. By steamrolling the GOP that March, it had crushed the last potential barrier to "change."

    Three months later, the Clinton administration announced a comprehensive strategy to push homeownership in America to new heights - regardless of the compromise in credit standards that the task would require. Fannie and Freddie were assigned massive subprime lending quotas, which would rise to about half of their total business by the end of the decade.

    WHEN the ACORN-Democrat alliance finally succeeded in blocking Republicans from restoring fiscal sanity in 1995, the way was open to virtually unlimited lending quotas - and to a whole new way of thinking about credit standards.

    Urged on by ACORN, congressional Democrats and the Clinton administration helped push tolerance for high-risk loans through every sector of the banking system - far beyond the sort of banks originally subject to the CRA.

    So it was the efforts of ACORN and its Democratic allies that first spread the subprime virus from the CRA to Fannie and Freddie and thence to the entire financial system.

    Soon, Democratic politicians and regulators actually began to take pride in lowered credit standards as a sign of "fairness" - and the contagion spread.

    And when financial institutions across the board saw that they could make money by trading what would once have been considered junk loans, the profit motive kicked in. But the bad seed that started it all was ACORN.

    HOW does Barack Obama fit into all of this? Obama has been a key ally of Chicago ACORN going back to his days as a community organizer.

    Later, as a young lawyer, he offered leadership training to the activists who were forcing Chicago banks into high-risk subprime loans. And when he made it on to the boards of Chicago's Woods Fund and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, he channeled money ACORN's way.

    Obama was perfectly aware of ACORN's intimidation tactics - indeed, he oversaw a Woods Fund report that boasted of managing to fund the radical group despite its shocking behavior.

    And as a lawmaker, in Illinois and in Washington, he has continued to back ACORN's leglislative agenda.

    ACORN's high-pressure tactics live on. And congressional Democrats are still covering for ACORN, funneling it money and doing its legislative bidding. ACORN also continues its shady ways, using a vast network of technically separate but in fact quite interconnected organizations to evade federal laws on the politicized use of government money.

    Perhaps most disturbing of all, the Obama campaign appears to have little more regard for freedom of speech than Reps. Kennedy or Waters did when they backed up ACORN's thugs in 1995. The campaign actually practices ACORN-style tactics, sending out "action wires" that call on supporters to block Obama critics from radio appearances (a tactic once applied to me) and demanding legal actions against unfriendly political advertisers.

    As a presidential candidate, Obama promises a massive national-service program closely allied with the nonprofit sector. He wants to remove "barriers for smaller nonprofits to participate in government programs."

    In other words, he plans a massive effort to funnel America's youth into volunteer work alongside the likes of ACORN. So Obama's favorite community organizers may soon be training your child.

    ACORN's alliance with the Democratic Party is at the root of the current financial meltdown. And Barack Obama has stayed true to ACORN's ways.

    Pretty soon, the folks who poured into the Washington Hilton to shut down Speaker Gingrich in 1995 may no longer need to take over the microphone. They'll be in charge of it.

    Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow with the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington.

    I used to work for IndyMac Bank, from 1999-2004. I was proud of their initial success, but discouraged in their handling of employees. It took me 18 months as a subcontractor to finally sign on. I'm just sad for the good people that stayed on.

    A previous suggestion to email the administration about the William Black interview on your show strikes me as an excellent idea. It's important that President Obama hears from us, especially from supporters like myself, who are worried about these bailouts of corrupted institutions.

    William Black's comments certainly are congruent with the events of the past few days. We have gone from a furor over the need to expose and expunge toxic assets to a growing acceptance of the belief that a) Only the bankers of big banks can correct the problems b) the mark to market rule is impossible to implement and c) we are better off propping up the zombie banks than exposing them.

    Obama is getting too much input from those who are part of the industry...Geithner, Summers, Rubin et al and they were and are part of the problem and too frightened to let the light in. Do we have to march in the streets to get Congress to act?

    Is anyone else in Los Angeles willing to start demonstrating in the streets?

    Great show.
    To the readers of "The Automatic Earth", (do a google), this is old new.

    Most of the financial/economic blog are identifying the problems and starting to ask for legal action. (To put it mildly).
    jal

    Thank you very much, Mr. Moyers. Excellent, excellent show! Mr. Black is now one of my heroes (Moyers, Hersh, Olbermann, etc...). I'll be reading more of his work.

    Mr. Moyer thank you for having Willam Black on the Journal. He made the finacial mess this country is in much easier to understand.

    Another interesting angle to investigate in the real estate bubble/bust is the collaboration between lenders and real estate appraisal companies. I bought my Colorado condo a year ago for $400K with an appraised value of $430K. Now I can't sell it at $325K. I'd expect an appraiser to make a risk adjusted, independent estimate of value--almost like I'd expect Moody's to make a risk adjusted, independent rating on a bond.

    Tonight's show had real SIZZLE Bill. One of your best in months. William Black was outstanding, outstanding, he pulled no punches. And Amy and Glenn were perfect follow up guests.

    Despite all the fancy talk of cover up, the conspiracy is right under our noses with the dozens of fraudulent euphemisms we speak and hear every day:
    Consumer, Pentagon, Detainee, and most especially, CREDIT.

    thanks

    thank you Bill Moyers and Bill Black for filling in the many blanks I had about the financial mess.It was such a revealing and moving explanation that I emailed the whitehouse with my outrage. I hope Pres. Obama will watch this interview and re-think what he is doing and who has been giving him advice.
    Many thanks and please keep up your vital good work.

    This is absoluetly unbeleivable! YES, this IS fraud in any way you choose to look at it. Of course no one wants to tell us, the people. The fear would be rampant, the outrage would be raw and massive toward our the leaders of our country. But how dare they!?
    Does not a single person in power know the meaning of integrity anymore? I have never wanted to believe that power was a bad thing, but now I wonder if it is at all possible to be in power and still know the meaning of compassion, the meaning of honesty and the meaning of justice. I agree this has nothing to do with any particular political party, this is out and out fraud, criminality and a violation of the people's trust. Nothing could be worse or more damaging to a democracy. Our leaders the Washington elite, may as well stand before us and rip the Consitution to shreds, although I suppose they already have, haven't they? In so many ways we could barely count. This cannot stand! The media had better get it's act together, no . . .WE the people had better get our act together or we may no longer have a country worth saving at all.

    Michael Moore, the famed film maker of the people, is making a documeentary on the crisis; if you have special information or know who do, contact him
    at michaelmoore.com

    As you below:

    Teri Schenk | April 3, 2009 11:46 PM

    Please, please, please repeat this show with William Black...

    It was fantastic!

    Bill:
    The Bill Black segment was so valuable, but only if President Obama himself can see it and get past his current economic "gatekeepers." Do you have a way to get Obama himself to see your interviews? There have been several lately when I have so hoped that would be true. I am sure that if he watched this Black interview he would understand why so many wish he would not have chosen Summers and Geithner to lead the recovery.

    Who better than the crooks at fault, to now get us out of this crises than the ones who got us into this.

    But, they won't - as they obviously feel invincible on the backs of the poor...
    yet the poor (once called "middle-class") won't educate themselves...

    Do you know that your own Bible has over 2,350 verses directly dealing with money and possessions? That is around twice the amount of verses on faith, prayer, and love combined. If this topic is that important to God, then should it be important to us individually?

    Thank you for the excellent interview!

    Mr. Black is right on target; he is the first person I’ve heard that has the intellect and courage to tell it like it is. Now we in the audience who appreciate and understand what Mr. Black said so eloquently need to take this information and put pressure on the rest of the media and the politicians. Would it be possible for Mr. Black to give us some recommendations on what we can do to change things?

    im hoping that mr obama is proping up the system till the "stress test" remember them. then set blame, recover assets and prosicute.i beleave he said troop increase in afgan for elections .if we dont keep his feet to the fire he might just go to the gov inc. side hoping to see amy in athens

    Yes indeed, fraud is obvious. There needs to be an independent investigation by forensic accountants and financial analysts with no ties to bankers/investment firms (some academics like Bill Black, some FBI)with bipartisan Congressional oversight to determine who in these failed institutions put short-term profit above sound practice and received the most benefit...and the crooks should be prosecuted and jailed. Those ginormous banks that have failed and are insolvent are certainly a poor risk for our tax dollar investment and should be allowed to go into receivership. I certainly want no part of them.

    And we can spread the blame around considerably. We as citizens and consumers are complicit in our failure to resist the lure of what the big corporations are selling us, whether it's a financial product, or a home loan, or a brand new big SUV. Our media is complicit in helping to sell us a lifestyle promoting the accumulation of things, entertaining us but not informing us, not confronting the liars in the power establishment. Corporate power (financial and media) salted our desires and our egos, led us to water, and we drank it. And our government and the Federal Reserve system are complicit in their obvious failures. But ground zero, as Mr. Black points out, is the point where the deceit began, and that's with the banks' upper echelons.

    Thanks for a great show. I'm grateful to you Mr. Moyers and to Amy Goodman and Glenn Greenwald for independent journalism that does the job intended. Thank you for bringing us real information, facts that help us sort out the who, what, when, where, why of the big issues that affect our lives. Keep it coming.

    Hurray for heroes like Amy Goodman and Glenn Greenwald & thanks for posting their videos.

    In San Diego, despite the
    web and TV schedule that The Journal would play, it didnt show or was it censored?

    In response to Gary from Conway, Arkansas - I also have Dish Network and lost the program when Mr. Moyers' conversation with Mr. Black was getting very interesting - and telling. Fortunately, I have a television that is just hooked up to an antenna (not on the digital system) and I was able to watch the entire program on that television - from the same public television station. I think it is very interesting that the digital system dropped the program, but the analog did not. It made me wonder how easy it might be after all television programming goes digital in June of this year for Corporate America to censor out broadcasts such as this one tonight...?? I didn't see any other complaints about the show being blacked out in mid-broacast from anyone outside of our viewing area so my guess is this was a local network difficulty. But as I said - it did make me wonder......

    I am very encouraged by the feedback to this program. I do not know if the nation can be saved from the manipulative interests that seek to control from both the left and the right, but I am certain it cannot happen without the deepening thoughful engagement of reality reflected in the responses here. We dare not endure much more status quo politics and further concentration of wealth among the ruling powerful.

    Thank you, Mr. Moyers and Mr. Black, for tonight's show. I'm stunned and mad as Hell. Tea Party here I come.

    Thank you Bill Moyer for bringing us the truth again - what would we do without you.

    My blood boils when I hear government officials, bankers, and the rest of the thieves who've lined their pockets with my money and yours say that they were caught by surprise by the home mortgage crisis! A dear friend who was highly positioned in a now defunct bank with more than a century's history began talking with desperation in his voice more than five years ago about his great concern for his bank's "lopsidedness" regarding sub-prime mortgages. His responsibility within the bank was to track, weigh and report such matters to his superiors and the bank's board. What he repeated again and again obviously to no avail was that history showed that people with poor paying history were bad risks for mortgages; poor paying history, obviously, is not exclusive to lower income earners. Of course, there was the matter of the Clinton administration pressuring lending institutions to create instruments to make it possible for some - not all - lower income people to be able to purchase homes, but that could have been satisfied without the roofs having to fall in on so many lending institutions. The obvious is that initially people who'd previously been unable to qualify for home loans were so eager to buy into the "American dream" that they were willing to pay a higher interest rate than others just so they could have a place they could call their own. Then the "G" word (greed) overtook the people who ultimately decide the percentage of high risk loans that will be made by their particular institutions and good sense got set aside and they gambled that enough high interest borrowers would meet their obligations that profits would soar for lenders and they would be perceived as geniuses! It appears they believed they'd found the goose that laid the golden egg. The rest, of course, is history, but what I've written is testimony to the fact that there are people who knew with certainty that they were taking a risk that could ultimately cause the American economy to cave in on itself and they should be named publicly and tried for their failure to execute their duties responsibly. I can't fathom why Americans are not lining the streets of Washington D.C. demanding that these people be made accountable! Rather, we stand by as they get a gentle pat on the back for the trying situations they've suffered and get sent off with obscene amounts of money - our money!

    This edition of Bill Moyers Journal was probably the best I've seen. Bill Black explained the cause of the economic crisis so well that even our elected officials should be able to understand it. (However, somehow I suspect that they already do and that their silence indicates that they are complicit.) If everyone in America could view this, we might achieve a sufficient level of outrage to force some Congressional action. The criminals who perpetrated this disaster deserve prosecution, not bailouts or stimulus payments.

    Thank you so much, Mr. Moyers, for getting this information out in front of the American public.

    The "mark to market" accounting change is just one more outrage and yet the latest proof that the very criminals that got us to this bleak point are still dominating the policy makers.

    The basic hope underpinning all current policy is that the real estate bubble can somehow be re-inflated and thus all the fraud will be rendered moot. If real estate and thus the toxic assets were somehow to regain their value, then, the hope goes, everyone will simply breathe a sigh of relief and the crisis will be over.

    Of course, this hope hinges on re-inflating housing prices. Given that reaching those price levels took all manner of fraud, deceit, and "creative" loan products combined with massive, frenzied buying, it seems impossible to ever re-inflate that bubble.

    This really is an appalling situation. The fact that so few reporters even question the wisdom of trying to re-inflate the bubble is simply further evidence of a new low in investigative journalism. In such a journalistic vacuum, corruption has free reign.

    Astoundingly good interview. Black is honest, hard-hitting and pulls no punches. Simply the best interview I have heard on this subject. It warmed my heart after all the obfuscation.

    This segment should be shown on every network and played on every radio station in the nation.Perhaps then people would know the truth and be outraged as they justly should. Thank you to all those who do not fear!

    WOSU TV 34 went out in Columbus, OH and has not resumed either. We subscribe to Time Warner Cable

    The economic crisis is only the tip of the collapsing iceberg. Author Dmitri Orlov gives a chilling, humorous and indispensable guide for surviving what is to come, in his book, "Reinventing Collapse, the Soviet Example and American Prospects." If we think it's bad now- wait until the dollar is worthless and there's no oil available. This should be required reading for anyone who wants a chance at making it through the next ten years using what Orlov calls, "Mitigation, Adaptation and Opportunity." I would love to see Bill Moyers interview Orlov!

    Summers received hundreds of thousands from the bankers:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/03/summers-received-hundreds_n_183058.html

    This is awesome news! It is the smoking gun that we needed to see. We now know what a con job has been perpetrated on us and that we must not and can not accept. We are now deputized to take action as irate citizens.

    Maybe I'm reading too much into this but... After about 20 min. of the Bill Black interview KETS in Conway, AR went off the air and has not resumed broadcasting. I receive the feed thru Dish Network. Is this happening anywhere else?

    Excellent show. It made me so angry I could spit. I immediately emailed the White House and shared my frustration. I'm a life long democrat and voted for Obama. But he has lost my trust. I hope he changes direction, if he doesn't I hope he is impeached. I'm O.K. with the vice president taking over.

    I left law for what I call my "brief real estate career" during the time that became the end of the bubble. I was an ageing 2d career rookie but WHOA was I courted and coddled by the loan officers -- there was not a prospective buyer they could not find a loan for . . 110%? no problem. Then and since, my instincts said this was not right, that the entire bubble was -- a fragile bubble and people would get hurt. For those of us who did not study economics enough to KNOW where these instinctive discomforts were based -- then, and now in the Obama/Geitner remedies-- Wm Black has explained it. Much as I want to support this administration, I fear that Prof Black is right. I am also grateful that his thesis includes a remedy -- a way to go from this mess we are in. Thanks -- and god bless Bill Moyers and the thoughtful conversations he continues to pursue.

    Didn't you interview a person from one of the rating agencies a while back that said the same things Bill Black said. Wouldn't it be a good idea to start with the rating agencies - they must know where all the bodies are? Why not RICO? Thanks again for the great job you are doing

    “In September 1999, the New York Times reported that Fannie Mae was easing credit requirements on the mortgages it bought from banks. The initiative, the Times said, would encourage banks ‘to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans.’ Fannie Mae had been ‘under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people.’” [excerpt from “Meltdown,” by Thomas Woods, Jr]

    Let’s put the onus back on the Government where it belongs.

    there are two political parties in this country......... republicrats and constitutionalists.

    Bill, Thank you for the William Black interview. Most americans for some time have suspected that what has happened to our economy is not the result of the usual economic cycle. That's the reason we don't trust those people (the money lenders) who are receiving trillions of our tax dollars. Paul Krugman has been telling us what Mr. Black explicitly stated in your interview, but the "media" is making every effort to discredit him.There is no doubt that what has happened is the result of a well planned fraud perpetrated by those we are trying to "rescue."

    Ted:
    Not all of us thought that we could live without regulation and good sense.

    I think everyone who viewed this program should go to the Whitehouse comment site
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/opl/
    and demand that all Wall St. insiders be removed. And it wouldnt hurt to to start a campaign of letters to the editor to get the truth out in the open.

    Good program. I am of the opinion that this debacle is not unlike the Enron crisis in that it is "trusted corporate officers" who have betrayed the public. The public should not patronize these folks. Also, I wonder where the Boards of Directors are/were? Aren't they just as culpable? Here in Kansas we had a Wall Street "trained" man become the head of the electric utility where he did similar illegal acts. He was assisted by his staff. He is now in prison. I think William Black has the right picture.

    I recommend the book " In God's Name " , by David A. Yallop .... You will get a good understanding of this " world " banking system , and the criminals behind it , and possibly some insight into WHY , those in power do not want us to know the truth

    Mant:
    The viet Nam war did end under Richard Nixon. Furthermore, who would expect that war to be ended immediately upon someone's taking the presidential office.

    Bill: Thanks for the great interview. Great Job: I thought PBS went into the tubes...I hope you can get this on MSNBC and CNN.
    Well maybe not, how about MTV.

    There are several parties to blame: the borrowers, the mortgage brokers and agents, the Lenders of all sizes and names....
    1. If you know you would not be able to pay off the debt, why are you borrowing, stupid?
    2. Because all these mortgage brokers,agents,companies etc. work for the commission,they can not lose a client!They Lie !
    3. Because the Lender is always looking for savings and profit ,they keep their eyes closed like an Ostrich. And the main question...who will investigate them?! And the answer is -nobody!! If someone would lose in Las Vegas what governemnt would come to help? Why would sombody start saving the Bankrputs? especially for the taxpayers money ?
    This is an intersting question...isn't it?

    As a 65 year old recovering Republican, I'm more than ever beginning to accept the British observation that we only have one political party in this country, the "Capitalist Party" with Republican and Democrat factions. Both parties have similarly conspired to create a financial "house of cards" that seems to be collapsing. Are we simply being duped into focusing on the Republicans versus the Democrats, while other forces are at work under the surface? I would like to know who is ultimately pulling the strings.

    Hurrah for Amy Goodman. Bill Black ,wow I hope someone is listening to him . He spoke the TRUTH.

    Dear Bill, thank you for the persistent efforts to bring truth to the people. My hats off to Mr. Black. Can you invite him to blog here so we can learn more?

    Those responsible for the crisis suffered by so many innocent people here and around the world must be jailed and trialed openly.

    Greenspan, Rubin, Summers, Paulson, Bernanke, and Geithner and all other oligarchs are so guilty.

    My question also is why do President Obama, his administration and the Congress want to help them cover up this crime? This is not in the interest of America and American people/.

    Please, please could someone pull my dear President aside and honestly tell him to look inside himself,to pull away from these dishonest financial goons and thieves he had mistakenly surrounded himself. He must not allow himself to be hookwinked into failing to do the right. No, no, President Obama you must not disappoint us. Fire these guys and listen to the voice of the people and not the powerful.

    What a surprise, Wall street CEO's run amok. Follow the political contributions and you will find the accomplices. Our only hope is term limits.

    He gets no argument from this quarter, but the really interesting question is why, just as we asked a few years ago about Kansas, there is an absence of moral outrage except about the small issue of executive pay. The reason for that, I think, is that in fact the multitude share the attitude of the rich. In other words, we rob ourselves, and think not only that we can get away with it, but should, because it is ordained by God. You cannot separate the questions of American law from those of American religion, or those from the organization of our monetary system. It might be salutary to consider the Democratics response to the Republicans in 1932:

    In the 1932 Platform of the Democratic party we may read the following:

    "Believing that a party platform is a covenant with the people to be faithfully kept by the party when entrusted with power, and that the people are entitled to know in plain words the terms of the contract to which they are asked to subscribe, we hereby declare this to be the platform of the Democratic party.

    "The Democratic party solemnly promises by appropriate action to put into effect the principles, policies and reforms herein advocated and to eradicate the policies, methods and practices herein condemned.

    "We advocate:

    "1) An immediate and drastic reduction of governmental expenditures by abolishing useless commissions and offices, consolidating departments and bureaus and eliminating extravagance, to accomplish a saving of not less than 25% in the cost of Federal government...

    "2) Maintenance of the national credit by a Federal budget annually balanced on the basis of accurate executive estimates within revenues...

    "3) A sound currency to be preserved at all hazards...

    "We condemn:...

    "4) The open and covert resistance of administration officials to every effort made by Congressional committees to control extravagant expenditures of the government...

    "5) The extravagance of the Farm Board, its disastrous action which made the government a speculator in farm products...

    "To accomplish these purposes and to recover economic liberty we pledge the nominees of of the convention..."

    In his July 2, 1932 acceptance speech the nominee said:

    "As an immediate program of action we must abolish useless offices. We must eliminate actual prefunctions of government - functions, in fact, that are not definitely essential to the continuance of government. We must merge, we must consolidate subdivisions of government, and like a private citizen, give up luxuries we can no longer afford.

    "I propose to you, my friends, and through you, that government of all kinds, big and little, be made solvent and that the example be set by the President of the United States and his cabinet."

    In a July 30, 1932 radio address the candidate added: "Any government, like any family, can for a year spend a little more than it earns. But you and I know that a continuation of that habit means the poorhouse."

    And in his March 1933 inaugural speech, President Roosevelt said: "Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men. True they have tried, but their effects have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by the failure of credit they have proposed only lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully to restore confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish. The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit."

    Several months ago I remarked that I thought the new president would make not only all the mistakes FDR made, but also all those Richard Nixon made, he being elected on a pledge to end the war in Vietnam. Neither did the things they promised, and, as a result, the Depression lingered for nearly a decade longer, ending only in world war, and the Vietnam war went on for another seven yrs, ending, not only in defeat, but, as wars always do, with a huge inflation, requiring, eventually, an orchestrated recession to cure.

    What an informative show!
    Kudos to you Bill Moyers!
    Reminds me of the old days when 60 minutes used to expose corruption.

    Thanks for all you do to help open eyes.

    According to Mr Black's description, companies like IndyMac functioned as the equivalent of "feeder funds" for the financial companies who were packaging and selling the fraudulently-rated liar loans. The illusory "profits" booked provided a purported basis for huge bonuses to be paid to executives for the duration of the Ponzi bubble, robbing the shareholders and, ultimately, the non-shareholding public. The enormous debt imposed on the the citizens of the country transforms it into a fuedalism/serfdom class. As usual, identifying the means, motives, and opportunity should fill in the blanks of Mr. Black's outline. Perhaps starting by identifying who had a large growth in personal wealth over the Ponzi/bubble period, and which of those same people were in positions the help propagate that bubble, would be a good place to begin.

    Thank you for the show tonight 04/03/09. We need the truth.

    FYI: if you are looking for a productive outlet for your passion of outrage: there is a massive nationwide protest planned for Saturday April 11 - you can find local details on website of A New Wat Forward.

    Listening to William Black I found an odd peace at last...I have been bending my brain into pretzels trying to understand...and now I think I DO. Proof that once can experience peace without hope. Thank you Bill Moyers and William Black.

    As an Obama supporter, I became disillisioned with the administration's lack of transparency in disseminating their financial plan. Has everyone become so complacent and numb. I wonder what has happened to outrage. I fear that a good man (Obama) may fall victim to the weight of the big business lobbies.

    Sharing the Blame for the Economic Crisis?

    I wish you would Put the Above Mentioned Episode on YouTube so we can Inform the Public on this all important subject on Corruption in the Wall Street Banking Sector.

    finally I see someone telling the unvarnished truth! I am a simple person who watched the paperwork from the public discovery of the "bail-out", and have been able to wade through all those legal agreements, and simply by watching carefully from a simple American home, using the internet! Pay attention, Americans, tonight you have recieved the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Our "public trust in the monetary system is the only thing that keeps it propped up, and all clear thinking individuals can and should recognize a skunk when we witness its spew. What a relief to hear the truth finally being spoken on the Bill Moyers Show, and Thank God for the Public Network.

    The only way we consumers can possibly be held responsible for the present situation is that we elected the politicians who approved regulatory and judicial appointments and wrote legislation that legalized the despicable practices that led to the disaster.

    It was our collective failure as citizens, not as consumers, that makes us responsible for this massive shake-up.

    Our responsibility pales in comparison with the people in power who spent the past 30 years systematically destroying the bulwarks against financial disaster at the same time they were grabbing all the profits and commissions they could get their hands on.

    All of those business people, academics, and political elites who should have known better are guilty of unspeakable betrayal and baseness. That they are still helping themselves to bonuses and bailouts rather than marching to prison demonstrates the weakness of the current batch of politicians we have elected. Will we have the courage to change them?

    What do you think?


    Were lenders committing fraud? Why or why not?

    Yes, they did not take care to insure that those receiving loans could afford them. They had to realize that not every one receiving loans was capable of handling it.


    How much responsibility, if any, do American borrowers and consumers bear for the present economic crisis? Explain.

    I suppose all of us are responsible, whether we took part direclty in this fiasco, for thinking we could live without regulation and good sense.

    However, it is wrong to bankrupt the future to pay off these bums. Support the financial base of the country but dump these corrupt financial institutions.

    'Wow to you rich, who have made your money on the backs of the poor' sound like our home mortgage crisis to me.

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