something happening here

charlotte — site of the Democratic convention next year — starts riot training its police, as former regulator william black takes part in his local (kansas city) OWS protest and talks to democracy now about fraud at the top

AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean by fraud?

WILLIAM BLACK: Well, I mean just what we say in the law: fraud is when you use deceit to steal something from someone. And so, the essence of fraud is, I get you to trust me, and then I betray that trust for gain. And as a result, there’s no more effective acid against destroying trust than fraud, particularly at the elite levels. And when you destroy trust, you destroy economies, families, democracies.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, you worked in the Reagan administration. Explain the trajectory of how we have fallen so far. Where do you feel it began?

WILLIAM BLACK: Well, it’s, you know, quite remarkable. It actually, of course, begins in the Carter administration with very substantial deregulation, although I would say of a better sort. I mean, most people don’t think trucking should be heavily regulated, and that’s the type of thing he deregulated. By the Reagan administration, they were—deregulate everything, at the worst possible circumstances, when you had no one looking. And the result was a disaster. It was the savings and loan crisis, at least the second phase of it. And if it had not been contained, it would have been at least a trillion-dollar crisis.

It was contained despite the Reagan administration, and despite a lot of prominent Democrats, as well, who were very heavily in the same camp. So we acted against the wishes of the administration, against the wishes—a majority of the House co-sponsored a resolution saying don’t reregulate—the Keating Five—many people remember those five senators—most of the media, what the political scientists considered the third most powerful trade association in America. And by the way, that’s why I have a message of hope. If we could succeed in those circumstances, it’s far easier to succeed now.


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October 2011
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