Senior S&L Regulator Says Government Engaging in Massive Cover-Up of Economic Crisis: “The Entire Strategy Is to Keep People from Getting the Facts”

William K. Black was the senior regulator during the S&L crisis, and an Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri (bio).

Black says that massive fraud is what caused the economic crisis. As one example, he explains that everyone involved knew that the CDOs which packaged subprime loans were not AAA credit-worthy (which means that they are completely risk-free). He also said that the exotic instruments (CDOs, CDS, etc.) which spun the mortgages into more and more abstract investments were intentionally created to defraud investors.

Moreover, Black says that the government’s entire strategy in dealing with the economic crisis is a massive cover-up:

[They] don’t want to change the bankers, because if we do, if we put honest people in, who didn’t cause the problem, their first job would be to find the scope of the problem. And that would destroy the cover up….

Geithner is … covering up. Just like Paulson did before him….

These are all people who have failed. Paulson failed, Geithner failed. They were all promoted because they failed….

Until you get the facts, it’s harder to blow all this up. And, of course, the entire strategy is to keep people from getting the facts….

[Question] Are you saying that Timothy Geithner, the Secretary of the Treasury, and others in the administration, with the banks, are engaged in a cover up to keep us from knowing what went wrong?

[Black] Absolutely….

They’re deliberately leaving in place the people that caused the problem, because they don’t want the facts. And this is not new. The Reagan Administration’s central priority, at all times, during the Savings and Loan crisis, was covering up the losses.

[Question] So, you’re saying that people in power, political power, and financial power, act in concert when their own behinds are in the ringer, right?

That’s right. And it’s particularly a crisis that brings this out, because then the class of the banker says, “You’ve got to keep the information away from the public or everything will collapse.”

Watch the interview here.

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  • Well, apart from the astonishing fact that president OB makes it possible for the bankers to steal the money a second time, the finance-scam in itself ought to teach the American people, once and for all, that they live in a plutocracy rather than in a democracy. Alas, it appears to me that the majority of the US population doesn’t even know there is a difference between the two at all. 🙂

  • Perhaps Brandulph arose too early. We were given a REPUBLIC not a democracy. Remember the pledge of Allegiance? When the Oz gang is through with us, we’ll totally be in a slave state. Almost there, we’ve become Rome, dumbed down, drunk with hubris, too lazy to question.

  • We have already been a dumbed-down slave state for a long time. Just take note of how many people of all income levels are just one or two paychecks away form being out on the street. Clue: They are forced to go to work for the bucks every day and every week and every month, or become a homeless person. This is a fact, and says “slave-state”. They’re locked in to this endless treadmill for life. Are they offered any alternative? No — The whole school system teaches that the only reason they exist is to work. It’s the old work-ethic thing being pushed to the max. And, yes, we are supposed to be (in theory-never in actual fact) a Republic, not a democracy.

  • The financial crisis is the pathological end-point of a profit-as-the-highest-value system, which pretty much most people suscribed to. New norms and values are now emerging out of the absurdity, panic and cognitive dissonance evident in this crisis.

  • “thistlebud” said: -“We were given a REPUBLIC not a democracy.”Hmmm!? :-)REPUBLIC- A political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them. – A form of government whose head of state is not a monarch.DEMOCRACY- The political orientation of those who favour government by the people or by their elected representatives- A political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent themPLUTOCRACY- A political system governed by the wealthy peopleNow then, when looking at the concept, “REPUBLIC”, as a political system, it cannot be disputed that “you were given” a DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC. The political system which prevails in the US of A however, is a PLUTOCRATIC REPUBLIC. (Just how plutocratic, is this time demonstrated by the present monetary manipulations pushed by your new puppet president 🙂

  • I’d take a true plutocratic republic, led by people who fought for me and mine, over the typical democracy any day. Democracy is mob rule, anarchy, chaos.

  • A Republic is a form of government set up under the Rule of Law, in our case, the Constitution, which is designed to keep government in check and give maximum freedom and responsibility to the citizens. The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution as a brake on government and decried a democracy as unworkable. Check this for a great explanation; have now an oligarchy – rule by an ‘elite’ group working for their own benefit. Enforcing the Constitution has ever been a task against those who would have oligarchy and Americans have truly been dumbed down in that battle to the point where they no longer care or even understand their Constitution and form of government anymore. Then again, the Founding Fathers did say that our form of government could only exist with an informed, educated population, which now has systematically been destroyed.

  • PLUTOCRACY- Yes indeed, “robocopone”, and Plutocracy is by definition an Oligarchy Rule, i.e. a political system governed by the wealthy people. (Plutocracy is of course also killing off the Democracies in Europe. The shadow governments here, carry the same family names as those who are the true rulers of the US.:-)DEMOCRACY- The “Democracy” decried by the US founding fathers, was “Direct/Pure Democracy” rather than “Deliberative Democracy” or “Representative Democracy”, which is understood by the term “Democracy” today, at least in Europe. The government derives its power from the people and is accountable to them for the use of that power. In this sense the United States might therefore accurately have be called a “Democracy” in earlier days. The correct label today however, cannot be anything else but, a puppet run “Plutocracy”. 🙂

  • Rusty Mason said,- “I’d take a true plutocratic republic, led by people who fought for me and mine, over the typical democracy any day. Democracy is mob rule, anarchy, chaos.”Hmmmmm?!… Rusty Mason, you’re pulling my leg!… or?Winston Churchill once said, -“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” Well, Churchill is of course here by “democracy”, refering to “direct democracy”.And, unless you are pulling my leg a bit, he had you in his mind, when he uses the term “average voter”. :-)-“…led by people who fought for me and mine,”How about reading up on “War Is A Racket” once again? :-)… or brushing up your memory on what the eminent german sociologist Max Weber once said about politicians? 🙂

  • Black is correct but misses one point; the reason for the "cover up" is not because "some heads will roll". Rolling heads can always be found when necessary. Call it Washington Bowling. What cannot happen here is a certain political party finding itself entirely defunded should things be un-covered. And really, we are not even talking about a political party as much as an entire political class! Should said party contemplate defunding itself, it imagines a world now, forever and evermore run by its political opponents to everywhichform of political and social horror. Resultantly, no act of self-preservation is too hypocritical, too unjust, or too grievous to contemplate. After all, self-preservation, at least in this case, is simply the preservation of all that is good and right with humanity. What harm in that???Of course, this will mean that economically "the people" are thrown under the wheels to preserve the property and political status of the more enlightened. But on a positive note, if history is any guide, their petty little struggles of the underwashed to stay warm and eating are sure to cut down on their incessant and decidedly ungreen breeding.You see, there is always a positive side.

  • JJ

    Dodd , Frank and Maxine Waters should be indicted for supporting FNM and FRE in the 1980’s and 1990’s

    Their policies based on politics and not economics are what got the banks and the GSE’s into the mess they are in now


  • Franny

    Obama in NYC , again visiting billionaire hedge fund managers to pad his ever growing re-election campaign . . . when do we stand up to this disgrace

  • William Black in this interview said “Geithner was one of our nation’s top regulators, during the entire subprime scandal. He took absolutely no effective action. He gave no warning. He did nothing in response to the FBI warning that there was an epidemic of fraud.”
    He also said Gietner was a president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which is responsible for regulating most of the largest bank holding companies in America.That seems to leave Gietner and Paulson at the top of the blame scale. And Dodd,Frank and Walters heads that should have been rolled. Even 2013 we are still bailing with QE3 Billions a month with no end. while seniors suffer under this administration.