control fraud

Podcast

Bill Black: Our System is So Flawed That Fraud is Mathematically Guaranteed

How did we allow things to get this bad?
Saturday, May 25, 2013, 1:06 PM

[Chris lost his voice this week due to illness, so we were unable to record a new podcast. So while Chris recuperates, enjoy this excellent discussion from the archives will Bill Black, recorded a year ago, on the pervasive control fraud within our current financial system. ~ Adam]

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."  ~ Frederic Bastiat

Bill Black is a former bank regulator who played a central role in prosecuting the corruption responsible for the S&L crisis of the late 1980s. He is one of America's top experts on financial fraud. And he laments that the U.S. has descended into a type of crony capitalism that makes continued fraud a virtual certainty while increasingly neutering the safeguards intended to prevent and punish such abuse.

In this extensive interview, Bill explains why financial fraud is the most damaging type of fraud and also the hardest to prosecute. He also details how, through crony capitalism, it has become much more prevalent in our markets and political system. 

A warning: There's much revealed in this interview that will make your blood boil. For example, the Office of Thrift Supervision. In the aftermath of the S&L crisis, this office brought 3,000 administration enforcement actions (a.k.a. lawsuits) against identified perpetrators. In a number of cases, they clawed back the funds and profits that the convicted parties had fraudulently obtained.

Flash forward to the 2008 credit crisis, in which just the related household sector losses alone were over 70 times greater than those seen during the entire S&L debacle. So how many criminal referrals did the same agency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, make?

Zero. » Read more

Podcast

Janet Tavakoli: Understanding Derivatives and Their Risks

Abuse is the problem
Saturday, September 15, 2012, 11:48 AM

Global financial markets are awash in hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of derivatives. By some estimates, the total amount exceeds one quadrillion.

Derivatives played a central role in the 2008 credit crisis, as they had a brutal multiplying effect on the magnitude of the carnage. As a bad asset was written down, oftentimes there were derivative contracts written against it that resulted in total losses 10x greater than the initial write-down.

But what exactly are derivatives? How do they work?

And have we learned to treat these "weapons of mass financial destruction" (as Warren Buffet colorfully coined them) any more carefully in the aftermath of the global financial crisis? » Read more