William Black: Hillary, the Banksters Committed “Fraud” not “Shenanigans”

“I’ll look into it…” Yeah, right.

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William K. Black
February 4, 2016     Bloomington, MN

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in her debate with Senator Sanders minutes ago, said that she went to Wall Street and told them to stop their “shenanigans.”  The context was that she was being asked to respond to the complaint that she was too close to on Wall Street billionaires.  She had every incentive, therefore, to demonstrate how tough she would be on Wall Street.  In that context, the best she could muster was the pusillanimous “shenanigans.”  Here is a typical definition of that word with examples.

  1. : a devious trick used especially for an underhand purpose
  2. 2a:  tricky or questionable practices or conduct —usually used in pluralb :  high-spirited or mischievous activity —usually used in plural

Examples of shenanigan

  1. students engaging in youthful shenaniganson the last day of school
  2. an act of vandalism that…

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HSBC reaches $601M settlement over charges of ‘abusive mortgage practices’

A pittance.

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HSBC agreed to a $601 million settlement with a series of federal agencies and nearly every state over charges that the bank engaged in mortgage origination, servicing and foreclosure abuses.

The massive settlement with HSBC was jointly announced Friday by the Department of Justice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 49 states and the District of Columbia.

As part of that settlement, HSBC will pay a total of $470 million in relief to consumers and payments to federal and state parties, and will be bound to mortgage servicing standards and be subject to independent monitoring of its compliance with the agreement, the DOJ said in a statement.

“This agreement is the result of a coordinated effort between federal and state partners to hold HSBC accountable for abusive mortgage practices,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart Delery.

“This agreement provides for $370…

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Hillary Clinton Won’t Say If She’ll Release Transcripts of Goldman Sachs Speeches

“I’ll look into it…” That’s going to be my standard answer next time somebody asks be to do something that I don’t want to…

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By Lee Fang

The Intercept:

During the Democratic presidential debate Thursday evening, MSNBC moderator Chuck Todd picked a question offered by a viewer and pointedly asked Hillary Clinton if she would release the transcripts of her paid speeches to giant investment bank Goldman Sachs. Todd then broadened the question, asking: “Are you willing to release the transcripts of all your paid speeches?”

It was the second time Clinton has been asked if she would release transcripts of the paid speeches she gave behind closed doors. When I asked her in Manchester, New Hampshire two weeks ago, Clinton simply laughed and turned away.

Asked this time on network television, she said, “I will look into it. I don’t know the status, but I will certainly look into it.”

Clinton went on to say that she made money from paid speeches by talking “about issues that had to do with world affairs,” suggesting…

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Wall Street Billionaire Appears to Be Genuinely Puzzled by Bernie Sanders’ Populist Crusade Against the Richest 1%


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How is that happening, why is that happening?” wonders Stephen A. Schwarzmann.


Multi-billionaire Stephen A. Schwarzman says he’s puzzled by the amount of discontent apparently felt by other Americans these days.  

Steve Schwarzman is a bland-looking, somewhat paunchy, not unattractive, balding man of benign demeanor who will be 69 on Valentine’s Day 2016. He’s worth $12 billion, give or take a few hundred million. He is a poster boy for Wall Street success and self-esteem and cluelessness. He’s the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of the Blackstone Group, one of the world’s largest financial firms, specializing in private equity, hedge funds, and mergers. He’s a Republican, and his life has been going pretty well for him lately, as it has for decades. 

But he freely admits (or pretends to admit) that he doesn’t understand why the rest of America isn’t just as content as he is. On January 21, 

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Former financial regulator William Black on Sanders vs Clinton on Wall St Reform

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Great interview. I hope that both candidates listen to this interview and the ideas from a former financial regulator…

NEP’s Bill Black and Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal take on the policies of the two contenders for the Democratic nomination in this appearance of The Real News. Getting the message out about Bank Whistleblowers United! You can view here (includes transcript).

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An Idiot’s Guide to Prosecuting Corporate Fraud

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Say you’re the newly elected president of the United States, and you want to make prosecuting corporate crime a top priority.

Where do you start? Here would be good.

A new group called Bank Whistleblowers United have just pushed out a comprehensive plan they think would put the executive branch back in the business of enthusiastically identifying, indicting, and convicting financial fraudsters — restoring accountability while protecting the public.

The cumulative credibility of the group’s four founders is extremely strong. Richard Bowen is the Citigroup whistleblower who unsuccessfully warned top management about the rotten condition of loans inside mortgage-backed securities. Michael Winston spoke out about similarly corrupt practices at non-bank mortgage originator Countrywide. Gary Aguirre, a Securities and Exchange Commission attorney, was fired for refusing to let a Wall Street banker out of an insider trading investigation.

And their ringleader is William Black, an outspoken fraud-fighter and longtime white-collar criminologist…

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Eric Holder Makes Ads for Hillary Clinton While Making Deals for Corporate Clients

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A really bad move by Team Hillary to have Holder involved in her campaign. I understand that this is a political strategy to get the African-America vote in South Carolina and touch on the subject of social injustice among the African-Americans. But, the issue of Wall Street and Eric Holder not going after the big banks in criminal charges while he was AG will continue to haunt Clinton in the Presidential race..

Former Obama administration attorney general Eric Holder is prominently featured in a Hillary Clinton campaign ad running in South Carolina. “If you want to make sure Republicans don’t take us backward, help Hillary move us forward,” Holder says.

Meanwhile, in his post-public service life as a partner with white-collar defense firm Covington & Burling, Holder is upholding his Justice Department’s tradition of negotiating lower fines for corporate offenses, albeit from the other side of the negotiating table.


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China’s own version of ‘The Big Short’

Following the Wall Street bank stocks and the Indices is like watching an airliner circle the globe dumping gas before it attempts a crash landing.

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When Hollywood brought “The Big Short” to the big screen, author Michael Lewis was as surprised as anyone. A film about debt going bad? Seriously? But in filmmaking, as with investing, timing is everything. What makes the movie so timely is its role as primer for what’s afoot in China.

There’s little about China in Lewis’s 2010 bestseller. And, frankly, the Brad Pitt-starring screen version can feel dated given the cacophony of world events since Wall Street’s 2008 drama. That is, until you consider the $23 billion dilemma now facing Beijing, and, by extension, the hedge-fund dynamics Lewis chronicled.

This column has examined China’s $28 trillion problem, which relates to its post-Lehman Brothers credit explosion. A more immediate one is the roughly $23 billion of offshore debt rated just one small step away from junk by major credit-rating companies. The second-biggest economy has a devilish assortment of so-called fallen…

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Fix America’s Rigged Justice System

Published on Feb 3, 2016
Senator Elizabeth Warren’s remarks on the Senate floor on February 3, 2016.

Thank you John Reed for posting this on Facebook.

We have one set of laws on the books, but there are two legal systems: One for the rich and powerful, and one for everyone else. It’s not equal justice when a kid gets thrown in jail for stealing a car, while a CEO gets a huge raise when his company steals billions. Want to see the rigged game in action? Tomorrow, the House will be voting on a GOP bill that would make it much harder to investigate and prosecute bank fraud. The American people remember who broke our economy & who made out like bandits – and they didn’t send us here to help the bandits. To anyone in Congress who thinks they can simply talk tough on crime and then vote to make it even harder to crack down on corporate criminals, hear this: I promise you – I promise you – the American people are watching.