The financial sector's five fatal flaws have created a monster that is draining the lifeblood of...


The financial sector's five fatal flaws have created a monster that is draining the lifeblood of the real economy, professor William Black says: "The focus on finance carries a grave risk. Remember, the sole purpose of finance is to aid the real economy. Our ultimate focus needs to be on the real economy, which creates goods and services, our jobs, and our incomes."

Comments (25)
  • 2houndz
    , contributor
    Comments (302) | Send Message
     
    But the "real economy" does not own members of Congress and the Executive Branch the way the financial sector does. Risk or not, politicians both liberal and conservative know who butters their bread.
    14 Oct 2009, 06:33 PM Reply Like
  • TraderMark
    , contributor
    Comments (2421) | Send Message
     
    If you don't know who William Black is...

     

    www.fundmymutualfund.c...

     

    ... this is the type of person who would be head of treasury in a representative republic.

     

    And I don't mean a corporate representative republic.

     

    Instead he has been chased away....
    14 Oct 2009, 06:38 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (16170) | Send Message
     
    Try running an economy with no financial system.
    14 Oct 2009, 06:39 PM Reply Like
  • enigmaman
    , contributor
    Comments (2867) | Send Message
     
    agreed but what happens when the financial system isnt doing anything to help the economy, what if they are just making profits, profits that isnt making way back into the economy, being used to produce anything except bonuses and profits for those who own their stock, who are other financial institutions who use their profits to pay bonuses to those who use their bonuses to buy more stock and you get the idea, akin to " Nero fiddles as Rome burns" I think

     

    On Oct 14 06:39 PM Tack wrote:

     

    > Try running an economy with no financial system.
    14 Oct 2009, 06:57 PM Reply Like
  • E Thomas St.
    , contributor
    Comments (139) | Send Message
     
    Try not making an absurd strawman.

     

    On Oct 14 06:39 PM Tack wrote:

     

    > Try running an economy with no financial system.
    14 Oct 2009, 07:03 PM Reply Like
  • Tom Armistead
    , contributor
    Comments (6198) | Send Message
     
    William Black does not use the word "financialism" but he clearly identifies the problems: a financial sector that has become a bloated parasite on the real economy, the misallocation of capital from productive uses to manipulation, speculation and predatory lending, the disconnect between the financial sector and the real economy, etc.

     

    It is too bad he is not welcome in the corridors of power, we could use some honesty there, people who are willing to tell it like it is and do somethking about it.
    14 Oct 2009, 07:15 PM Reply Like
  • enigmaman
    , contributor
    Comments (2867) | Send Message
     
    I just finished reading about W Black and he definitely is not the type of person the Fed Reserve wants hanging around talking logic, fact and economics. What the Fed wants are the big thinkers, those that helped create the meltdown because they are needed to use their creativity to pump up their balance sheets and you garden variety bankers is not going to do that, in return with a wink and nod they get free reign our how they make money doing it, if you dont believe this when was the last time Obama or Geithner demagogued the money changers, not since they all came out of their meetings at the White House, now its all good. IMO- the Fed reserve sees a Tsunami coming at 600 mph that will devastate our economy unless the banks can make plenty of money very quickly so they will be able to weather the coming storm without any more help from Uncle Sam who is essentially broke.

     

    On Oct 14 06:38 PM TraderMark wrote:

     

    > If you don't know who William Black is...
    >
    > www.fundmymutualfund.c...
    >
    >
    > ... this is the type of person who would be head of treasury in a
    > representative republic.
    >
    > And I don't mean a corporate representative republic.
    >
    > Instead he has been chased away....
    14 Oct 2009, 07:17 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    The original idea behind regulating private companies providing certain essential services (including banks and various utilities) was to PREVENT a parasitic relationship.

     

    We are looking at systemic failure, starting at the very top and now thoroughly distorted.

     

    "Monster" is a very accurate portrayal, imo.
    14 Oct 2009, 07:48 PM Reply Like
  • Jeff Nielson
    , contributor
    Comments (2449) | Send Message
     
    He's also the guy who had a blockbuster interview with Bill Moyer on PBS. He basically accused all of Wall Street, the Fed, and the Treasury Department of loosely conspiring to create the housing bubble AND the Wall Street Ponzi-scheme which was built on that - and he expressly used the term "Ponzi-scheme".

     

    On Oct 14 07:17 PM enigmaman wrote:

     

    > I just finished reading about W Black and he definitely is not the
    > type of person the Fed Reserve wants hanging around talking logic,
    > fact and economics. What the Fed wants are the big thinkers, those
    > that helped create the meltdown because they are needed to use their
    > creativity to pump up their balance sheets and you garden variety
    > bankers is not going to do that, in return with a wink and nod they
    > get free reign our how they make money doing it, if you dont believe
    > this when was the last time Obama or Geithner demagogued the money
    > changers, not since they all came out of their meetings at the White
    > House, now its all good. IMO- the Fed reserve sees a Tsunami coming
    > at 600 mph that will devastate our economy unless the banks can make
    > plenty of money very quickly so they will be able to weather the
    > coming storm without any more help from Uncle Sam who is essentially
    > broke.
    14 Oct 2009, 08:30 PM Reply Like
  • zorrow
    , contributor
    Comments (2484) | Send Message
     
    Our financial infrastructure acted like a sewer pipe into our drinking water. It pumped in fraudulently underwritten and fraudulently rated securities. It amplified their toxicity with leverage and credit default swaps which allowed the venom to reach its endpoints--the taxpayers, pension funds and other assorted suckers.Those who were supposed to detect the contamination, instead cooperated with those who produced and transported it throughout the economy. Goldman Sachs and their government Quislings were largely responsible.
    14 Oct 2009, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • Steve in Greensboro
    , contributor
    Comments (632) | Send Message
     
    All the hostility toward bankers makes me laugh.

     

    "...Remember, the sole purpose of finance is to aid the real economy..." What? I don't know about "finance" but the sole purpose of bankers is to make money doing banking. If bankers have figured out how to manipulate our bloated, gargantuan government in order to make money, well what did you expect?

     

    When government has excessive power, any business that doesn't try to manipulate government will be crushed by it. Ask Pharma (who have successfully manipulated government in this healthcare debacle). Ask Insurance (who haven't).

     

    The problem isn't the bankers. The problem is a tyrannical government.
    14 Oct 2009, 08:45 PM Reply Like
  • Bill S. Friend
    , contributor
    Comments (715) | Send Message
     
    .How the Servant Became a Predator: Finance's Five Fatal Flaws, is
    the most lucid depiction of our current crises available.
    Read more at: www.huffingtonpost.com...
    14 Oct 2009, 09:00 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (16170) | Send Message
     
    I thought one of the principal reasons that the economy was supposed to be so moribund was because everybody's investments and 401k's were devastated by the downturn. But, apparently, now, it has little or no value to have those investments recover their value, at least according to the critics and pessimists. (And, for those that withdrew all their funds from investments and put them in a coffee can and haven't made any recovery, then, there's no one else to blame.)

     

    On the contrary, as the investment portfolios of many recover, it should be a boon to confidence and to spending. And, as spending increases, businesses will expand investment to meet demand, and, eventually, they will add employees. Banking activity will recover inturn, as businesses and consumers resume borrowing, rather than paying down debts.

     

    This is the normal course of things, but, somehow, everybody wants the economy to recover instantaneously, painlessly, without regard to these realities.

     

    Well, if anybody wants to speed it up, go out and spend some money.

     

    On Oct 14 06:57 PM enigmaman wrote:

     

    > agreed but what happens when the financial system isnt doing anything
    > to help the economy, what if they are just making profits, profits
    > that isnt making way back into the economy, being used to produce
    > anything except bonuses and profits for those who own their stock,
    > who are other financial institutions who use their profits to pay
    > bonuses to those who use their bonuses to buy more stock and you
    > get the idea, akin to " Nero fiddles as Rome burns" I think
    14 Oct 2009, 09:06 PM Reply Like
  • MarketGuy
    , contributor
    Comments (3983) | Send Message
     
    Next to the Iraq war contractors, this is the largest transfer of tax payer money to the private sector in history. The banks are, for all intents and purposes, running our country's finances. The overarching flaw with that is, the banks are not out for the "good of the nation"...not that the Fed and Treasury were either.
    14 Oct 2009, 09:17 PM Reply Like
  • HomeEconomics
    , contributor
    Comments (52) | Send Message
     
    The banks have been running our country's finances since 1971. The only real difference between now and 1987 is the leverage and scope of big banking.

     

    On Oct 14 09:17 PM MarketGuy wrote:

     

    > Next to the Iraq war contractors, this is the largest transfer of
    > tax payer money to the private sector in history. The banks are,
    > for all intents and purposes, running our country's finances. The
    > overarching flaw with that is, the banks are not out for the "good
    > of the nation"...not that the Fed and Treasury were either.
    14 Oct 2009, 09:30 PM Reply Like
  • MarketGuy
    , contributor
    Comments (3983) | Send Message
     
    Correct, "leverage and scope" is the key point as well as my underlying point. I suppose my cynicism didn't make that very clear.
    14 Oct 2009, 09:57 PM Reply Like
  • a fat panda
    , contributor
    Comments (813) | Send Message
     
    Banking and financial services in theory is suppose to expedite the efficient allocation of capital. It takes dormant capital - ie money invested in CDs - and moves it to better uses. In reality, the process is the exact opposite. The Treasury is taking active capital and putting it into zombie banks which are holding on to dead assets waiting for them to recover.
    14 Oct 2009, 11:17 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3194) | Send Message
     
    Definately an interesting read and he raises a very valid point that we seem to almost ignore main street at the expense of wall street.

     

    Simple regulations that worked for years haven't been re-enacted. From Splitting the commercial and investment banking to the uptick rule..........common sense seems to have left the building.

     

    And he's right about how corporations have become vehicles to reward those at the top. CEO's making 20-30-70 million dollars a year announcing job cuts that will save 20-30-70 million dollars a year.
    15 Oct 2009, 04:30 AM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (11458) | Send Message
     
    seekingalpha.com/insta...

     

    Actually, the REAL economy does own legislators also. Bribery comes from many sources...think of the construction trade, and the AMA, etc.

     

    The proper role of the Night-Cycle is for the government to be stronger than and regulating Big Business. The proper role of the Day-Cycle is for the government and Big Business to be united in expanding American external commercial power. 18 years of expansion; 18 years of debt contraction and rest and inner reconstruction.

     

    On Oct 14 06:33 PM 2houndz wrote:

     

    > But the "real economy" does not own members of Congress and the Executive
    > Branch the way the financial sector does. Risk or not, politicians
    > both liberal and conservative know who butters their bread.
    15 Oct 2009, 05:32 AM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (11458) | Send Message
     
    The bankers own the government. The bankers own everyone who owes them money. It's been this way throughout history.

     

    The bankers are the devil, and everyone else is Faust.

     

    On Oct 14 08:45 PM Steve in Greensboro wrote:

     

    > All the hostility toward bankers makes me laugh.
    >
    > "...Remember, the sole purpose of finance is to aid the real economy..."
    > What? I don't know about "finance" but the sole purpose of bankers
    > is to make money doing banking. If bankers have figured out how
    > to manipulate our bloated, gargantuan government in order to make
    > money, well what did you expect?
    >
    > When government has excessive power, any business that doesn't try
    > to manipulate government will be crushed by it. Ask Pharma (who
    > have successfully manipulated government in this healthcare debacle).
    > Ask Insurance (who haven't).
    >
    > The problem isn't the bankers. The problem is a tyrannical government.
    15 Oct 2009, 05:36 AM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (11458) | Send Message
     
    Actually go back through American history and you will see a constant war between America and her banks. And you will also see a banking crisis triggers EVERY depression and Dark-Age that comes roughly every 18 years. By 'banking crisis' I mean a surge in corruption, theft, and economic cannibalism by bankers acting in their own interest.

     

    On Oct 14 09:30 PM HomeEconomics wrote:

     

    >
    > The banks have been running our country's finances since 1971. The
    > only real difference between now and 1987 is the leverage and scope
    > of big banking.
    >
    > On Oct 14 09:17 PM MarketGuy wrote:
    15 Oct 2009, 05:38 AM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (11458) | Send Message
     
    seekingalpha.com/insta...

     

    Try running an economy with a corrupt financial system.

     

    We NEED a financial system. We DO NOT need to be the victims of our financial system. The banks need to serve the society. The society does not need to serve the bankers.

     

    On Oct 14 06:39 PM Tack wrote:

     

    > Try running an economy with no financial system.
    15 Oct 2009, 05:45 AM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (11458) | Send Message
     
    Amen.

     

    On Oct 14 07:15 PM Tom Armistead wrote:

     

    > William Black does not use the word "financialism" but he clearly
    > identifies the problems: a financial sector that has become a bloated
    > parasite on the real economy, the misallocation of capital from productive
    > uses to manipulation, speculation and predatory lending, the disconnect
    > between the financial sector and the real economy, etc.
    >
    > It is too bad he is not welcome in the corridors of power, we could
    > use some honesty there, people who are willing to tell it like it
    > is and do somethking about it.
    15 Oct 2009, 05:46 AM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (11458) | Send Message
     
    Thank you, TraderMark. I agree completely.

     

    On Oct 14 06:38 PM TraderMark wrote:

     

    > If you don't know who William Black is...
    >
    > www.fundmymutualfund.c...
    >
    >
    > ... this is the type of person who would be head of treasury in a
    > representative republic.
    >
    > And I don't mean a corporate representative republic.
    >
    > Instead he has been chased away....
    15 Oct 2009, 05:47 AM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (11458) | Send Message
     
    It is not JUST the financial sector which lies and cheats and misuses influence. It's the whole system:

     

    THE INFLUENCE GAME: Forged letters to lawmakers not reported until after climate bill vote

     

    By Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press Writer
    On 3:14 am EDT, Thursday October 15, 2009

     

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- A coal group and two of its contractors were aware of forged lobbying letters that had been sent to three Democratic House members before a vote on major climate legislation, but the lawmakers weren't told about the forgeries until well after the vote, according to documents obtained by a congressional committee.

     

    The documents, reviewed by The Associated Press, offer a rare behind-the-scenes look into the millions of dollars spent on grass-roots lobbying efforts. Because of a loophole in federal lobbying law, such efforts to gin up pressure from lawmakers' constituents do not have to be publicly disclosed.

     

    The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity has previously acknowledged that the firm it hired through a subcontractor, Bonner & Associates, sent forged letters critical of the climate legislation purportedly from local nonprofit groups to the congressional offices. Bonner blamed the fakes on a temporary employee who has since been fired.
    15 Oct 2009, 05:51 AM Reply Like
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