Bill Black: Cities Face Catastrophe; Finance a Cancer on Real Economy

Video ThumbnailA combination of perverse incentives means corporations absolutely loaded to the max with debt at very low-interest rates who are not making productive investments or do things like deal with global climate change and pandemics. BIll Black joins Paul Jay on theAnalysis.news podcast

Finance is being propped up with public money while states and cities face disaster. BIll Black joins Paul Jay on theAnalysis.news podcast

Transcript

Paul Jay

Welcome to theAnalysis.News podcast. I’m Paul Jay. As part of its management of the current economic crisis, the Federal Reserve will spend approximately 750 billion dollars to prop up the corporate bond market. It’s also buying junk bonds, exchange traded funds and even directly buying into the stock market.

Who’s managing all this for the Fed? BlackRock, of course, the massive asset manager to know more about the extent of BlackRock power and the tremendous concentration of ownership that’s taken place, read my article on the Analysis.news site titled, Three Investment Banks Control More Wealth than the GDP of China, and Threaten our Existence.

     Bloomberg reports that BlackRock is managing three debt buying programs on behalf of the Federal Reserve. Purchases of agency commercial mortgage backed securities. And our guest, Bill Black, is going to tell us what that means. Newly issued corporate bonds and existing corporate debt and debt based exchange traded funds, and bills can have to tell us what that means. Bloomberg reports that BlackRock is also advising the Bank of Canada a and buying up commercial paper, the short term debt that companies use to fund day to day expenses.

Paul Jay

     In whose interest is this bailout of the corporate and banking sector? Is this what’s needed to prevent the economy from free, falling into a deep depression? Will it work? What’s the alternative? And what about the role of BlackRock? Bloomberg quotes William Bird ?? professor who studies the fund industry. It’s impossible to think of BlackRock without thinking of them as a fourth branch of government. Bird Thistle says, Well, if that’s true, the merging of corporations and government is what Roosevelt said was the definition of fascism.

     Now, joining us to break all this down is Bill Black. He’s an American lawyer, academic, former bank regulator. Black is a professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He studies white collar crime, public finance, regulation and financial crisis. And he’s the author of the book. The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One.

     Thanks for joining us, Bill. 

Bill Black

Thank you. 

Paul Jay

So start with the basic strategy of buying up all this paper. Who does it serve? I mean, is this what’s necessary to stop this spiral into a much deeper depression? And was there an alternative to this?

Bill Black

OK, so that actually depends on a broader question that the prior piece you alluded to in your introduction discusses a little bit. What’s the concept of why we care about the financial sector? Financial sector is supposed to allocate capital efficiently. In other words, the places that need it to expand, to become more productive should be able to get funds, either from shareholders or from lenders. Right. And those lenders could be banks, but those lenders could also be people like us who might buy commercial paper, which is a short term kind of debt issued by corporations, typically very large corporations.

     Right? That’s what it’s supposed to do. In other words, it’s supposed to be a middle man. And the efficiency condition for a middle man is exactly the opposite of what the scholar you were quoting was talking about when he said it’s impossible not to think of Black Rock and its counterparts as a fourth branch of government. Efficiency condition is lean and mean. The financial sector should be relatively small. It’s just a conduit. Right. And we’re just matching who needs it with the folks who have surplus capital to invest or lend. 

     Instead, again, as your prior piece says, profits total 25 percent of total corporate profits at this time are going to finance sector. Right. Which is supposed to begin a tiny little sector that’s just a middleman helping out the productive sector. Instead, you can see it’s become a massive sector. But here’s the really bad news. Twenty five percent is nothing. On the eve of the Great Depression and on the eve of the great financial crisis, this one industry that’s supposed to be lean and mean finance, didn’t earn, but it received 40 percent of total corporate profits in the United States. In other words, this beast that’s supposed to be lean, efficient and simply a helper to the dominant industries that actually, you know, make things and employ people has become a monster,that instead of increasing productivity. It acts like a parasite that is dramatically reducing productivity and productivity has been cut roughly in half. And in over a period like 50 years, that’s an enormous difference in people’s lives and such.

    So that’s the first thing, the context. Finances become a monster that is actually eating capitalism instead of creating a more effective capitalist system. But the second thing is, on top of that, people have probably noticed, we’re getting these recurrent financial crises, and they’re getting vastly bigger. So the savings and loan debacle was one hundred and fifty billion dollar bailout. And that sounds like chicken feed, right, In the current era. And it didn’t cause any significant recession.

     Then you get the Enron era frauds and they cause a seven trillion dollar loss in market capitalization. And over a thousand of the top firms have to restate their financial statements because they’re false. Right. So you have very widespread fraud. And then you get the great financial crisis. And over a thousand markets fail and the whole system is in freefall. So, again, financing was sold to us. And the new products that you were mentioning were sold? II mean propagandists type selling on the basis that they were going to make us much more productive and our system would be far, far safer. These financial crises would not happen. And exactly the opposite has occurred. So markets only work when people are actively trading. And if you think about it, which we usually don’t, if you decide to sell shares at two a.m. in some particular company, the chances that somebody wants to buy those shares at some intermediate price, are actually not terribly good. And so we have entities that we call market makers, and they buy when you want to sell, and they  “make a market.”So when prices go in freefall of financial assets, market makers get stuck with all these huge losses they buy. Right. They’re the only folks buying and they buy at, say, 50. And now the price is down to two. So they’re all bankrupt. And when they go bankrupt, the market fails. And when the market fails, then everything fails in a capitalist system, because what’s price if nobody is willing to buy? It’s undetermined or essentially close to zero, which means everybody else that holds that asset is in danger of going bankrupt as well, and they can’t get cash. And so they also have liquidity crises. And that’s why you get these bailouts, which are not of a failed institution necessarily, but of entire markets, because what we call liquidity, cash just disappears in these kinds of markets and then asset values go in freefall, and then all kinds of companies start failing. And then you get domino effects as one big entity’s failure like Lehman Brothers, caused, for example, a four hundred billion dollar run on the money market mutual funds in 2008 within 30 days.

     Now, the biggest run in history before that was in the ballpark of six billion dollars to give you an idea of how massively greater these crises are getting. And so in light of the 2008 financial crisis and in light of the 2012 presidential election, there was no chance that Trump was not going to pull out all the stops because it doesn’t cost him anything to have a massive restoration of liquidity. And this is actually in jargon, in finance called the bazooka, right where the Fed takes out the bazooka and just shoots cash one round after another.

     Right. And eventually, as you say, measured in the trillions of dollars into the system. And so the idea is to restore the market function so asset values don’t plummet. And then, of course, the theory is just to hold. We call it extend and pretend in the trade. You just hold on to the asset. And if you hold on long enough, asset values will eventually tend to come back. That might take you three years. It takes back take you five years.

Paul Jay

If the theory is, or more than the theory, what’s happening is they’re making sure that, one, the stock market doesn’t completely tank. And to these corporate, a lot of this corporate debt the corporations are sitting on. And by the way, a lot of it came from stock buybacks in the first place, which was to manipulate their stocks higher than than otherwise.

    But the fact that they’re stopping the stock market from tanking and corporate debt from tanking, what does that actually got to do with the productive, real, what they call real economy? Because just because they keep the stock market going, what effect does that have on helping most of the people that are being affected by the crisis?

Bill Black

OK. So almost everything I said had implications for the stock market, but was not aimed at the stock market. Right. So this is aimed at the real economy. That cancer on the real economy at that point, its finance. So the next stage of it is that finance does something else terrible, and that is it serves as this form of alleged discipline. Right. So since this is as obscene as it is, the idea is the finance folks are the responsible ones.

     You know, those stupid car makers and things like that. Right. So the adults are supposedly in finance. And what they have done instead, and this fits in with this incredibly perverse executive compensation system we have, is everything is shaped in terms of short run interests in stock price, and that affects the CEO bonuses. And that’s what, in particular, the Black Rocks of the world have been notorious for. We want this quarter’s earnings to be higher. Right.

    So are you going to do things like risky research and development, where you have to spend literally tens of billions of dollars now, and then, maybe,  if you’re successful, 12 years from now, you’ll have much better products. You’ll have much better productivity, much better growth. You’ll have, you know, discovered drugs that help people and such— You’ll have developed ways to dramatically reduce carbon emissions and things like that. Well, no, right. You’re not going to do that. You’re going to do everything to avoid those kinds of productive expenses. Because nobody  cares about 12 years at Black Rock.. What’s going to happen 12 years from now? Worse than that. What happens if all the games you’re playing, which include lots of accounting fraud, don’t work enough? So now the price isn’t as high. The stock price isn’t as high as a CEO you would like because it wouldn’t maximize his bonus. Well, then it’s easy. You control the corporation. You use it to buy back stock. Well, if you buy back the stock, what all of the factors being held constant is going to happen to the stock price?  it’s going to go up. Right. So what? How are you going to do that? And then in the circumstances we’ve talked about, particularly if we’re in an environment, and we have been for an entire decade of extraordinarily low interest rates, then the hedge fund guys are going to tell you, you shouldn’t be borrowing tons of money. It’s really cheap. And by the way, we lend. Right. And then you will leverage we call it. So you’ll have enormous debt compared to equity. Well, your bonus is determined on return on equity. So if you get even a tiny profit, but you have extraordinary leverage, it looks like you’ve done a really great job in terms of return on equity, and you get a much bigger bonus. So what is a combination of these perverse incentives mean? We have corporations absolutely loaded to the max with debt at very low interest rates who are not making productive investments that are going to increase productivity and do things like deal with global climate change.

     And the CEOs get enormous bonuses and slightly higher returns to the shareholders, and Black Rock gets a share of all of that. And when you get even a tiny bit more and you’ve got seven trillion dollars in assets under management like Black Rock does, that turns out to be hundreds of billions of dollars potentially, of which the CEO of Black Rock  gets an extraordinary amount. So the CEO Black Rock is the Uber. You know, we talk about how Jamie Diamond, you know, the head of the biggest bank in America, he makes 20 billion. But the CEOs of some of these hedge funds and private equity funds make hundreds of billions. Remember, I’m not using the word earn hundreds of billions of dollars in this context. And so they love this perverse combination that leaves our system always on a knife edge, where any, you know, it doesn’t matter what happens if you’re on a knife edge. Keeping  your balance is incredibly difficult. And so eventually something nasty comes. And then the next part is when you fall off a knife edge, then all kinds of things start happening, not just in finance, but you get a liquidity crisis in the “real economy,” the industrial firms and such. And they, because they’re so deeply in debt, are at risk of imminent failure absent some kind of bail out  like you’re seeing. 

Paul Jay

So the debt was created to a large extent from these stock buyback stock market manipulations. I heard on Bloomberg radio, one of the commentators was saying that the actual size of the corporate debt was almost the same as the amount of money that’s been spent on stock buybacks. But. the government’s now come in. They bought up a lot of this corporate debt to stop these companies in the industrial and productive sector falling off the knife-edge, as you said, but there’s no demands on them, whatsoever,  in terms of continuing to pay people salaries, to keep their workers working, even if they’re from home to keep paying them. They’re just going to emerge from all of this with less debt. But the people that work there are going to emerge in terrible predicament, many of whom will be in deep poverty.

Bill Black

Right. And that is a combination of both political parties. Now, the insanity of the current system is that Nancy Pelosi thinks that she’s a genius, and her supporters are acting like she’s a genius. But as you say, the Democrats did not use their leverage, which was very large effectively to make this thing a bail out of everybody. And so not only did they not achieve a bail out of poorer people, workers and such, they’ve actually left them in much worse circumstances where Trump has been using this as an excuse to roll back all kinds of regulations, to roll back even, you can’t even sue. They want to make it a system where they tell you you must go back to work even though the virus is epidemic in your meatpacking plant. And if you don’t go back to work, we’ll not only fire you, you’ll  be ineligible for any government aid. If you came and have a green card, we will prevent you from getting full citizenship. And if you do work, and if your employer is negligent and exposes you to the virus and you die, we will immunize the firm from any liability for its negligence. Or in this case, it goes beyond negligence to willful blindness. Willful blindness, good, bythe way, under the law, constitutes a criminal offense. So, you know, my phrase is, wouldn’t you love to be playing poker in this match if Nancy Pelosi is considered to be the top negotiator? You could just absolutely clean up in these circumstances. And the Democrats allowed themselves to be conned, allegedly, into believing that there’d be a third phase in which they would actually get something, for example, for state and local government.

     And, of course, the Black Rocks of the world dislike, hate, effective government. And so the fact that the public sector is being harmed, the fact that workers’ rights are being trashed, the fact that they’re using this as an excuse to rollback all kinds of environmental protections, this is just all more perfect from Black Rock’s perspective and from the elite shareholders perspectives. So they’re happy as clams. That’s perfectly understandable. What’s insane is that Democrats think, aha, we did a great job because the bill that the Republicans proposed was much worse, which is true. And the one that they killed was a negative two hundred. The one they signed was only a negative 150.

Paul Jay

In Canada and in Europe, my understanding is most of the bailouts had were for wages. In other words, if companies would keep paying the workers on their payroll, the government would subsidize, in some cases, up to 70, 80 percent of the salary. The theory, if I understand correctly, is it makes one, supports people and they don’t get into desperate straits. And two, it’s a lot easier to get people back to work again. Why wasn’t that done in the United States?

Bill Black

Because it would have been good. Right. So this is the obvious answer. This is an answer being used in, “the developed world,”  through much of the developed world. This is something that Paul Krugman, of all people, has repeatedly editorialized op-ed, right, saying, why aren’t we doing it this way? And this is a president who the Democrats just impeached for corruption. What did they think he was going to do if they handed him hundreds of billions of dollars and his fed trillions of dollars? Obviously, Trump is going to help his cronies and harm his political opponents. Everybody in the world knew that was going to happen. So it was critical not to give the money in a way that Trump could distribute it as opposed to a way that would actually go to protect the workers. And the Democrats that should have been their absolute beginning position. There will be zero bill that goes through that doesn’t do it the right way.

Paul Jay

What else would be the right way? If let’s, for the sake of argument, say Biden’s going to win this election, certainly based on polling at the moment, it looks like he will. What should that new government do? I mean, Biden claims he wants to be the most progressive government since Roosevelt. A lot of people are pretty dubious about that, given Biden’s history. But for the sake of argument, let’s say he is open to hearing ideas that would make it the most progressive government since Roosevelt. What what what should he do? 

Bill Black

So first a brief reality check. Right. The Obama administration attempted to get Larry Fink, the CEO of this firm we’ve been talking about, this massive private equity fund, to be his Secretary of the Treasury.

Paul Jay

Actually, I think was Hillary was going to have—-

Bill Black

No Obama.  He was trying to get him to be coming after Geithner. But yes, Hillary also did. Right. So and, you know, Biden. And one of his first acts was hiring Obama’s last economic adviser to be a key adviser.  So I’m more than dubious about—- 

Paul Jay

So, I’ll ask the question a different way. What demands should people make of a Biden government to handle this quite differently?

Bill Black

OK. So a Biden government will not have to continue any of these existing bailouts. They stink, and it will depend on where the economy is. When January, late January rolls around of next year and a Biden presidency begins. What it should do is immediately prepare a package to deal with state and local governments. So here’s the absolute critical thing that a Biden administration needs to get across,  now. States and localities are different than the federal government. The federal government has a sovereign currency. It’s not going to default. It borrows only in its own currency. And you have seen that it can borrow incredible amounts of money without raising interest rates in the current circumstances or inflation. Right. So the states and localities can’t do that. They are subject to hard budget constraints. They’re real economic ones. But also, they have state laws and in many cases, constitutional restrictions. And so there is a complete disastrous crisis coming for state and local government. And let me mention also Puerto Rico. Right. Puerto Rico desperately needs to be included in this package as well. There needs to be a huge transfer measured in the many hundreds of billions and I’d more likely say several trillion dollars to the state and local governments and Puerto Rico. Right. And that should not be going through private folks at all. And that’s a good government. But B, this was actually a proposal by Obama. We’re not in the scale I’m talking about. But his original proposal for the bailout had a general revenue sharing. In other words, the feds weren’t going to dictate how the states used it. Transfer from the federal government to state government, and the never to be sufficiently damned Blue Dog Democrats got together with the Republicans to kill that, which was a brilliant idea. ]

Paul Jay

It was 2008. 

Bill Black

Yes, this is 2008. And Obama caved on it without making it a political fight. And so they never paid. The conservatives never paid a political cost for fighting it. And I bet fewer than one person in a thousand knows that this even happened anymore. Right. So make this a huge cause celebre and stick it to Republicans in terms of what they claim to be their philosophy, which is, you know, as much as possible done through state and local government being willing to use broad revenue sharing. Right. Then take the fact that many states will not have priorities that Democrats would particularly love with that spending. Right. But also cover minimum needs like Medicare expansion and such with targeted funding for those states and localities. And as I say, make absolutely sure that you include Puerto Rico in all of this. That’s the first thing.

Paul Jay

And that’s just to put a to make just to make it concrete for people, they’re already talking about, if this isn’t done, what you’re saying, many cities may be cutting their firefighters and police force by 50 percent, losing half their teachers, losing people who clean streets. I mean, all the most immediate services that people rely on and unbelievable kinds of cuts people can imagine.

Bill Black

Now we are set for a catastrophe. And remember the Republicans want government to fail. They will be delighted if the government fails. Remember, when the government gets into situations like this, it’s not going to be done brilliantly. They’re going to hack out, you know, and do early out to get rid of their most experienced employees. And remember, the state and local level is where we get the overwhelming bulk of our education at all levels of education. It’s where we get our health systems overwhelmingly. It’s where you get the police systems as well, the local roads in many cases.

Paul Jay

What’s going to happen to the elections? I mean, they can’t allow this to tank so much before November because, you know, while the big cities are going to feel it, I guess worse, everywhere is going to feel these kinds of cuts.

Bill Black

Trump is dumb enough that he doesn’t get that, and that he is so Pollyannish that he is going to claim if there are any problems. It’s because the Democrats kept the economy closed. And that is say, look, look, that’s a  problem caused by Democrats. Another part of the agenda that is essential for the Democrats, of course, is to emphasize the primary victims of this crisis, which are enormously, disproportionately people of color, but also immigrants. If you look to the meat packing plants, yes blacks and Latinos. But at the typical one of these plants, the number of foreign languages spoken is in the 15 to 30 range. So protection for people who are, have come to this country is going to be absolutely critical as well. Unions need to be high on the agenda because, I would say with my criminologist and corruption expertise hats on, this is the most corrupt administration in the history of the United States. And it isn’t even close. And for all the things we know, there are, for each of those incidents, thousands that we don’t know, particularly with this complete assault by Trump on the inspector generals. And by the way, the folks that led the assault on inspector generals. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about this, historically. That was Bill Clinton and Al Gore who demonized the inspector generals in reinventing government. And so they’re the ones who sowed the seeds that have turned into this obscene attack on inspector generals and pro corruption.

     Well, you cannot blow the whistle in America because virtually all employment is, what in the law is called at will, which means they can fire any of us at any time with no cause. Right. And there are few exceptions, sometimes in the public sector, but overwhelmingly where there are unions. And that’s what you need to be able to get whistleblowers because otherwise they retaliate. And by the way, Bill Barr is infamous in addition to all the other things he’s infamous for. If you really know his record, he wanted to destroy the False Claims Act that allows whistleblowers, encourages whistleblowers to come forward. Right. That has been an obsession of his for decades. So this hegemony of views against whistleblowers, against inspector generals has to be rooted out of both of these parties. And I think politically, if the Democrats win, that’s going to, you’re going to have one of those small windows in time when you can do it, and then it will feed on itself because if you get the whistleblowers to come forward, their stories will discredit, not only the Trump folks, but all kinds of other folks, including the media, who have allowed these abuses to take place.

Paul Jay

Is there anything states can do at the state level? Because they’re certainly far more relatively speaking anyway, progressive governments in some of the states than we’re likely to see federally. What can they do? 

Bill Black

Well, unfortunately, the law, as you said, I teach public finance and some both the law and economics of this, it’s very bad because the law in America is that the cities are creatures of the states, and therefore, the states can say pretty much do anything they want.And that’s why you see this complete asymmetry, deliberate asymmetry by Republicans. Whenever it’s a question of the city’s might be doing progressive things, they banned it. And you’ve seen this, for example, in the back to work orders. Whenever there’s a Republican governor who, you know, is a Trump supporter, they banned the cities from having safe policies. But if it’s a policy in which the cities can be, you know, go after minorities, oh, then suddenly they allow those policies. So as long as the governor is a Trump type, the cities can’t succeed.

Paul Jay

But what if we’re talking New York or California? What could they do? I’m talking economically. Like, for example, could New York and/or California establish publicly owned banks at a scale where they could fund, in a sense, create kind of their own currency through creating public banking.

Bill Black

We could create our own currency, but that doesn’t solve the problem of the budget deficit. And in many states, that would run afoul of state constitutions and statutory laws and such. So, no, on the public finance side, yes, there are things we can do at the margin and we should. We need emergency groups, working groups in all of these places thinking how you do that on the margin. By the way. Again, having lived in Silicon Valley for 20 years, the failure of the wealthy, high tech CEOs to step forward in all of this, to help the states and localities fiscally is absolutely shameful and absolutely demonstrative of where,  what their real views are. So, you know, they talk nice, nice about these things, but they have not stood up.

Paul Jay

I guess we go back into imaginary thinking again.

Bill Black

Public banks don’t fix this kind of problem.

Paul Jay

What about at the national level when these financial institutions are so dependent now on public money for their survival? Should some of them be nationalized and break some of the both economic and political power of that sector?

Bill Black

OK. So we shouldn’t use that word nationalize. 

Paul Jay

I mean, buy control. 

Bill Black

Right. So what? You should not have the ability to have an institution that, if it fails, will cause a financial global financial crisis. That’s insane. Right. You should diversify them. Right. And so we can’t even get the language, right. At the federal level these are called systemically important financial institutions. SIFI’s right. What they are, by their own logic, is systemically dangerous institutions. So the first thing is to start calling them what they really are. The second thing, which will require complete new legislation, because, again, the Democrats completely wasted the crisis in terms of effective financial regulation. Right. Dodd-Frank has individual provisions that make sense, but it had no strategic vision. It refused to do anything equivalent to Roosevelt. It was just immense lost opportunity. So maybe if there’s still this crisis lingering in January and if Biden, if he were really progressive, you could actually do something. But you’re right. You would start with getting rid. You give them five years to shrink to a level where they no longer impose a systemic risk. And by systemic risk, we mean when they fail, they are likely to cause a global financial crisis. It is insane to allow institutions that large, if a single failure will cause a global financial crisis. We have to think that way.

Paul Jay

But haven’t we seen in the past when they can telecom you see these breakup’s that in a matter of some years, not that long, they get back together, you wind up getting the same kind of monopolization and concentration, and the  political power they have facilitates that. Right.

Bill Black

This is why I hate war analogies, even though I use them periodically. There’s no such thing as a decisive victory against corporate power. Every generation has to fight this.

Paul Jay

But doesn’t that then argue for, one,doing what you’re saying and creating systems of public ownership? Could be diversified is the key word. I mean, it could be, you know, various states get together. It could be a combination of federal and state, but create a banking system that’s not all dependent on these guys. Like if they want to speculate, they don’t get rescued. And then if the speculation leads to going down the toilet, so be it.

Okay. But I will tell you how many presidents are going to stand by and let the system go down the toilet and destroy any chance they have of re-election.

Paul Jay

You wouldn’t let the system go down the toilet. You would let individual banks go down the toilet once you’ve built a public system that can take their place. .

Bill Black

Yes, but as long as you keep the institutions from being so large that a single failure will bring down the global financial system in a crisis, you are achieving that. Now, do I agree that there is a role for public banks? Absolutely. And you hit it exactly right. You need diversification. If you simply have a huge public bank, you have all the same problems. Plus the party in power wants to use it to, you know, help its re-election prospects. So there’s a very bad history of that. However, there’s a very good history of postal banks. The U.S. had a postal bank. The Nordic countries still have postal banks. Japan had a postal bank until the good old United States helped insist that they get rid of it. So what you want is a plain vanilla, easily available public institution that isn’t trying to rip you off. That will take your money, give you some interest and, you know, like act sort of like a credit union type of thing in terms of very low risk procedures. That makes enormous sense to do all of those things then. While I’ve mentioned it, saving the U.S. post office should be an immense part of the Democratic package. After all, the Republicans have deliberately sought to destroy it with specialized rules on pensions that no other company in the world has to follow that are designed to weaken it. Now, putting this crony who knows nothing about postal service, but is a Trump loyalist in to go after Bezos and Amazon and such in order to get back at The Washington Post. So, yes, there is a broad range of things that need to be imminently on the agenda. And Biden should have task forces, not only talking about all of these things, but they should be surrogates out, saying we’re going to do this and pick real spokespersons who can give a lively and informative talk, who aren’t in the same, wherever, basement Biden hangs out, that type of thing that should be filling the airways with good ideas. I don’t  see that much.

Paul Jay

No, I don’t see it hardly at all. 

Bill Black

 Well, the Brits think we are capable of irony in America. We find that ironic.

Paul Jay

The catastrophe that you’re describing in the states and the cities, it’s going to, it’s happening very soon. It’s going to unfold in few. 

Bill Black

Oh no. It’s starting. There are places already laying off cumulatively tens of thousands of nurses. You know, so we’re, with one hand we. And I’m making this deliberately. You know, you can’t have a one handed clap. You know, we were clapping for the nurses. And then on the other hand, we’re saying thank you for your service, but we can’t pay for you anymore.

Paul Jay

So Biden comes to office with the states and cities collapsing, the global economy is going to sink deeper into depression, especially in the developing world. It’s beyond belief what’s going to be happening there, both in terms of the Covid crisis, which is getting worse and worse in Africa and India and Latin America. .

Bill Black

Yeah, that was actually my next point of what we have to do internationally. So it is  going to be particularly insane if we take you know, we have a lot of, unfortunately, the best expertise in the form of direct experience of health care personnel dealing with the most acute forms of Covid 19. We should be sending teams throughout the world, rather than firing people. This is an opportunity to do good for the world and to demonstrate a complete hundred and eighty degree turn from the malevolence and the hate and the, you know, just xenophobic nature of the Trump administration. So Bidens should be planning that.

Paul Jay

All right. Thanks for joining us, Bill. 

Bill Black

Thank you. 

Paul Jay

And thank you for joining us on theAnalysis podcast.

 

6 comments

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  • The Law and Disorder interview is very interesting, but the longest version of it still cuts out at about 22 minutes. I dould be interested to hear what Paul Jay says after minute 22.

  • It was good to hear Bill Black’s incisive thoughts once more. And it was a pleasure to listen to Heiner Flassbeck’s analysis again, as well as Michael Hudson’s. Thanks for giving them a platform.

  • Michael Hudson and Bill Black are on the side of the angels. They’re committed and they’re enthusiastic. But if you weren’t already expert on private equity firms and were very familiar with the ABC of Federal Reserve and central bank bailouts, you’re soon completely lost in these very long podcasts. The Leo Panitch interview was also rather long but there, at least, the line of argument was very clear.

  • It’s so sad that everyday Americans don’t pay attention to how our LOCAL and FEDERAL Reps are ripping & looting us with our eyes wide open!

    It’s obvious, 90% of our Reps in our States & Washington go into Politics, because its been proven since GW Bush, that our Reps are in it to LOOT the Taxpayer’s of America, all while, MOST of them don’t pay any taxes at all, yet File and Receive an IRS REFUND! How does this apply, its insane & stupid! Yet everyday Americans continue to vote these Rip Off Traitor’s back into office, while they are suffering & surviving paycheck to paycheck, while our Reps have the PENSION BENEFITS, everyday Americans can only DREAM about what they USE to have!
    I believe like this, if Everyday Americans are suffering, and have lost their Pensions & safety nets, so should our LOCAL & FEDERAL Reps, be SUFFERING what their Constituents are suffering!
    If their Constituents LOOSE their Pensions & Healthcare, so should the Reps Locally, and in Washington LOOSE THEIRS TOO!
    Everyday Americans, WAKE UP! These bastards are going Political TO RIP OFF EVERYDAY AMERICANS!