2011-11-28

Former bank regulator William Black explains Occupy issues

On November 3rd, William Black spoke at the Occupy Los Angeles Teach-In. A video of his talk has been posted on YouTube:

Wikipedia provides more background on William Black:

William Kurt Black is an American lawyer, academic, author, and a former bank regulator. Black’s expertise is in white-collar crime, public finance, regulation, and other topics in law and economics. He developed the concept of “control fraud”, in which a business or national executive uses the entity he or she controls as a “weapon” to commit fraud.
Really quite depressing. After a while, I lost my ability to remember details and simply filed it all under “endemic”, “greed”, and “fraud”. Just look at how intertwined institutions are:

I don’t think that the people are the main problem, it’s the system: You have to be power-hungry if you want to make it. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the people at the top are often just that – power-hungry. If you are not then you won’t fit in and it’s a natural human tendency to want to fit in. The momentum of the system also explains why there was no change even though there have been many early warnings of coming crises.

Note that we can’t just do away with power hunger, because power-hungry people also make things happen, but we need to find a way to turn that quality into something productive, to rid it of its greed and callousness. And for that, the system needs different selection criteria and different incentives.

Related posts:

  1. Four statistics that explain the “Occupy” protests
  2. Wall Street isn’t successful

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