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The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One: How Corporate Executives and Politicians Looted the S&L Industry Paperback – April 1, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
I do hope that Mr. Black lives to write a new book about the current scam, as Bill Moyers quotes from Black's earlier investigations, "...so enraged was one of those bankers, Charles Keating -- after whom the senate's so-called 'Keating Five' were named -- he sent a memo that read, in part, 'get Black -- kill him dead.' Metaphorically, of course. Of course." I wish Mr. Black well and safe, after this interview...
From the transcript:
BILL MOYERS: "...his main targets are the Wall Street barons, heirs of an earlier generation whose scandalous rip-offs of wealth back in the 1930s earned them comparison to Al Capone and the mob, and the nickname "banksters."
WILLIAM K. BLACK: "Well, the way that you do it [large corporate failures and scandals] is to make really bad loans, because they pay better. Then you grow extremely rapidly, in other words, you're a Ponzi-like scheme. And the third thing you do is we call it leverage. That just means borrowing a lot of money, and the combination creates a situation where you have guaranteed record profits in the early years. That makes you rich, through the bonuses that modern executive compensation has produced. It also makes it inevitable that there's going to be a disaster down the road."
Mr. Black walks us down the chamber of horrors of the Savings & Loan collapse, and gives us a bird's eye view of bank corrupt.
What is most interesting is that Mr. Black finds the trends within in the industry itself, that it was actually CONTROL FRAUD were bankers, accountants, appraisers, bank executives and politicians colluded together to bring an already shaky and weak industry down. Everyone who wants to understand that the Savings & Loan was the first cracks in the empire, civilizations have always been brought down by poorly run fractional reserve fiat currency bankig systems.
What was the cry from people from Alan Greenspan was for more deregulation, and at the time, Greenspan, a banker who was with Morgan Stanley prior to his excellency/chairmanship/ at the Federal Reserve System, was that the Lincoln Savings & Loan, was one of the best run S&Ls in the country...
What resulted was deregulation and desupervision... Attorneys and accountants for hire, audits performed on Savings & Loans which made them look like a picture of financial health when in fact the S&L industry had terminal cancer...Massive insolvency, virtually no reserves, coverups, and famous politicians genuflecting to the Savings & Loan industry, the Keating Five; John Glen, John McCain, Alan Cranston, Dennis DeConcini, Donald Riegle..All pressuring the Bank Board for leniency...
Every American should read this book...Read more ›
How glad I now am to have read The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One.
The book does show step by step how the fraud in the S&Ls was perpetuated. Mr. Black, who was part of the agency that was supposed to regulate the S&L industry, gives the insider's perspective of what happened.
He's also interested in detailing the factors in the environment that made it possible for the fraud to occur, be covered up, and finally collapse. Factors ideological (regulation is not needed), budgetary (under-staffed, inexperienced regulators), and political (the power of bought politicians).
This makes what happened in the 1980's feel contemporary. There were patterns then that seem familiar to what is happening these days. (I am writing in April 2009.)
For example, Mr. Black shows how the S&L fraud was abetted by compliant accountants. Nowadays we've learned how compliant accounting firms falsely rated financial securities to the benefit of the bankers. And just recently political pressure was successfully brought to bear on the FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) to loosen up the Mark-to-Market accounting rules. To what end we will have to wait and see; after reading Best Way to Rob I am not sanguine.
I can't avoid the conclusion that the environment that resulted in corruption 20 years ago is still with us. And I begin to think that Obama's economic advisors will not change things.
So, this book is sobering. Parts of the story left me open-mouthed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
During the late 1980s and early 1990s-- when federal regulator Bill Black was battling Charles Keating and Keating told one of his minions to "Get Black. Kill him dead! Read morePublished 22 months ago by Jerry Kammer
This is hands-down the best book on the S & L crisis of the 1980's. And once the reader understands the concept of control fraud, the latest banking crisis of 2008 (and ongoing)... Read morePublished on August 31, 2013 by eco-liberal
Black does a wonderful job explaining in detail how control fraud's walk and talk. His work is key to understanding how relevant honesty in business dealings are and how this... Read morePublished on August 3, 2013 by M. FRANTZ
The stuff we see on TV and read on the newspapers usually skirts the real truth. Regardless of the country, the government, etc. Read morePublished on May 27, 2013 by HeyRef
Are you concerned about the destabilizing financial trend of the past 40 years? Are fraud and political influence significant contributors? Read morePublished on March 7, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Being in retirement for almost 20 years now, upon reading this book last night I was reintroduced to people long forgotten with whom I'd had contact in my years as a trade... Read morePublished on November 9, 2012 by Tidewater
This book is fascinating in that it is an insider's account of the crony capitalism that persisted during the lead up to and aftermath of the S&L crises of 1980s and 1990s. Read morePublished on January 14, 2012 by Kenneth