William Black | Dante’s Divine Comedy: Banksters Edition

Dante’s Divine Comedy: Banksters Edition

60 Minutes’ December 11, 2011 interview of President Obama included a claim by Obama that, unfortunately, did not lead the interviewer to ask the obvious, essential follow-up questions.

“I can tell you, just from 40,000 feet, that some of the most damaging behavior on Wall Street, in some cases, some of the least ethical behavior on Wall Street, wasn’t illegal.”


Obama did not explain what Wall Street behavior he found least ethical or what unethical Wall Street actions he believed was not illegal. It would have done the world (and Obama) a great service had he been asked these questions. He would not have given a coherent answer because his thinking on these issues has never been coherent. If he had to explain his position he, and the public, would recognize it was indefensible.

I offer the following scale of unethical banker behavior related to fraudulent mortgages and mortgage paper (principally collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) that is illegal and deserved punishment. I write to prompt the rigorous analytical discussion that is essential to expose and end Obama and Bush’s “Presidential Amnesty for Contributors” (“PAC”) doctrine. The financial industry is the leading campaign contributor to both parties and those contributions come overwhelmingly from the wealthiest officers – the one-tenth of one percent that thrives by being parasites on the 99 percent.

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One Response to “William Black | Dante’s Divine Comedy: Banksters Edition”
  1. JS says:

    Another superb article by American Hero, Bill Black!

    Below is my like-minded (but limited) comment posted on the CBS 60 Minutes site, immediately following the interview, but first, a question for Bill:

    In what level would you categorize a President, who, although so eloquent; so seemingly likable, tips his true hand with comments like the one you address here, and actions such as hiring as his Chief of Staff, the senior executive, in charge of lobbying at JPMorgan Chase?


    by JS December 11, 2011 8:15 PM ESTSteve,When President Obama stated that the criminal activities of Wall Street are not illegal, why didn’t you simply list some of their many CRIMINAL, ILLEGAL activities, item by item and ask him to explain?Why didn’t you ask the President why he hired, as his Chief of Staff, the senior executive, in charge of lobbying at JPMorgan Chase? I just don’t see how he could explain this away, unless he was willing to admit that he, like the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans are controlled by Wall Street.We rely on folks like you to make these politicians accountable for their actions… since our votes don’t seem to work!

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