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Devin Smith

Devin Smith



Articles by Devin Smith

Who Said This?

10 days ago

William K. Black
Associate Professor of Economics and Law, UMKC
December 5, 2018     Bloomington, MN  55437
I cannot write many blogs during the fall semesters because I teach four classes (I co-teach one of them).  The fall term of instruction at UMKC is now over so I am writing one piece before turning to grading.  I have recently done additional research on a topic I know is of great interest – the prosecution of elite white-collar criminals.  I have organized it in the form of a game in which the reader guesses who authored the quoted passage.
Which President described the elite banksters of his era as “charlatans, chiselers and cheats?”
Which Vice President criticized prosecutions, enforcement actions, and even safety rules for the elite white-collar criminals of his era in these

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Sears Bankruptcy Engineered to Benefit Executives and Stiff Workers

20 days ago

Executives of Sears stand to gain up to $1 million in bonuses, should Sears be liquidated, and $500,000 if it’s restructured. Meanwhile, ordinary workers at Sears are being laid off without severance payments. NEP’s Bill Black appears on the Real News Network and talks about how US bankruptcy law is rigged to favor executives. You can view with transcript here.
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Amazon’s New NYC and DC Headquarters Bilked the Cities

November 16, 2018

The contest for Amazon’s HQ2 prompted hundreds of cities to put in tax break and subsidy bids. NEP’s Bill Black appears on the Real News Network and says these deals never pay off for the communities involved. You can view with a transcript here.
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Trump Probably Engaged in Felony Tax Evasion

October 15, 2018

NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News Network and analyzes the New York Times investigation into Trump’s tax evasion and argues that if true, these would be considered felonies. However, he will probably never be held to account for this, before he leaves office. You can view here with transcript.
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Paying for Hurricanes

September 18, 2018

By J.D. ALT
What you believe America can build—or rebuild—as a collective society hinges on how you answer one fundamental question: When the U.S. government issues a treasury bond, is it “borrowing” money that must be repaid with future tax-dollars—or is it “creating” money that can be spent to accomplish big and important collective goals?
Getting the right answer to this question could be existentially important. As I’m writing, for example, Hurricane Florence is unleashing historical damage to the U.S. Atlantic coast and inland areas. Over the next weeks and months, the inevitable debate will unfold over how much America can afford to “pay” to make the lives of tens of thousands of families and thousands of local communities whole and functional again. This time, perhaps, the

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Fed Lets Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Off Hook, Investors Profit Billions

July 9, 2018

Even though Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley failed the so-called ‘stress test,’ to determine whether these banks can weather a financial crisis, the Fed allowed them to pay billions in dividends and stock buybacks to investors. Former financial regulator and NEP’s own Bill Black explains the consequences. You can view with transcript here.
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Bitcoin Does Not Protect Against Fraud

June 23, 2018

There is a common misconception that the cryptocurrency Bitcoin is safe and secure and will protect those who trade in it from fraud. However, NEP’s Bill Black explains, Bitcoin is just as susceptible to fraud as any other type of transaction and complacency makes the likelihood of fraud only greater. You can view with transcript here.
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Bithumb: Hackers ‘rob crypto-exchange of $32m’

June 20, 2018

This article from the BBC. NEP’s Bill Black has warned about these issues…
A leading crypto-coin exchange has halted trade after declaring that hackers had stolen some of the digital currencies it stored.
Seoul-based Bithumb said that 35bn won (£24m; $31.6m) worth of cyber-cash had been “seized” overnight, adding that it would fully compensate affected customers.
The values of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple all fell on the news.
It is the second time in less than a year that Bithumb has been breached.
Last July, it acknowledged an employee’s PC had been hacked – exposing users’ personal details.
South Korea’s spy agency later accused North Korea of being responsible after the stolen information was used to carry out scams.
Cold wallet
Bithumb notified a local regulator – the Korea

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Defiant Trump Ignites Trade War with Canada and G-7 Allies

June 13, 2018

Citing national security issues to get around WTO rules, Trump ordered tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports from Canada and EU countries. NEP’s William Black and Gerald Epstein discusses the implications of these tariffs on the different economies. You can view transcript here.
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US Penny, US Nickel and Sterling Silver Penny: Similarities and Differences

March 3, 2018

By Eric Tymoigne
The history of medieval coinage is full of dramas. Debasements, changes in official value, chronic lack of coins, use of foreign coins in domestic transactions, free minting, coins with a floating denomination, clipping, metalism vs. nominalism, among others, make for a colorful and fascinating monetary history. Recent developments in metal markets have recreated one of the conditions that led to a disappearance of the coinage in the Middle Ages. The post explains the monetary relevance of the recent developments in metal markets, and compares and contrasts their consequences with what happened in the Middle Age.
After presenting the current state of the U.S. penny and U.S. nickel, the post presents some of the central aspects of medieval coinage before showing how

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A Comfortable Betrayal

March 1, 2018

By J.D. ALT
This essay was first posted at https://www.realprogressivesusa.com/
It would be a shocking scandal if it came to light that the professions of medical science had, for decades, known about an easy to treat, underlying cause of cancer—but conspired to obfuscate and suppress the information to protect their participation in a medical industry raking in hundreds of billions a year to treat the disease. Professional standings, tenures, licenses would be in tatters. Lawsuits would abound. Outrage would march on every city hospital and medical college in the nation—would it not?
Such a betrayal, of course, is not humanly possible. Right? Yet is it not the case that the professions of economics, journalism and politics are guilty of something very like this kind of betrayal?

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Once a Poster Child for Austerity, Latvia Becomes a Hotbed of Corruption

February 22, 2018

Austerity didn’t produce recovery in Latvia, it produced the semblance of recovery, says NEP’s Bill Black on The Real News. It also led to rampant criminal activity in the banking sector, such as money laundering, taking bribes, and violating sanctions against North Korea. You can view here with a transcript.
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A Booming Stock Market Does Not Mean a Strong US Economy

February 2, 2018

During his State of the Union speech, Trump touted the recent stock market boom as proof of how well the U.S. is doing. However, as NEP’s Bill Black explains, the boom has nothing to do with new investment. You can view with a transcript here.[embedded content]

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IRS Private Debt-Collection Program is ‘Indefensible’

January 23, 2018

Using private debt-collection firms to collect debt from low-income Americans is not only morally reprehensible, but it’s also terrible business, says NEP’s Bill Black in his latest appearance on The Real News Network. You can view here with transcript.
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Warren Buffett Wins $1 Million Bet That Hedge Funds Are a Rip-Off

January 10, 2018

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett bet that hedge funds were a bad investment. Ten years later, Buffett’s wager proved that hedge funds earn only one third of what a stock index investment does. NEP’s Bill Black explains the numbers on The Real News Network. You can view here with a transcript.
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Corporations Hoard Their Trump Tax Windfall

January 3, 2018

After President Trump signed the GOP tax plan into law, some of the bill’s corporate beneficiaries have offered workers minor bonuses. But NEP’s Bill Black says they’re keeping most of the money for themselves — and starting a new global race to the bottom for corporate taxes. You can view here with a transcript.
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Trump, GOP Pull Off Their Tax Heist

January 3, 2018

NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News discussing Congressional Republicans have approved their tax bill, a massive upward transfer of wealth that fulfills a decades-long right-wing goal of permanent tax cuts for corporations. You can view here with a transcript.[embedded content]

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Trump’s Coup on Consumer Protection

December 4, 2017

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is in limbo as two people claim to be its new acting director. The outgoing head tapped Leandra English as his successor, but Donald Trump then appointed Mick Mulvaney, who has called the CFPB a “sick, sad” joke. NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News Network discussing the attack on CFPB. You can view here with a transcript.
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Trump’s CFPB Pick Will Likely Spell Bad News for Consumers

November 20, 2017

The good news is that President Trump has been slow to nominate heads for regulatory agencies, says NEP’s Bill Black in his appearance on The Real News Network. The bad news is that Trump will pick someone eventually to replace Richard Cordray. You can view here with transcript.
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Fragmented Health System Paves Way for CVS-Aetna Merger

November 6, 2017

In what is being called the biggest merger in the history of the health insurance industry, CVS is making a $66 billion bid to buy Aetna. NEP’s Bill Black discusses the merger’s potential consequences with The Real News Network. You can view here with transcript.
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Pollution Kills 9 Million People a Year

October 31, 2017

Pollution causes far more deaths than tobacco, infectious disease or war, and causes 4.6 trillion dollars of economic damage per year, according to a major new study published in the British medical journal The Lancet. You can view here with a transcript.
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Wall Street Wins as Senate Blocks Consumer Protection Rule

October 31, 2017

The Senate voted 51-50 to repeal a rule that would have made it easier for consumers to sue the financial institutions that defraud them. The move is “outrageous,” NEP’s Bill Black on The Real News Network. “It should be a national scandal, and require resignations in disgrace.” It can be viewed with a transcript here.
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Trump’s Would-Be Drug Czar Helped the Drug Profiteers

October 23, 2017

Rep. Tom Marino has withdrawn his nomination as President Trump’s new drug czar after revelations he pushed through a measure that worsened the U.S. opioid epidemic. NEP’s Bill Black says Marino and other lawmakers have been bought off by pharmaceutical companies he says have acted as “illicit, criminal, drug dealers” on The Real News Network. You can view with transcript here.
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The Poorest Tax Payers to Pay the Most Under Trump Plan

October 3, 2017

NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News Network and says that both Republicans and Democrats are financially illiterate when they speak about the deficit, and Trump’s economic experts are ‘completely disconnected from the real world.’ You can view here with a transcript.
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