William K. Black is an Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC). He was the Executive Director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention from 2005-2007. He has taught previously at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and at Santa Clara University, where he was also the distinguished scholar in residence for insurance law and a visiting scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.
In April 2009 Black alleged in an explosive interview with Bill Moyers that American banks and credit agencies had conspired to create a system in which so-called “liars loans” could receive AAA ratings and zero oversight, amounting to a massive “fraud” at the epicenter of US finance, equated the entire US financial system to a giant “ponzi scheme” and charged Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, like Secretary Henry Paulson before him, of “covering up” the “truth”.
Black was litigation director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, deputy director of the FSLIC, SVP and General Counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and Senior Deputy Chief Counsel, Office of Thrift Supervision. He was deputy director of the National Commission on Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement.
Black’s 2005 book, The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One is a classic insider’s account of how financial super predators brought down the S&L industry with massive accounting fraud. Paul Volcker praised its analysis of the critical role of Bank Board Chairman Gray’s leadership in reregulating and resupervising the industry:
Bill Black has detailed an alarming story about financial – and political – corruption. The specifics go back twenty years, but the lessons are as fresh as the morning newspaper. One of those lessons really sticks out: one brave man with a conscience could stand up for us all.