The best way to rob a bank is to own it

I hope I got your attention with this title :) It’s taken from this video : the Great American Bank Robbery: , taken at the Hammer Museum at the university of California in Los Angeles (hence the many references to california in the presentation and Q&A. it’s message applies to the rest of the USA and other parts of the world just as well):

William K. Black, the former litigation director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board who investigated the Savings and Loan disaster of the 1980s, discusses the latest scandal in which a single bank, IndyMac, lost more money than was lost during the entire Savings and Loan crisis. He will examine the political failure behind this economic disaster, in which not only massive fraud has taken place, but a vast transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class continues as the federal government bails out the seemingly reckless, if not the criminal. Black teaches economics and law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and is the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One. (Run Time: 1 hour, 38 min.)

It’s a long video. I don’t normally watch these poststamp-sized videos on the web for long, but this one is worth it. If you’re wondering why I’m posting it here: it’s systems thinking in action, you can almost see the diagrams of effects while he’s talking. An other thing that struck me (once again) is the power of “go out and see for yourself” (called genchi genbutsu in lean), and what happens if you don’t do it, or even worse, if the hierarchy in a company prevents it… Mr Blacks’ example of the S&P auditor who was forbidden by his boss to go and look at actual loan files, but instead had to create a credit rating out of thin air is striking. I won’t spoil any more, just go and see this video for yourself :) .

I found this to be one of the better researched sources I’ve found recently about the financial crisis and its’ consequences. I’d be interested to hear what you think of it, as wel as more sources.

2 Responses to “The best way to rob a bank is to own it”

  1. Robbing the bank, and the people - Moebius Says:

    [...] Willem passed this video. Thx Willem! These are the visible owners. Look up the pyramid, to the part you can’t see with the naked eye. [...]

  2. Robbing the bank, and the people « Serendipity Says:

    [...] Willem passed this video on. And I found it on YouTube. Thx Willem! [...]