Professor William Black joins Greg McInerney to talk about his own background in fraud cases in the US and how the US and Europe are dealing with the financial crisis in different ways. As well as austerity in Ireland and Europe and Germany’s role in all of this.
Greg McInerney: This is Greg McInerney here for the meltingpress.com. This is episode three of our Alternative Voices series and we are joined today by Professor Bill Black. Bill is a former bank regulator, a professor of law and economics and also the author of the brilliant book The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One. Bill thanks so much for joining us today.
Growing up watching sport at the beginning of this century the green and gold of Australia was almost synonymous with winning. They captured the Rugby World Cup in 1999 and were a whisker away from retaining it in 2003. Their cricket team were simply the greatest side ever assembled and won three World Cups from 1999-2007 and – 2005 aside – continually hammered England in the Ashes. They hosted a wonderful Olympics in 2000 and finished a staggering (given their population) fourth in the medals table. Also around the turn of the millennium they had the world’s best tennis player in Lleyton Hewitt who in these pre-Federer days looked set to dominate his sport. Ian Thorpe too, long before being eclipsed by Micheal Phelps was all set to be remembered as the Spitzian swimmer of our time.
Greece in 2012 is a nation of economic and social despair. Between 2009 and 2011 the economy shrank by 11% due to this quality of life for the average Greek citizen has fallen dramatically. The minimum wage has been cut by more than one fifth (22%), more than 30,000 civil servants have been suspended and are only on partial pay with plans to reduce the overall amount of public servants by 150,000 before 2015, unemployment is at a staggering 26% as of August of this year which is up from 7.2% in 2008, mass privatization of public assets and services are due to happen with €50billion being the target of capital raised and also €300million being cut from the pension bill this year alone. This too comes with the recent findings that Greece is ranked as the most corrupt country in the EU and 94th world-wide.
Another International Football tournament is upon us, and while in Ireland this competition has been fervently anticipated (owing to the rarity of us actually qualifying for something) across Europe there seems to be more of an ambivalent attitude towards this particular European Championship. England go into the tournament under a cloud of low morale and even lower expectations, France is still suffering the effects of the hangover from their humiliation in South Africa two years ago with a squad still unloved by many French people. For Spain’s supporters and players motivation is the problem as they have it all already. Italy’s woes are such that their coach accepted that a withdrawal from the tournament might be a blessing. Ukrainian media outlets didn’t see fit to send even one of their own reporters to their nation’s training camp in Austria and they are one of the co-hosts. Having half the tournament in Ukraine given it’s logistical issues as well as fears over crowd trouble hasn’t helped spread the Euro 2012 fever. This tournament then, outside of our own Isle, is one of the least hyped or anticipated of the modern era.