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William Kurt Black (born 6 September 1951) is an American lawyer, academic, author, and a former bank regulator. Black’s expertise is in white-collar crime, public finance, regulation, and other topics in law and economics. He developed the concept of “control fraud“, in which a business or national executive uses the entity he or she controls as a “weapon” to commit fraud.
Black earned a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine. Black is currently an Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in the Department of Economics and the School of Law. He was the Executive Director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention from 2005-2007 and previously taught at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and at Santa Clara University.
Black was litigation director for the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB) from 1984 to 1986, deputy director of theFederal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC) in 1987, and Senior VP and the General Counsel of theFederal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco from 1987 to 1989, which regulated some of the largest thrift banks in the U.S.
Black was a central figure in exposing Congressional corruption during the Savings and Loan Crisis. He took the notes during the Keating Five meeting that were later published in the press, and brought the event to national attention and a congressional investigation.
According to Bill Moyers,
“The former Director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention now teaches Economics and Law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. During the savings and loan crisis, it was Black who accused then-house speaker Jim Wright and five US Senators, including John Glenn and John McCain, of doing favors for the S&L’s in exchange for contributions and other perks. The senators got off with a slap on the wrist, but so enraged was one of those bankers, Charles Keating — after whom the senate’s so-called “Keating Five” were named — he sent a memo that read, in part, ‘get Black — kill him dead.’ Metaphorically, of course. Of course.”
Black is the author of, among others, The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One: How Corporate Executives and Politicians Looted the S&L Industry, 2005, University of Texas Press, ISBN 0292721390.
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- Bill Moyers Journal – William K. Black on Fraud
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