In the first half, Associate Professor of Economics and Law, William Black, joined George Knapp for a discussion on how our economic crisis has been brought about by deliberate fraud on the part of banks involved in real estate loans. The household losses in this crisis are estimated at a staggering 11 trillion dollars, he reported (by comparison, the S & L crisis of the 1980s was contained at $150 billion, he noted). Accounting fraud was carried out by mortgage bankers and affiliates of banks that weren't subject to governmental regulation. They issued what he called "liar's loans" that were guaranteed to provide huge bonuses for executives, while setting up home owners to certain failure when the real estate bubble burst, he detailed.
Many predatory mortgage brokers targeted poor people and minorities, inflating appraisals, and debt-to-income ratios in order to qualify them for the loans, he continued. By 2006, there were over two million cases of this type of fraud a year, and banks were selling their problematic loans to Wall St. under false pretenses, said Black, who added that we could be looking at an even more intensified financial crisis down the road because the way government has responded to the crisis (such as the bank bailout) has made matters worse. For more, see Black's paper: The Virgin Crisis: Systematically Ignoring Fraud as a Systemic Risk.
In the latter half, engineer, author and building contractor, Mat Stein talked about specific disaster scenarios and what we can do to prepare for them. One concern he cited is the danger from nuclear reactors, which could have power knocked out to them in the event of a strong solar storm (which happen around every 70 years). When the reactors' back-up power runs out, there could be multiple nuclear meltdowns, on the level of Fukushima and Chernobyl, he warned. So far, the US government has shown reluctance to spend the money on making the electrical grid less vulnerable.
He advocated that people be prepared to make it for a week or a month on their own, in the event of a disaster. Along with food, some type of water filtration system is crucial, he said, noting that water can actually be disinfected by leaving it in the sun. A head lamp can prove useful in a variety of situations, in which you may have to perform certain tasks in the dark, he said. Stein also suggested that people obtain a colloidal silver generator, as a solution made from this can successfully kill pathogens, and is like having a "pharmacy in a jar."