IFP People

Dr. William Black Photo

Dr. William Black
Executive Director

Bill Black is an Associate Professor of Economics and Law at UMKC. He is the Executive Director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention. He has taught previously at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and at Santa Clara University.

He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1973 (B.A., economics), U of M Law School (1976), and received his PhD in Criminology from the University of California at Irvine in 1998.

He has held positions as an attorney with Squire, Sanders of Dempsey, litigation director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, deputy director of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, Senior Vice President 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. His regulatory career is profiled in Chapter 2 of Professor Riccucci's book Unsung Heroes (Georgetown U. Press: 1995) and Chapter 4 (“The Consummate Professional: Creating Leadership”) of Professor Bowman et al’s book, “The Professional Edge” (M.E. Sharpe 2004).

His work is multidisciplinary. His articles have been published in law journals, criminology journals, leadership journals, business ethics journals, and economics and socio-economics journals and reprinted in translation in Japanese journals with extensive commentary by Japanese ethics experts. His book, The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One (University of Texas Press 2005) has been called “a classic” by George Akerlof, the Nobel Laureate (Economics, 2001). Robert Kuttner, in his Business Week column, proclaimed: “Black's book is partly the definitive history of the savings-and-loan industry scandals of the early 1980s. More important, it is a general theory of how dishonest CEOs, crony directors, and corrupt middlemen can systematically defeat market discipline and conceal deliberate fraud for a long time -- enough to create massive damage.”

Black developed the concept of “control fraud” – frauds in which the CEO or head of state uses the company or nation as a “weapon” of fraud. Control frauds cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime combined. He recently helped the World Bank develop an anti-corruption initiative.

Black has appeared on Sixty Minutes, Nightline and many other television and radio programs and has been interviewed by many newspapers. He is good at making complex schemes understandable.

He is married to June Carbone. They have three children, Kenny (1982), Genina (1984) and Galen (1988). June holds the Edward A. Smith/Missouri Chair in Law, the Constitution and Society at UMKC. They share a passion for family, soccer, books, ideas, justice and each other.