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Intro: "There are two things every American needs to know about Bank of America. The first is that it's corrupt. This bank has systematically defrauded almost everyone with whom it has a significant business relationship, cheating investors, insurers, homeowners, shareholders, depositors, and the state. It is a giant, raging hurricane of theft and fraud, spinning its way through America and leaving a massive trail of wiped-out retirees and foreclosed-upon families in its wake."

Matt Taibbi speaking at an Occupy Wall Street day of action, February 29th, 2012. (photo: Foreclose The Banks)
Matt Taibbi speaking at an Occupy Wall Street day of action, February 29th, 2012. (photo: Foreclose The Banks)



BofA: Raging Hurricane of Theft and Fraud

By Matt Taibbi, Foreclose The Banks

29 March 12

 

here are two things every American needs to know about Bank of America.

The first is that it's corrupt. This bank has systematically defrauded almost everyone with whom it has a significant business relationship, cheating investors, insurers, homeowners, shareholders, depositors, and the state. It is a giant, raging hurricane of theft and fraud, spinning its way through America and leaving a massive trail of wiped-out retirees and foreclosed-upon families in its wake.

The second is that all of us, as taxpayers, are keeping that hurricane raging. Bank of America is not just a private company that systematically steals from American citizens: it's a de facto ward of the state that depends heavily upon public support to stay in business. In fact, without the continued generosity of us taxpayers, and the extraordinary indulgence of our regulators and elected officials, this company long ago would have been swallowed up by scandal, mismanagement, prosecution and litigation, and gone out of business. It would have been liquidated and its component parts sold off, perhaps into a series of smaller regional businesses that would have more respect for the law, and be more responsive to their customers.

But Bank of America hasn't gone out of business, for the simple reason that our government has decided to make it the poster child for the "Too Big To Fail" concept. Because it is considered a "systemically important institution" whose collapse would have a major, Lehman-Brothers-style impact on the economy, two consecutive presidential administrations have taken extraordinary measures to keep Bank of America in business, despite a staggering recent legacy of corruption schemes, many of which were simply overlooked by regulators.

This is why the question of whether or not Bank of America should remain on public life support is so critical to all Americans, and not just those millions who have the misfortune to be customers of the bank, or own shares in the firm, or hold mortgages serviced by the company. This gigantic financial institution is the ultimate symbol of a new kind of corruption at the highest levels of American society: a tendency to marry the near-limitless power of the federal government with increasingly concentrated, increasingly unaccountable private financial interests.

The inevitable result of that new form of corruption is this bank, whose continued, state-supported existence should naturally outrage all Americans, be they conservative or progressive.

Conservatives should be outraged by Bank of America because it is perhaps the biggest welfare dependent in American history, with the $45 billion in bailout money and the $118 billion in state guarantees it's received since 2008 representing just the crest of a veritable mountain of federal bailout support, most of it doled out by the Obama administration.

For instance, with its own credit rating hovering just above junk status, Bank of America has been allowed to borrow tens of billions of dollars against the government's credit rating using little-known bailout programs with names like the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program. Since the crash of 2008, it's also borrowed billions if not trillions in emergency, near-zero interest rate loans from the Federal Reserve - it took out $91 million in rolling low-interest financing from the Fed on just one day in January, 2009.

Conservatives believe that a commitment to free market principles and limited government will lead us out of our economic troubles, but Bank of America represents the opposite dynamic: a company that is kept protected from the judgments of the free market, and forces the state to expand to take on its debts.

Last summer, for instance, the Bank - in order to satisfy creditors who were nervous about the enormous quantity of risky assets on its balance sheet - decided to move some $73 trillion (that's trillion, with a T) in exotic derivative bets from one end of the company into the federally-insured, depository side of the bank.

This move, encouraged by the Obama administration, put the American taxpayer on the hook for an entire generation of irresponsible gambles made by another failed investment firm that should have gone out of business, but was instead acquired by Bank of America with $25 billion in taxpayer help - Merrill Lynch.

When did we make it the job of the taxpayer to buy failed companies, and rescue companies from their own bad decisions? How is that conservative?

Meanwhile, if you're a progressive, Bank of America is the ultimate symbol of modern predatory capitalism. This company has knowingly sold hundreds of billions of worthless securities to unions and pension funds (New York state filed two different lawsuits against Bank of America and its subsidiaries on behalf of its pension fund, one of which was settled for $624 million) brazenly overcharged its depositors (it was forced to pay customers $410 million in restitution for bogus overdraft charges), and repeatedly lied to its shareholders (most notoriously, it lied about billions in losses on Merrill Lynch's books before asking shareholders to approve its merger with the firm).

Moreover, Bank of America has ruthlessly preyed upon millions of homeowners, throwing them out on the street on the strength of doctored, "robosigned" paperwork created through brazenly illegal practices they helped pioneer - the firm sped struggling families to foreclosure court using perjured affidavits produced in factory-like fashion by the hundreds or thousands every day, with full knowledge of management. Through the firm's improper use of an unaccountable private electronic mortgage registry system called MERS, it also systematically evaded millions of dollars in local fees, forcing some communities to cut services and raise property taxes.

Even when caught and punished for its crimes by the authorities, Bank of America has repeatedly ignored court orders. It was one of five companies identified in two separate investigations earlier this year that were caught continuing the practice of robosigning, even after promising to stop in a legally binding consent decree. Last summer, the state of Nevada sought to terminate a settlement over mortgage abuses it had entered into with Bank of America after it found the company was brazenly violating the agreement, among other things raising payments and interest rates on mortgage customers, despite the fact that the settlement only allowed them to modify loans downward.

Over and over again, we see that leveling fines and punishments at this bank is not enough: it simply ignores them. It is the very definition of an unaccountable corporate villain.

Companies like Bank of America are a direct threat to national security, for many reasons. For one thing, they drive smaller, more honest banks out of business: since the market knows the federal government will never let Bank of America fail, it charges less to lend the bank money. That gives Bank of America, despite its near-junk credit rating, a competitive advantage over a smaller, regional bank that might have a better credit rating, but doesn't have the implicit support of the federal government.

Worse still, stock market investor dollars that normally would go to more customer-friendly, more creative, and more commercially dependable firms will instead continue to flow to Too-Big-To-Fail behemoths like Bank of America, as buying stock in a company with implicit state support will be considered almost a safe-haven investment, like buying gold or Treasury bills.

This robs more deserving and ingenious entrepreneurs of scarce capital, and also encourages existing companies to pour resources not into better performance and increased productivity, but into lobbying and government influence. The result will be fewer Googles and Apples, more bad banks, and more campaign contributions for politicians.

Moreover, we've seen throughout our history that when criminal organizations are not punished, they tend to be encouraged to commit more crimes. Five years from now, our government's decision to avoid jailing Bank of America executives for their roles in the vast robosigning program may result in a situation where no court document of any kind can be trusted, as companies will realize that it is cheaper and easier to simply invent legal affidavits than to draw them up properly and accurately.

What will your defense be against a future lawsuit for a credit card debt or a foreclosure, when your bank walks into court with a pile of invented documents? Will you wish then that you'd fought harder for Bank of America to be punished now?

And the state's decision to allow Bank of America to pay a middling, $137 million fine for the rigging of bids for five years of municipal bond issues - a very serious crime that robbed taxpayers of millions in revenue, and incidentally is exactly the sort of thing we used to put mobsters in jail for, when the rigged contracts were for cement instead of bonds - may mean that down the road, all municipal bond issues will be rigged.

In recent years, Too-Big-To-Fail banks like Bank of America and Chase and Wells Fargo have been caught rigging the bids for financial services in dozens of municipalities nationwide. Worse, these same banks have repeatedly been let off the hook by regulators, who rarely seek jail sentences for the offenders, and more often simply apply fractional fines to the companies caught. This behavior, if left unchecked, will ultimately mean that we will all have to pay more for our roads, our traffic lights, our sewers, in fact all public services, as the banker's secret bonus will soon become an institutionalized part of the invoice. And it'll be our fault, because we didn't do anything about it now.

The only way to prevent this kind of slide to total lawlessness is to break this unhealthy relationship between bank and government. It would be a great sign of America's return to healthier capitalism if we could allow one of the worst of public-private monsters, Bank of America, to sink or swim on its own, in the free market.

We don't want Bank of America to fail. Our position is, it already is insolvent, and already has failed - and only our tax dollars, and our government's continued protection, is keeping that failure from becoming more common knowledge. There are many opinions about the nature of modern American capitalism. Some think the system is no longer able to meet the needs of ordinary people and needs to be radically overhauled, while others like it just the way it is.

But one thing that everyone on this spectrum of beliefs can agree upon is that our system doesn't work when corrupt companies, companies that should fail in the free market, are kept alive by the government. When we allow that, what we get is a system that is neither capitalism nor socialist, but somewhere more miserably in between - a bureaucratic state in which profit is not tied to performance, but political power.

We have to break that cycle, and we can. Even with the enormous levels of state support, Bank of America has been teetering on the edge of collapse for years now. In December of 2011, its share price briefly dipped below $5, a near-fatal event in the firm's history. The market has reacted violently to bad news about the bank on multiple occasions in the last year - after news of layoffs, after hints that the government might not bail the bank out completely in the event of a collapse, and after significant new lawsuits were filed. Each of these corrections nearly sent the company into a tailspin, but it was always rescued in the end by the widespread belief that Uncle Sam would bail it out in the event of a collapse.

We need to put a dent in that belief. We need to convince politicians and investors alike to allow failure to fail.

 

Comments   

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+84 # artful 2012-03-29 09:29
Thanks for this assessment of the newest form of organized crime--big banking. Mafia leaders should take notice. Banking is way safer than drugs and prostitution and way more profitable.
 
 
+19 # ericsongs 2012-03-29 12:08
Evidently, the crooks have already taken notice! (this is one of their "legitimate business ventures")
 
 
+8 # John Locke 2012-03-29 16:24
It'e time we stood up to Obama and his cronies, and handlers... we need to demand loud and clear that these bailouts are NO longer going to be accepted by us taxpayers, and if that means a tax revolt so be it.
Will our voice be heard, NO. because Obama and congress are on the banks bribe list, Like Capone used to pay off everyone...
Obama and Congress are financed for their campaigns by these "corrupt institutions", so they will keep feeding them even while we are all on life support. Since government is not on our side, we need to act for ourselves!

The end result is we need to bring this tyrant down ourself, by abandoning this looser in droves! If the government refuses to do the right thing, we must do it alone...
 
 
+47 # Tiffany49 2012-03-29 09:43
My son has a mortgage with BofA as do I . . . and I feel like they are robbing us both. They put us in interest only loans . . . I got out of mine early so now I only pay 6.5% but my son is still there. Of course if you go to refinance it's impossible or even a higher rate. I even think they lied to me about the amount of time of my loan. Getting an answer about any of it is also impossible. Not sure what to do except just keep on paying and praying . . . and wishing the government would stop protecting such ruthless crooks.
 
 
-16 # Robt Eagle 2012-03-29 13:54
Buyer beware???
 
 
+3 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-29 20:54
Who did you vote for???
 
 
+3 # BradFromSalem 2012-03-30 09:53
He is the poster child for a requirement to pass a civics test before being handed a ballot (sic)
 
 
+11 # jimyoung 2012-03-30 07:06
Buyer beware of corrupt bankers and the politicians they bought? They just let my son know that they processed his HAMP application for 5 months as an "internal" modification request. All we wanted was current interest rates, by the way. They didn't approve it, but said he could now apply for the HAMP program he thought he had applied for 5 months ago, adding that it did look like he qualified for that. He has sold almost everything he could to keep the payments up, and we have given him a few hundred to meet other expenses, as long as he doesn't use our money to make another payment or part of a payment to those bailed out leaches.
 
 
+11 # Daisy 2012-03-31 00:06
And that is why we need Elizabeth Warren in the Senate! Remember the Financial Product Safety Commission. Let's get that going.
Some of the forms people are asked to sign are misrepresented by the Banks. And they are confusing.
 
 
+11 # disgusted American 2012-03-29 22:17
So refinance your home with another bank - a local bank that doesn't sell the note. Be careful not to confuse servicing the mortgage with selling the note.

Or go with a credit union but still need to make sure they don't sell their notes and only service the mortages.
 
 
+13 # jimyoung 2012-03-30 07:16
No one will let you refinance at the principal owed when the property value drops to 29% of the sale price, even if you can make the payments if they simply drop the interest rate to current rates. It is a vicious trap that steals very large parts of people's life savings if they were foolish enough to use their home as a retirement investment (I suspect trillions).

They now sell or keep the ill gotten properties to be used as rentals, further ratcheting their advantage, and at a totally unbelievable tax advantage of less than half the rate people who earn money through work do (in the higher tax brackets). There is little good for the country coming from this diminution of consumer buying power and impact on the velocity of money when consumer debt is over 40 trillion.

We are becoming virtual share croppers in the debt trap based society they are creating.
 
 
+4 # Educator 2012-03-31 12:45
Tiffany, did you have an attorney representing you at the closing or was the closing handled only by the bank's attorney or closing agent? I was a real estate broker for many years and sat at many closing tables as a buyer's broker. I always made sure the buyer had an attorney and was represented at the closing. The additional expense can save you a lot of money, heartbreak, and even your house. Make sure you use a real estate agent who is representing you..and not the seller or the seller's agent. The deck is stacked against the unwitting and/or unrepresented buyer.

If you had a buyer's agent and/or an attorney representing you did she/he explain the terms of the mortgage note to you? They have the duty as your fiduciaries to help you make the best financial decision. I know it's a long and technical document but did you read it yourself? Or did everyone make you feel like you were holding everyone up by taking the time to read it. It happens often.

We hear so much about the transgressions of the bank but we should be holding the feet of the brokers/agents and the buyer's attorney to the fire, too. All too often the closing itself is not much more than a robo-signing. Everyone moves through it as quickly as possible and waits just long enough for their fee check to be cut and distributed.

If a few agents and attorneys were sued and/or prosecuted we might have had fewer buyers ending up under water and facing foreclosure.
 
 
+15 # dick 2012-03-29 10:20
For obvious reasons, Obama FEARS the slightest tremble in the financial markets. Thus, he & the Fed should have put some honest & competent capitalists in charge of B of A years ago. He has been paralyzed with fear for 38 months. Now he's really afraid of KR-PAC & KB-PAC. This is NOT the time to cower. It is the time to commence an all out, show no quarter, political slug fest on his own terms. "I will fight for affordable care, I will fight for middle class...; I will FIGHT them in the red states, I will fight them in farmlands, I will fight them on Wall St., I will FIGHT them in the suburbs,..... AND WE WILL DEFEAT THEM." Channel FDR, JFK, & Winston Churchill, not Bill, Adlai.
 
 
+3 # Firefox11 2012-03-29 17:51
Quoting dick:
For obvious reasons, Obama FEARS the slightest tremble in the financial markets. Thus, he & the Fed should have put some honest & competent capitalists in charge of B of A years ago. He has been paralyzed with fear for 38 months. Now he's really afraid of KR-PAC & KB-PAC. This is NOT the time to cower. It is the time to commence an all out, show no quarter, political slug fest on his own terms. "I will fight for affordable care, I will fight for middle class...; I will FIGHT them in the red states, I will fight them in farmlands, I will fight them on Wall St., I will FIGHT them in the suburbs,..... AND WE WILL DEFEAT THEM." Channel FDR, JFK, & Winston Churchill, not Bill, Adlai.


I think your sentiments are commendable and that you are technically correct. However, Churchill was not re-elected after the War (too much reality for the people), FDR died young (too much stress on the job), and JFK was murdered (too much truth; he wanted to End the Fed and restore economic sanity in America). Nonetheless, you are correct, however much that means in America at this point in time. I understand that Jimmy Carter took on some formidable opponents (oil lobby and others; he lost his re-election bid)
 
 
-1 # RLF 2012-03-30 03:57
Obama? Paralyzed with fear? I think you jest! He voluntarily put these supply side/voodoo guys in his administration. This IS what Obama wants. Obama is a republican. Time to wake up and smell the dog S#*t!
 
 
0 # Daisy 2012-03-31 00:08
And replace him with Romney? Not a good idea.
 
 
+38 # waldemar 2012-03-29 10:34
Taibbi's opening salvo was so strong I worried that BofA would come after him for libel, but since "truth is a complete defense," he must be on firm ground with his facts and allegations. It's absurd that an entity of such corruption is protected and allowed to flourish.
 
 
+23 # wolflady52 2012-03-29 10:53
Hear, hear Matt. Skank of America must go. NOT too big to fail. The fact that the majority of U.S. dollars is held by just a few banking institutions is criminal and should not be allowed to continue. Break them up systematically over a period of time, but break up this evil monopoly of criminal institutions that hold America hostage.
 
 
+11 # Firefox11 2012-03-29 17:52
. Break them up systematically over a period of time, but break up this evil monopoly of criminal institutions that hold America hostage.

Yes, periodically there needs to be a house cleaning; but who will do it?
 
 
+7 # wolflady52 2012-03-30 10:21
If the government was doing their job, they would have moved forward after the last financial meltdown to make needed changes. Break up the large banks, reinstate Glass-Steagall, and whip the SEC into shape so it actually enforces the rules. Mortgage reform is badly needed too, along with limitations for hedge fund bets. That's the problem here. Government is NOT doing their job.
 
 
+4 # Daisy 2012-03-31 00:13
Ask your Congress person what s/he has done to reinstate Glass-Steagall. Chances are they voted NO because the big fight promoted by Reagan's appt to the Fed, Alan Greenspan, was very sure that the markets would "correct themselves".
Besides, financial folk made so much money that they don't want to give up their opportunities. It's almost as if there will be no change by either party because of the funding needed to run a competitive election--thank s to Citizens United which made "corporations people".
BTW, Romney agrees with that.
 
 
+6 # elmont 2012-03-29 21:53
Quoting wolflady52:
Hear, hear Matt. Skank of America must go. NOT too big to fail. The fact that the majority of U.S. dollars is held by just a few banking institutions is criminal and should not be allowed to continue. Break them up systematically over a period of time, but break up this evil monopoly of criminal institutions that hold America hostage.

Please allow me to be the first to say that I'll be glad to donate to Matt's defense fund if those BofA guys try to go all legal on us. They won't, though, because Matt's got his facts straight. This is not his first post about BofA, and they haven't done anything yet. You go, Matt!!
 
 
+28 # nancyw 2012-03-29 10:55
I got out of BofA when they led me on in 1988 for a mortgage, stalling my application for over a month as interest rates went up and up. I cut up my BofA credit card then and vowed to never ever... Then years and years later they bought Countrywide... and I refinanced so I didn't support their criminal behavior. EVERYONE LEAVE BOFA!! That will put a dent in their purse and it's we the consumers who have that power!
 
 
+17 # tomhanigan@gmail.com 2012-03-29 11:23
Get all the g-men on the same page. Procure subpoenas for every BofA in every state. Lockdown every BofA office and branch on the same night. Collect all their computers. Interrogate every executive. Give a few salvos to the whistleblowers. And march right down to federal court building...
What?! Was I daydreaming in my cubicle again?
 
 
+10 # RMDC 2012-03-29 11:27
As I read this, the great dickhead from Wisconsin, Paul Ryan, is on Cspan talking about the republican budget. He's arguing that government can't "pick the winners or losers in the marketplace." Market forces must determine who survives in the economy and market forces must resolve the economic issues that people have like healthcare or employment.

Maybe the dickhead from Wisconsin should read Matt Taibbi. But Taibbi shows that american conservativism is every bit as much a fraud as the operations of Bank of America. The American movement is part of the corporate fraud -- using government to channel trillions of dollars in subsidies, bailouts, and tax cuts into corporations and away from the tax paying american citizen.

It is time for the fraud and theft to stop, but it won't stop until the republican party is stopped. And we need also to stop their little brothers in the democratic party.

Never vote republican or democratic again. Vote third party or don't vote at all.
 
 
+14 # treadlightly 2012-03-29 12:12
To my knowledge Bernie Sanders is the only guy in Washington who REALLY gives a damn about the American people. As Bob Dylan would say "You just want to be on the side that's winning" and " You know as well as I you'd rather see me paralyzed" Not really feeling very well represented these days.
 
 
+4 # Firefox11 2012-03-29 17:54
Quoting RMDC:
As I read this, the great dickhead from Wisconsin, Paul Ryan, is on Cspan talking about the republican budget. He's arguing that government can't "pick the winners or losers in the marketplace." Market forces must determine who survives in the economy and market forces must resolve the economic issues that people have like healthcare or employment.

Maybe the dickhead from Wisconsin should read Matt Taibbi. But Taibbi shows that american conservativism is every bit as much a fraud as the operations of Bank of America. The American movement is part of the corporate fraud -- using government to channel trillions of dollars in subsidies, bailouts, and tax cuts into corporations and away from the tax paying american citizen.

It is time for the fraud and theft to stop, but it won't stop until the republican party is stopped. And we need also to stop their little brothers in the democratic party.

Never vote republican or democratic again. Vote third party or don't vote at all.


Who is the Third Party; Nader tried twice; I voted for him twice. He was blamed for GWB being selected
 
 
+2 # ayfkm? 2012-03-29 20:00
We actually have about six parties. Far Left, Far Right, Center Left, Center Right, Those with the President, Those against the President.
But there is way more wrong with the political system than the number of "parties".
 
 
+11 # MainStreetMentor 2012-03-29 11:36
The Attorney's General of the United States had better set a meaningful, non-rigged, full-blown, unbiase, bi-partisan investigation into banking practices of the top 4 "big banks"; Citigroup; Wells Fargo; JP Morgan Chase, and ... Bank of America. We citizens need to write letters to the Attorney's General DEMANDING that it be done. I'm going to!
 
 
+6 # PenWen 2012-03-29 13:13
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/20/eric-holder-banks-lanny-breuer_n_1218452.html
Have the AGs investigate thoroughly? Where were you at the beginning of the year? WHY would Eric Holder US AG for bank investigations or DOJ Lenny Breuer, either one do anything other than protect their buds?
"Jan 19 (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice Department's criminal division, were partners for years at a Washington law firm that represented a Who's Who of big banks and other companies at the center of alleged foreclosure fraud, a Reuters inquiry shows."...
..."Both the Justice Department and Covington declined to say if either official had personally worked on matters for the big mortgage industry clients. Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said Holder and Breuer had complied fully with conflict of interest regulations, but she declined to say if they had recused themselves from any matters related to the former clients."...
go here to read the AGs Complaint that was filed March 12th;
https://d9klfgibkcquc.cloudfront.net/Complaint.pdf
 
 
+4 # RLF 2012-03-30 03:59
Good luck with Holder..He is the lap dog of Wall St.
 
 
+18 # treadlightly 2012-03-29 11:40
If you haven't marched downtown with your local Occupy people shouting "Banks got bailed out-We got sold out" you don't know what you are missing. The majority of the people we encountered were very supportive. Even here in Fort Worth, Texas,one of the most conservative cities I have ever lived in. We had people waving and honking and giving us the thumbs up everywhere we went. Naturally there was the occasional "Get a Job" shouted by some hidden voice from a parking garage. The people in the street were very glad to see us. A shop owner came out with bottled water for us and expressed his full support. It was great. I absolutely believe Occupy is the way to change. I spent months complaining online about the crooks getting off without so much as reprimand, but getting out there and taking an action is what finally gave me some hope that We Can Make the Change.
 
 
+15 # panhead49 2012-03-29 11:47
Part of my legal practice years ago was in Estate Probate filings. BofA consistently failed to respond to the notice to creditors that has to be sent out as part of the process. Guess they suck so much public dollars up that they can't be bothered with dealing with folks that owed them. Damnedest thing I'd ever seen but Mr. Taibbi's article makes it a tad less befuddling. Why collect from the estate when you can back up to the Fed with a semi?
 
 
+10 # ericsongs 2012-03-29 12:04
REQUIRED READING!!!!!
 
 
+10 # walt 2012-03-29 12:36
This is a perfect example of the consequences of big business money OWNING the government. In fact, the whole of our government is owned lock, stock and barrel (of oil)by big money!
We need to get our government back to being of, by, and for the people.
 
 
+4 # Firefox11 2012-03-29 17:58
Quoting walt:
This is a perfect example of the consequences of big business money OWNING the government. In fact, the whole of our government is owned lock, stock and barrel (of oil)by big money!
We need to get our government back to being of, by, and for the people.

HOW? Here in Florida we voted for fair districting but due to the Republican-cont rolled state House and Senate it is unlikely this will occur. NOW WHAT; if we do go out and vote and the politicians in power do not like what we have told them to do...then what.
 
 
+3 # motamanx 2012-03-29 12:43
C'mom, Matt. Don't sugar coat it--tell us how you really feel.
 
 
+11 # video4315 2012-03-29 12:44
Well, if this isn't enought to get your blood boiling, perhaps this will.
From The Associated Press by Pallavi Gogoi
"Bank of America gave its CEO [Brian Moynihan] a pay package package worth $7.5 million last year, six times as large as the year before. It happened while the company's stock lost more than half its value and the bank lost its claim as the biggest in the country."
 
 
+4 # PenWen 2012-03-29 13:15
Oh, the AGs investigated alright, not THOROUGHLY, but enough to do everything but call the big banks an ORGANIZED CRIME SYNDICATE outright. And why aren't they being called Criminals? Why are n't all the BIG BANKSTERS BEING CALLED WHAT THEY ARE? This isn't some kind of mis-management, this isn't petty theft we'e talking about here, it is CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. Pretty plain & simple and guess what?! THEY'RE STILL DOING THE SAME CRIMINAL ACTIONS! TODAY! Why haven't criminal charges been brought against every single CEO of these banks & the investment firms who were a part of this financial SCAM!??? Every bank CEO walked away with MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR BONUSES THIS PAST YEAR...GOOGLE IT!
 
 
+10 # amye 2012-03-29 12:48
Lets just make Bank Of America The Bank of the United States of America!! We, the tax payers, have apparently already bought this bank out with all its bail outs, etc, so why not make it a national bank?? Then we can save everyone including ourselves from this evil, greedy private enterprise!! Amen!
 
 
-8 # Robt Eagle 2012-03-29 13:54
Simple answer...change banks or go to a credit union. Be a consumer and stop complaining.
 
 
+5 # BradFromSalem 2012-03-30 10:04
A consumer must have some reasonable expectations when involving their self in any kind of financial transaction.

Primarily that means the company they are doing business with is obeying all the applicable laws. What is being discussed is BofA acting illegally. We pay other people to enforce those laws, and another set of people to write those laws.

You are suggesting that a nobody write laws and for any that are written, it is the individual that is responsible to validate the laws are being obeyed.

I don't like how that turns out for me, or anyone else. And eliminating taxes will not give me enough time to do the necessary research and it won't allow a person of lesser means the ability to "outsource" that research because he already has lost all his $$ to robber banksters.

It all fits together - life is a puzzle, Robt Eagle. Start putting it together.
 
 
0 # ayfkm? 2012-03-29 14:40
Being upset by banks (and politicians) is like being upset at a socket wrench or a plunger. They are just tools. Please refocus your intelligence and efforts on correcting those who are using these tools. The banks are not of themselves the guilty party. Think!
 
 
0 # Firefox11 2012-03-29 18:01
Quoting ayfkm?:
Being upset by banks (and politicians) is like being upset at a socket wrench or a plunger. They are just tools. Please refocus your intelligence and efforts on correcting those who are using these tools. The banks are not of themselves the guilty party. Think!

I don't get this; correcting who?
 
 
+3 # ayfkm? 2012-03-29 19:30
The banks (and the "political" system) are operating exactly as designed. Actually probably better than ever hoped for. Once people understand the "role" of banks they can understand the purpose they serve. Trying to "fix" the banking system is a waste of time. The people controlling the banks, the users of the "tools", need to be addressed (corrected). I hope this helps.
 
 
+4 # ericsongs 2012-03-30 12:57
Would it be too much to suggest that that the United States (being We The People) should be the only entity issuing money via the Treasury Department, and further that public monies be received and dispersed through a nationwide "Bank of the United States Treasury" system that is also of We The People (the United States), and further that no private concerns should be allowed to control or impact the value of said monies?
How in the hell did we ever come to the conclusion that public concerns could be trusted to private companies and corporations, in the first place???
 
 
0 # ayfkm? 2012-04-01 14:24
The Philadelphia convention of 1787 was not chartered to develop a "constitution". Therefore no such document exists. The "paper" version is held in the National Archives instead of the Library of Congress where all other legal documents reside.
"People" of the time the "constitution" was drafted were; White men of money, means, property and influence. Hmmm....
Property being "business ownership" or vast land holdings. NOT a house with a garage and a low mileage Volvo. Thus, "people" were not coopers, blacksmiths, bakers, etc. "People" were also not women and certainly not "slaves" or "Indians". "We" are not the "people" that the "constitution" speaks to/of.
Never were, never will be.
 
 
+6 # reiverpacific 2012-03-29 14:45
Just heard this morning on "Flashpoints" that foreclosures are way up again in California and guess who is among the leaders of the Pack?
 
 
+7 # BLBreck 2012-03-29 15:39
Thank you, Matt Tabbi for another great article that tells it like it is in no uncertain terms! Most of your readers are very aware of the Republican contradiction that abhors welfare for the poor but doesn't even see this or subsidies as corporate welfare, and keeps yelling the lie that the US has a "free" market, ha.

I'm not going to hold my breath that our federal AG is actually going to do his job and really prosecute these criminals, but some state AG's are working on it. Meanwhile some of us will keep putting whatever pressure we can on whomever we can.
 
 
+11 # DLT888 2012-03-29 15:43
I pass a BofA on foot daily since it's near my workplace. I used to see two welcoming hosts as soon as you came in the door. People were waiting in chairs to talk to someone about a loan. The line of customers snaked through half the room. After the big push to pull out of the B&A, I walk past and the place is a MORGUE! No hosts, and a line of only one or two people. No one going to the ATMS. A big empty room. I love the sight of what the people did. Now, as Matt, says, we need to stop our damn tax dollars from going to the vampire. That will be harder than pulling our money out.
 
 
+4 # Firefox11 2012-03-29 18:04
Quoting DLT888:
. Now, as Matt, says, we need to stop our damn tax dollars from going to the vampire. That will be harder than pulling our money out.

How do we do this since it appears that these people belong to a private club that does not include us "commoners".
 
 
+3 # treadlightly 2012-03-29 20:16
Cash only transactions no credit cards. Money orders. Been doing it for years.
 
 
+3 # mdj777 2012-03-30 05:31
Last week I took a much needed trip home to New England. Although stunned by the increase in tolls, it was, nevertheless, refreshing. But, upon my return, I made a $2 or $3.00 mistake in adding to my Metro farecard. Bank of America charged me $35.00, and may hit me with more. But, without doubt, that will be cleared away when I stop by later today, right after I unload that bridge I bought in New York.
 
 
+3 # mdj777 2012-03-30 12:38
Well, I still need to unload that bridge. But, much to my surprise, Bank of America waived the fees. An in person visit worked better than being online.
 
 
+3 # ericsongs 2012-03-30 16:04
How in the hell did we ever come to the conclusion that public concerns could be trusted to private companies and corporations, in the first place?

Would it be too much to suggest that that the United States (being We The People) should be the only entity issuing money via the Treasury Department, and further that public monies be received and dispersed through a nationwide "Bank of the United States Treasury" system that is also of We The People (the United States), and further that no private concerns should be allowed to control or impact the value of said monies?
 
 
-3 # barbaratodish 2012-03-31 00:35
Matt Taibbi says "(W)e need...to allow failure to fail". Yes, but instead we just let banks "fail better". Perhaps banks are just the tip of the iceberg. We need to allow states to fail, countries to fail, and then maybe we will get to see that all these failures derive from social and cultural failure of an illusion called "the social contract"), which instead of being a contract, is more like the Stockholm syndrome, where our inner natural selfishness gets transfered to our identity kidnappers whom we then become enablers of and we are left with zombie "identitites". We all are failing because instead of being real, we are illusions made up of various social and cultural, politically correct "moral" identities that are without any depth because we are all alienated from our own true dark sides. All our one sided PC and "moral" identity derivations CHOOSE to see fear as being external to our own identities and the fear is seen as the external other. This exzternal other is looked at variously as , immigrants, criminals, the 1%, etc., instead of seeing that the external other, our real identity-napper is our own fear of the "dark side" in all of us: the other(dark side) "r" us! When and if we communicate this to ourselves, we may BEGIN to get a handle on our fears,(namely fear of being absolutely selfish) instead of exponentially multiplying our fears by attributing MYSTERIOUS, AMBIGUOUS fear to "the other".
 
 
+1 # jcadams 2012-04-02 01:01
CLEAR, CONCISE REPORTING OF COMPLICATED SUBJECT. AMERICA NEEDS MORE JOURNALISTS LIKE MATT TAIBBI.
 
 
0 # Shaz 2012-04-08 05:15
Thanks Matt for all you do. I have a question about reverse mortgage's...if there's a economic melt down what happens to millions of Seniors....can they take their homes???
 

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