What's Up in Bankster Land?

bankstersIt might just be election time. We have Bank of America being sued for Countrywide's hustle, a program which pawned off bad mortgages onto Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from 2007 to 2009. The U.S. District Attorney, Office’s Civil Frauds Unit in New York filed a civil complaint against BoA, who acquired Countrywide, for $1 billion.

The Complaint seeks civil penalties under FIRREA, as well as treble damages and penalties under the False Claims Act, for over $1 billion in losses suffered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for defaulted loans fraudulently sold by COUNTRYWIDE and BANK OF AMERICA.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “For the sixth time in less than 18 months, this Office has been compelled to sue a major U.S. bank for reckless mortgage practices in the lead-up to the financial crisis. The fraudulent conduct alleged in today’s complaint was spectacularly brazen in scope. As alleged, through a program aptly named ‘the Hustle,’ Countrywide and Bank of America made disastrously bad loans and stuck taxpayers with the bill. As described, Countrywide and Bank of America systematically removed every check in favor of its own balance – they cast aside underwriters, eliminated quality controls, incentivized unqualified personnel to cut corners, and concealed the resulting defects. These toxic products were then sold to the government sponsored enterprises as good loans. This lawsuit should send another clear message that reckless lending practices will not be tolerated.”

Is The FDIC Doing Death By 1000 Cuts Against TBTF Banks?

mersJust when you think Justice will never be done, another civil lawsuit is filed. The FDIC filed three lawsuits against Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and BoA among others for peddling bad mortgage backed securities stuffed with toxic mortgages to their sucker, Guaranty Bank of Austin, Texas. Guaranty Bank later failed in 2009. Housing Wire:

This week, the regulator filed multiple lawsuits in Travis County (Austin), suggesting Guaranty suffered major losses from toxic RMBS loans sold and packaged by mega banks and other financial institutions.

Defendants named in the multibillion-dollar lawsuits include Countrywide, JPMorgan Chase ($38.04 0%), Ally Financial, Deutsche Bank Securities ($34.07 0%), Bank of America ($8.19 0%) and Goldman Sachs ($105.32 0%) among others.

FDIC, on behalf of Guaranty, claims the banks misrepresented loan-to-value ratios, underwriting criteria and appraisal amounts when selling, packaging and underwriting home loans that became collateral for mortgage securities sold to Guaranty.

Saturday Reads Around the Internets - Silicon Valley Sexism & Other Slimy Stories

shocknews Welcome to the weekly roundup of great articles, facts and figures. These are the weekly finds that made our eyes pop. Sometimes events are just tidbits of more injustice, absurdities and disaster.


Corzine Will Get Away With It

How many times have we seen this?

There is No Justice When It Comes to the Banks

There is no Justice. Countrywide financial settled a civil action by the Department of Justice for $335 million. This equates to $1,675 dollars in compensation for each of the 200,000 listed victims. Meanwhile Hispanics and Blacks were pushed into sub-prime loans which drove the housing bubble, prices, through the roof. Many lost their homes in foreclosure due to bubble payments and high interest rates, when a regular mortgage payment might have been financially feasible.


60 Minutes Asks Why Isn't Anybody in Jail for the Financial Crisis?

You might recognize a pattern. There is systemic fraud inside a corporation. Someone tries to blow the whistle. Their reward? Fired, their income lost and reputation ruined. Such is the fate of those who tried to do anything regarding the massive subprime mortgage fraud, a major underlying cause of the financial crisis.

You Do Count - BoA Backs Off Predatory Debit Fee

We all know our vote doesn't count. We all know our government elected officials simply doe whatever corporate lobbyists want them to do and America be damned. But there is one vote that still seems to matter these days and that's your vote as a consumer. You just won. Bank of America dropped their $5 buck a month debit card fee:

Bank of America's Socialize the Risk and Reap the Reward Business Model

boycott BoABank of America just made $6.2 billion dollars in record profit.

Buoyed by one-time gains from accounting changes and the sale of assets, Bank of America reported a $6.23 billion profit for the third-quarter

What were those accounting changes and sale of assets? It appears Bank of America moved Merrill Lynch derivatives to a FDIC insured subsidiary. Bloomberg:

Bank of America Corp. (BAC), hit by a credit downgrade last month, has moved derivatives from its Merrill Lynch unit to a subsidiary flush with insured deposits, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. disagree over the transfers, which are being requested by counterparties, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The Fed has signaled that it favors moving the derivatives to give relief to the bank holding company, while the FDIC, which would have to pay off depositors in the event of a bank failure, is objecting, said the people. The bank doesn’t believe regulatory approval is needed, said people with knowledge of its position.

BoA Took the Money and Ran, You Should Too

By now all of America has heard about BoA's $5 dollar a month fee to use a debit card, or $60 dollars a year just to use a standard feature of any checking account in the digital age.

The question becomes, why would anyone keep their money with Bank of America?  Switch!  It's easy!  There are all sorts of online banks, credit unions which offer free checking, assuredly free debit card use, free ATMs and even offer interest on low balance checking.



America, vote with your consumer power and leave BoA, Wells Fargo or any other financial institution nickel and diming you to death. All these banks care about is keeping their executive bonuses rolling in.

Today we've heard from the 2008 TARP bank bail out inspector general, SIGTARP, that banks left TARP early, not because they wanted to pay back the taxpayer, or because they were financially stable....they left the bank bail out early in order to increase executive pay. The terms of TARP limited executive pay so banks were hell bent on getting out of it, despite their flimsy financial footing.

Guess who was at the top of that list?  Bank of America.