Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mad as Matt Taibbi

The only thing I can figure is that Matt Taibbi wants Bank of America to sue him so he can get some bankers to testify under oath...or depose them...or some kind of legal jujitsu. In this article in Rolling Stone he goes after Bank of America. With abandon.

Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail

”It's been four years since the government, in the name of preventing a depression, saved this megabank from ruin by pumping $45 billion of taxpayer money into its arm. Since then, the Obama administration has looked the other way as the bank committed an astonishing variety of crimes – some elaborate and brilliant in their conception, some so crude that they'd be beneath your average street thug. Bank of America has systematically ripped off almost everyone with whom it has a significant business relationship, cheating investors, insurers, depositors, homeowners, shareholders, pensioners and taxpayers. It brought tens of thousands of Americans to foreclosure court using bogus, "robo-signed" evidence – a type of mass perjury that it helped pioneer. It hawked worthless mortgages to dozens of unions and state pension funds, draining them of hundreds of millions in value. And when it wasn't ripping off workers and pensioners, it was helping to push insurance giants like AMBAC into bankruptcy by fraudulently inducing them to spend hundreds of millions insuring those same worthless mortgages.”

I’m pretty sure that he accused Bank of America of about a dozen felonies in that one paragraph -- times 1,000. Either Bank of America sues him (and Rolling Stone) or...

Matt Taibbi has the goods on the Bank and they can’t sue him because it’s true.

Regardless, it’s a fascinating read. If for no other reason, Taibbi is a masterful writer and he turns on his talent -- full force -- to flail away at Bank of America. It’s long. So I’ll stop talking so you can start reading.

”In sum, Bank of America torched dozens of institutional investors with billions in worthless loans, repeatedly refused to abide by contractual obligations to buy them back, evaded hundreds of millions in local fees and taxes, pushed tens of thousands of people into foreclosure using phony documents, ignored multiple court orders to stop its illegal robo-signing, and exploited President Obama's signature mortgage-relief program. The bank fixed the bids on bonds for schools and cities and utilities all over America, and even conspired to try to game the game itself – by fixing global interest rates!

So what does the government do about a rogue firm like this, one that inflates market-wrecking bubbles, commits mass fraud and generally treats the law like its own personal urinal cake? Well, it goes without saying that you rescue that "admitted felon" at all costs – even if you have to spend billions in taxpayer money to do it.”

For the new folks, I agreed with Krugman -- over 3 years ago -- that we should have nationalized the banks.

Don Brown
April 14, 2012

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