Corporate corruption is so rampant it's laughable, and this Dilbert cartoon sums it up nicely.
Too Big to Fail
- Corporate Corruption – Summed Up in One Dilbert Cartoon
- Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), the Department of Justice, and Subprime Auto Loans
- Don't Listen to the GAO – "Too Big to Fail" Is Bigger Than Ever
- Feds Finally Put Their Scopes on the "Too Big to Jail"
- How America's Big Banks Are Begging for the Next Financial Crisis
- Three Charts That Show How Dodd-Frank Is Killing Small Banks
- Sorry CNBC, but the $13 Billion JPMorgan Fine Was No Shakedown
- Bank of America and JPMorgan, Oh How Illegal Activity Pays
- Here's Proof a New Glass-Steagall Act Could Rein in the Big Banks
- DON'T BE SO ARROGANT, MR. PRESIDENT
- Senators Move to Create 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act
- The Latest Obama Outrage: the Family's $100 Million Vacation
- A Simple, Scary Way to Neuter Goldman Sachs and Friends
- Paul Krugman May Be the World's Last Flat Earth Economist
- Why The Fiscal Cliff "Deal" is Spelled P-O-R-K
- Why Japan's "Lost Decades" Are Headed to America in 2016
Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) is in tentative talks with the U.S. Department of Justice to pay between $16 billion to $17 billion for its part in selling shoddy mortgages, being a Too Big to Fail bank that wasn't allowed to fail but now has to pay the piper.
Today, I'm going to tell you the story behind this, and a story about subprime auto loans.
Last week the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled "Large Bank Holding Companies: Expectations of Government Support."
And wouldn't you know it - all the "Too Big to Fail" banks broke out their crack pipes.
The report didn’t surprise anybody. After all, we all already know that big banks are government bootlickers, when they need to be.
Late last month, depending on how you look at it, either something wonderful happened - or the feds continued their cowardly, conniving ways.
A group of federal prosecutors met in Washington and in New York with various financial regulators to discuss filing criminal charges against and coercing guilty pleas out of two giant banks. This looks to be a historic occurrence.
The Volcker Rule is supposed to ban banks from making hazardous and speculative trades.
But the big banks are begging for the chance to make the same kind of moves that got us into the 2008 global credit crisis, one of the worst in the modern world.
The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 was hailed by its advocates as the regulatory answer to the excesses of the Big Banks that led to the financial crisis.
But just about the only thing Dodd-Frank has accomplished is the slow destruction of small community banks.
Many in the financial world seem to think that the $13 billion fine the government slapped on JPMorgan was excessive. But this was no first offense. JPMorgan, like other Too Big To Fail Banks, has a long and sordid track record of misdeeds.
What a surprise. The big banks are not playing by the rules -- the rule of law, that is.
The Justice Department announced that it is pursuing a civil lawsuit against Bank of America on the grounds that the bank lied about the quality of the mortgages underlying its mortgage-backed securities (MBS) prior to the housing collapse and financial crisis. The Justice Department is still on a high from its successful civil lawsuit against Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s (NYSE:GS) mid-level toxic securities shill, Fabrice Tourre.
The charges allege out-and-out fraud in Bank of America's soup-to-nuts loan origination and securitization of mortgages. Loans, bad from the start, were knowingly bundled and securitized into trade-able MBS, unbeknownst to buyers.
The Too-Big-to-Fail banks have a notorious track record of avoiding, evading or eliminating nearly all of Washington's attempts to bring them to heel.
So skeptics can be forgiven for thinking that the recently proposed new Glass-Steagall Act won't change anything on Wall Street.
As the moniker "Too-Big-to Fail" implies, such banks are not easy to push around.
"No bank will ever get out of a profitable line of business, unless they're forced to, or there's a huge loss that threatens the perception of the banks' risk management, or some scandal forces a mea culpa and an exit," said Money Morning Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani, who as a former hedge fund trader understands how Wall Street thinks.
Yet the Too-Big-to-Fail banks have recently pulled back in one area - physical commodities trading - as a result of regulatory pressure from several directions.
Empires have come and gone. Some lasted a blink of an eye and some millennia.
The question is, after 9/11, the rise of China and a great financial crisis, where does the U.S. empire stack up to its predecessors?
Well, it seems the one commonality they all have is the point when their might was undermined by sloth and greed. And entitlements: free bread and circuses. For some it took years, others centuries.
Here, in a compelling and unique address, is what Romulus Augustus, the last emperor of the Roman Empire, might say to President Obama now about how to keep America great.
Read on and share with family and friends...
Warren, John McCain (R-Ariz.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and Angus Kin (I-Maine) introduced legislation that would again separate bank's traditional activities (like deposits currently backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.) from riskier activities like investment banking, insurance underwriting, swap dealing, and hedge funds.
Glass-Steagall was repealed by Congress back in 1999.
When the news broke of Warren’s determined attempt to bring back Glass-Steagall last week, it covered front pages across the country and instigated a firestorm of commentary on the future of the U.S. economy.
The problem, of course, is the ability to cut through the hype and understand if financial reform is necessary to fix the U.S. economy.
Rarely do I find myself championing regulatory efforts by the Federal Government, but the financial sector is an entirely different beast from energy, agriculture, and other resource sectors.
But reinstituting key elements of the Glass-Steagall Act is just one step on a long return to sanity for the economy.
How much do you spend on your summer vacation? American households usually spend about $1,200 per person on summer vacations, according to a recent American Express survey.
Presidents spend more on their vacations than you or I. They have to. Air Force One and security does cost more than loading the Honda and heading to the beach.
Here's how much some recent presidents spent our tax dollars on vacation.
Ronald Reagan spent most of his free time at his California ranch. Taxpayers covered the cost of approximately $8 million for presidential travel during Reagan's first six years in office, according to the Los Angeles Times. That amounts to $1.3 million a year.
For George Bush the cost of flying Air Force One to his Texas ranch was approximately $56,800 per trip, for each of the 180 trips according to Media Matters. President Bush spent Christmas during his two terms at the White House so his staff and secret service could spend the holiday with their family, according to Conservative Byte.
Now Obama plans to blow away all previous presidents' leisure travel costs on our dime with a better than Disney World extravaganza trip to Africa.
However Obama had to cancel the safari because of the need to fill the surrounding jungle with snipers to guard the president from wild animals!
Two Senators have just introduced their own TBTF bill. It stands for “Terminating Bailouts for Taxpayer Fairness” and it’s a thing of beauty. Read more...
Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Dr. Paul Krugman is at it again. He claimed earlier this week that fixing the deficit is important, but added that "doing it now would be disastrous." He also observed that the 10-year U.S. debt situation isn't really all that bad.
I don’t know how he can make that argument with a straight face.
For five years now, Dr. Krugman has argued that increasing U.S. government spending is vital to our nation's recovery. And for five years he's been dead wrong.
Dr. Krugman claims that "we" just haven't spent enough money... yet.
Here's why that makes him very dangerous...
Behind the scenes of the Fiscal Cliff debate, there was plenty of f-bombing, poison pilling, and grandstanding leading up to the deal - and that was before the members of Congress and the Senate actually got serious with their usual ultimatums, followed by earnest- looking sound bites and posturing. But what gets me really riled up is the amount of "pork" contained in the bill...