- Posted August 22, 2014 by
Watertown, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
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Bank of America Agrees to Sweetheart Settlement with US Department of Justice
Of course, none of the financial chicanery perpetrated on homeowners and investors by BoA and other financial institutions would have been possible without the aid of rating agencies stamping a triple A on the CDOs and underlying liar mortgages that made up this garbage and the federal regulators that looked the other way when they saw what the banksters were up to.
Gabriel Black, from WSWS.org, has an interesting perspective on what happened before, during and in the aftermath of the Great Recession and meltdown of our economy.
"On Thursday, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it had reached an anticipated $16.7 billion settlement with Bank of America. The settlement related to charges that BoA and two banks it purchased, Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch, knowingly sold toxic mortgage assets to investors prior to the 2008 financial meltdown.
The $16.7 billion price tag is a deception. A majority of the money is either tax deductible or designed to support BoA while costing it nothing. Forbes magazine noted that the actual cost is “minimal compared with the relief of having a major piece of outstanding legal risk moved into the rearview mirror.” It wrote that the bank will only be hit with a $4.5 billion dollar setback in third-quarter earnings.
In exchange, the bank’s top executives will be virtually immune from prosecution. The settlement follows several other back-door agreements between the Obama administration and Wall Street’s top banks, including JP Morgan Chase’s $13 billion settlement, which had been the largest before yesterday’s announcement.
US Attorney General Eric Holder described the deal as a “historic step forward in our ongoing effort to protect the American people from financial fraud.” He claimed that the deal would “hold accountable those whose actions threatened the integrity of our financial markets and undermined the stability of our economy.”
Wall Street investors rendered their own verdict on the deal by sending Bank of America shares up 4 percent."
Complete story here:
Another article by Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, goes further under the hood:
Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail
The bank has defrauded everyone from investors and insurers to homeowners and the unemployed. So why does the government keep bailing it out?
Bank Of America Anonymous Leak Alleges 'Corruption And Fraud'
So who does benefit from this huge fine?
Do homeowners get their homes back?
Are investors compensated for their losses from being duped by BoA?
Or does the Federal Government get billions from BoA for basically cutting a deal that rewards them and protects banksters from prosecution?
Will BoA actually pay anything?
Exxon never paid the $5 billion for dumping oil in Alaska.
And who paid what little Exxon paid to clean up the mess?
Taxpayers with higher prices at the pump.
Supreme Court Slashes Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Fine to One-Tenth of Original $5 Billion Ruling
25 Years After Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Company Still Hasn’t Paid For Long-Term Environmental Damages
The effect on gas prices of the Exxon Valdez spill:
So, who really paid back TARP? And who will benefit from the huge (maybe) fine the DOJ has charged Bank of America with?
Our government has said that the TARP program was a success without the taxpayers being saddled with the cost.
" The problem is, the taxpayers did foot the bill; not in the form of federal taxation but in the form of corporate taxation.
Banks have been able to borrow money at essentially no interest from the federal reserve and can then turn around and charge high interest to consumers as well as jack up fees to ridiculous levels so that much of the public has paid back those loans, particularly by those people who can least afford to.
It was simply a bait and switch operation as is this fine to BoA.
To avoid the outrage at giving money to the banks for their recklessness and stupidity, the government simply allowed the banks to tax us instead.
We can't afford these high corporate taxes on the public.
Where is the conservative outrage about that?
We need to keep government power and taxation in check, but it doesn't help if the private sector is allowed to take it out of the other pocket.
So, now, do you feel better that our Government is keeping the banks in line and punishing them for their criminal activity?
"Banks don't steal from people, bankers do."
Can we put a bank in jail?
No, we can't. Not only are these banks not people, apparently, they are too big to jail and the banksters that work for them are too well connected to prosecute.