Posts Tagged: Bank of America

"Occupy My Condo"

In which we re-answer questions sent to The Ethicist.

I know of someone who has lived mortgage-free for three years while the bank foreclosed on his apartment. During that time, the man paid his monthly maintenance to the building but did not pay his mortgage. His rationale: He had been in the furniture business and lost much of his income with the financial crisis, and not one of the bankers responsible for the meltdown has gone to jail. And furthermore, as a result, his apartment was worth less than he paid for it. Does any of that matter? Is strategic loan default ethical? NAME WITHHELD

You're a nosy [...]


Fees, Fees, Fees, Yeah

"The interchange fees that banks now charge stores for debit transactions are economically and functionally identical to the check interchange fees prohibited by the Fed almost a century ago." —Retail banking is a business almost entirely built on fees—and business is real good I mean, reallll good. Even the class action settlements don't offset the profit.


The Goldman Sachs SEC Investigation Is A Joke

On Friday, when the Goldman Sachs SEC investigation press release went out, I was working in a Starbucks in a small town. There was a rather normal-looking man, and he was whisper-screaming on his cellphone about Goldman Sachs. I could hear phrases popping out, like "finally going to get them" and "those bastards" and the like. He had lost his mind, and the New York Times quickly followed. The Goldman Sachs SEC investigation-which is the sadsack SEC's unconvincing look at a minor bit of potential malfeasance in a single unit of the company in its transactions with other banks, with a potential fine equal to an extremely small percentage [...]


The Bank of America Occupation is Already a Great Moment in History

In case you east coasters missed last night's occupation of Bank of America in San Francisco, it's truly wonderful. And this picture is something I hope our great-grandchildren see. (If The Machines that run the banks that will be running the government by then let them see any pictures, of course.) Sounds like Bank of America doesn't really even need our help in running the business into the ground though—and trying to take America with it as it prepares to cut 30,000 jobs. Meanwhile, right now in New York….


Do Not Under (Almost) Any Circumstances Buy a Home

Bank of America is paying just $20 million for having foreclosed improperly on 160 active-duty military service personnel. (This, of course, was frequent predatory lender suit-settler Countrywide in action; Bank of America purchased Countrywide in January, 2008, for $4.1 billion in stock, and has paid for it more and more ever since, including the former CEO's SEC settlements.) But $20 million! That's nothing, in the grand scheme of the forthcoming housing disaster. For one thing, there are about half as many foreclosed houses being sold now as there were two years go: at this new pace, "it would take exactly three years to clear the [...]


Bank Of America Stock Makes No Sense In Crazy Town

It seems to me that we have entered a whole new world of understanding events in the stock market; in the old world, there were events that might have seemed to have an anticipatable path of co-correlation or co-causation. Now there is just nonsense. One thing I can tell you is that Bank of America shares have been spiking upwards in volume (AGAIN) this morning-basically, people are (AGAIN) taking their gains and getting the hell out of there, in this case because it is insane that their stock is significantly up this morning on the PR spin of the news that they need a shitload of money. [...]


"Bank of America Features Malcolm Gladwell"

"Taking another step in its ongoing effort to encourage small business growth, Bank of America today announced it has conducted a series of events with Malcolm Gladwell to deliver quality education and actionable advice to small business owners in various markets throughout the country." —THE HECK???


The Last Mortgage Robo-Barons

For people saddled with unsustainable mortgage payments, foreclosure proceedings come with a heavy emphasis on the "closure" part-since they mean eviction, devastated credit and near-permanent status as a financial pariah. But the purveyors of the fraudulent debt instruments behind the nation's present foreclosure tsunami play, as always, by a different set of rules. For even in managing the wind-down of home loans poisoned by their own special brand of recklessly securitized debt, American banks continue hewing to the same fee-seeking, asset-stripping mode of enterprise that originally jeopardized the U.S. housing market, and much of the broader economy along with it. Now, as then, they've distorted the housing market with [...]