Matt Taibbi on Bank of America

A recent blog post by Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi on new troubles at Bank of America led me to this recent footage of the reporter, in New York City’s Bryant Park, explaining, in simple English, how the derivatives traders at Bank of America had essentially sold oregano to the people of America, telling them that it was high-quality weed… Here’s the footage.

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  1. Meta
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Gothamist has more:

    In the freezing rain a few yards away from Bank of America’s New York headquarters on 42nd Street, the man who made America see Goldman Sachs as a “vampire squid” was describing his research on a forthcoming article. “I called up my source and told him that I wanted to highlight all the really bad things Bank of America has done, and he said, ‘What, do you have 1,000 pages?'” Matt Taibbi was speaking to a group of Occupy Wall Street protesters about BoA’s central role causing the still-reverberating mortgage crisis, and explained the bank’s crimes thusly: “Mortgage backed securities are like banks selling oregano as weed. And that’s exactly what Bank of America was doing.”

    Bank of America received more than $45 billion dollars in taxpayer funds when the economy tanked in 2008, and though it has paid that amount back, the company continues to break the law, paying the SEC nominal fees as the cost of doing business while its employees have admitted to committing fraud in the form of robosigning and other activities that would spell doom for most businesses. “If this were any other kind of industry,” Taibbi said, “these guys would be in jail.”

    Taibbi also explained how many of the savvier financial institutions, once they realized their CDOs (which Taibbi described as a “bag of mortgages”) were “shit,” made money by betting against their own products. “It’s the exact same thing as buying a lot of cars with no brakes, then taking out life insurance policies on all the drivers.”

    When asked what he thought the public can do about it, Taibbi recommended taking your money out of BoA and putting it in a local bank or credit union, and to contact your elected officials. “Attorneys general are the most likely to apply pressure on banks.”

    Has Taibbi soured on Eric Schneiderman now that the president co-opted him for his mortgage crisis unit? “His impact remains to be seen. He still has an opportunity to prosecute banks that broke the law. But if nobody goes to jail, he’s a failure and a fake.”

    Read more:

  2. John Galt
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Maybe he’d like the bank more if it didn’t have “America” in its name.

    Credit union loving communist.

  3. mary contrary
    Posted March 20, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Here’s the REAL clincher on this BofA business, from Matt’s “Too Crooked to Fail” article in Rolling Stone (3/14/12)

    ~ GROK this —- 55 trillion. Are you kidding?

    ‎”All the government bailouts succeeded in doing was to make the bank even more prone to catastrophic failure – and now that catastrophe might finally be at hand. Bank of America’s share price has plunged into the single digits, and the bank faces battles in courtrooms all over America to avoid paying back the hundreds of billions it stole from everyone in sight. Its credit rating, already downgraded to a few rungs above junk status, could plummet with the next bad analyst report, causing a frenzied rush to the exits by creditors, investors and stockholders – an institutional run on the bank.

    They’re in deep trouble, but they won’t die, because our current president, like the last one, apparently believes it’s better to project a false image of financial soundness than to allow one of our oligarchic banks to collapse under the weight of its own corruption. Last year, the Federal Reserve allowed Bank of America to move a huge portfolio of dangerous bets into a side of the company that happens to be FDIC-insured, putting all of us on the hook for as much as $55 trillion in irresponsible gambles. Then, in February, the Justice Department’s so-called foreclosure settlement, which will supposedly provide $26 billion in relief for ripped-off homeowners, actually rewarded the bank with a legal waiver that will allow it to escape untold billions in lawsuits.”

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