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Turbulence In The Banking Industry

We’re talking about Bank of American slashing 30,000 jobs and what it means.

Bank of America's corporate headquarters is shown in Charlotte, N.C. (AP)

Bank of America's corporate headquarters is shown in Charlotte, N.C. (AP)

Bank of America, the biggest bank in the country, announced this week it is cutting thirty thousand jobs. 30,000. That is a number big enough to get anyone’s attention. The biggest jobs cutback announced in the country this year. What does it mean?

Well, a lot of pain for a lot of families. A lot of pain at Bank of America, which built an empire with way to much bad mortgage debt.

Is there more to come? At other banks? Is it the end of “too big to fail”? Of the financialization of the American economy? We’ll ask.

This hour On Point: Bank of America’s job cuts, and what they mean.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Paul Barrett, assistant managing editor at Bloomberg Businessweek. His cover story, for this week’s issue is “Can Brian Moynihan Save Bank of America?

Louise Story, business reporter for the New York Times.

Campbell Harvey, professor of international business at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

From Tom’s Reading List

Bloomberg Business Week “For now, Bank of America will not go the way of Lehman or Bear. It has $400 billion in cash and liquid investments and, more important, with $2.3 trillion in assets, it exemplifies the sorry concept of “too big to fail.” No matter what anyone says to the contrary, the U.S. government cannot afford to allow a financial institution of that size to go down and drag the rest of the country with it. ”

Associated Press “Bank of America is slashing 30,000 jobs as part of an effort to reverse a crisis of confidence among investors. It’s the largest single job reduction by a U.S. company this year”

Wall Street Journal “A following phase of the project will seek to reduce part of the bank’s $28 billion in expenses on commercial banking, wealth management, corporate banking and investment banking. The bank didn’t specify a target or job cuts for those lines of business, but said the cuts would be smaller.”

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  • Ed

    More than 30,000 abortions will happen this year. 

    • Anonymous

       Give it up already.

    • Yar

      Ed, you are off subject, but while you are thinking about death, did you know that over 30,000 will likely die on highways this year.  Are you as concerned about the speed limit and seat belt use?  Is one life more innocent than another?  Pro-life for 45 MPH speed limit and mandatory seat-belt use, is that a slogan you can embrace?  The life you save may be your own!  I am still praying for you.  It is the lost sheep that when found give the master the most joy.

      • nj

        Oops, didn’t see Yar’s post…

    • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

      Must be some kind of astrological number…

      VW recalls 30,000 Jettas to fix long tailpipes.14-year-old hit by 30,000 mph space meteorite.Libyan transitional government: 30,000 people killed during conflict.Facebook Now Has 30,000 Servers.Computer virus lets 30,000 “ugly” people join exclusive dating site.

      Of course, just like your comment, none of these statistics has a thing to do with the topic at hand which is Bank of America getting over extended.

      • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

        DISQUS sucks again! No doubt it has sucked 30,000 times or more.

      • Cory

        …30,000 fish frys consumed in rural Wisconsin last friday…

        • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

          I tell ya… 30,000 is THE number!

          • nj

            Just over 30,000 U.S. traffic fatalities, if this year is similar to 2010.

            What is the Biblical significance of 30,000? The End must be near.

    • Brett

      Come on, Ed! You used to at least offer some flimsy justification to tie the topic of the day with the evils of abortion; now, you’re not even trying! Make a little more of an effort in the future, please! 

    • steve

      Pleased to meet you, won’t you guess my name.

      When the foundation crumbles, the structure follows.

      A house built on shifting sands.

    • Acnestis

      You’re right, there aren’t enough of them!  They should be mandatory for every unmarried woman under the age of 21.

  • Yar

    There is one thing that really bothers me about all the repackaged loans with missing paperwork. What is the probability that at least some loans were packaged and sold more than once?  I have no inside information, I am just projecting human nature.  Maybe the spreadsheets can be cross referenced so an investor or regulator would know if a loan was sold twice or more.  But this would explain why paperwork might get “lost”.  It is the type of embezzlement that banks might have gotten into as they realized the system was about to crash.  I think there is still a lot of unwinding to go.  A good GIS program would position loans as geographic data, and could flag overlapping and unknown locations.  It is so simple, I wonder if anyone has thought to do it.  If 5 % of the loans of a CDO were sold in another CDO, would anyone other than the loan servicer know?  A non preforming loan doesn’t even have income to deposit.
     

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    BS with saving 5 billion dollar year. This bank is going down the drain. After we bailed this bank out. Where did the money go? One of the banks who charge their customers a fortune on over draft fees should go to h_ll. from those fees alone they made a lot of money. I am very very mad with banks. I hate them!!!! They destroy the American middle class. destroyed our country, destroy the true meaning of economics of banking.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      I know where the bail money went? inside the pockets of top executives. those execs has nothing to do just attend long meetings and talk smart in front of their employees but never did a god damn thing in solving their problems. A Salary of execs can pay 25 regular employees per $16.00 an hour. Sacrifice or have pay cuts and they might saved 20 thousands employees, but no Execs are very important because they got Ivy League diplomas that constitute for getting paid millions of dollars a year. This world is sick and greed. It make me sick!!!!! Somalia is hungry wake up Mankind please!!!!!!

  • Steve

    Not to worry, Obama’s plan will put them back to work before sunset

    • Cory

      No president can fix our jobless problem.  Certainly can’t be fixed in a 4 or 8 year presidential term.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

        Correct.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          Especially not when politicians think only in two year terms.

  • Gregg

    It’s Bush’s fault.

    • Cory

      I think it is everyone’s fault to some degree or another.  Glass-Steagal repeal, trickle down, electorate laziness, cultural/social failings…  Bush was quite a dipstick though.

      • Yar

        Cory, that’s unfair to the dipstick, at least it measures something.

        • Cory

          I think Bush was quite a measuring stick for the American electorate.  He was elected twice! 

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Well, I’m still wondering if he was elected the first time…

          • Cory

            DOH!!!   Greg!

        • nj

          The Dipstick Antidefamation Society will be in touch.

          • Cory

            I have virtually no assets…  Sue away!  :)

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            So it’s actually too small to fail–ain’t it great to be untouchable?

        • steve

          I don’t know, Mr. Bush may have been a better dipstick than a President – I just don’t think anyone ever tried holding him by his ankles and dipping him in a barrel of oil.

    • Cory

      BTW, I mistook you for another Greg yesterday.  The one who is conservative but not dogmatic or monolithic.  Sorry!

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Yes, you did.  I have only two letters g in my name, distributed evenly.

        • Gregg

          That’s funny, I don’t care who you are! 

    • Anonymous

      And yours too. 

  • Cory

    I’m not sure why an American company eliminating jobs to increase short term profitibility is a story.  Isn’t it more like stanard operating procedure now?

  • J Mezure Carter

    Have we forgotten the S&L crisis?  The current wrangling over the concept of “too big to fail” began with that debacle and the bail out of over 700 thrifts, allowing commercial banks to fill the void.  This triggered a boom in the cost of housing that overwhelmingly changed the way people viewed their private homes.  Suddenly homes were being assessed based on their market value, instead of there brick and mortar worth.  Everyone was delighted to use these figures that were more based on cache than reality.  The greed factor consumed every aspect of real estate, private and commercial.  And the banks and local taxing localities salivated the most.  Banks lent far more money then the property was worth and localities taxed based on those phony figures. Now we are all under water.  Will we ever learn from our history?

  • J. Mezure Carter

    Have we forgotten the S&L crisis?  The current wrangling over the concept of “too big to fail” began with that debacle and the bail out of over 700 thrifts, allowing commercial banks to fill the void.  This triggered a boom in the cost of housing that overwhelmingly changed the way people viewed their private homes.  Suddenly homes were being assessed based on their market value, instead of their brick and mortar worth.  Everyone was delighted to use these figures that were more based on cache than reality.  The greed factor consumed every aspect of real estate, private and commercial.  And the banks and local taxing localities salivated the most.  Banks lent far more money then the property was worth and localities taxed based on those phony figures. Now we are all under water.  Will we ever learn from our history?

    • Sam

      Prescott Bush (trading with the enemy), George Bush, Jeb Bush, Neil Bush–banksters. Union Corp. Bank, Silverado, Broward Federal. Bank bailouts costing taxpayers minimum $1.4 Trillion.

      Countrywide, and the BOA? Nothing has changed.

  • Charlie mc

        In God we trust. Perhaps in Brooksley Born we trust. Maybe in John Bogle ["The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism"] I trust, who blames our situation on the “pathological mutation from traditional stockowner’s capitalism to a new form of manager’s capitalism, wherein executive compensation soared from 42 times  that of the average worker in 1980 to 240 times it in 2004 fed by out of control fiscal prractices which accelerated the growth of the bubble to its bursting point.
          When will Brooksley Born receive her recognition and recompense for having put her finger on the financial hijacking of our country at a time when it might have been corrected, but instead was booted by the male economic advisors who were gladly led down the path by the wrong directions of the so-called guru, Alan Greenspan. These advisors, including Theodore Geitner, Larry Summers, Robert Rubin, and President Clinton himself, were punished for their judgemental error by being named economic advisors to President Barack Obama to help extricate America from the very diosaster they helped to foment. What is the matter with us? I believe that Wiki-Leaking is a good thing if it prevents excrement from being presented with a rose’s aroma.
             The profit takers from this disaster should be seen for what they are;  the “carpetbaggers” of our depression, who seek only to keep their on profits maximized. We low-middle income Americans are being literally screwed to the low ground in the policy which supports the wealthiest interests without compassion. Let us turn to Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, Brooksley Born and Robert Reich, and Andrew J. Bacevich, all of whom are ther truly prophetic voices in our suffering society.
             When will Barack Obama say as JFK did following the Bay of Pigs Fiasco, “What a fool I was to trust the experts!”
     

  • Anonymous

    What did the CEO get for a bonus last year?  Aren’t their high fees enough to keep them profitable?  I hated banking with Bank of America and I switched to TD Bank which has minimal fees and didn’t take bailout money. 

    • Sam

      Thousands have escaped the BOA, because it has squeezed and squeezed too many high fees and fines from its regular middle-class customers. Enough is enough. People voted with their feet. The big snake is dying.

  • Winston Smith

    When are some of these greedy crooks going to go to jail?  And can a long jail sentence be proceeded by some old fashioned water boarding just for good measure?

    • Cory

      I’d prefer caning.

      • Winston Smith

        How about caning and water boarding?  We’ll compromise!

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          I’m holding out for tar and feathers.

          • Anonymous

            I’m favoring the multicultural beheading.

          • Winston Smith

            How about all of the above plus anything else that anyone can think of?

          • Sam

            Days and nights locked in the public stocks. On display with a scarlet R on their heads, for raping the American worker of hard-earned dollars through usurious rates, fees, and fines.

          • BHA in Vermont

            And a weekend in the stocks. Lets go both arms and legs.

          • TFRX

            Ah, the stocks: Invented so that one’s hands couldn’t cover one’s face, and therefore couldn’t hide one’s shame before one’s creator.

            Fines aren’t punishment enough, will never reach the scale to be punitive (and someone out there in a thinktank is already working on the “poor little rich CEO, hasn’t he been fined enough” meme). Prison is too white-collar, at least the ones these ilk would go to.

            Maybe it’s time to bring the stocks back.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            How about forcing financial criminals to spend the rest of their lives doing charity work to pay off their debt to society?

          • TFRX

            If we’re toting up the money stolen, I don’t know that charity work pays that well.

            But if we let them do whatever they wished to to get the money, the whole thing would start to resemble “Prisoner of Love” at the end of “The Producers”: Dishonest crooks stealing from gullible ones.

          • Dave in CT

            Right next to the Wall. St. Bull.

    • Dave in CT

      As soon as Obama and everyone else in Washington turn on their banking sugar daddies. 

      Fat chance.  Hence the Tea Party. Why the progressives don’t look deeper into banking and get outraged and join the party with rational critiques to make it better, is beyond me.

      • BHA in Vermont

        The Tea Party will fix nothing, they want no taxes and no regulation. Everyone fend for themselves.

        • Dave in CT

          While you might find some who claim that, I still believe the vast majority of all Americans believe in the core principle of Rule of Law. For libertarians its the centerpiece.  Rule of law protects the whole enterprise.

          Anarchy is a whole different concept. And I rarely hear arguments for it.

          “No taxes and No regulation” is pure hyperbole that screeching establishment liberals shout, without ever exploring the issue further.

          Tea Party would have let the banks fail, while everyone else was running to the bosom of big banking to save them, accepting bailouts out of pure fear and cowardice rather than letting the house of cards fall and start over.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            As long as we include a safety net for the citizens who suffer the foolishness of large corporations, I’m with you.

          • Dave in CT

            Deal!

      • mary elizabeth

        The Tea Party is against almost all government regulation.    It is the government for whom they save their “rational critiques.”      

        • Dave in CT

          What do you think are their motivations for being “against almost all government regulation”, if thats even true?

          A) Because they are evil and chomping at the bit to screw everybody?

          B) They a dumb.

          C) They don’t trust bureaucratic, well-meaning central planners to collaborate with Big Finance to fix our economy and country the way all the technocrats from the Clinton, Bush and Obama eras did (ie, the destruction of our economy with a mix of well-meaning social engineering and finance-favoring Crony Capitalism).

          The fact that establishment, or knee-jerk liberals or Democrats or whatever, just cannot appreciate choice C, is precisely the idealogical blindness and arrogance that fuels rowdier elements of the Tea Party, maintains partisan gridlock, and prevents the deep reforms we really need to  make to our system.

  • Bill

    What it means is that shrinking level of lower and middle class US dollars are no longer worth the trouble of going after.

    The new paradigm may be banks just for the rich – and funneling everyone else to higher fee check cashing offices.

    • Bill

      Forgot to mention – most of  those high fee check cashing places are owned by? Banks, of course.

      • TFRX

        Yep. And the banksters still get to keep their “respectable” names.

  • ulTRAX

    There’s a neighborhood bank that was built back in 1947. It might have become a Shawmut at one point. But I know it became a Baybank perhaps 25 years ago. Then, in 1996, as banks merged it became Bank Boston, then in 1999 it became Fleet, then a BOA. At every step these mergers were to produce stronger banks. But it seems if what a bank can offer consumers is any indication of efficiency and strength, then the smaller community banks ALWAYS offer higher interest and less fees than the giant BOA.  Something’s always been wrong with this picture.

  • Dave in CT

    If we don’t like big ponzi banking/finance, and the demonstrated threat they are to our real economy, we don’t have the luxury of liking their “jobs”.

    Lets keep the pressure on Big Banking/Wall St. and hope the laid off collateral damage of their schemes can find more honest work.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Should I feel pleased about being small enough to fail?

  • Dave in CT

    Frat boys curing cancer?

  • Dave in CT

    We need to drown big banking and its Federal Reserve and Government enablers in the bathtub, not ask them to reinvent themselves.

    How does one reinvent being a societal leech collecting interest on debt in perpetuity, by centuries old designs?

    Reinventing, or perhaps, re-camoflauging their actions, has always been our problem.

    • Cory

      I like your thought, but isn’t monied power in the U.S. similar to the creeping charlie that has consumed my lawn?  I’d need 50 gallons of “Round Up” to solve that problem.

      • Dave in CT

        Aerate, compost top-dress, over-seed, patience.

        Feed the soil, not the lawn.

        And tar and feather the bankers.

    • ulTRAX

      The banking system worked pretty well before the massive deregulation begun in the late 90′s. What we need are for banks to go back to basics… and to place a chokechain on reckless speculation.  

      • Dave in CT

        How do you regulate the monetary policy makers who control the money supply that makes all speculation bubbles possible?

        The concept of excess money leading to poor investment decisions, and the creation of unsustainable economic sectors, as well as pure financial speculation and its ills, is pretty straightforward.

        Live by having an unaccountable banking group pump money based on academic, or worse, whims, die by it.

  • Bill

    There’s always been complaints of banking never moving into poorer neighborhoods.

    Guess what? We’re poorer. And BofA will be downsizing and moving out of many more neighborhoods.

    • ulTRAX

      If you’re dealing with BOA you’re already poorer. Find some local bank or credit union. They offer higher interest and less fees.

      • Anonymous

        Love my Credit Union – switched all my accounts over to them – and they treat me fine!

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    Years ago I worked on the Liquidation Staff of a Reinsurance Company. We “wound down” the business of the company over a period of 15 years. Our legitimate creditors wound up collecting nearly 100 cents on dollar. We spent the the first eight or nine years straightening out the poorly kept books. The same sort of problems exist in the mortgage industry. The same mechanism could be applied to the mortgage crisis with a much better result than we are in for now. Trouble is everyone wants their money NOW like little spoiled children.  

    Current caller is trying to blame the government! It is not the government, it is the lack of government regulation, and a gutted regulatory authority that contributed to the mortgage crisis under Bush and a Republican controlled Congress!

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    What we are seeing here is the flaw of deregulation.  If you want to go with few regulations, you have to stay small enough to fail.  That’s the bargain that our society ought to offer.  If you get so large that we have to carry your tush, we have the right to regulate.

    • Dave in CT

      Now that sounds like good sense.

    • Yar

      We see the problem with our campaign finance system.  Banks got what hey paid for.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        These days, campaign finance is an excuse.  Voters have far more ability to get information than ever before.  It’s our fault for paying attention to expensive ads.

      • Dave in CT

        Only vote for those who challenge the banks/Wall St.

        They are out there. We have to work to support them and get them exposure.

        Self-government and vigilance to preserve liberty was never advertised as easy.

    • TFRX

      Good point, but when it comes to financial services, which corporation we’ve been talking about this hour wants to be that small?

      My instinct tells me the bigwig pay and/or bonuses they’re giving themselves are undreamt of for a “Bailey Bros. Building and Loan” or even Mr. Potter’s bank, should they wish to reduce scale drastically. Please correct as needed.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        I have no doubt that the CEOs want the big bucks, but just like a child, it’s the job of the adults in the room to say, “Only one cookie.”

        • TFRX

          Now that’s an allegory I want our elected officials to start using w.r.t. banksters.

          (Metaphor? Similie? Eh, you’re the writer; you know what I mean.)

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Analogy

      • Dave in CT

        The jackasses who go to ponzi….err…  elite business school and come out with a sense of entitlement to million dollar salaries, need a rude wake up call.  They need to be named and shamed and harangued, until they have even a sliver of humility IMO.

      • Belinda

        You are correct.  No one wants to be small in banking. (not the national banks anyway)
        One issue at play is scale and efficiency.  Without scale (lots of loans, transactions, accounts) you can’t become efficient enough to support those giant bonuses.Acquire or die.

    • Cory

      Yet politicians of all strains talk about less regulation.  Pure madness.

      • Belinda

        Madness indeed. De-regulation is not the answer.  Banks need a specific defined framework to operate within.  
        As corporations, their only objective is to increase their value/profitability for shareholders.
        Without a regulatory framework, they are driven to take excessive risk for short term gain.
        In addition, bonuses are rewards for current conditions (this quarter’s sales or profits) but the assets are put on the balance sheet for years.  Rewards should be based on how the portfolio performs over time.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      Mister Camp I saw you on FaceBook. are you trying to hook up with a pretty Filipina gal ha?

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Not I.  The leader of my writers’ group suggested that I join to promote my work.

  • Ronald Johnson

    Put your money in Australia. I do. 6 – 9 month term deposit, 5-6%.

  • ulTRAX

    Being brought up in a dysfunctional two party system where the GOP and the Dems seem to encompass the totality of political reality, it’s easy to fall into the trap of blaming one political party or another for the collapse of the economy and this intractable recession. It’s really a false choice.

    In the past 20 years the parties have been doing a kabuki dance around each other, often stealing each other’s issues. The GOP has increasingly adopted “starve the beast” fiscal irresponsibility as the core political strategy. Clinton was a DLC corporate Democrat who supported Republican ideas of free trade and the deregulation of the banking/commodity markets. Combined with Bush’s further deregulation, irresponsible tax cuts, and foolish wars of choice, I’d argue ALL of the above set the stage for the current situation. But the above were REPUBLICAN ideas… not those of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

    I’d argue that the REAL blame for the collapse of the economy and this intractable recession can’t be assessed by blaming one party or another but a political philosophy. Clearly the blame for our current dilemma, including most of our debt, has to be laid at the feet of CONSERVATIVE IDEAS.  

  • Cara L

    Because of indirect lending I find it disgusting that we should have to pay a bank to “park” our money. This is precisely why I refuse to bank at a large bank like BOA. I will keep my money as much as possible with local banks.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    My money is under my bed or somewhere safe in a fire proof safe. Bofa makes money by charging OVER DRAFT FEES. Just like Citizen Bank.

  • BHA in Vermont

    How about they cut 1 exec for every 100 non execs laid off.

    Those people are SO ‘entitled’ and SO overpaid. How big will their bonuses be for saving all the salaries of the people they lay off?

  • Tina

    …AND, many of the bankers who ARE sitting in the banks to talk to customers don’t seem interested in customer questions at all (even worse:  sometimes they don’t even seem KNOWLEDGEABLE about the questions/answers!!!  Yikes!).  Instead, they are laying in wait to spring THIS on you:  “I’m SURE you’ll be interested in our new credit card that we are offering”.

    Yikes Squared!  Do they have a quota of these credit cards that they must get sewed up to keep their jobs?!?

    • Belinda

      If you are in a branch and they are “cross selling” you, then yes, there is a sales goal/quota that they are trying to meet.  And yes, if they don’t hit the sales goals, they will eventually lose their job.

  • Anonymous

    Tom.

    I just want to get some clarity on the narrative that there has been a great brain drain from other fields into finance.  Now there will be a correction of talented people leaving banking and making contributions in other places.

    But, then your same guests have given the example of data centers closing down as an example of the layoffs.  These people are not the PhD in physics and mathematics that will make contributions in other fields.  Rather they are the grunt workers.  So, I doubt there will be a ‘brain correction’

    There’s just too much money in finance for the PhDs to move.  A lot of them are making $300-400k/year.  I know, I use to consult for the hedge fund industry.  These PhDs will not go on to other fields like engineering to make $75k/year.  It’s just not going to happen. Rather they will go on to derivatives trading and high frequency trading.  Two fields the profit off the froth of economic activity and have dubious value to society.

    • BHA in Vermont

      “and have dubious value to society.”

      ZERO positive value and the possibility of negative with automated large volume high frequency trading on penny share price shifts.   

    • Dave in CT

      Not to mention that devious scheming is not the same set of skills or intellect that lead to success and true insight in the physical and biological sciences.

  • AndyF

    Your guest Paul Moynihan is COMPLETELY INCORRECT on his assertion that Ken Lewis willingly purchased CountryWide and Merrill-Lynch!!!

    In the PBS Documentary on FrontLine entitled “The Banking Scandal” Lewis is interviewed, and in his own words he explains how Henry Paulson “shoved” the two failing companies down his throat, pointing out that Paulson left no doubt in Lewis’ mind that if he did not purchase those two companies, Paulson would see that Lewis was ousted from BOA and someone willing to purchase the companies would be put in his place.

    This is told BY Ken Lewis in his own words, and of course, it makes sense when you look at how Paulson was “plugging holes” in a sinking banking empire as a whole.

    Mr. Moynihan should get his facts straight before spouting what is, in fact, a completely incorrect assertion.

    • Ronald Johnson

      Oh, and you really believe Lewis?

  • Dave in CT

    So, we’re going on 3-4 years….. Where is our accountability? Where are the perp walks? Where are the jailed coke-head Wall St. leaders?

    We will NEVER find closure to this sick, 2-party corrupted chapter and resulting malaise, until regular Americans sense some JUSTICE.

    • Steve T

      Accountability? accountability? accountability? We don’t need no stinking accountability! This is America there are no rules or laws for greed. We unregulated that crap!

      You want closure, close your mouth and give me your money. I’ve got the Justice dept paid. Who do you think will listen to you?

  • Dave in CT

    Did he say “international regime”?

    Please tell me we are not, out of desperation at the lack of justice and honest self-government here, on the verge of accepting international regulators and a further erosion of our sovereignty.  Once the international “regulators” are captured, its all over.  Global empire achieved for the money-changers.

    • BHA in Vermont

      We can join the EU ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1535076628 Jerry Turcotte

    Is there a little of McColl’s vanity and hubris in John Koelmel of First Niagara? This once regional bank from Northwest New York has grown tremendously over the past few years. 

  • Guest

    Bank of America is failing because of bad business practices and policies. These practices have been transparent to consumers for years.

    I removed my money from Bank of America around 2005 when a client of mine wrote me a $15,000 check (a final percentage of a project due as a fesh-out-of-college independent contractor). It was the end of the month, rent was due, food was consumed, and supplies purchased. Their check bounced. Because of compounding fees and increasing penalties for overdrafting, I ended up with $2,500 fees.

    I tried to negotiate with Bank of America to lower these fees, but to no avail. They threatened me by saying, “Pay up or you won’t be able to get a bank account anywhere.” They didn’t budge on one cent.

    I didn’t mind paying the penalties because it was my error in writing against a bad check. I think the penalty should have been in the hundreds not thousands of dollars.

    Never will I bank with BofA again.

  • jlm from Norwood

    Bank of America has responded to their difficulties by raising fees on low-income people like me.  Good bye BOA!  I feel sorry for the local employees who have always served me well.  Corporate policy forced me to choose between customer service and a $30 monthly fee because of my low balance.  I’m now with USAA.  No fee.  Access to customer service. 

  • Modavations

    I bought the stock at 10.I never dreamed that Dodd Frank would be enacted and still don’t.I think this will yield a pop.Secondly,I bought it because a pal was saying they’re trying to open in Mexico

  • Dave in CT

    So sad we lacked the courage and sense of dignity and shared sacrifice, to reject the “Too Big To Fail” mantra, and let them fail, HARD, and be punished fiercely when the dust settled.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Why did we bail them out?  That’s the question that I’ve been asking since before the election.

    • Modavations

      If you dig too deep, it leads to the Pols.I haven’t read the book,but a NYT lady wrote all about it.It’s called “Reckless endangerment”.I assign you this project,write a book report

    • Dave in CT

      We didn’t bail them out. They bailed themselves out with our money. 

      Bush/Obama provided cover.

      Debt-loving bankers and the speculators and politicians they fund have always run the world.  All we can do is remember it and keep chipping away.

      Its not about free markets or Republicans and Democrats, its about elite bankers.

      • Dave in CT

        Liberty and distribution of power and more local economies and decentralization is one of the best methods.

        All our founding documents, directed against tyranny of monarchy, should be revisited with tyranny of banking fully in mind.

        • Modavations

          Term Limits,term limits and more term limits.The Solons don’t even realize they’ve fallen.Look at Ron Paul.He rails against govt.,but has suckled at the teet for 26 years

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            We have term limits:  elections.  Our politicians are our fault, and until we voters take responsibility, nothing will change.

          • Modavations

            Gerrymander!!!!!!!

          • Steve T

            If Ron Paul were in the white house at the time this all came about, we probably wouldn’t be discussing this issue. 

      • Modavations

        I don’t buy that “penis envy”tripe,but here’s an interesting ditty.Rothchild had “runners” at Waterloo.When he heard Napoleon had lost,he made the proper investments

        • Dave in CT

          My point exactly. Today he would be a CEO or head of the Federal Reserve, the amount we idolize market manipulations and ill-gotten wealth.

  • Modavations

    I figured Dodd and Frank will be led away in hand cuffs for war crimes(cultural wars,that is)and this would yield a pop.Barney interceeded for a phoney bank in Boston owned by Maxine Waters hubby.The scoundrel Dodd was a friend of Mozilo and got an under market mortgage.

    • TFRX

      There you go, repeating someone else’s plop again without proof.

      Even in Connecticut, the people gunning for Dodd have ended up with a “scandal” was all smoke and no fire. The more rocks which were turned over, the more they were left with “it looks bad” without a credible charge.

      Then the fluffers on the right got a hold of it, and the lack of a credible charge was no impediment.

      • Modavations

        Why do you think he didn’t run?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      You should listen to the song Motivation by Kelly Rowland.

      • Modavations

        I’m a reggae,”Clash” type.Will it fit

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    Bank of America is a bank who lends money to people who doesn’t know anything about banking or getting a loan.
    If the person gets a loan with a bad credit. And after 3 years the car or house will be repo and the consumer will be ending up filing for chapter 7 or ending up with more debt. Bofa gets the car and sells it at auction the remainder of the balance will be billed to the person who was only late for a month on payments. That is how banking works in American. victimized the uneducated and make their lives miserable for life.

  • Rvoo3

    Tom,
    I looked at the resume of a colleague I worked with at the Board of Trade. We both started in the 80′s. He has been through about 10 banking crises in 30 years. TEN.

    What does this tell us about about oversight? With 33 to 1 leverage a 10% loss meant they had no capital left. We got a 17% break in the Dow recently. Does that make 10/1 acceptable? We want banks to be able to do business but too big to fail leaves the taxpayer on the hook. HClinton said a crisis would be a terrible thing to waste but what regulations have changed. Derivatives have yet to be properly addressed. See Brooksley Born former head of CFTC and The Warning 2009 Frontline documentary. All the big players including Greenspan, Rubin and Summers chased her off. Greenspan has since come to understand that the market could not be self policing. Every congressman lined up “for business and jobs”.

    I used to believe we had too much communication. All the daily talk shows. The fact that this had occurred in the face of all this talk leads me to believe I was wrong.

    RV

    • Dave in CT

      Its not about policing. That is after the fact. It is about a Federal Reserve/Treasury/Congress model which manipulates the money supply creating MALinvestment bubbles that are DESTINED to POP. The Wall Streeters and bankers get the first heads up, and position themselves to profit from the bubble growth.  Eventually the whole society is suckered in to the “Prosperity”. Then the music stops, Wall St./Banks again well in the loop and well positioned, and the POP…CRASH comes.  The wealth transfers rapidly, prices deflate, the moneyed elite buys up the assets dirt cheap.

      Repeat.

      This is our modern economic model. In its best light, maybe the leaders think it at least gives people a gambling chance to “get theirs” while the getting is good.  But its a real Ponzi scheme based on control of the money supply.

      Over time, all it does in enrich the Banking/Wall St cabal, and impoverish the vast majority.

      That is where “following the money” leads if you keep looking.

      So, IMO support political reformers who call a spade a spade and want to get to the core of the issue, not those who tacitly accept this centuries old scam, and try to buy your votes by bribing you with their share of the bubble money, in the form of entitlements, or tax cuts, whatever your flavor.

  • Modavations

    President Obama should also face discipline.He bought his house,or a parcel of land,from Rezco,at 60,000.00 below market.Mr.Resco is in jail.I actually heard the Pres. say,well I shouldn’t have done that. 

    • Anonymous

      I’m certain “the market”, which is never wrong, figured all that in.  Probably had something to do with the Greek, or perhaps Balinese, debt crisis, which we all know affects the decisions of we investors on a daily basis.

      • Modavations

        Resco did business with Obama when he was a local poll.We call it bribery and a jailable offense,as Mr Resco has found out

  • Modavations

    Deval Patrick,my governor,worked for Ameriquest.He seems a simpleton to me and probably a quota hire,so I’m not sure of his culpability

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      You have turned sniping into a low art.

      • TFRX

        “Sniping” suggests some sort of targeting intention or ability, doesn’t it?

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          He follows the spray and pray approach.

          • TFRX

            That not sniping, that’s vest-bombing.

      • Modavations

        You guys are rascists and totalitarians and me and mine ,will battle you guys till you see your errant ways

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          Is there any point in asking you to support your assertions with facts or reasoning?

    • ulTRAX

      Another example of how others do all the name-calling?

  • Modavations

    They were holding hearings on Solyndra today.The main man had visited the White House 16 times.I think he refused to testify.I’d grab his passport toute de suite

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      Correction not 16 times probabaly 4 or 5

      • Modavations

        I stand by my #

  • Modavations

    After hearing the election results yesterday,the entire editorial board of the NYTimes was taken to Bellvue,where they remain on Thorazine drips.

  • Cory

    I propose a fund drive of On Point listeners and posters to pay Modavations to go away and never post here again.  Someone SO conservative and enamored of the free market can CERTAINLY be bought.  I will personally contribute $20 to get the ball rolling.  Any matches or other contributions out there?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Conservative doesn’t describe him.  Conservative would have told these banks that they were taking foolish risks.  Conservative would promote conservation, not waste.

      • Modavations

        I agree,but Barney Franfk and your side, made the banks give those mortgages.They threatened suits for “red lining”.They even sent union thugs to picket bankers, at their homes.When the banks failed,the Dem’s then called them irresponsible.Even worse ,the Dodd Frank Bill does nothing about Fannie and Freddie.Frank Raines and Jamie Gorelik walked with 100 mill.ish in commisions.They dragged Frankie back and confiscated 60mill.As punishment they let him keep 20mill.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          My side?  They aren’t acting in my interests or according to my wishes, and I didn’t vote for them.

        • TFRX

          “Gummint made them banks lend to shiftless poor people”?

          Not everyone swallows red herrings like you.

        • Dave in CT

          So he makes some points. If Dem or establishment liberals refuse to address those points, why should he bother attempting a rational conversation?

          That said, a bit more rational explanation of points, and less one-ner bluster, would add more value to our discussions.

          • ulTRAX

            When M starts to provide credible sources for his claims AND can be corrected when proven wrong, THEN we can call it a “rational conversation”.

          • Modavations

            David,these are marketing tools.I’m a salesman

          • Brett

            It was obvious; you didn’t have to tell us. We should be grateful that you sell stuff people don’t need instead of used cars! 

      • ulTRAX

        You’re thinking of old style fiscal conservatives. These days “conservatives” have adopted the fiscally irresponsible “starve the beast” philosophy.

        The amount of Orwellian Double Think required to delude themselves they are still fiscally conservative is off the scale.

        • TFRX

          Perhaps we need a word like “bankster” and “Christianist” to describe people who today are dedicated to the label “conservative” without its historical meaning.

    • Modavations

      Don’t flag me bro,don’t flag me

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        How about you make comments that are relevant and serious?

        • ulTRAX

          M’s too intelligent to be serious. After all, he went to the best colleges and doesn’t have to prove to us how smart he is! We’re to take him at his word.

          • nj

            Yet those colleges don’t seemed to have taught basic writing skills. I’d demand a partial tuition refund.

        • Anonymous

          Or if not serious, at least funny.  I love humor that is irreverant (and even extends to mean) but crap about Paul Krugman in his underwear is just silly without being funny. 

          • TFRX

            Yup. Good to know there are some “rule of funny” adherents around these parts.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Yup–but funny requires wit and attention.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Stephen Colbert he is not.

    • Anonymous

      Will I get a totebag?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Alas, paying off blackmailers only encourages them.

      • nj

        As does responding to them.

    • Anonymous

      I disagree.  Free speech allows us to keep track of what the fools among us are saying, which is helpful.  Now, trying to rationally discuss things with her is another thing.

    • Modavations

      Enact a country wide ,School voucher system and free your black chattel and you’ll never hear from me again.

      • Brett

        Okay…and just how much should the voucher be worth in helping a family pay for the tuition to private/out of jurisdiction school? 10%? Half the cost of schooling? The entire cost? $5,000 a year? $10,000 a year? What, pray tell, Mo-D? …I remember when certain Republicans were calling for a voucher system to help their ilk save some money on private education for their children and to support the faster erosion of public schools, back during the Bush Administration. 

        Really, a better idea would be to have large corporations help pay for schools…McDonald’s High, Monsanto Middle School, Enron Elementary, Coca-Cola Community College, etc. (Before you find yourself agreeing with me, Modavations, I’m being facetious!)

        P.S.-Cory, I’ll donate $50!  

        • Modavations

          I think we pay $13,000ish per student.I’ll take $8,000.00.

          • Brett

            It appears your reasoning for developing a voucher system for education is so you can get the government to cover some of the cost of sending your kids to private school…Not unexpected and typical of why neo-cons want a voucher system. 

    • ulTRAX

      We know that’s not going to happen. But since M seems to be a classic Troll begging for responses by making more and more idiotic statements, we can stop responding to him.

  • Modavations

    When Herr Krugman heard the election results ,he was seen running naked down the halls of the NYTimes.He had his underpants over his head and crashed into the door.He was taken away on a stretcher.I’ll report back when I hear more

    • TFRX

      Another post which says more about you than your target.

      Is this some sort of typing therapy which you’ve been assigned?

  • Modavations

    Pay no attention to Ms.Story.What do socialists know about economics

    • ulTRAX

      After the complete collapse of the economy following the Alan Greenspan philosphy of free markets and deregulation, isn’t the REAL question here… what do free market fanatics know about economics?

      • Dave in CT

        Is the irony that everyones favorite Free-marketer-to-blame, Alan Greenspan, was the head of the Federal Reserve, manipulating the currency, the highest level of non-free market manipulation there is, lost on everybody?

        That is how Alan Greenspan contributed to our collapse. His free money, and his abandoning of sound money principles he held in his younger, more free-market days.

        He throws a big red herring to protect his own Central Banker butt, when he blames the free market.

        News Flash:  The free market can’t handle free money!

        • ulTRAX

          What’s at issue here isn’t just what Greenspan did at the Fed, but the general philosophy of deregulation which permeated the late Clinton years and Bush Junta.

          I suspect the free market can’t handle not being regulated.

          • Dave in CT

            I’m going to keep following the empirical facts on the ground (what Greenspan did) over philosophies (What Greenspan may have thought), as I explore these issues.

          • ulTRAX

            In delving into the collapse of the economy of COURSE we have to go beyond what Greenspan “did”. And part of those empirical realities are what OTHERS DID… in deregulating the banks and commodity markets, permitting free trade, allowing investment banks to leverage upwards of 40% assets from about 12%… etc. To deny there was some free market philosophy behind all this madness is to sink to the same depths of self-delusion as the Orwellian Right exhibits today in not taking ANY responsibility for the collapse of the economy. But then, hey, I’m addressing this to one of those free market fanatics. Feel free to portray your own denial in any terms you believe provides you the illusion of intellectual integrity and makes it seem respectable.
             

          • Dave in CT

            What you describe did not occur in a free market based on sound money, circumscribed by the rule of law.  All sorts of central monetary manipulation and government interventions, logrolling, backscratching, nods, winks, blind eyes, that left us no alternative to participating in the scheme and suffer its consequences.

            Central Bankers/Wall St schemers/Fannie-Freddie/Willing legislators.  Couldn’t have happened without them. Once we figure out how to keep them from distorting or corrupting free markets, we might be free of this nightmare.

            Anti-trust, sound money, and harsh punishments for collusion.

          • ulTRAX

            So your implicit contention is that BEFORE we had government intervention in the “free market” with central bankers, Fannie-Freddie, and “willing legislators”… there was stability in the banking sector? ROTFHere’s my take on free market, and other self-justifying ideologies: http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/2006/05/road-hell-is-paved-with-true-believers.htmlFree market ideologues are like those who predict the Second Coming and are always wrong. The core assumptions are never reexamined, and there’s always some excuse for things not working out as predicted.

          • Modavations

            Might I suggest “regime”.Junta is too S.American

      • Modavations

        He is the culprit.He kept the interest rates too low,for too long.No one wanted to save or buy binds.That’s hardly Laissez-faire.The Gold Standard is Laissez faire.Another strike against Nixon.Isn’t Andrea Mitchell married to Greenspan

  • Dave in CT

    Modavations motivations aside, I would like to hear our Democratic party apologists talk about this Solyndra business, and how it speaks to government picking winners and losers, REGARDLESS OF THE GOOD INTENTIONS.

    The good intentions are useless if pragmatic, sustainable results don’t occur.

    It might make your conscience feel better in the short term, but when the debt collector comes, what will you do?  Pay him with notes of good intentions? Pretend he doesn’t exist? Shoot him?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      I think the job of government, in this case, is to support the development of new technologies and then let businesses run with them.

      • Dave in CT

        I understand that idea, but at some point, subsidizing a perpetual energy dream would bankrupt us. Not saying that necessarily about solar, but you get the idea.

        Also we have to be realistic about what level of support, R&D, academic research, whatever, we can actually AFFORD to give, relative to our real GDP (not our financial sector mirage GDP), regardless of our dreams.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          I suspect the needed funds are much less than a year’s worth of military adventurism.

          • Dave in CT

            Could well be.  What is odd, is that “leaders”, who purport to care about this stuff, don’t just come out and make that case. Loud and clear.

            Obama speaks out now, but really just with an appeal to do what he wants. Why won’t he use his pulpit to make a plain case to plain people about the numbers.

            Too beholden to both partisan political ideology and banking pals to really tell the plain truth we all thirst for.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Too true.  At this point, I can’t imagine voting Republican or Democrat.  Neither listens to us any more.

          • Steve T

            And that’s a fact!

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Over sixty years of BIG investments into Fusion energy.  It still remains 25 years into the future, as it did in ’50s!

      • Modavations

        Winners and losers,winners and losers.That’s not laissez faire.The market chooses the winners and loses.Look at the sucess of the Prius.

    • Modavations

      The road to hell is full of good intentions.Wait till the blacks figure out what you guys have done

  • Anonymous

    What I don’t understand, and have repeatedly asked the real bankers I know, is why they don’t use whatever political influence they have to absolutely forbid these speculators-gamblers from calling themselves “bankers”.  I suppose the answer is that the crooks have better lobbyists.

    • Modavations

      Glass Stegall is no mas

    • Dave in CT

      Talk to bigger bankers. The biggest bankers make their money off giving it to the speculators. They get their interest, we get the collateral damage.

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

    Speaking of leverage, while the Orwellian Right has rushed in to salvage their free market, deregulation lunacy form any culpability in the collapse of the Bush economy… blaming everyone BUT the GOP, here’s just another key piece of the puzzle they ignore.

    In 2004 Bush’s SEC revised the Net Capital Rule which was their primary tool to ensure that broker-dealers had adequate capital and sufficient liquidity. It applied to the major investment banks  Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley… effectively allowing them to leverage up to 40+% of their assets… up from about 12%.

    Yikes!!

    Like with Bush pushing his ownership society and bragging that Fannie Mae had a new program to make loans to people with poor credit, nah, these BUSH era policies didn’t anything to do with the collapse of Bear Stearns or Lehman Brothers… or the economy. It’s all Barney Frank’s or Jimmy Carter’s fault.     

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      The free market was made up of small businesses, according to Adam Smith.  Republicans are no more the devotees of Smith than are Democrats.

      • Dave in CT

        Exactly. Lets unite against Crony Capitalism.  I heard Stossel call it Crapitalism. Pretty true.

        From Perry’s Merck, to Obama’s Solyndra.

        • Modavations

          Don’t mention Fox News,the Farenheit 451 types get aroused

        • Anonymous

          What did Stossel have to say about lucrative no-bid private-sector war supply contractors that we then agree to use our military and National Guard to protect at risk of their death and our lifelong obligation to care for their wounded at taxpayer expense?

      • Modavations

        You confuse laissez faire with the Dem.model:crony capitalism.Us small business types ,want everyone to be affluent,so you’ll buy our products.(Note Kennedy’s rising oceans raise all boats).Adam Smith’s invisble hand will do all the needed redistribution.Just have anti monopoly laws.My side is the libertarian and we don’t see race and we arn’t busy body,do gooders

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          I’m a good deal Libertarian myself, so in this regard, we agree.  I just recognize that some problems require social solutions.  On those, I’m a Green.

          • Dave in CT

            Share the sentiment.  Conservation is the toughest nut to crack/swallow for me.

            http://www.ti.org/liberty.html

          • Modavations

            Google Patrick Moore,founder of Green Peace.There is a difference between being green and being a watermelon

        • CS024

          So would you say that the invisible hand of the market effectively allocates goods and services? 

          • Modavations

            Since Adam and Eve.

          • Anonymous

            The invisible hand made them leave the garden after they allocated resources contrary to the authoritarian government’s orders.

          • Modavations

            I scored ,because the first thing Eve said, was “I want a diamond”

          • Brett

            Whew, I was beginning to get worried…you hadn’t said anything chauvinistic/misogynistic all day! 

          • CS024

            Does this system of allocating goods and services have any connection to the famine in Africa, and growing poverty here at home?

          • Modavations

            It’s so predictable ,that the news agencies use the same film footage year after year.Oxfam and all that are a racket.It’s harsh,but these countries won’t do jack, until we stop bailing them out.

          • CS024

            That may be true, but it doesn’t answer the question i asked you.

        • Steve T

          and we arn’t busy body,do gooders

          maybe you should be.
          It would do me some good to see you go away.

          • Modavations

            I pay $30,000.00 a year in taxes and take care of a couple of Welfare types ,I used to score from in Manhattan

          • ulTRAX

            $30k in taxes? AND you went to one of the best colleges in New England?

            Sorry, M… the public record proves you’re again not being honest.  

    • Modavations

      Dude,how many times do I have to tell you Orwell was a man of the left

      • ulTRAX

        And how many times do I have to tell you what SHOULD BE OBVIOUS… that the term “Orwellian” has NOTHING to do with Orwell’s personal philosophy. It describes the dystopian worlds HE WRITES ABOUT.  Getting this yet Einstein?  Didn’t think so.

        • Anonymous

          What do expect from someone who thinks that the nazis were socialist just because they had the word in their party name.

          • ulTRAX

            In another post a few days ago M claimed fascist governments permitted private ownership of corporations only told them what to do.

      • ulTRAX

        So M, have anything to say about the topic THIS thread? Or are you just here to disrupt it with more off topic and idiotic comments?

        Don’t bother answering. We all know the answer.

        • Modavations

          I’m here to broaden one’s perspective.The problem with the left is they only talk amongst themselves.They hold hands,cooing and nod yes indeed,yes indeed.

          • ulTRAX

            You’re not broadening anyone’s perspective if you post claims that you don’t bother to prove and usually turn out to be distortions or just plain false. The last such instance was your claim making bankruptcy more difficult was a Democratic “scheme” even though it was OPPOSED by the majority of Dems in Congress and universally SUPPORTED by the GOP.

            Oh, I get it now…. you feel the rational or thoughtful here deserve to be balanced by a right wing buffoon.

          • nj

            He’s just a troll, Trax. Seen the pattern a hundred times. Discus ought to have a way to filter handles that are consistently not worth reading. I’m all for thoughtful disagreement, but that’s not what Moda-troll proffers. Responding just encourages more delusional, baseless prattle, but have at it if you must.

          • ulTRAX

            As  usual you’ve no idea WTFlake you’re babbling about. I’m usually in disagreement with most liberal Dems. In fact I consider Democrats the party of the walking braindead.

            Then there are my blog posts on my critique of Move On http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/2006_03_01_archive.html  I may have been responsible for it ultimately shutting down. I’ve also been tossed out of the Democratic Underground perhaps 5 times and perhaps the same in the Thom Hartmann forum.

            Yup… it’s been a real love fest… AGAIN proving you’ve no clue about most of what you “write”.  
             

      • Terry Tree Tree

        George Orwell tried Communism, and saw through it!  1984 is a warning of the problems in the communist system of the Soviet Union.
             Orwell was on the Left , then went center.

  • Dave in CT

    Its not about policing. That is after the fact. It is about a Federal Reserve/Treasury/Congress model which manipulates the money supply creating MALinvestment bubbles that are DESTINED to POP. The Wall Streeters and bankers get the first heads up, and position themselves to profit from the bubble growth.  Eventually the whole society is suckered in to the “Prosperity”. Then the music stops, Wall St./Banks again well in the loop and well positioned, and the POP…CRASH comes.  The wealth transfers rapidly, prices deflate, the moneyed elite buys up the assets dirt cheap.

    Repeat.

    This is our modern economic model. In its best light, maybe the leaders think it at least gives people a gambling chance to “get theirs” while the getting is good.  But its a real Ponzi scheme based on control of the money supply.

    Over time, all it does in enrich the Banking/Wall St cabal, and impoverish the vast majority.

    That is where “following the money” leads if you keep looking.

    So, IMO support political reformers who call a spade a spade and want to get to the core of the issue, not those who tacitly accept this centuries old scam, and try to buy your votes by bribing you with their share of the bubble money, in the form of entitlements, or tax cuts, whatever your flavor.

  • Rational

    Funny story. I was in my car listening to OnPoint after doing some account changes at BOA. Someone on this program was stating that BOA is not offering Credit Cards and the investment plans to get their leverage under control….

     No more than 10 minutes before that BOA was offering me credit cards and investment plans. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      probably you don’t make below the poverty line. BOA already victimized the poor and now they are running out of option who to lend money to.

      • Rationa

        They don’t consider my income. They look at my credit score. Which is very good because I never spent money I did not have. That’s all it is. I never paid a penny in CC interest, and never late.  Its a personal discipline, that most don’t care to follow.

        I have no cable TV, no fancy stuff, no vacations, etc.  Its called responsibility…. an aspect of adulthood that is lacking in America.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

          Credit score is useless nowadays. If I have 5 million dollars in the bank and my credit score is only 350. Do you think I will care about my score? I have the money to buy anything I want. Credit score or Credit reporting agencies are Bogus. BOA has bad credit score but they still got money from the tax payers and now the people who helped BOA are getting laid off. 30,000 of them. that’s all

          • Rational

            Credit scores are almost meaningless. A person with no income at all can have a perfect credit score, and a person with 10 million can have a really bad score. 

            The banks use this number as a measure of risk. Its really simple to have a high score and its really easy to lose it, by fate or stupidity. Its a meaningless number in the real world of humanity, but it means a great deal to the money lenders. I don’t make the rules…they do.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

            I heard you well. thanks man!!!

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

            I heard you well. thanks man!!!

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

          by the way, im glad to hear that you are not materialistic. god bless

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    Orwellian’s or Orwell’s whatever, can’t give us jobs. small business is the future of the American economy. Loans? get a loan from an Indian or chinese investors. they have the money to lend you with less interest and no foreclosure or Repo. Don’t pay them see you in small claims court.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    My friend was educated in the Philippines under a Mango tree and now he is a Surgeon in England. He paid only for college. high school and grade school was 75% free. He paid for college by collecting trash and sold tofu in the streets of Manila.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      In America you need BOA or banks to go to college and paying those banks will take you a life time or until you die.

      • Anonymous

        Student loan debt now exceeds consumer credit card debt in our country.  Much of it not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

        • Dave in CT

          If you spread Tangle-Trap on your diploma and hang it in your orchard, one can really cut down on apple maggot damage come harvest time. You can eat the apples.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

            but still doesn’t pay the student loans. it will stay forever while the maggot are getting bigger.

          • Dave in CT

            Living on wormy apples was the post-bankruptcy reality.

            Less loans, more apples, seriously.

            Less consuming, more producing.

            Less white collar sense of entitlement, more honest work.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

            I know but having a debt Free life in America is impossible. Americans who live with debt, will die with debt. sad to say but true.

          • Dave in CT

            yep, I was too quick to read above and remember you can’t even go bankrupt…

          • Dave in CT

            Best business model ever.

            Get the politicians help you to build a society in which you cannot survive and participate without taking on debt.

            Be the lender.

          • Modavations

            Not without the proper paper work.Honest to god,EPA has declared hay a pollutant

      • Modavations

        You can’t declare bankruptcy.Another Dem.scheme

        • ulTRAX

          As they say… put up or retract.

          Have a credible source making bankruptcy more difficult was a “democratic scheme”? Didn’t think so. It bill was passed in 2005 under a GOP House and Senate and ALL 25 “nay” vote in the Senate were Democrats… not ONE Republican voted against it. 

          http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=1&vote=00044 

          In the GOP House Democrats vote 125 nay to 73 while ALL the Republicans again voted FOR this bill.

          http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2005/roll108.xml

          In  M’s warped universe this absence of Democratic support is PROOF this bill is a democratic scheme. Perhaps there should be an IQ test to join this forum.

          • Modavations

            It goes something like this.On July 1,2010,the US Dept.of Education takes over the Student Loan business.Sort of Like Freddie holding your paper.The Dems. then go to the snitch line.If they don’t like your politics it’s “no loan for you”.Same thing will happen when the Death Panels are up and running.

          • Modavations

            Why are student loans quarenteed from bankruptcy,you ask?It’s because the default rates were astronomical

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            M, as you write your paranoid lunacy, please take a break and look in the mirror for a second. Is your mouth foaming? My guess is yes. Eyes bloodshot? Of course!

            Which makes me wonder whether anyone who reads and believes your ramblings should also be checked out by the CDC for a cross species jump of Mad Cow Disease. After all thought viruses for such irrationality don’t need actual human contact. It can be spread by the internet!
             

          • Modavations

            I have a close mate in London and here’s how it goes there.He needs an appendectomy and the Death Panel reads his dossier.They see he’s a Tory and when he wakes from aneasthesia(?),his joint has been sown to his forehead

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Death Panels of Insurance company CEOs here, have been killing people for over a hundred years!!  Denial of claim, claims of ‘existing conditions’, and any other trumped-up way!

          • ulTRAX

            THREE responses from M and in not one does he show the integrity t retract his false allegation even after being proven wrong with the actual congressional vote.

            Explain again M why you think you have something of value we all need to hear.

    • Modavations

      I’m sure his education was superior to the one that our plantation owners afford our poor

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

         His school was under a Mango tree for a year. school destroyed by a Typhoon. nothing to do with Mango plantation. FYI

        • Modavations

          All you need are competent teachers and parents that care.I learn new stuff daily

  • Adrian from RI

    I listen to shows like this and the ramblings of the guests and I read a sampling the commentaries and then I wonder. I wonder about how we desperately do not want to take notice of the rogue elephant in the china shop, namely, our law makers. The torrents of laws they unleash on us are not there to serve justice, are not there to protect my inalienable right to my life, liberty, and property and leave me alone to pursue my happiness. To the contrary, the ever bigger torrent of new laws, rules, and regulation poured over us annually serve, with few exceptions, only one purpose, namely, to legalize plunder in ever more ingenius ways.

    And then we wonder why some people actually comply with the laws and proceed to plunder us. Countrywide, Freddie, and Fannie were only too happy to comply with the intent of Congress and were praised for doing so.
     
    No improvement is possible until we chain the rogue elephant. Chain it down to our constitution.
     
    But instead of chaining down the rogue elephant congress unleashed another one. Our law makers have passed the 2300 page Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. These are Twintythreehundered pages of incomprehensible insanity to be multiplied by ten or a hundred by a host of new financial regulatory agencies. But worst of all, to put Christopher Dodd and Barney Frank in charge of our financial institutions is like putting the Godfather in charge of all police departments. We truly deserve what we got and there is no end in sight. Who is John Galt, indeed.

    • Dave in CT

      Until this dark side of well-intentioned manipulation (and that’s just the well intentioned!) is finally appreciated by the masses, we will just keep pouring fuel on the fire til we’re plum out of gas.

    • Modavations

      They’re going to crash the banks again(remember Tarp).Look up Paul Kanjorski.I keep $5000.00 down the basement

      • ulTRAX

        Hey Einstein… we all know you’re not the brightest bulb in the light store but this is a PUBLIC forum… and anyone can track down your real name because of all the info you provide.

        • Anonymous

          It is the liberal global warming conspirators fault for banning the bright bulbs. 

          • JustSayin

            Heavy metal under high voltage ionizing through a twisted tube. Now it makes sense.

          • Modavations

            Don’t drop one,the govt.in Maine suggests you call a Hazmat team for $2000.00

        • Modavations

          Dude,I’m not kidding.Google the ABC article

          • ulTRAX

            You truly are utterly clueless. I was talking about what you claim to have stashed in your shack.

    • ulTRAX

      A wrote: “No improvement is possible until we chain the rogue elephant. Chain it down to our constitution.”  I’d contend the Constitution IS the problem. It’s created a intellectually braindead two party system and because of all the anti-democratic features, it fails to create morally legitimate government. Rules in Congress amplify the anti-democratic nature of the Constitution by giving much too much power to individual Senators to thwart needed reforms. 

  • Ron Traver

    Great program. A question I wanted to ask but ran out of time driving to work: The old boring but dependable banking years were characterized by regulation combined with government guarantees. When we opened up the regulations to allow riskier investments but kept the guarantees, in fact doubled down on them, we created a recipe for disaster that is hard to completely blame on the “free market”. How much of that increased leverage that we blame for the disaster was funded by the increased FDIC guarantees? 

    • Sue.

      Great comment. It’s quite ironic that we are now going to “over-regulate” back to good banking which was conservative in terms of both capital held against risk as well as risk taken…can’t we just get back there in a simpler way?  If banks were not allowed to hedge the higher risk loans, they wouldn’t make them…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    You filed for Chapter 7 and after a month you will see credit card application again in the mail. Capitalism indeed. Elizabeth Taylor will explain everything soon.

    • Anonymous

      Will she be doing that via Shirley Maclaine?

  • Modavations

    Mr.Nj,the White House has set up a snitch line.Google AttackWatch.com..Honest to god,if you note someone harping against the Pres.,you can report him.I think the guys who devised Card Check might be involved

    • Rational

      I hereby snitch on the Tea Party. I think they may be a threat to the president.  

      • Modavations

        Go to the website and fill in the docs

    • Rational

      I hereby snitch on the Tea Party. I think they may be a threat to the president.  

    • Steve T

      Are you asking for someone to turn you in?

  • Modavations

    If I were Angela I’d make Greece put up the Parthenon as collateral.I’d remove it and stash it next to the Elgin Marbles.Europe is two weeks from falling apart

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      So you are a Tea Party follower that’s why you don’t make any sense.

      • Modavations

        Dude,I follow no one.I couldn’t care less about parties.I vote the man.

  • Modavations

    BLM just denied all the solar panel projects in the Mojave.Why you ask?A friggin Tortoise.One of the co.s got 1.6 billion in stimulaus money.l smell more Dem.malfeasance

  • Pierre Demers

    Banks will be falling off because they have too much money doing nothing because the economy is so bad. Unfortunately, they and all the rich people and conservsatives think that making money is all that is needed to keep the economy running. Money sitting in vaults don’t create any earnings therefore there is no business. The reason that the economy is so bad is not regulations, taxes, or debt, but it is the lack of the circulation of money which requires a good market place, which needs people with good paying jobs, for which big corporations, like Bank of America,  can’t pay there workers good wages because they pay all the big shots and high profile personalities humongous salaries and compensation for doing relatively nothing. Unfortunately, all these compensation packages are under contract and they continue to swallow up all the money earned by the new jobs being created. The waste hole hasn’t been closed. 
    Of course, paying wasteful high salaries to the rich are conservative values.

  • Sue

    Are banks utilities or profit makers?  Also, isn’t there a key question around what kind of loans a bank should make in terms of risk levels?  During the last downturn, a lot of high risk loans were made (and in some cases hedged to protect the bank)…and high risk loans will tend to default at a higher rate when the economy has a downturn…banks shold not be making bad loans and if they didn’t make bad loans their capital requirements wouldn’t need to be as high…to the point made by Louise…we need to decide where on the spectrum of overall risk taking a bank should be:  A utilitity (i.e. zero risk) or Google…clearly not either end of the spectrum, right?

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      Thank you for raising some important issues. Glass Steagall made banks into boring money utilities. But why do we even need for-profit banks to make mortgages, student, home improvement and car loans? Granted there are public and private credit unions, but why can’t a city or state create their own bank like in North Dakota? Why pay interest to bankers when we can pay it to ourselves?

    • nj

      Here’s a model for what banks should be:

      Bank of North Dakota

      The only state-owned bank in the country. One of the reasons why North Dakota isn’t sucking big wind the way most of the rest of the country currently is.

      Watch the reactionaries start screaming about “socialism” now.

  • Sue

    As to the job cuts. banks bloated up at the same pace as corporations and governement…the bloat will self correct…banks are not bad, they are part of the healthy financial system

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Are you one of the criminals, that masquerade as a banker?

  • twenty-niner

    Curious how fellow NPR listeners do on this:

    http://pewresearch.org/politicalquiz/quiz/index.php

    • Dave in CT

      10/11, obesity.

  • Garry

    “The best and the brightest” Louise? The people who created this situation were not very bright. Anyone who knows how to read could see that the mortgage crisis was completely avoidable. These people were both dumb and greedy. You can’t get away with being one of those two adjectives, much less both.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G6UDRZ4JHCUHQQTB2OPYFAEJHA Richard J

    The reporter from the illustrious New York Times says banks do better making money from loans in good times, and make less money from loans when times are bad.  How naïve can a reporter from the illustrious New York Times be?  That the banks were not depending on traditional lending was precisely at the origin of the financial meltdown.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Did they cut the ones that advised to, and decided to buy Country-wide?  Did they take back ALL monies these banksters got?
        Did they do the same for their people involved in Credit Default Swaps, Bundled Mortgages, and other frauds? 
        Or, did they reward those criminals, and cut the honest people from the staff?

  • Softdepression

    Of Banks and Banksters – The “turbulence” in the banking industry has nothing to do with BofA cutting $5 Billion and 30,000 over the next couple of years. 

    Once again, (N)ational (P)ropaganda (R)adio deflects our attention from the real story and act as a cleverly disguised apologist for a criminally corrupt industry.

    Oh please, dumb it down for us and tell us what this all means… as Tom Ashbrook reinforced, “It was their ‘Giganticism’”.

    Shame on “On Point” and its producers for spreading this pablum about the most significant financial crisis in our lifetimes.

    Here’s an abbreviated reading list to better inform yourself:

    Federal Regulators Sue Big Banks Over Mortgages

    Much of that money has been repaid by the banks — but the rescue of
    the
    mortgage giants Fannie and Freddie has already cost taxpayers $153
    billion, and the federal government estimates the effort could cost
    $363 billion through 2013…

    Buried in the filings themselves, however, is a damning portrait of the
    excesses of the housing bubble, when borrowers were able to obtain home
    loans without basic proof of income or creditworthiness, and banks
    appeared only too happy to mine profits taking the risky loans and
    assembling them into securities that could be sold to investors.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/03/business/bank-suits-over-mortgages-are-filed.html

    Matt Stoller: Memo to Reporters – How to Cover the 50 State Attorney General Foreclosure Settlement Talks

    “Doesn’t it seems like we’ve been on the verge of a 50 state Attorney
    General settlement with the banks over robo-signing and mortgage
    securitization liability for nine months? It does, doesn’t it? Why is
    that? Maybe it’s because… that’s what journalists keep writing.”

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/08/matt-stoller-memo-to-reporters-%E2%80%93-how-to-cover-the-50-state-attorney-general-foreclosure-settlement-talks.html

    Foreclosure Talks Snag on Bank Liability

    Federal and state officials are seeking penalties of $20 billion to
    $25 billion from Bank of America Corp., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and
    other financial firms under investigation since last fall. The banks
    are pushing hard for a deal, but they have insisted on a wide-ranging
    legal release from state attorneys general.

    “They wanted to be released from everything, including original sin,” said a U.S. official involved in the …

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904070604576521282894534152.html

    Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 Trillion in Fed’s Secret Loans

    “Why in hell does the Federal Reserve seem to be able to
    find the way to help these entities that are gigantic?” U.S.
    Representative Walter B. Jones, a Republican from North
    Carolina, said at a June 1 congressional hearing in Washington
    on Fed lending disclosure. “They get help when the average
    businessperson down in eastern North Carolina, and probably
    across America, they can’t even go to a bank they’ve been
    banking with for 15 or 20 years and get a loan.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-21/wall-street-aristocracy-got-1-2-trillion-in-fed-s-secret-loans.html

    Audit: Fed gave $16 trillion in emergency loans

    “The U.S. Federal Reserve gave out $16.1 trillion in emergency loans to
    U.S. and foreign financial institutions between Dec. 1, 2007 and July
    21, 2010, according to figures produced by the government’s first-ever
    audit of the central bank.

    Last year, the gross domestic product of the entire U.S.
    economy was $14.5 trillion.

    Of
    the $16.1 trillion loaned out, $3.08 trillion went to financial
    institutions in the U.K., Germany, Switzerland, France and Belgium, the
    Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) analysis shows…

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/07/21/audit-fed-gave-16-trillion-in-emergency-loans

  • randy tray

    Why not re-enact the Glass–Steagall Act? 

    • ulTRAX

      After the Bush economy imploded, the Democrats had control of all three branches of government. Yet even though heads should have rolled with thousands going to jail… the Democrats  REFUSED to bring justice to the perps nor any sense of closure to the public. Nor could they even bring back this common sense banking reform.  Shame!

  • Thelaststraw

    After 12 attempts in 25 years, Congress finally repeals Glass-Steagall, rewarding financial companies for more than 20 years and $300 million worth of lobbying efforts. Supporters hail the change as the long-overdue demise of a Depression-era relic.

    On Oct. 21, with the House-Senate conference committee deadlocked after marathon negotiations, the main sticking point is partisan bickering over the bill’s effect on the Community Reinvestment Act, which sets rules for lending to poor communities. Sandy Weill calls President Clinton in the evening to try to break the deadlock after Senator Phil Gramm, chairman of the Banking Committee, warned Citigroup lobbyist Roger Levy that Weill has to get White House moving on the bill or he would shut down the House-Senate conference. Serious negotiations resume, and a deal is announced at 2:45 a.m. on Oct. 22. Whether Weill made any difference in precipitating a deal is unclear.

    On Oct. 22, Weill and John Reed issue a statement congratulating Congress and President Clinton, including 19 administration officials and lawmakers by name. The House and Senate approve a final version of the bill on Nov. 4, and Clinton signs it into law later that month.

    Just days after the administration (including the Treasury Department) agrees to support the repeal, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, the former co-chairman of a major Wall Street investment bank, Goldman Sachs, raises eyebrows by accepting a top job at Citigroup as Weill’s chief lieutenant. The previous year, Weill had called Secretary Rubin to give him advance notice of the upcoming merger announcement. When Weill told Rubin he had some important news, the secretary reportedly quipped, “You’re buying the government?”

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/wallstreet/weill/demise.html

  • Dave in CT

    and we continue to bail out Europe….

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/16/business/global/borrowing-costs-stubbornly-high-at-spanish-auction.html

    “European Central Bank said it would allow banks to borrow dollars for up to three months, instead of just for one week as before. The E.C.B. said it was acting jointly with the Federal Reserve of the United States, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan and the Swiss National Bank.”

    Did you vote on that? Did your representative?

    Who do these international bankers think they are?

    Oh yeah, In Charge.

  • Dave in CT

    Paul and Nader back in 08, worth remembering….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcVkbPfXs1k&feature=related

    • Sadbuttrue

      Worth remembering, yes but…

      Unfortunately, Ralph Nader has been marginalized since 2000. 

      Too bad, Ron Paul is just being used like Nader as a possible choice in this and the last election.

      And Dennis Kucinich has been co-opted since March 2010 when he took a ride in Air Force One. 

      Ralph sometimes tells the story of sitting around the kitchen table with his Dad and saying, “What this country needs is a three-party system!” His Dad replies, “I’d settle for a two-party system.” 

      Even if there was a chance for an outsider-candidate to win, the election would be easily rigged – think Florida and Ohio.

      Anyway, just in case, that’s why the system of the ‘electoral college’ was put into place by the Committee of Eleven (see Connecticut Compromise and Three-Fifths Compromise) in the Constitution by our early rebel-land owning, ruling elites – I mean, forefathers.

      No disrespect Dave, that’s just how it’s been set up from the very beginning.

         

      • Dave in CT

        That all very well may be, but there is no way if enough people tuned into reality and demanded folks like them and their message as leaders, it could happen.

        The Tea Party, for better or worse, is real, and is being consequential.

        If all other concerned individuals could out from under their establishment party and media overlord dogma and think a bit more independently, there is no reason we couldn’t have a Tea Party 2.0

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