New Orleans When there is actual truth told about banks and bankers that may not mean anything will change, but at least it’s a good way to start the day. On the way to battle the Sioux warriors used to say, “this is a good day to die!” In the battle for banking accountability, this is a good day to die!
Here is what we have for our morning trifecta:
- Bank of America had to pay another $8.5 billion for misleading investors about mortgage portfolio issues springing from their Countrywide purchase. Estimates now best $30 billion dollars for the real costs of Bank of America’s $4 billion dollar purchase of Countrywide, which might compete on the list now for the most expensive “bargain” deal in banking ever. On this one we can easily say, “we told you so” to every B of A executive who asked us whether the purchase was wise, but they really didn’t want advice, they wanted unemployment checks, I suppose.
- Jamie Dimon, the arrogant and avaricious CEO of JP Morgan Chase, was zinged hard for hypocrisy of collosal proportions and called a “one of the great welfare queens in America” by Jesse Eisinger of ProPublica in the DealBook section of the New York Times. I love the rich irony that ProPublica is funded extravagantly by Herb and Marion Sandler, who are no strangers to the banking and mortgage game. Eisinger nails Dimon and the rest of the banking industry for the bigger-than-oil-company-and-farmers subsidies that include federal guarantees on deposits, interest premiums on the Federal Reserve lending window, not forcing banks to write down their portfolio to true value, and implicitly guaranteeing their derivative business. The new slogan of all government, including the Obama Administration, has been “billions for banks,” so this is just the fine print on banking bull.
- And, today was the day that the Federal Reserve finally implemented the Dodd-Frank provision and cut the ridiculous fees they were collecting, essentially for nothing much from retailers when consumers used debit cards for a purchase.
Now, if there could just be some real progress on regulating bank ripoffs on foreclosures and remittance fees, it would have been a historic day, but a little truth in banking is a good start for a change.