This week we were treated to insight into extensive banking corruption as Wells Fargo fired thousands of employees for creating fictional client accounts and moving client money into such accounts, without permission. The so-called “cross-selling” and opening of as many as 2,000,000 such accounts, some for non-existing clients, has resulted in the terminations of 5,300 employees — lower level employees, that is. The CEO and other senior executives? . . . . Bonused!
How’s this for denial: “There was no incentive to do bad things.”
Those were the actual words of Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf. No falling on his sword for this guy, . . . it’s the employees’ fault all 5,300 of them. To give you a sense of how insignificant a slap on wrist Wells Fargo endured at the hands of its bought-and-paid-for regulators, it paid a $185 million fine, having paid Carrie Tolstedt, the executive running the at-fault division, $124.6 million in severance pay in July. The fine is in effect no more than ‘crumbs’ relative to the $12 billion that division brought in during the second quarter.
The self-serving, deceptive culture that is permeating the mega-banks is frightening, but not more so than the mirroring narcissistic leadership in the Nation’s capital. This self-serving and deceptive leadership, which the too-big-to-fails have engendered in the White House and elsewhere in Congress, continues to feed its addiction to cheap money. It has exploded its “assets” into the tens of trillions of dollars, just as the Nation’s debt touches $20 trillion.
The culture of wealth addiction was made so much worse when banking and investment houses, as well as control of The Fed, were agglomerated under the sovereignty of a very few, and the whole was provided unrestrained access to taxpayer pockets — taxpayer-subsidized debt and deposits. Presidents could be bought, and Congressmen who couldn’t be bought could be made to cower in fear. We live in an age of financial “open-season” on the 99%er, the consumer, the average taxpayer.
As many of you know, there is a statute of limitation on bank fraud that affects financial institutions. The statute is 10 years. 2017 will mark the end of a decade since the putative criminal activities took place bringing about the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Senior bankers want a compliant Presidency to extend their protection beyond the time limited statute. It is time for pushback against this compliance.
Yes, many Americans who have made millions have earned them. They may have been lucky, but they earned them. Others, and too many in the banking industry it seems, have not earned them through innovation, or hard work, they earned them through deception, manipulation of the political system and exploitation of the banking system.
Retired Fed Chief Greenspan, now 90 years old and perhaps feeling that he’s too old to continue feeding nothing but crap to the masses, made a peculiar admission this week. “It is the worst economic and political environment that I’ve ever been remotely related to. We’re not in a stable equilibrium,” he said. “I hope we can all find a way out because this is too great a country to be undermined, by how should I say it, crazies.”
The very fact that he called it the worst economic and political environment, suggests he is pointing the finger directly at the people who brought this insanity upon us — this Administration, this Congress, and the too-big-to-fails who bought them.
Greenspan complained about government expenditures, “Increased government spending on social security and healthcare are crowding out private investment and leading to slower economic growth” . . . again, who has been responsible? Who is he pointing at? This Administration, this Congress, and the too-big-to-fails who bought them.
It is high time the “fly-over” population said, “ENOUGH”.