Bank of America’s latest assault on American taxpayers

October 22, 2011 | By | 1 Reply More

At Common Dreams, former bank examiner Bill Black has written of a terrible (though anticipated) new development at the Bank of America. The bank has taken on enormous toxic debt from its holding company (BAC) in order to saddle American taxpayers with the bill, as the Federal Reserve winks and nods.

BAC continues to deteriorate and the credit rating agencies have been downgrading it because of its bad assets, particularly its derivatives. BAC’s answer is to “transfer” the bad derivatives to the insured bank – transforming (ala Ireland) a private debt into a public debt.

Bloomberg has been aggressively reporting the story. Here’s a short description by Jonathan Weil:

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is objecting to the transfers. That part is easy to understand: More risk for the retail lender means more risk for FDIC-insured deposits, which ultimately are backstopped by the U.S. government. The Fed, however, has signaled to the FDIC that it favors the transfers. Shifting the derivatives to the commercial lender may let Bank of America avoid collateral calls and termination fees stemming from the rating downgrade. Some Merrill clients may prefer having their contracts with the higher-rated unit. In short, the Fed’s priorities seem to lie with protecting the bank-holding company from losses at Merrill, even if that means greater risks for the FDIC’s insurance fund. . . . The entire story would be playing out in secret were it not for some unidentified whistleblowers who seem to have this crazy idea that the public should be informed about what the regulators and Bank of America are up to.

In his article, Weil makes it clear that all roads lead to American taxpayers picking of the tab, and it could run into the trillions. In fact, check the comments to Weil’s article and you’ll see the desperation, because the number being suggested is $75 TRILLION in derivatives, which Ben Bernacke has approved to be dumped on taxpayers, who don’t have this money in any way shape or form (the U.S. only takes in $2 trillion in tax receipts each year). Thus, the Fed, a covey of criminal bankers, is in the process of attempting to destroy the FDIC and the American economic system in order to buy a bit more time for its big players (BAC is not alone; Morgan Chase is holding another $75 T in these fraudulent derivatives). What are “derivatives,” the source of this immense debt? Bloomberg’s Bob Ivry explains derivatives in his article that broke this scandalous decision to move Merrill derivatives to BAC’s taxpayer insured banking unit:

Derivatives are financial instruments used to hedge risks or for speculation. They’re derived from stocks, bonds, loans, currencies and commodities, or linked to specific events such as changes in the weather or interest rates. Keeping such deals separate from FDIC-insured savings has been a cornerstone of U.S. regulation for decades, including last year’s Dodd-Frank overhaul of Wall Street regulation.

In these times, as the credit ratings of the big banks continue to slide, the objectives of the banks is always the same, but more intense than ever: Privatize the profit and socialize the losses.   The so-called banks have armies of corrupt accountants, lawyers and lobbyists working hard to find yet another way to make innocent taxpayers foot the bill for the the banks’ immense amounts of debt that resulted from irresponsible gambling.  As William Black explains, the banks happily took on this gambling debt sharply, but now they want to dump in on people like you and me.  The Fed has given the nod because it is wholly corrupt in this adventure, contrary to the protests of the FDIC.  The bank management is giving the nod sharply contrary to fiduciary duties they owe to their shareholders and customers. This entire charade needs to be reported on the front page of every paper in America.  If Americans were better informed about the depth and scope of how they are being fleeced, we’d see hundreds of millions of Americans joining the #Occupy protests.


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Category: Corporatocracy, Corruption, Economy, hypocrisy, Media, Orwellian, Protests and Actions, Whistle-blowers

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Matt Taibbi’s comment on this development:

    “Again and again, the Fed proves it has no appetite for allowing Wall Street to eat its own pain, and continually encourages banks to stick the government with its losses and bad assets. This move will allow Bank of America to keep a Band-Aid over its disastrous financial situation far longer than it would be able to in a genuinely free market. People should be outraged at this development.”

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