Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine wrote a scathing piece for the OWS movement about widespread illegal practices committed by Bank of America, and how all of us, particularly the U.S. government, have been facilitators in B 0f A’s larceny. Taibbi is a very knowledgeable, smart reporter on economic issues, and his piece stirred in me one of those Howard Beale moments when I wanted to yell, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
There are two things every American needs to know about Bank of America.
The first is that it’s corrupt. This bank has systematically defrauded almost everyone with whom it has a significant business relationship, cheating investors, insurers, homeowners, shareholders, depositors, and the state. It is a giant, raging hurricane of theft and fraud, spinning its way through America and leaving a massive trail of wiped-out retirees and foreclosed-upon families in its wake.
The second is that all of us, as taxpayers, are keeping that hurricane raging. Bank of America is not just a private company that systematically steals from American citizens: it’s a de facto ward of the state that depends heavily upon public support to stay in business. In fact, without the continued generosity of us taxpayers, and the extraordinary indulgence of our regulators and elected officials, this company long ago would have been swallowed up by scandal, mismanagement, prosecution and litigation, and gone out of business. It would have been liquidated and its component parts sold off, perhaps into a series of smaller regional businesses that would have more respect for the law, and be more responsive to their customers.