B of A Getting More Bailout? Say It Ain’t So

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This is an outrage…Bank of  America, one of the richest, if not the richest bank in the U.S., is getting MORE  bailout money. What did they do with the first $25 billion, you may ask?

Well, how about this…According to ZP Heller of Brave New Films, the bank took $7  billion and bought an overseas bank. Yes, you heard that right. Then, another $10 million went to D.C. lobbyists.  The grease they bought with that wad of taxpayers’ money is appatently working because the bank is set to receive another $25 billion in the second installment of TARP.

Further, again according to Heller, the bank employs 247,000 people, but won’t pay for their healthcare, so $50 million in public funds goes there. Then, the company announced plans to lay off 35,000 workers, a huge number, over the next three years. Meanwhile, the executives are still flying around in the nine, count’em nine, corporate jets owned by the company and worth an estimated $200 million.

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Bank of America, you may recall,  also recently acquired  Countrywide, now commonly agreed to have almost single-handedly engineered the subprime crisis. Working with borrowers who have sub-prime loans is no picnic, I can assure you.  Countrywide under B of A  is as hard-nosed as they come. I don’t know who the 35,000 employees are they intend to lay off, but they better not be in the Loss Mitigation Department because those people are already overwhelmed and buried in paperwork and procedures.

Apparently, the new billions that the Feds are determined to give B of A have partly to do with its acquisition of Merrill Lynch. Due to the “mark to market” accounting system put in after the Enrom scandal, which is on the whole a good thing, B of A is getting a terrific deal, but still wants taxpayers to facilitate its takeover of one of the nation’s formerly prime brokerage firms. Additionally, it’s been reported that Peter Kraus,  when hired at  Merrill Lynch, insisted that his contract contain a clause specifying that he would receive a pay out of $25 million should the company be sold or acquired during his tenure.  Almost minutes later, Merrill  CEO John Thain sold the company to B of A to avoid the fate of Lehman Brothers. Gee, I wonder who’s footing that bill? Subprime borrower? Too bad for you…Peter Kraus is getting $25 million–for running his company into the ground, mind you, and you, troubled taxpayer, you can get out of your house!

It’s an outrage that B of A get more bailout money while it’s treating customers and employees alike with disdain. It’s time we all insisted that B of A use OUR money to make itself a better corporate citizen. Specifically,

Tell Bank of America: Help Your Workers or Give Back the Bailout

Work towards a real economic recovery and provide health care for its 247,000 workers—or GIVE THE MONEY BACK. Bank of America should also:

  • Keep over 12,000 troubled borrowers in their homes with executive bonus money
  • End the practice of unilaterally changing credit cardholder agreements.
  • Sign new leases with renters who live in buildings that are being foreclosed upon
  • Commit to providing affordable healthcare to all of its employees and their dependents.
  • Strictly enforce whistleblower protections to workers who report bank fraud and predatory practices

And, just another note. It’s Obama who is asking Congress, indeed pressing Congress and even threatening a veto if his wishes are not followed,  to loosen the purse strings on this second $350 billion of TARP funds.  It really makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Is this pay back for all the help he got from the financial sector during his election campaign?

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