We’re Still Waiting, Mr. President

Where’s my justice, Mr. President? Two years ago in your State of the Union address you promised to crack down on the banksters who created the financial crisis and played games with mortgage holders.

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I’ve been searching, but I can’t find any mention of any actions taken by your financial crimes unit, which turned out not to be a new organization but instead a division of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which already wasn’t doing much. (Oh, and tough-talking NY AG Eric Schneiderman turned out not to be THE leader of the unit but one of a group. Because group leadership is always so efficient at getting things done.)

Have you, yet again, promised a program that sounded good in a speech but was never meant to do a darn thing for the average American? Well, Mr. President, I for one won’t ever again hold out even a teeny bit of hope that you or your administration intends to bring any of the banksters to justice.

Meanwhile, Schneiderman is back to focusing on his own state trying to right some wrongs in the financial sector. Do those of us lied to and cheated by our banks have to move to New York to get some justice, Mr. President?

Where’s Mr. Smith When You Need Him?

Watching an old favorite on TV this evening made me think how much we need a few honorable men and women like this in Washington to get the country back on a decent track.

I had forgotten the plot — an honest Senator fighting to keep a rich businessman from buying votes to create a dam project that would enrich him while cheating the rest of the citizens.

The people of my state need permanent relief from crooked men riding their backs. ~Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart)

The Only People Banks Abuse More Than Their Customers Are Their Employees

A company in the service industry that browbeats employees to using high-pressure tactics to sell things customers don’t need or want. Does this sound like the kind of company you want to do business with? No way!

“Wells Fargo & Co. is the nation’s leader in selling add-on services to its customers. The giant San Francisco bank brags in earnings reports of its prowess in “cross-selling” financial products such as checking and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages and wealth management. In addition to generating fees and profits, those services keep customers tied to the bank and less likely to jump to competitors.

“But that success has come at a cost. The relentless pressure to sell has battered employee morale and led to ethical breaches, customer complaints and labor lawsuits, a Times investigation has found.

“To meet quotas, employees have opened unneeded accounts for customers, ordered credit cards without customers’ permission and forged client signatures on paperwork. Some employees begged family members to open ghost accounts.

“These conclusions emerge from a review of internal bank documents and court records, and from interviews with 28 former and seven current Wells Fargo employees who worked at bank branches in nine states, including California.”
~ Wells Fargo’s pressure-cooker sales culture comes at a cost, an investigative report by the Los Angeles Times

Don’t imagine the very same things go on at Chase, Bank of America, Citi and the rest. Why support companies that abuse both clients and employees to feed executives hunger for big bonuses? Keep your money in your community by support local or regional banks and responsible credit unions. It’s that simple. Don’t give the big banks your money and eventually they’ll shrivel up and die a death of their own making.