I was in Prescott, Arizona , watching on a hotel TV the Wells-Fargo chairman -of-the-board , or whomever he is , sitting before Congress . Wells-Fargo Bank has been defrauding their customers , evidently , for several years by opening accounts never requested and charging fees for services never requested . Bank policy was to pressure low level employees in bank branches to bring their new account numbers , etc. , up . Corporate quotas pushed some employees to break the law , and about 5000 of those people were fired over a period of years.

One point brought up in the Congressional hearings was that this illegal activity had gone on year after year after year . Employees were fired each year for this illegal activity but the quotas and  “culture” that had pressured them to do that was never changed , year by year by year .

Then it all was exposed by the L.A Times and hit the national airwaves .

The chairman then , evidently , apologized for ripping off customers year after year after year after year and promised to make things right .

A Congressman from New England held up a picture of a man who had robbed a bank , got caught , whose bail was set  , I think ,at  $ 170,000  , and who stood a good chance of being sentenced to prison for a long long time . The money had been returned , and this robber had apologized , too .   ” What makes you different from this man ? ” the Congressman asked the bank executive . I thought that it was a  good question .marcus hanna

Anyway , I was watching some of this on a TV in a hotel room  . It got me thinking , later , of my bank experiences . They’re not up on the realm of the Wells -Fargo stuff . I have never had an account with Wells-Fargo . If I had I might be one of those victims , ripped off , because I’m not good at checking details in bank statements . I might have even seen an odd 25 dollar charge on my statement , wondered what it was all about , and then just forgotten about it . I’ll write about my bank traumas in a future post .

This bank chairman was required by the Wells -Fargo Bank board , after all of this made such bad publicity nationally for the bank , to “return”  forty-one million dollars of his pay this year . That , I must say , has never happened to me . I’d be in a bit of a financial bind if it did . The  $41,000,000 makes up about one forth of this guy’s yearly pay . I don’t know how he’ll get by this year on only , maybe , $ 120 million in his pay package . Life is tough all around and prices are going up at the supermarket .

I wish that the reporters would re-investigate this a few months from now . I suspect they’d find that this  $41,000,000 amount would have been somehow reimbursed , quietly , and hidden in this guy’s mattress or under the floorboards of his outhouse .

Will he do jail time ? I’ll make a bet with you  right now . Let’s say we bet $100,000,000 . ( That way you’ll still be able to have $20 million or so to live on . I have a heart , after all ! )  I say he does no jail time . None .

Oh , there will be investigations , of course . All the cogs will be cogging , as now all of the Senate and House of Representative members are sputtering for the cameras , and in the end this guy will , at most , get a hefty fine and maybe even some kind of probation . Hopefully some of the Wells Fargo Board of Directors will get the same awful treatment . Maybe some of them , as a result , will have to sell one of their houses or cut next year’s vacation short . Who knows . They should certainly check with their accountant firms and their tax lawyers .  (I see big write-offs in their futures .)free lunch drawing

Ah  , but I am just  whining . Sour grapes ? No . Negative . Just a bubbling up of my inner cynicism .








Filed under humor

4 responses to “banks

  1. They’re probably opening accounts in your name right now, Dan. The guy said that he tried to do the right thing, but that mistakes were made.

    I’m not taking that bet, I don’t think he will see the inside of a cell.

    • He tried to do the right thing , but the smell of money got in the way . As Trump might say : ” That’s called business ” . The mistake was they didn’t cover their tracks well enough . ( I told you : cynicism ! ) So , you won’t take the bet ! Damn.

  2. After working as a plumber for 20 years, my dad took over the Building Trades Credit Union. A job that no one wanted. He spent the next 20 years as president.

    One day needing a ride, I was forced to sit through a meeting of the loan committee. It went like this.

    “So Charlie Dumphy wants to buy a new chevy wagon?”


    “My station wagon is six years old, who does Charlie think he is?”

    “He’s a good guy.”

    “So what makes him so special?”

    “He drove the old one into the ground. Couldn’t even trade it in, it was rusted so bad. Besides, he’s retiring in a few years and probably will never be able to buy a new car again.”

    “I suppose….”

    “So let’s vote on it.”


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