Scandal-ridden Wells Fargo wants less regulation – Dec. 6, 2016

Finally! I wondered how far back the rules would allow us to go to grab nominees for this year’s Globby Award. The story about how Wells Fargo bilked millions… yes, millions… of customers with bogus fees for new accounts seemed like stale old news. But you can’t keep a good corporation down when it comes to unethical or in Wells Fargo’s case, fraudulent behavior.

Just three months ago, regulators slapped Wells Fargo with $185 million in fines for the opening of millions of fake accounts. And now, with the soon-to-be-disastrous policies of the Trump administration, this paragon of financial virtue is lending its powerful voice to relax a Fed rule introduced last year aimed at preventing a repeat of the 2008 Great Meltdown.

I mean the President-Elect bragged about making money during that meltdown. How bad could that have been? There’s nothing like a bit of BigCorp creative destruction and BigGov moral hazard to fuel a profit feeding frenzy is there? So why not lay the foundation for another one? It would be ‘Fun – Part Two’.

From CNN Money:

Wells Fargo is the poster child for misbehaving banks these days. But it’s already pushing the incoming Trump administration for less scrutiny on the industry.

Source: Scandal-ridden Wells Fargo wants less regulation – Dec. 6, 2016Tim Sloan, who became CEO after a firestorm of criticism forced previous boss John Stumpf to retire abruptly, spoke at length on Tuesday at an industry conference about the laundry list of regulations he’d like to ditch.

Asked for “one or two” regulatory changes President-elect Donald Trump should focus on, Sloan said he could go on for over an hour on the topic.

“I know what we needed to get through the last downturn, which was pretty severe,” Sloan said.

Not only was Wells Fargo able to survive, Sloan noted the bank also acquired Wachovia in 2008 for $15.4 billion “without a significant amount of capital.”

Sloan did not mention the serious injection of government money Wells Fargo received that year or that Wachovia was available at a firesale in the midst of a financial crisis. The bank, under pressure from regulators, accepted $25 billion in TARP bailout funds in 2008. Wells Fargo was the last of the big banks to reach a deal to return the bailout funds in late 2009.

It’s not just a BigCorp’s attitude that counts. It’s all about performance. It’s about putting someone else’s money where your mouth is. For Wells Fargo, they did it during the 2008 Great Meltdown. They did it again last year by opening bogus accounts to collect fees from their customers. And they want the chance to do it all again.

All I can say is, “Bravo! Encore maestro!”

So I proudly add Wells Fargo to the list of nominees for the 2017 Globby Award. Bellisimo!

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