Thursday, March 02, 2017

"Wells Fargo Withholds Top-Level Bonuses" by Emily Glazer and Austen Hufford

In today's (3/2/17) Wall Street Journal, Emily Glazer and Austen Hufford describe how the board of directors of Wells Fargo has stripped 8 top execs of bonuses tied to the fake account creation scam. That is certainly a step in the right direction. What the Wells Fargo board and investigative reporters need to look into, though, are the scams that Wells Fargo ran on borrowers who had defaulted on their mortgages during the subprime mortgage fiasco. This included hiding behind  "holder in due course" doctrine though WF (or at least some persons employed by WF) knew the bank was buying tainted paper and colluding with the lawyers of mortgage defaulters to induce their clients to settle deficiency suits when it best suited WF execs. (When anything is collected on debts previously written off as bad the funds go right to the bottom line.) Finding sufficient evidence would take some digging, and will probably require a whistle blower, but the story would be worth a Pulitzer or at least a Peabody.

UPDATE: The WSJ reported today (4/6/17) that Wells Fargo did indeed screw over additional groups of customers, including credit card holders. Reporters who keep pushing will be rewarded! So, too, will regulators. The big evil bank's transactions going back to the subprime crisis -- ALL OF THEM -- need to be scrutinized. If the bank dies in the process, so be it. There are PLENTY OF CREDIT UNIONS that will be happy to hold deposits, etc. safely and ETHICALLY for former WF customers.

UPDATE 2: The WSJ reported today (4/11/17) that the "clawbacks" on executive compensation were being increased at the top level. A 113-page report essentially blames the former CEO for the bank's unethical practices. This is a flawed narrative! WF has been "evil" since at least 2000. They are throwing Stumpf under the bus (as they well should) not for justice but to try to minimize the damage by limiting wrongdoing to the reign of the most recent CEO. The FEDERAL RESERVE and FDIC need to investigate Wells Fargo's activities carefully, all of its activities, going back to Kovacevich if not Hazen.

See Genealogy of American Finance for background!!!!

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