The Great 2020 Bailout Bonanza

The Great 2020 Bailout Bonanza by David Haggith for The Great Recession

Let us speak of megabanks and global corporations, chicanery and swine, and speak of how the great have feasted in the troughs of trillions dumped out by the present administration, congress, and the Fed, for 2020 makes the bailouts of the Great Recession look like childhood snacks.

Fargo banksters fail to forego illicit gains

Our story for the year begins back in January, well before the COVIDcrisis hit. It is not a tale of bank bailouts but of banksters getting “Get out of Jail Free” cards just as an aproposstarting point.

It took four years from the time when Wells Fargo execs were “arrested,” so to speak, for creating (of all things in this era of fake everything) fake bank accounts at the end of the Obama administration — four years until penalties were meted out. Eight senior executives were cuffed to $59 million in penalties. John Stumpf, former CEO, took a $17.5 million whack on the hand from the hand of justice.

You may recall the crime: bank employees had been pushed to create millions of fake accounts in the names of Wells Fargo customers without the customers knowing. The bank, itself, paid billions in fines from bank money, but the crime instigators paid only millions. Now, you might say, $59 mil is a lot of dough, even divided eight ways, but if you weigh Stumpf’s portions against his gains, as an example, he made off quite well.

Ordered to get out of Dodge, Stumpf was set to exit into early retirement with $130 million that he had amassed in stocks, cash payouts and other compensation over the course of three decades of bank fraud. $107 million of that was in the form of bank shares he had accumulated.

Of course, his fraudulent government of the bank had diminished his share value from an earlier high of $200 million, so he did take a hit from natural causes. National outrage also pressed him to forego $45 million of the $130 million that would have been his retirement take. More outrage stripped another $28 million from Stumpf’s parting package before he got his butt safe out the doors of justice. He still exited with more than $50 million in retirement parting value.

Senator Elizabeth Warren tried somewhat unsuccessfully to press Stumpf to repay every dime he had ever made from his years of running the crime operation called “Wells Fargo.”

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David Haggith

Knave Dave — vigilante against the false profits of The Great Recession Too many criminal CEOs still fill their porky bellies with the biggest taxpayer bailouts in the history of the world. These bailouts protect their reputations, saving them from the fall they should have taken. They continue to receive bonuses for having done an unparalleled job of destroying their companies! Many of their companies wouldn’t be making any profit at all if not for the interest they’re making off of nearly free government bailouts. Just this week Hewlett-Packard fired its CEO, but is still paying him a bonus of millions of dollars in exchange for a year of corporate wandering in the wilderness. Netflix’s CEO cost his company hundreds of thousands of subscribers and had to reverse his decision. Bank of America’s CEO launched a debit-card fee plan that was immediately stupid in the eyes of many, but greed an arrogance led him to think he could pass it by his customers, and he lost customers in droves and had to reverse his decision, as did the many major banks that followed him. Since these corporate leaders do things most of us can immediately see as being dumb, why are they rewarded with salaries a thousand times greater than many of us make?