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