A look back: Bank of America and the ‘fleecing’ of the American public, Part 1

Bank of America – and the magical money trail

The following is one part … of one story … of one very large U.S. bank – and how the American public got ‘fleeced’ in the bailout process.  Financial oligarchs received some very special treatment at the expense of American taxpayers.

The money trail outlined below should provide all the justification anyone might ever need for why American citizens deserve the same direct access to ‘liquidity’ that many of the major (domestic and foreign) ‘commercials’ received.

And here is “The big fleecing, Part 1:”

From the book, Bailout Nation [Excerpts] –         

Bank of America – the money trail

June 2005:  Bank of America takes a 9 percent stake in China Construction Bank for $3 billion; china’s market tops out in 2008 and then plummets 72 percent.

January 2006: Bank of America acquires MBNA for $35 billion. The world’s largest issuer of issuer of credit cards is taken over right before the world’s largest credit crunch occurs, and (whoops) just before the worst postwar recession begins.

August 2007:  Bank of America invests $2 billion in Countrywide Financial, the nation’s biggest mortgage lender and loan servicer.  It is a jumbo loser, dropping 57 percent in a few months’ time.

January 2008: Bank of America doubles down and announces a $4.1 billion acquisition of Countrywide.  The timing is flawless, and the purchase is announced as the worst housing collapse in modern history is accelerating.

September 2008:  Bank of America pays $50 billion for Merrill Lynch, including Merrill’s portfolio of toxic assets (along with some previously unannounced trading desk errors).

Note:  On February 20, 2009, Bank of America’s stock hit a low of $2.53.  Before the Countrywide acquisition went bust, Bank of America’s stock was at $52 (October 2007).

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August 2011                                                                                

“The Fed’s Secret Liquidity Lifelines”

Bloomberg – August 22, 2011

“Bank of America Corp., which got two rounds of U.S. Treasury Department capital injections totaling $45 billion to stay afloat during the credit crisis, borrowed twice that amount in secret from the Federal Reserve. On Feb. 26, 2009, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank held $78 billion of loans from the Fed’s Term Auction Facility, $8.65 billion from the Primary Dealer Credit Facility, $4.75 billion from the Term Securities Lending Facility. The financing helped bolster the largest U.S. bank by assets as investors worried its 2008 acquisitions of Merrill Lynch & Co. and Countrywide Financial Corp. might lead to nationalization.”

Bank of America Corp.  

Peak Amount of Debt on 2/26/2009:  $91.04B   

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August 2011: “Bank of America’s back-door TARP”  

CNN Money –  August 20, 2011 by Abigail Field, contributor

[Excerpts]:

FORTUNE — Taxpayers may not realize it, but they just bailed out Bank of America again, this time to the tune of more than a half billion dollars.

The Charlotte, NC-based bank was one of the biggest recipients of bailout funds during the financial crisis. But Bank of America (BAC) continues to face deep problems related to its troubled mortgage portfolio and investors have battered the stock, which has plunged over 40% so far this year…. the federal government is determined to resurrect BofA: the Wall Street Journal reports the feds have just used Fannie Mae, which is controlled by the U.S. government, to infuse BofA with $500 million and ease one of the bank’s biggest headaches.

According to the WSJ, Fannie Mae spent $500 million to buy the servicing rights to a big chunk of the “seven million loans still causing the most problems.”  Although the $500 million is a paper loss to BofA, in that the rights were “originally worth more,” it looks like BofA is still getting a good deal because the portfolio’s “value is expected to deteriorate further.”

In fact, the deal is worth much more than $500 million to BofA, because getting rid of those servicing rights lifts a huge cost burden off BofA’s shoulders. And if securitized loans are involved, which they most likely are, the sale also limits the BofA’s potential liability to investors for its current servicing violations. Finally, the $500 million is surely more than the servicing rights are worth in an arms-length transaction. How do we know? Beyond the comment that the loans are expected to “deteriorate further,” the goal of the intervention can only be to fix Bank of America’s capital structure, which is easier for the government to do if it overpays for the rights.

In short, purchasing these servicing rights was another Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Servicing defaulted loans can be good business if cheaply produced foreclosure paperwork isn’t questioned, and if the foreclosures have equity and can be resold easily with lots of junk fees. But the mortgage servicing rights Fannie Mae bought are stinkers: they have a 13% delinquency rate, which means lots of foreclosures and loan modifications.

But the loans Fannie Mae now has to deal with are even worse than 13% delinquency rate suggests. According to the WSJ, “more than half of the loans are in troubled U.S. real-estate markets.” This likely means markets where a high percentage of the houses are underwater and there’s a huge oversupply, driving prices down further and making defaults more likely.

Fannie Mae is purchasing “the servicing rights in order to transfer the day-to-day management of those loans to a different company.” That’s another huge sign that Fannie Mae is overpaying. If the rights were really worth $500 million, wouldn’t a private company pay that for them? Instead, it sounds like Fannie Mae is doing a bailout two-step, one to BofA and one to whomever takes these rights off Fannie Mae’s hands.

Another thing needs to become clear: where did Fannie Mae get the money to do BofA the favor of buying these rights? Fannie Mae just asked for another bailout of its own, seeking a new $5.1 billion infusion last week.

Think about how good this deal is for BofA: it gets to stop the bleeding, or at least cauterize much of the wound in its balance sheet that lousy mortgage servicing rights and mortgage securities liabilities are creating. And it gets half a billion dollars to boot.

And taxpayers? Well, we get to own yet another good chunk of BofA’s mess.

Full article:  http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/08/10/bank-of-americas-back-door-tarp/

February 2012  Bank of America Fined $1 Billion for Mortgage Fraud

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The Leviticus 25 Plan offers a U.S. “Citizens Credit Facility” – to provide for direct credit extensions to American families.

American citizens deserve precisely the same access to direct liquidity extensions that dozens of major banks, such as Bank of America, received.  And nothing less.

The Leviticus 25 Plan is a dynamic economic initiative providing direct liquidity benefits for American families, while at the same time scaling back the role of government in managing and controlling the affairs of citizens.  It is a comprehensive plan with long-term economic and social benefits for citizens and government.

The inspiration for this plan is based upon Biblical principles set forth in the Book of Leviticus, principles tendering direct economic liberties to the people.

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 –  $75,000 per U.S. citizen

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 (2516)

 

 

Wage Growth, Labor Participation Rates – Stagnant. America Needs ‘Liquidity’ at Ground Level…

U.S. Real Wage Growth is stagnant and the Labor Participation Rate is in a major slump.  Coupled with our nation’s debt problems, we have a fragile situation on our hands.

We need liquidity.  At ground level.

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If You Like Your Stagnant Wages, You Can Keep Your Stagnant Wages

ZeroHedge, Sep 19, 2017 – Excerpts:

“Ever since the great recession of 2008/2009, economists have grown increasingly perplexed by the lack of real wage growth in the U.S. economy despite improving unemployment trends. Even with a 4.4% unemployment rate, real wage growth has been elusive and hovered between negative 1% and positive 1% for years now.”

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America needs a powerhouse economic acceleration plan that grants direct liquidity extensions to U.S. citizens – the same way that The Federal Reserve Bank and U.S. Treasury provided direct liquidity transfusions to Wall Street Financial institutions during the great financial crisis.

The Leviticus 25 Plan is a dynamic economic initiative providing direct liquidity benefits for American families, while at the same time scaling back the role of government in managing and controlling the affairs of citizens.  It is a comprehensive plan with long-term economic and social benefits for citizens and government.

The inspiration for this plan is based upon Biblical principles set forth in the Book of Leviticus, principles tendering direct economic liberties to the people.

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 –  $75,000 per U.S. citizen

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 (2514)

 

 

Central Banks ‘printing,’ nationalizing economies. Danger ahead. America’s ‘powerhouse’ rescue strategy: The Leviticus 25 Plan

Central Bank debt-based monetary measures are leading global economies toward an eventual fiat currency grand cliff-dive..

We are getting ‘set up’ for a catastrophic collapse… but there is a powerful corrective action to change everything…

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Are Central Banks Nationalising the Economy?

Mises Institute – 08/24/2017 – Daniel Lacalle

The FT recently ran an article that states that “leading central banks now own a fifth of their governments’ total debt.”

The figures are staggering.

  • Without any recession or crisis, major central banks are purchasing more than $200 billion a month in government and private debt, led by the ECB and the Bank of Japan.
  • The Federal Reserve owns more than 14% of the US total public debt.
  • The ECB and BOJ balance sheets exceed 35% and 70% of their GDP.
  • The Bank of Japan is now a top 10 shareholder in 90% of the Nikkei.
  • The ECB owns 9.2% of the European corporate bond market and more than 10% of the main European countries’ total sovereign debt.
  • The Bank of England owns between 25% and 30% of the UK’s sovereign debt.

A recent report by Nick Smith, an analyst at CLSA, warns of what he calls ”the nationalization of the secondary market.”

The Bank of Japan, with its ultra-expansionary policy, which only expands its balance sheet, is on course to become the largest shareholder of the Nikkei 225’s largest companies. In fact, the Japanese central bank already accounts for 60% of the ETFs market (Exchange traded funds) in Japan.

What can go wrong? Overall, the central bank not only generates greater imbalances and a poor result in a “zombified” economy as the extremely loose policies perpetuate imbalances, weaken money velocity, and incentivize debt and malinvestment.

Believing that this policy is harmless because “there is no inflation” and unemployment is low is dangerous. The government issues massive amounts of debt and cheap money promotes overcapacity and poor capital allocation. As such, productivity growth collapses, real wages fall and purchasing power of currencies fall, driving the real cost of living up and debt to grow more than real GDP. That is why, as we have shown in previous articles, total debt has soared to 325% of GDP while zombie companies reach crisis-high levels, according to the Bank of International Settlements.

Government-issued liabilities monetized by the central bank are not high-quality assets, they are an IOU that is transferred to the next generations, and it will be repaid in three ways: with massive inflation, with a series of financial crises, or with large unemployment. Currency purchasing power destruction is not a growth policy, it is stealing from future generations. The “placebo” effect of spending today the Net Present Value of those IOUs means that, as GDP, productivity and real disposable income do not improve, at least as much as the debt issued, we are creating a time bomb of economic imbalances that only grows and will explode sometime in the future. The fact that the evident ball of risk is delayed another year does not mean that it does not exist.

The government is not issuing “productive money” just a promise of higher revenues from higher taxes, higher prices or confiscation of wealth in the future. Money supply growth is a loan that government borrows but we, citizens, pay. The payment comes with the destruction of purchasing power and confiscation of wealth via devaluation and inflation. The “wealth effect” of stocks and bonds rising is in-existent for the vast majority of citizens, as more than 90% of average household wealth is in deposits.

In fact, massive monetization of debt is just a way of perpetuating and strengthening the crowding-out effect of the public sector over the private sector. It is a de facto nationalization. Because the central bank does not go “bankrupt,” it just transfers its financial imbalances to private banks, businesses, and families.

[snip]

No wonder that government spending to GDP is now almost 40% in the OECD and rising, the tax burden is at all-time highs and public debt soars.

Monetization is a perfect system to nationalize the economy passing all the risks of excess spending and imbalances to taxpayers. And it always ends badly. Because two plus two does not equal twenty-two. As we tax the productive to perpetuate and subsidize the unproductive, the impact on purchasing power and wealth destruction is exponential.

To believe that this time will be different and governments will spend all that massive “very expensive free money” wisely is simply delusional. The government has all the incentives to overspend as its goal is to maximize budget and increase bureaucracy as means of power. It also has all the incentives to blame its mistakes on an external enemy. Governments always blame someone else for their mistakes. Who lowers rates from 10% to 1%? Governments and central banks. Who is blamed for taking “excessive risk” when it explodes? You and me. Who increases money supply, demands “credit flow,” and imposes financial repression because “savings are too high”? Governments and central banks. Who is blamed when it explodes? Banks for “reckless lending” and “de-regulation”.

Originally published at DLacalle.com

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It is time to end this big government central-planning madness, and put U.S. citizens back in charge of personally allocating their own  financial resources.

The Leviticus 25 Plan will restore economic liberty, eliminate massive amounts of debt burdening citizens, generate $1.02 trillion federal budget surpluses, solve the entitlement crisis and permanently downscale dependence on government, re-ignite powerful economic growth… and engender financial stability and social blessings all across America.

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 –  $75,000 per U.S. citizen

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 (2508)

Stockman: Federal Budget “a Doomsday Machine”… (Not so fast… there is a powerful plan to ‘blow off’ the debt shackles and turn everything around – fast: The Leviticus 25 Plan)

Massive future fiscal deficits are ‘baked” into the cake, and they will ‘inevitably’ lead to severe credit disorder and economic chaos at some point in America’s future.

…. Unless we come up with an ‘inspired’ plan, a dynamic economic acceleration plan to blow off the shackles of debt on U.S. citizens…

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Stockman Exposes America’s Fiscal Doomsday Machine

ZeroHedge, Sep 12, 2017 – Excerpts:

The Federal budget is a Fiscal Doomsday Machine. The depository of American wars and entitlements have run rampant. Under the pile drivers of a global empire and the retiring baby boom, it is rapidly propelling the nation toward fiscal catastrophe. That grim outcome is virtually guaranteed if the only remaining safety brake — the debt ceiling — is summarily abolished.

Due to entitlements, debt service and the slow pipeline of appropriated spending there is no such thing as an annual Federal budget or accountability for how much Uncle Sam spends and borrows. Instead, the $4.1 trillion that Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects the Federal government will spend in FY 2018, and the $563 billion it will borrow, reflects the dead hand of the past.

Entitlements and other mandatory spending alone is projected to reach $2.566 trillion or 63% of total FY 2018 outlays.

Another $307 billion will be required for interest on the nation’s $20 trillion public debt, while upwards of half the $1.22 trillion for so-called “discretionary” or appropriated programs also reflects funds appropriated years ago.

Altogether, $3.5 trillion, or 85% of outlays, will be essentially baked into the cake before a single Congressional vote is taken on anything regarding the FY 2018 budget.

The Federal spending machine is almost entirely on autopilot and heading for disaster owing to ballooning populations and debt. Ten years from now the combined cost of mandatory programs and debt service will reach $5.12 trillion compared to just $2.87 trillion during FY 2018.

Entitlement spending will be nearly double — even if Congress took a 10-year recess!

As shown below, that means the Federal spending share of GDP is now inexorably climbing toward 30% owing to baby boom retirements, even as revenue under current law is stuck at about 18% of GDP. The CBO’s latest projection of the widening fiscal gap — soon more than 10% of GDP annually — leaves nothing to the imagination.

America really does have in place a Fiscal Doomsday Machine.

The Fiscal Doomsday Gap Is Uncloseable — The Crisis Is Permanent

1 Federal Spending and Revenues Fiscal Doomsday

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And now.. on to the solution:

$1.02 trillion annual budget surpluses yearly 2017-2021: The Leviticus 25 Plan

The U.S. Government  budget deficit for FY2016 came in at $587 billion. The Congressional Budget Office Updated Budget Projections 2016-2026 has forecast the following annual budget deficits for each of the next five years:

2017: -$550 billion

2018: -$549 billion

2019: -$710 billion

2020: -$798 billion

2021: -$890 billion

According to the CBO, our government is on track to add a minimum of $3.497 trillion to the national debt over the next five years, an average annual deficit or $699.4 billion.

The five year accumulating deficit increases, totaling $3.497 trillion, will be weighed down further with a related interest expense (2.23% per annum) amounting to $200.96 billion, for a total of $4.196 trillion.

The Leviticus 25 Plan generates a total government recapture benefit over the first five years of the program (federal income tax refund recapture plus federal expenditures recapture) of $8.56 trillion, an average of $1.72 trillion per year.

The Leviticus 25 Plan recapture provisions thereby generate an average annual budget surplus over the next five years of $1.02 trillion per year ($1.72 trillion – $699.4 billion) plus additional savings of $200.7 billion in unrealized interest expense.

The annual $1.02 trillion surplus during each year (2017-2021) will be used, in turn, to reduce the Federal Reserve Citizens Credit Facility balance sheet from the initial expansion event.

The Leviticus 25 Plan is unquestionably the most powerful economic acceleration plan in America.  It is the only economic plan that pays for itself over 10-15 years.

The Leviticus 25 Plan is a dynamic economic initiative providing direct liquidity benefits for American families, while at the same time scaling back the role of government in managing and controlling the affairs of citizens.  It is a comprehensive plan with long-term economic and social benefits for citizens and government.

The inspiration for this plan is based upon Biblical principles set forth in the Book of Leviticus, principles tendering direct economic liberties to the people.

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 –  $75,000 per U.S. citizen

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 (2506)

97 million Americans, buried in debt, living paycheck to paycheck – no way out. Until now… The Leviticus 25 Plan

American families are buried under heavy debt burdens… with no comprehensive economic plan to restore economic stability and turn things around.

Until now……

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97 Million American Workers Are Living Paycheck To Paycheck

ZeroHedge,  Sep 14, 2017 – Excerpts:

…The Federal Reserve recently released data showing that aggregate credit card debt had hit an all-time high of $1.027 trillion, eclipsing the previous high that was set before the Great Recession. Add in another trillion of auto-loan debt and $1.4 trillion in student-loan debt, and the aggregate debt pile is not only larger than ever before – it’s growing at its fastest rate in decades.

And in what’s perhaps the most troubling statistic highlighted by Motley Fool, a recent survey by CareerBuilder and The Harris Poll found that 78% of full-time US workers – nearly 100 million Americans – are now living paycheck to paycheck, up from 75% in 2016.

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Americans are eyeball deep in debt, household income growth is stagnant. Government central-planning promotes intrusion into the daily lives of Americans.

Social welfare programs ‘disincentivize’ work.

Government debt recently broke through the $20 trillion level – guaranteeing staggering annual deficits in the coming years.

We have one gigantic mess on our hands.

There is one, and only one, economic acceleration plan with the raw power to turn this socioeconomic catastrophe around, massively shrinking government debt, eliminating vast tracts of public debt, restoring economic liberty, reducing dependence on government entitlement programs and social welfare, and reigniting economic growth.

The Leviticus 25 Plan is a dynamic economic initiative providing direct liquidity benefits for American families, while at the same time scaling back the role of government in managing and controlling the affairs of citizens.  It is a comprehensive plan with long-term economic and social benefits for citizens and government.

The inspiration for this plan is based upon Biblical principles set forth in the Book of Leviticus, principles tendering direct economic liberties to the people.

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 –  $75,000 per U.S. citizen

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 (2501)

 

Milton Friedman – Equality vs Freedom

Milton Friedman (1912 – 2006), American economist, Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 1976:

“A society that puts equality — in the sense of equality of outcome — ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests.

On the other hand, a society that puts freedom first will, as a happy by-product, end up with both greater freedom and greater equality.  Though a by-product of freedom, greater equality is not an accident.  A free society releases the energies and abilities of people to pursue their own objectives.

It prevents some people from arbitrarily suppressing others.  It does not prevent some people from achieving position of privilege, but so long as freedom is maintained, it prevents those positions of privilege from becoming institutionalized; they are subject to continued attack from other able, ambitious people.  Freedom means diversity but also mobility.  It preserves the opportunity for today’s disadvantaged to become tomorrow’s privileged and, in the process, enables almost everyone, from top to bottom, to enjoy a fuller and richer life.

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America’s one and only economic acceleration plan – to protect freedoms and restore economic liberty:

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 –  $75,000 per U.S. citizen

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 (2496)